Actions

Work Header

ATSU101: how to fall in love with your fake boyfriend

Chapter Text

The beauty of life is that it’s always finding new ways to end. Atsumu’s life is going to end because of a single Instagram post that he comes across at the perfectly reasonable hour of 7:16 AM on a Thursday. It makes him inhale deeply, and then scream loud enough to probably shatter eardrums. Most likely shatter eardrums, because Atsumu understands his life is coming to an end twenty seconds later, when his lungs give out, and his roommate’s muffled voice says:

 

“What the fuck ,” which means Kenma is here, which means the universe really well and truly is plotting against Atsumu, because Kenma is never in their dorm, because Kenma considers dorm living to be the equivalent of a lobotomy, and if Kenma is here, that means his absolutely insufferable boyfriend is here, which means Atsumu is going to be throttled for pissing Kenma off, because Kenma’s boyfriend is perfect and will rush to the defense of poor, sweet Kenma without hesitation.

 

Fucking Kuroo. Fucking Kuroo and his effortlessly messy hair and his making sure Kenma has eaten when he stays up too late and his chemistry textbooks and his never being bothered by anything Atsumu says and his random gifts and good morning texts that Kenma always gets in the afternoon because he thinks waking up before 1pm is immoral so they’re not even technically good morning texts anyway and his stupid willingness to verbally ridicule Atsumu for being the quote-unquote stupidest person alive, like that’s in any way an accurate description of him when Kageyama exists. Fucking Kuroo. One of these days he’s going to find an appropriately embarrassing chain restaurant and fight him in the decrepit abandoned parking lot. He could do it. He could win. A lifetime with Osamu has given him an unforgiving noogie fist and a pretty decent right hook.

 

Osamu .

 

The reminder makes him grip his phone so tight the plastic case- the hideously bright yellow one with obnoxiously teal sharks that Hinata bought him for his birthday last year- squeaks in protest. He knows he’s shaking with rage, like a very small, very cornered dog. If he was in a cartoon, he’s certain his whole face would be red and steam would be coming out of his ears, but as it stands, he’s making a valiant effort at crushing his phone in his hand and staring balefully into his far-too-soggy fruit loops.

 

Kenma’s door slams open, held by Kuroo’s broad hand as a blanket swaddled and squinting Kenma shuffles toward Atsumu and sits at the table directly across from him. Kuroo brackets him from behind, swipes Atsumu’s fruit loops and spoons some into his mouth. Instantly, he makes a face at the texture and pushes the bowl back across the table. Serves him right , Atsumu thinks as Kuroo chews through the pain, his eyebrow cocked expectantly at him. Atsumu stares back like he’s trying to laser beam a hole in his head.

 

“Atsumu,” Kenma says, barely fitting his name around a yawn, “I’m tired, and if me being awake isn’t justified in the next thirty seconds, the next time you scream it will be because you’re getting murdered for real.”

 

Kenma has a lazy slump to his shoulders and a neutral expression so apathetic it would be hard to believe him if you didn’t know better. Atsumu absolutely does know better, after living with Kenma for three years. So, he swallows his pride, and presents the offending Instagram post to them as his face scrunches up in disgust.

 

“My fuckin’ traitor of a brother,” Atsumu announces, “got a fuckin’ boyfriend .”

 

Kenma’s expression slips into the blissful serenity that means he’s contemplating serious violence, like picking up the lawn chair that replaced one of the dining chairs suspiciously after a weekend that he left Kenma and Kuroo alone here- which he has charitably never mentioned, because he’s a generous and forgiving guy- and beating Atsumu with it. For a moment, Atsumu allows himself a moment of clarity. If this is it for him, his life has been mostly good aside from Osamu’s repetitive betrayals and the occasional mortifying stumble. He’s fresh out of the shower in clothes Aran would definitely disdainfully call athleisure wear. At least he dies looking hot. Whatever murder Kenma is plotting is put on hold when Kuroo snorts.

 

“I was kind of hoping for a hattrick,” he says, tone faux-mournful. Atsumu takes a moment to catch up.

 

“Fuck,” he says, and Kuroo nods approvingly.

 

“There we go,” he reaches a long slender finger out to scroll down to see the caption of the post, “so he’s not with that Kita-san guy you used to obsess over?”

 

“No!” Atsumu has to try very hard to regulate the volume of the screech that rips out of his throat, because Kenma’s expression says he hasn’t made up his mind on not murdering him yet, and Atsumu would very much like to live at least long enough to kick Osamu’s ass for doing this to him.

 

“Then what’s the problem? Shouldn’t you be happy Osamu is happy or whatever?”

 

“If this is about him having a boyfriend before you,” Kenma threatens, and Kuroo leans his chin on the top of his head, which seems effective in keeping him in his seat. Atsumu takes back all of his mean thoughts. Kuroo is great. If Atsumu didn’t want to die, he’d kiss Kuroo right on the mouth for just how great and awesome he is. Really, just a swell dude.

 

“Nah,” Atsumu slumps into the nearest dining chair, drops his phone with a clatter. “Kinda figured he’d get it together enough with Rin eventually, but just… not this soon.”

 

“Atsumu,” Kenma warns.

 

“It’s not that I ain’t happy for him, I am happy for him, but,” Atsumu sniffs, takes in a deep breath, before he fists both hands in his hair and rocks back in the chair as he wails; “he was supposed to be my date this weekend!”

 

“Creepy,” Kuroo sing-songs, and Atsumu decides he hates him again. Maybe it’ll be a knife fight, but only if he can get one of those cool metallic knives that shine rainbow-y. Suna would probably be keen to film it. No, wait. He’s mad at Suna.

 

“Not like that, ya asshole,” Atsumu seethes, letting the chair thud back onto all four legs, dropping his forehead against the table, “y’know Terushima Yuuji?”

 

“Vaguely,” Kenma says.

 

“Ennoshita’s boyfriend? The one who rejected you after you sent him a thirst trap in first year?” Atsumu makes a miserable little noise of confirmation. Kuroo’s resulting laugh is positively gleeful . Just fucking jolly , really. “Oh, this is gonna be good.”

 

“He invited me to a party this weekend,” Atsumu thunks his head against the wood of the table, “throws real fuckin’ good ones too, but he’s always tryna set me up with some poor fuck he thinks I’ll like and Samu was s’posed to be my ticket outta that ‘cause I can’t entertain Yuuji-kun’s matchmaking if I gotta babysit my awkward fuck of a twin, y’know? I can’t show up alone .”

 

“I mean, it doesn’t sound so bad,” Kuroo says, ever the encouraging upperclassman. Atsumu misses Kita. Kita would say something profoundly comforting and simple like ‘then don’t go’. Kuroo just keeps talking. “He could have sent your thirst trap to his group chat to make fun of you and never spoken to you again, but obviously he’s chill with you if he’s inviting you to parties. It’s not like you couldn’t use the help.” 

 

Atsumu lifts his head to squint at him.

 

“Your taste in hookups is outclassed only by your personality in terms of sheer awfulness,” Kenma informs him, deadpan. Atsumu drops his head back down hard enough he thinks it’s going to bruise.

 

“Ya don’t get it ,” he whines, “Yuuji-kun’s great ‘n all, but he always picks the worst guys. They’re always so borin’, or too sensitive, or they talk too much and they’re too eager and it’s all just a pain.”

 

“Sounds terrible,” Kuroo says in a tone that implies he thinks Atsumu is a dick.

 

“Just awful,” Kenma adds, more deadpan, but somehow more devastating.

 

“I get it ,” Atsumu waves his hands, fisting them into his hair as his elbows land on the table with a jarring thud. “ Ya think I’m a massive cock.” Kuroo makes a noise like he doesn’t disagree. Atsumu considers the consequences of just launching across the table and tackling him to the ground. Unfortunately, Kuroo has positioned Kenma between himself and Atsumu, because he’s a stupid fucking genius or whatever. Fucking Kuroo.

 

“Maybe it doesn’t seem like a problem to ya,” Atsumu continues to grump, running a hand through his hair, “but it’s exhaustin’ to show up to a party lookin’ for a good time on the rare occasion I can do it without it impactin’ my volleyball, only to have some moron hangin’ off me for the whole night expectin’ fuckin’ who-knows-what from me, and havin’ Yuuji-kun check in like he’s gonna offer me a condom and his fuckin’ blessin’ if we hit it off or whatever when mostly what I wanna do is drink a couple beers, maybe dance a little and be left the fuck to my business, y’know?”

 

“Oh God,” Kenma murmurs, “I’m relating to Atsumu.”

 

“See! Thank you,” Atsumu throws his hands up in exasperation, and Kuroo hums, suspiciously quiet for such a good opportunity to tease both Atsumu and Kenma. He narrows his eyes at him in time to see him pushing his tongue into the pocket of his cheek.

 

“What,” Kenma says, more of a demand than a question. He tilts his head so his nose is settled against the line of Kuroo’s jaw, “that’s your thinking face.”

 

“Not that you deserve my help,” Kuroo says, eventually, “but I think I might have a plan.”

 

“What?” Atsumu all but barks. If anyone deserves Kuroo’s help, it’s Atsumu. Not only does he put up with living with Kuroo’s boyfriend- and they are not as quiet as Kenma likes to think he is, thanks- but he also puts up with Kuroo’s best friend on the college’s volleyball team. And Bokuto is a lot. Like a lot a lot. Maybe even more than Hinata levels of a lot

 

“I said might,” Kuroo emphasizes, tapping his fingers against the table, “but I’m going to need ten thousand yen and a promise that you’ll keep an open mind.” Atsumu barely restrains the urge to shriek again , as Kenma turns his sharp gaze onto his boyfriend.

 

“Kuro,” he says, voice cool in the way that says he’s trying not to wring someone’s neck, “what are you planning?”

 

“I’ll tell you if it pans out,” Kuroo says, dropping a kiss on Kenma’s head, which seems to satisfy him.

 

“You’ve only got, like, two days,” Atsumu says, “party’s Saturday, y’know.”

 

“I know,” Kuroo says, crooking his signature cat-got-canary grin at Atsumu, “just trust me, Tsum-Tsum.

 

No one has ever claimed Atsumu is renowned for particularly good ideas, but even he can recognize that that’s a bad one.

 

Kuroo’s plan starts to take shape on Friday afternoon, when Atsumu enters the gym for volleyball practice. He immediately realizes something is off, because Sakusa Kiyoomi is already on the court (unsurprising) and he’s jumping blocks with a familiar head of messy hair ( extremely surprising). Their second-string setter is putting up tosses for Bokuto, who slams a particularly nasty cross-shot, only for Kuroo to twist mid-air and kill the ball against his forearms. Bokuto lets out an anguished wail and drops to his knees, both hands fisted in frustration as he curses his friend. Hinata flits around Kuroo like he hung the sun in the sky. Sakusa continues his conversation with Kuroo like the concept of Sakusa having a conversation with Kuroo of all people is as common an occurrence as the sky being blue.

 

What the fuck , Atsumu thinks, and then, no really, what the fuck.

 

“Atsumu-san!” Hinata’s bellow breaks him out of his thoughts, and he ties the final loop on his volleyball shoes, meandering slowly toward them. “Did you see Kuroo-san’s block?!”

 

“No,” Atsumu lies, which makes Kuroo grin his shitty fucking grin. Fucking Kuroo.

 

“Tsum! Set for me,” Bokuto demands at once, pointing an accusing finger through the netting at his friend. “We gotta show Kuroo a thing or two! It’s embarrassing getting stuffed by someone who isn’t even on the team.”

 

“You should run your spiking drills,” Kuroo says, batting the finger away, “I need to borrow Sakusa-san.”

 

“And I need to beat you!” Bokuto retorts, trying to catch Kuroo’s eye, unsuccessfully, as Sakusa is already moving toward the bench with Kuroo wandering casually behind him.

 

“I think you already won, Bokuto-san,” Hinata says helpfully, “since you’re on the team and Kuroo-san’s not.”

 

“Doesn’t count, ‘cause he quit!”

 

Whatever Hinata says after that is lost to Atsumu, with a silent apology. Usually Hinata is worth paying attention to, so earnest and peppy as he is, but right now the curious fact of an apparent Sakusa-Kuroo friendship that he didn’t know about is eating away at all of his concentration.

 

Atsumu has been playing against Sakusa Kiyoomi since high school, on the same team as him for the past three years, and in all that time, he can confidently say he has met maybe three people Sakusa considers a friend. One of them is his cousin, and as cool as Komori is, Atsumu’s not totally sure he counts given blood-relation obligations, which means that Sakusa has two friends: the setter from his high school team that Atsumu doesn’t care to remember, and Ushijima, a friendship that endures because they’re just as weird as each other, which makes Kuroo stick out like even more of a sore thumb than he already did amongst Sakusa’s list of conversational partners.

 

It’s not like Sakusa and Kuroo even really interact that much. They’ve met, sure, by virtue of Kuroo being best friends with one of Sakusa’s teammates, but Atsumu can count on one hand the amount of times Sakusa and Kuroo have had a one-on-one conversation. In Atsumu’s experience, Sakusa doesn’t give the time of day to people he doesn’t think are worth it, which pretty much encapsulates anyone who is not considered a ‘friend’. His volleyball teams are usually on thin ice with regards to tolerance from Sakusa. Maybe it’s because Akaashi likes Kuroo and Sakusa seems to respect Akaashi despite his dedication to dating all of Bokuto’s crazy. But even that doesn’t explain why Kuroo would be talking to Sakusa, because Atsumu knows for a fact that Kuroo has lots of friends. More interesting and fun friends than Sakusa “ where happiness goes to die ” Kiyoomi.

 

Maybe, if Atsumu were smart enough to do one of the science programs that Sakusa and Kuroo are in, he’d be able to put together the vague puzzle pieces floating in the edges of his mind. As it stands, he has no clue about the weird little drawings he sees scattered all throughout Kuroo’s notes on some kind of chemistry, and do-or-die Atsumu would be a goner if asked to recall whatever the fuck Sakusa is studying. So, when Hinata bounces a ball off the back of his head and demands that Atsumu stop doing his best Kageyama impression- hurtful, really- and set for them, he lets it lie.

 

Pretending the ball is Osamu’s face works wonders for his jump serve, and by the end of practice, with Kuroo out of sight and therefore out of mind, he’s completely forgotten about the weird little intrusion to the ecosystem of the volleyball team. It’s not until afterward, when he wanders out of the showers in no particular hurry to get home, and Sakusa says something so fucking bizarre that he might as well have just taken a baseball bat and brained him with it, that Atsumu remembers anything had been wrong at all. What Sakusa says is this:

 

“I told Kuroo-san I would do it, but I thought you should hear it from me.” What Atsumu says in response to that, in all his infinite eloquence and quick-tongued wit is:

 

“Wuh?” Sakusa sneers.

 

“Congratulations, Miya ,” Oh, Sakusa knows it bugs him when he calls him that, “until the end of Terushima-san’s party, we’re officially dating.”

 

And all of it clicks into place, one domino falling after the other. Kuroo’s secrecy with regard to what exactly his solution was, the whole thing about an open mind, Kuroo being here , of all fucking places, despite the fact that he doesn’t ever come to volleyball team practices because he knows it distracts Bokuto and the-

 

“Did Kuroo give you my fuckin’ money?” Atsumu’s voice comes out more strangled and at a much higher pitch than he would have liked. Sakusa looks bored.

 

“I should have asked for more, but unfortunately, Kuroo-san is a resoundingly logical debater,” Sakusa’s nose crinkles in distaste for a moment so brief Atsumu could have blinked and he would have missed it. Except he’s forgotten how to blink. And also breathe. He feels light headed.

 

“I’m going to kill him,” he says finally, achieving a level of muted rage that makes him want to kiss Kenma’s forehead in belated apology. “Osamu first, then Kuroo.”

 

“Did you not want a date to Terushima-san’s party?” Sakusa says, as if it’s that simple.

 

“I wanted a date ,” Atsumu says, gesturing wildly with his hand, “not a… you!”

 

“Charming,” Sakusa says flatly, “I can see why you have so much luck with relationships.”

 

“Like you’re any better, Omi-kun.”

 

“At least my friends don’t know they’ve got to pay people to fake-date me.”

 

“Only ‘cause you’ve never needed someone to fake-date you-” Atsumu cuts himself off.

 

It’s the smallest thing, really, but part of being a good setter is learning to read and manage the minutiae of your spikers, and Atsumu is the best setter. Which is to say, Sakusa flicks his eyes away from the spot he’d been staring at- not at Atsumu, never at Atsumu, but always at a spot just over his shoulder so that looks close enough to looking directly at him- for the briefest moment, his lips pull just a fraction too taught and his jaw tics with the tiniest of jumps, and Atsumu pieces it all together in a millisecond before he outright cackles.

 

“Shut up,” Sakusa mutters.

 

“Holy shit,” Atsumu says, “why do you need a fake boyfriend, Omi-kun? Tryna make an ex jealous or somethin’?” Sakusa scowls his defensive scowl, the kind of scowl that says Atsumu is getting too close to something real and squishy and Sakusa doesn’t like it and doesn’t want to give him the satisfaction of a confirmation either so he’ll just shoot him a look that would kill a lesser man instead, as if that’s not a confession all in itself.

 

“No, no,” he presses on, “lemme guess? Yer finally tryna do somethin’ bout your lustful yearnin’ for Ushiwaka-kun, hm? No? Grindr hookup gone wrong? Completely online beau you wanna make jealous by flauntin’ me all over your socials? C’mon, Omi-Omi, what’s the deal?”

 

“Are you aware that you’re the worst person in the world?”

 

“Yup,” Atsumu pops his ‘p’, taking a step closer to Sakusa, “c’mon, baby . Tell your boyfriend what the problem is.”

 

Sakusa tears open his gym bag with a vengeance and retrieves a plastic sleeve full of paper, shoving it into Atsumu’s chest and holding it there until he’s sure he’s got a grip on it. If Atsumu didn’t know better, he’d say Sakusa was blushing, but it’s probably just the lights. Sakusa doesn’t blush .

 

“You’re a royal pain in the ass, and my deal is none of your business. As far as I’m concerned, this is a transactional agreement wherein you’ve paid for my services, and as a teammate I will consider this a favour to make sure you don’t do anything spectacularly stupid in the form of revenge on Osamu-san. Those are my conditions, read them and make sure you’re familiar with them before tomorrow. You will pick me up at eight, sharp. Don’t be late.”

 

Sakusa turns and stalks out of the gym, Atsumu’s laughter chasing him the whole way out. Still, he tucks the notes into his own gym bag, and marches to his own dorm, with renewed confidence. There’s nothing like ridicule to make him feel on top of his game, and Sakusa is such an easy target. His temper is vicious and his patience is thin, which makes him fun to provoke, and because he has his whole germs thing, he’s much less likely to tackle him to the ground and wail on him the way Osamu is. A win-win, in his books.

 

Which is to say, he feels frankly on top of the world when he dumps his gym bag on the table, marches up to Kenma’s room and swings the door open- Kuroo never remembers to lock it when he returns from getting snacks because his hands are always too full- with every intention to keep his ridicule train going.

 

Kenma’s face is thunderous, his legs hooked over the back of Kuroo’s thighs, hands in the process of trying to peel a shirt that looks like it’s painted onto Kuroo’s shoulders off of him. Kuroo, on the other hand, looks lazily unbothered, like he was expecting this outcome. He probably was too- the bastard - staring Atsumu down like that with his hand shoved up Kenma’s shirt.

 

“Atsumu,” he says, in what Kenma calls his ‘Lev voice’. It’s the voice usually reserved for talking to Lev from their high school volleyball team, back when Kuroo had needed to play patient and understanding captain a little more than he did with the others. “Can I help you?”

 

“Ya paid Omi-kun to be my date to Yuuji-kun’s party,” Atsumu says, pointing accusingly at him, “ya hate me. Ya want me to die.”

 

“Right now?” Kenma seethes, the threat implicit in his tone.

 

“Seriously, Kuroo, what the fuck?” Atsumu continues, jabbing his finger at him, “y’know how weird that is, huh? T’ask a guy’s teammate to be his fake boyfriend ‘cause his fuckin’ scab of a twin ditches him when he knows how important it was to be his scapegoat for a party? Now I gotta babysit Omi-kun, who is like, Worse Osamu, which means I’m not gonna have any fun, and ya said boyfriend too, so now I’m not even gonna be able t’flirt with anyone else, and I definitely don’t wanna hook up with anyone from my team ‘cause that would be so fuckin’ awkward, not that Omi-kun would ever be down to just hook up with anyone anyways ‘cause he’s got a stick up his ass the size of the goddamn Tokyo Tower, so this doesn’t solve my problem at all .”

 

“Yeah it does,” Kuroo says, flippantly, “just remove the Tokyo Tower, replace it with something else. Simple. And don’t forget to use protection.”

 

“Die,” Atsumu says with as much vitriol as possible, looking around for something to throw at Kuroo, but thinking better of it when the look on Kenma’s face spells a distinct lack of hesitation toward homicide. 

 

Why him!” He whines instead, flopping bonelessly into Kenma’s desk chair. Kenma seems to realize whatever he and Kuroo had been doing before has been definitively interrupted, so he rolls over and pushes his face into his pillows. Kuroo gently rubs a hand down his back, shrugging at Atsumu.

 

“Terushima came up earlier in my week. You know Shirabu?”

 

Atsumu does not, in fact, know Shirabu, but he does know of Shirabu, if only by association. His name is familiar to Atsumu as part of Kuroo’s ‘love our degree, hate the workload’ pity-party study sessions that had started when Shirabu and Ennoshita- Terushima’s boyfriend that Atsumu had very much not known about when he sent the accursed thirst trap- had found him passed out in a puddle of his own drool on top of his chem textbooks and decided he was a kindred spirit. However, Atsumu fails to see how Shirabu is relevant to the problems Kuroo has caused him, given that Shirabu is a med student and Atsumu is a communications major which means their paths never cross.

 

“Well,” Kuroo continues, “Shirabu, Ennoshita and Terushima all captained in Miyagi in the same year so they’re all pretty good buddies, and they were talking about the party and how Shirabu would have to shuffle assignments to make it, and y’know, Shirabu’s not really a party kind of guy, so I thought that was pretty weird, but then he told me that it was a personal favour to Ushijima-”

 

“Shirabu-kun knows Ushiwaka-kun?”

 

“They played together in high school, keep up,” Atsumu makes a wounded noise as Kuroo plows on, “because Ushijima couldn’t make it but apparently there’s some guy who won’t leave Ushijima’s friend Sakusa alone and it’s making him real uncomfortable. Shirabu was trying to make it so Sakusa would have someone to hang out with, so that he has a not-his-dorm place to be on a Saturday night. According to Shirabu he was skeptical since he figured unless he was going with -with someone the guy would just take it as another opportunity to harass him if he got wind of it.”

 

“Holy shit. Ya set me up to be Omi-kun’s guard dog.”

 

“Pretty much, yeah.”

 

“Wow. I can’t believe you conned Atsumu into doing something nice,” Kenma says.

 

“I know,” Kuroo is stupidly smug, “I’m pretty good, huh? Anyway you’re not allowed to repeat any of that to Sakusa-san, Atsumu, I mean it. If he tells you he tells you, but if he doesn’t you do not bring it up.”

 

“Or?”

 

“You do not want to know what dirt I have on you,” Kenma says, and Atsumu’s blood runs ice cold. Kenma’s lived with him for three years. Atsumu knows there’s undoubtedly something irreversibly damaging hidden in there. Plus, Osamu likes Kenma enough to share the good stuff from their childhood. He really should have considered requesting a different roommate, but as much as everyone else thinks he’s a grade-A asshole, he still can’t bring himself to leave Kenma floundering. Call him sentimental. Or a masochist. Both are probably true.

 

“So?” Kuroo prompts, in his Lev voice again , “you pinky promise to be on your best behaviour?”

 

“Yea, yea,” Atsumu waves a hand, “cross my heart.”

 

“Good,” Kuroo says, “now get out. Read his instructions.” Atsumu would argue, but Kuroo’s hands are already creeping up Kenma’s shirt again, and Kenma’s mouth is inching suspiciously close to Kuroo’s neck, and that’s something Atsumu really doesn’t need to see, so he pulls his eyelid down and sticks his tongue out as he backs out of the room and closes the door soundly behind him.

 

Sakusa’s instructions are typed in size twelve Times New Roman, double-spaced, which doesn’t surprise Atsumu at all, not really. Sakusa seems like the type to be a resounding kiss-ass to professors. Probably why he picked some fancy science degree instead of like, something infinitely less nerdy.

 

For the most part, they’re easy enough to remember. Requirements for hygiene that Atsumu was planning to follow anyway, items that Atsumu must remember to bring, as if Sakusa could somehow forget pocket sanitizer like it’s absence wouldn’t be akin to Sakusa’s limb being severed. Boundaries. Stuff like you may hold my hand. Hands above the waist. Don’t touch my face . Blah blah. Itinerary for the night. Eight sharp is bolded and underlined and then three more lines have been hand-drawn under it.

 

We will stay for at least three hours , more generous than he thought Sakusa would be with the time, really, but Atsumu’s not complaining, I will participate in no more than two (2) conversations with your friends. Like Atsumu would want Sakusa to participate in a conversation with any of his friends, especially not Suna or- God forbid- Futakuchi. The thought makes him feel light-headed in distress. We will leave together. We will both return to your dorm. Being subject to Sakusa’s whim leaves a sour taste in Atsumu’s mouth, but he supposes it would be weird to just leave your boyfriend alone at a party after you’d gone home for the night.

 

Atsumu’s brain catches up, and he thinks:

 

Huh .

 

And then:

 

Wait, huh?!

 

He reads it again, then again, and a third time, like reading it thrice will change ‘your dorm’ being printed in size twelve Times New Roman right in front of his eyes. He looks incredulously at the fox plushie on his desk, like it will somehow have the answer to what the fuck Sakusa could possibly want with his dorm. When this doesn’t work, Atsumu closes his eyes, sets the papers down on his chest, wedges the meat of his palms against his teeth, and muffles a scream into his hands.

 

When the screaming doesn’t bring Kenma thundering in, brandishing an object primed for murder via blunt-force trauma, Atsumu allows himself to exhale deeply, and fold his hands peacefully on his chest as he goes back to what he’s best at: analysing. It’s part of volleyball; picking up the strategy of the game and the inclinations of the players. It’s part of what makes him so good, this ability to innately understand what is happening on a court. So, he draws the lines in his head.

 

Data point one: Sakusa Kiyoomi is a prickly, ornery, closed-off, blunt and forthright jerk with mysophobia. This means even without the germ thing, he would probably struggle to make friends and would still like his own space well enough. With the whole germ thing, it means Sakusa doesn’t like people contaminating his personal space, but it also means he doesn’t like being in other people’s personal space, especially when he doesn’t know where it’s been. He does go out from time to time- he’s been to Bokuto’s apartment, Hinata’s dorm room, even Atsumu’s once when the whole team had swung by to pick up Kenma and Kuroo for victory drinks. Sakusa doesn’t stay the night. Not ever .

 

Data point two: Sakusa’s instructions imply that he would spend the night. Atsumu thinks Sakusa would have been happier to have Atsumu escort him to his dorm room and have that be that. Then again, Kuroo did mention Sakusa not wanting to be in his dorm for the night, and three hours onward from eight with travel time factored in might barely scrape midnight, but even then who’s to say how dedicated Sakusa’s suitor is? Maybe he’s the kind of guy who thinks Sakusa does 3am DMCs.

 

Data point three: Sakusa is absolutely not the kind of guy who does 3am DMCs. In fact, Atsumu is pretty sure that Sakusa doesn’t even know what a DMC is . Which means Sakusa doesn’t want a fun little sleepover, he just wants a place to crash. Which means that Sakusa is probably really, really super fucking desperate.

 

Conclusion: this suitor guy is getting to Sakusa way more than he wants to let on, to the point where he’s clearly willing to compromise his extreme fear of germs to go to a party with someone as their fake boyfriend, let that someone- who Sakusa regularly calls disgusting with absolutely no basis, Atsumu reminds himself and promptly feels offended- put their hands all over him, and then commit to the ruse by coming back to that person’s personal living space for, presumably, the whole night.

 

Atsumu opens his eyes. Maybe he could do one of those fancy science degrees. He’s pretty good at this analysis stuff. Kuroo can eat his fucking heart out. In the spirit of his newfound love for scientific testing, he pulls his phone from his nightstand and texts Sakusa.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (8:41pm)

can’t wait for our drunk dmcs tomorrow xoxo

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (8:55pm)

Our fucking what?

 

God, Atsumu thinks gleefully, I am so fucking smart .

Chapter Text

There are no instructions from Sakusa about cleaning his dorm, probably because Sakusa is- Atsumu begrudgingly has to admit- smart enough to fear Kenma’s wrath. Still, Atsumu cleans his room and wipes down the kitchen before he gets ready to go. Just because he wants Sakusa to have less to make fun of him for, of course. Not because it would make him more comfortable or anything. If Atsumu is suffering through this night, he’s going to make sure Sakusa is suffering right along with him.

 

He showers and runs his leave-in hair treatment through his wet hair, spends a solid ten minutes agonizing about when would be appropriate to get a touch-up now that his regrowth is starting to become a little obvious, then dresses, takes his obligatory pre-party selfies, and cracks open a beer to sip on as he passes the time.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (7:10pm)

fresh out of the shower babe wear those jeans that make ur ass look fat 🤪🤪

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (7:15pm)

I genuinely hope you slip on Kenma’s cat slippers and fracture your neck.

🖤

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (7:15pm)

u would use black hearts lol

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (7:16pm)

🖕

 

To: inferior miya 🖕🖕🖕 (7:13pm)

i look hot. have fun on ur date night traitor

 

From: inferior miya 🖕🖕🖕 (7:15pm)

i will

your shirt is buttoned wrong

 

To: inferior miya 🖕🖕🖕 (7:17pm)

FUCK YOU

MY SHIRT DOESNT EVEN HAVE BUTTONS

 

From: inferior miya 🖕🖕🖕 (7:18pm)

lol made you look

:)

have fun showing up alone loser

 

To: rin 😐😙 (7:20pm)

dump my brother

 

From: rin 😐😙 (7:20pm)

no ❤️

 

To: rin 😐😙 (7:20pm)

pussy

Message read at 7:20pm

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (7:38pm)

Do I have jeans that make my ass look good?

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (7:38pm)

how would i know do u think i look

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (7:40pm)

Fuck you.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (7:40pm)

can u wait 20 mins baby 🥴🥴

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (7:45pm)

If Kenma kills you it was by my personal request.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (7:45pm)

u love me. comin across now

 

Sakusa’s dorm is across campus a little, but not far enough to warrant the fifteen minutes Atsumu has allowed himself. Still, with his beer drained and his apartment freshly cleaned- briefly, his mind flashes to the lawn chair, and he debates running back to the dorm to hide it before Sakusa can set eyes on it- he doesn’t really have anything else to do but make his way into Sakusa’s building.

 

It’s one of the newer student accommodations; the one Kenma and Atsumu inhabit has been there since possibly before the dawn of time, but Sakusa’s family had clearly been willing to shell out slightly more in housing costs to put him up in the newer, more modern dorm building with single self-maintained suites. Atsumu has only been inside one of the rooms once, with someone he hooked up with at one of Terushima’s parties.

 

Maybe that’s where he got his match-making ideas from , Atsumu muses, using his knuckle to press the elevator button instead of his fingertip. Nevermind the fact he’d never seen that girl again. Couldn’t even remember her name if you asked him gun-to-his-head, probably. The elevator dings to a stop before Atsumu can have a lengthy deep-dive into the issue of whether or not he really is as much of a jerk as his friends claim he is, and he decides to let it go in favour of a much more satisfying pastime.

 

He manages to knock three times before Sakusa finally opens the door, each time in a newly annoying way. He really does have a talent, if the little furrow between Sakusa’s brows and the jump in the corner of his jaw is anything to go by. If it were anyone else and if Atsumu didn’t value keeping his hands, he would almost be tempted to lick his thumb and smooth the furrow out. As it stands, he simply smiles, bats his lashes at Sakusa.

 

“You’re early.”

 

“C’mon, Omi-kun, don’t pretend punctuality doesn’t turn you on.” Sakusa makes a face like he’d be in less pain if Atsumu had stabbed him. It really is too easy.

 

“Are you wearing eyeliner?” Sakusa says instead of responding to Atsumu’s barb, so he simply tilts his head this way and that, watching Sakusa’s eyes track the movement like any moment Atsumu might spontaneously unhinge his jaw and swallow him whole.

 

“Awww, y’noticed! How kind of ya, Omi-kun.” Sakusa sighs. The kind of sigh that says he thinks this is going to be a long night. He’s right, if Atsumu has anything to say about it, and Atsumu always has plenty to say. “Ya look good. Turn.”

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“Turn.” He holds up a finger and rotates it in a small circle. Sakusa squints at him. Atsumu smiles back. Finally, with an exasperated sigh, Sakusa awkwardly lifts his arms and turns in a slow, stunted circle. Atsumu tilts his head a full 90 degrees in a mockery of someone seriously perusing art.

 

“Yep,” he says, with a sage nod, “those are the jeans that make yer ass look good.”

 

This time, Sakusa really does blush, all the way to the tips of his ears as he slaps both hands over his butt like that will somehow make Atsumu stop looking. He spins around swiftly, fixing Atsumu with a baleful glare. Sakusa’s looks are usually deadly, and if it were anyone other than Atsumu, he’s sure that glare alone would have sent them sprinting for the hills with their tail between their legs. Unfortunately for Sakusa, Atsumu has never been particularly bothered by any of those glares, so he simply grins back.

 

Miya ,” Sakusa hisses, folding his arms over his chest and hunching forward a little.

 

“What? You asked.”

 

“Volleyball practice, Monday,” Sakusa seethes, “I’m going to spike a ball right into your stupid face. How does Kenma put up with you?”

 

“He’s either a saint or playin’ the long con when it comes t’not bein’ suspected of my murder.”

 

“I will be actively encouraging him to end you from here on out.”

 

“Get in line, ya gotta fight your way past Samu, Rin, Aran, probably Kuroo an’ Kageyama too…” Sakusa closes his eyes and tilts his head back to the ceiling like this will somehow give him strength. Atsumu is going to have so much fun.

 

“By the way, do you prefer sugar-bear or angel-cake as a pet name?”

 

“Miya. Shut up .” Atsumu laughs, crooks his elbow toward Sakusa.

 

“Yea yea, whatever Omi-kun. Ya ready t’go?” Sakusa looks at his elbow like it’s poisonous, and for a moment, Atsumu feels just a little bad. He drops his arm, and Sakusa drops his eyes to the floor, turning back into his apartment.

 

“I just need to put on my shoes.”

 

Atsumu waits, eyes scanning what he can see of Sakusa’s dorm over the top of his head. The single suites aren’t very big- a little galley-style kitchen right next to the genkan, a desk and wardrobe against one wall, couch and coffee table against the window with the blinds pulled, presumably Sakusa’s bed in the far corner. Everything is immaculately clean and smells vaguely of disinfectant. Atsumu’s not really sure what he was expecting, but something about it seems lonely, with how bare and impersonal the whole room looks. Sakusa stands again, before he can think too much on that, and closes the door behind him.

 

They walk in silence to the elevator, and Atsumu uses his knuckle to press the button for the ground floor, before returning both hands to the pockets of his jacket. He can feel Sakusa’s eyes on him like too many blankets in the Hyogo summers; sweltering and oppressive. Sakusa’s tentative fingers slide into the crook of his elbow, hand curled just under the swell of his bicep. Sakusa doesn’t look at him.

 

“I should get used to it before there’s lots of people around.” He says, quietly.

 

“Okay.” Atsumu says back.

 

It’s colder outside than it was when Atsumu entered the building. Maybe it’s just Sakusa’s hand burning a brand into his skin, even through the thick fabric of his jacket. Sakusa shudders against it, and for a brief moment, Atsumu’s hand hovers over Sakusa’s on his arm, before he thinks better of it and tucks it back into his pocket.

 

“Gonna have to take a bus,” he says, leading Sakusa down the street, “that okay?”

 

“Fine.” Sakusa replies, mildly.

 

Atsumu thinks that’s at least half a lie, but he doesn’t press. Somehow, he gets the impression Sakusa would appreciate that less, even if he really was trying to be considerate of his boundaries. He read Sakusa’s instructions. Sakusa trusted him to read them, so the best he can do in return is trust that Sakusa knows his own limits well enough to not do anything stupid. Sakusa is, Atsumu can begrudgingly admit, a smart guy.

 

The bus stop is just off the main route, which means it’s quiet and deserted. The glass walls of the shelter provide relief against the light breeze. Sakusa keeps his hand against Atsumu’s arm, even with no one around, fingers tightening their grip like he’s trying to force them to stay there. Atsumu politely checks his phone in an effort to appear like he doesn’t notice.

 

“Do you have any questions?” Sakusa asks stiffly, into the silence. “About- about the instructions.”

 

“What is this? OMI101?” Sakusa snorts. “I know how to read.”

 

“Could have fooled me,” Sakusa says. “Your texting is atrocious.”

 

“It’s a personal choice,” Atsumu sniffs. “Admit it, yer kinda endeared by it.”

 

“No.”

 

“Yea.”

 

“No.”

 

“Yea.” Atsumu’s phone buzzes in his hand. He and Sakusa look at it at the same time.

 

From: kyanma 🐈🎮 (8:11pm)

have fun. if you really need to bail, your excuse is i’m locked out because i forgot my key.

 

“Are you really anticipating it being that bad?” Atsumu raises a brow, feels Sakusa’s fingers retreat a little, settled against the back of his arm now. It’s laced with derision, like almost everything out of Sakusa’s mouth is, but something about the way he asks it seems smaller this time. Maybe it’s in how his mouth tugs down the way it does when he’s nervous- antsy , Atsumu had called him once, when he’d been wringing his hands and glancing around for escape- in how he keeps his eyes fixed pointedly away from Atsumu, when he usually meets him head on, steely and indomitable. So Atsumu shrugs, laxly, and snorts out a laugh.

 

“Nah,” he says, “Kenma’s just lookin’ out. I’m gonna have so much fun torturin’ ya tonight, sugar tits.”

 

“Sugar tits ?” Sakusa’s voice cracks a little.

 

“I’m a creative guy.”

 

“You’re a stain on humanity is what you are,” Sakusa grumbles, but his hand settles over Atsumu’s bicep again, and his fingers are more relaxed.

 

“Yer not gonna ask me if I think your tits are sugary?”

 

“Shut up.”

 

“Dunno, Omi-kun, ya’ve been pretty concerned ‘bout what I think tonight, ya sure ya don’t secretly like me?”

 

“It’ll be a cold day in hell, Miya.”

 

“You liiiike me,” Atsumu says, and Sakusa scoffs, fixing him with one of his pointed glares that does absolutely nothing to scare Atsumu sway, and eggs him on more than anything. The bus pulls around the corner, and he and Sakusa pile on, courtesy of Atsumu’s bus card.

 

It’s mostly empty, given that it’s a suburban route and there’s no post-work traffic rush on a Saturday night, but he stands anyway, legs braced apart so that he can lean into the turns, Sakusa still holding tight to his arm.

 

“I was fuckin’ with ya before,” Atsumu says, and Sakusa turns, close enough to Atsumu now that he can feel Sakusa’s curls brush against his own blonde locks as he does so. “When ya asked ‘bout the instructions and shit. I read ‘em and I got the gist but I still think we should talk about ‘em.”

 

“About what, exactly?”

 

“I’ve known ya long enough to know ya ain’t exactly huge on people touchin’ ya, ‘specially not out of the blue, so I’m gonna tell ya now. Ya can touch me whenever ya want, wherever ya want. I don’t care. I’m usually real affectionate in relationships, so everyone’s gonna know something’s up if I don’t touch ya at all.”

 

“Even if it’s me?”

 

“Even then,” Atsumu confirms. “I’m not gonna do anything drastic, but every now and then I might touch the small of ya back. ‘S that okay?”

 

“Yeah.” Sakusa says.

 

“Good that you wore that turtleneck,” Atsumu says, “since I definitely won’t touch skin.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“And you look good. You really do.”

 

Really playing up the experience of being on a date with you, aren’t you Miya?”

 

“What can I say, I’m a charitable guy.” Sakusa blows out a sound that somehow manages to convey ‘charitable my ass’, which makes Atsumu snicker into his shoulder. “Not gonna tell me how hot and sexy I look, Omi-kun?”

 

“You don’t need me to inflate your ego any more than it’s already been blown up.”

 

“Tell that to Shou-kun,” Atsumu snickers, before he inhales like he’s been shot. “Oh, fuck.”

 

“What?”

 

“Oh fuck .”

 

“What?!”

 

“I completely fuckin’ forgot,” Atsumu slaps his free hand over his forehead with an agonized gurgle from the back of his throat, “Shou-kun’s gonna be there.”

 

Sakusa’s expression becomes eerily similar to Kenma’s as the meaning sinks in. His hand slackens against Atsumu’s bicep, and the serene look on his face implies that he might truly let the next sharp corner the bus takes be the one to yank him off his feet, whereupon he will not try to stop his descent and will simply die upon impact with the disgusting unknown of the bus’s flooring.

 

“Oh no,” Sakusa says, which feels like the understatement of the century.

 

“We gotta have a story, huh?” Sakusa hums, still looking a little like he might pass out. “One that’s gonna fool Shou-kun.”

 

“He’s not very smart. It shouldn’t be hard.”

 

“He plays volleyball with us,” Atsumu reminds him. “He spends at least two nights a week at my dorm to hang out with Kenma. Shou-kun’s gonna know .”

 

“So it’s new,” Sakusa says, seeming to come back to himself now. “It’s new. We’ve been quiet about it because we don’t want it to affect the team and we’re still working things out.”

 

“How long?” Sakusa’s nose scrunches as he’s thinking.

 

“Two weeks?”

 

“Who confessed?”

 

“I guess you? That would be more believable, right?”

 

“Ya sayin’ I got more balls than ya?” Sakusa makes a disgusted noise, turning his face away from Atsumu. He’s a little pink. Atsumu grins. “Sure, I confessed. And you’re at this party ‘cause ya think I’m super hot and sexy and ya hate the idea of me flirtin’ with anyone else.”

 

“I wish I could dump you on someone else, I really do.”

 

“Too bad yer stuck with me,” Atsumu says, grinning crookedly. Sakusa rolls his eyes, but stays quiet. Atsumu’s fine with that. Everything else he can come up with on the fly. Sakusa is hard to read for anyone who’s not Atsumu- or maybe Komori, who Atsumu is at least ninety-eight percent sure won’t be in attendance- so even if he throws him for a second, Atsumu is confident Sakusa will put himself back together fast enough to go along with it.

 

“Will they,” Sakusa asks, clearing his throat.

 

“Hm?”

 

“Will they want to know how much we’ve. You know. Done. ” Atsumu’s head turns so fast that his neck muscles pulse in protest. Sakusa’s face is red in earnest now, and he’s looking stubbornly out the window over Atsumu’s shoulder, lips pressed into a flat, embarrassed line. Atsumu knows he’s gawking, jaw hanging open in a way that would just be inviting Osamu to half-punch him under it to close it with a click.

 

“Wha?” He says, and then shakes his head. “Ya think people are gonna ask if we fucked?”

 

“I don’t know!” Sakusa hisses. “People always seem very concerned about my sex life, you know, it’s not like you haven’t asked before.” That’s a good point. Atsumu has done that more than once, chasing Sakusa out of the volleyball locker rooms with his taunting accusations about never having been kissed when Sakusa refuses to answer him.

 

“Sure, but I only do that to piss ya off,” Sakusa glares, Atsumu shrugs, same as always. “It works.”

 

“Everything you do pisses me off,” Sakusa seethes, “you could simply breathe in my direction and I would be pissed off.”

 

“Good to know. Still more fun to make fun of ya for bein’ an active repellant to any kind of affections.”

 

“God, I hope I rub off on you. I hope you don’t have sex for the next three years.”

 

“So cruel , Omi-kun,” Atsumu cooes. “And after I do ya this huge favour.”

 

“It’s mostly a favour to you.” Atsumu shrugs, but he doesn’t argue back. It probably benefits Sakusa to think that way. They’re alike in that respect, at least. Atsumu would rather die than have someone pity him, but it also doesn’t seem right to make fun of Sakusa for garnering the attention of someone who is clearly harassing him. So, for what Osamu would probably claim to be the first time in his life, he lets it go, and switches tack instead.

 

“Sure, Omi-kun. Anyways, don’t worry about that stuff. Anyone asks I’ll tell ‘em to fuck off ‘cause it’s none of their business,” Sakusa is looking at him then, so he meets his eyes, with a languid smile. “It ain’t anyone’s business.”

 

They lapse into silence again, which Atsumu takes to mean Sakusa has been sufficiently appeased. His mouth feels kind of sour, probably because that’s about as close to apologizing for anything he’ll ever get when his mother isn’t forcibly twisting his ear to wrangle genuine contrition out of him. Still, Sakusa holds onto him and even lets Atsumu steady him by gripping his arm as they step out of the bus, and make their way down the street.

 

Terushima’s neighbourhood is pretty nice; a block or two of more residential housing offset from the metropolitan hustle of Tokyo. Most of them are more modern, although Atsumu can see a couple of traditional houses with their distinctive roofing spattered among the sprawl. Sakusa doesn’t look curious- a product of growing up in Tokyo, Atsumu assumes, since he’s pretty sure he’s never been here before- but Atsumu has always been quietly intrigued about just how different Tokyo is to Hyogo. Sometimes the vastness of it makes him ache and yearn for home, for the humidity of summer and collecting cicada skins with Osamu in the backyard.

 

Terushima’s house is one of the more modern ones- not much of a wonder, Atsumu thinks, because no one in their right mind would rent a precious, historical house to rowdy college students- in the tall and slim style of most housing in the area. It’s already quietly pumping music as they approach, the muted glow of the multi-colour lights peeking out from behind drawn blinds. Atsumu and Sakusa both stoop to unlace their shoes before they knock.

 

Futakuchi opens the door. Atsumu feels his life flash before his eyes, as Semi’s chin lands on Futakuchi’s shoulder. Futakuchi looks him up and down, looks Sakusa up and down, and starts to laugh.

 

“Oh damn,” he says, “this is gonna be good.”

 

Atsumu and Sakusa take their shoes off in the genkan, and Atsumu squirts hand sanitizer into his hands, scrubbing it liberally into his flesh in order to avoid the conversation that Futakuchi and Semi clearly want to have. Aside from the pair of them, there are a few people milling in the downstairs entry; mostly waiting for the bathroom, Atsumu guesses.

 

The layout of the house is familiar to Atsumu; he’s been here before plenty. The ground floor is mostly an entryway, with the washroom next to the stairs and Yahaba’s room at the end of the hall. Futakuchi’s room is on the second floor, across the hall from the room Ennoshita and Terushima share. There’s nothing down here for Futakuchi, except apparently Atsumu’s impending humiliation. Yahaba would have been much easier to deal with, Atsumu mentally grouses. Damn Futakuchi and his inherent ability to be in the least convenient place at the least convenient time.

 

“What’s the matter, Kenji-kun?” Atsumu drawls, settling his hand into the small of Sakusa’s back to propel him forward. “Someone else makin’ use of your bedroom to make out?” Semi makes a face, Futakuchi just snorts.

 

“As if,” he says, with a dismissive wave of his hand. “Someone unleashed Koganegawa and Shirabu has been sending me threatening texts for the past half-hour.”

 

“Why would he be down here?” Atsumu only remembers Koganegawa ‘cause his hair is so dumb, and because of InterHigh Nationals in his third year where Atsumu had gone to spike direct and the kid had come out of fucking nowhere to slam it down with all the grace of a newborn calf.

 

“He wouldn’t be,” Semi says evenly. “We’re avoiding Shirabu.”

 

“His problem now,” Futakuchi agrees. “I’m not Koganegawa’s captain anymore, thus I’m not his keeper.”

 

“Speaking of,” Atsumu really hates the way they bounce off each other like that, Semi’s hand curled around the nape of Futakuchi’s neck, sipping from his plastic cup casually. “Hi, Sakusa-san.”

 

“Semi-san,” Sakusa says.

 

“It’s been a while.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“It’s good to see you.”

 

“Yes. You too.”

 

“I remember you having better taste.” Atsumu makes a wounded noise. Sakusa looks pained.

 

“I don’t know where I went wrong.”

 

“Omi!” Atsumu hisses. “Don’t concede to him, he’s dating Kenji-kun .”

 

“Dating,” Futakuchi says gleefully, turning his broad grin on his boyfriend.

 

“Dating.” Semi echoes back with the same unbridled amusement.

 

“This is gonna be so good,” Futakuchi says again, gesturing at Atsumu with his cup. “Is this why Chihaya has been grinding your gears so much?”

 

“Satori is going to have a field day with this,” Sakusa’s stare is practically begging Semi to shoot him or do something equally drastic to put him out of his misery. Semi, probably exercising something like divine retribution for having to put up with Ushiwaka for so fucking long, ignores him. “You haven’t told Wakatoshi, have you?”

 

“No,” Sakusa says. “It’s very new.”

 

“Super new,” Atsumu agrees, and gets an elbow to the ribs for his trouble.

 

“I think we should find Teru,” Futakuchi says, “like, right now.”

 

“Let them breathe a little,” Semi says, apparently knowing what ‘mercy’ is.

 

“No,” Futakuchi locks eyes with his boyfriend, and says with more meaning. “I think we should find Teru. Now .” Semi squints, and then his eyes widen with understanding, and a smirk crosses his face. He drops his hand into Futakuchi’s and places a kiss right on his mouth.

 

“Have I told you lately that you’re so smart?”

 

“You could afford to do it more,” Futakuchi says, as Semi starts to head for the stairs. “C’mon, Atsumu, we better let him know his match-making abilities won’t be needed tonight.”

 

“I don’t trust you,” Atsumu tells him, which makes Futakuchi laugh and Atsumu scowl, arm steadily propelling Sakusa forward, a half-step in front of him like a measly shield. The stairs are too narrow for them to go up two at a time, so Semi leads the way, towing Futakuchi, Sakusa trailing reluctantly with Atsumu bringing up the rear.

 

The first floor of the house is essentially just one continuous room, with all the furniture hidden away except for a couple of couches pressed up against the walls, and a ping-pong table Terushima had purchased on a whim after watching too many people in American movies playing ‘beer pong’. The whole space is lit by multi-coloured LED string lights, a couple of coloured spotlights and a speaker system that Semi must have set up because it looks way too advanced for Atsumu to fuck with.

 

“Oh fuck ,” Sakusa grumbles over the music, which is when Atsumu deigns to follow the path that Semi is weaving through the crowd, toward the pong table, where Terushima and Ennoshita are playing pong against Noya and-

 

“I’m far too fucking sober for this,” Atsumu murmurs. “Remind me to kick Kenji-kun’s ass.”

 

Get better friends ,” Sakusa hisses, as Hinata punches the air with both hands and points accusingly at Ennoshita until he drinks.

 

“Eita-kun is Ushiwaka-kun’s friend, you take responsibility for him ,” Atsumu hisses back, freezing when Hinata seems to notice Futakuchi and Semi barrelling toward him, and then Sakusa and Atsumu behind them, Atsumu’s hand still pressed to Sakusa’s back.

 

“He probably just thinks we’re here as friends,” Atsumu murmurs, watching Hinata’s head cock to the side like a puzzled puppy. “He hasn’t clocked us.”

 

“Futakuchi-san and Semi-san are going to tell him,” Sakusa says. “Might as well commit to convincing him.”

 

Before Atsumu can ask what he means, Sakusa’s hand settles against the nape of his neck, curling his long fingers around it and brushing his thumb against the base of his hair. If Atsumu was a lesser man, it would have had his knees crumpling and his soul hitting eject in the emergency control room of his body. As it stands, Atsumu wobbles, and pouts at Sakusa, who has the audacity to chuckle .

 

“Sensitive?” He asks, and as Atsumu opens his mouth to tell him exactly where he should stick that chuckle, Hinata makes a noise that carries over the party like a thundercloud.

 

“Here we go,” Atsumu mutters, putting on his best, most lazy grin, and tugging Sakusa against his side with a revenge-pinch. Sakusa squeezes the back of his neck- hard - in retaliation, and to spite him, Atsumu leans into it with a hum whistling through his teeth. Hinata meets them three steps from the table, eyes wide and jaw slack.

 

“Atsumu-san! Omi-san! I-”

 

“Shou-kun,” Atsumu says, as Sakusa’s thumb brushes over his neck again in a twitchy little circle, “that shirt does not cover your tits.” Hinata flushes almost as red as his hair, tugging down his crop top a little more and fixing Atsumu with a pout that usually works when Hinata whines him into being contrite, but this is the biggest and most elaborate lie he’s probably told in his whole entire life, the best prank he’s ever played, and he is going to work it.

 

“Yes it does!” Hinata balls both fists and smacks them against Atsumu’s chest. “ Your shirt is a size too small, Atsumu-san, but that’s not the point!” He points an accusing finger at Sakusa’s hand, then at Atsumu’s, two burning points of contact connecting them. “ What !”

 

“Miya and I are dating,” Sakusa says, and Hinata squawks and slaps both hands over his cheeks.

 

What !”

 

“Yep,” Atsumu says, with a grin. “What can I say? Omi-kun’s parents clearly didn’t teach him not t’bully the kids ya have a crush on.”

 

“Perhaps we should find you a mirror,” Sakusa says frostily, and Atsumu laughs, feels the way his thumb circles again. Nervous , he realizes, with a taunting smile, he’s nervous .

 

“How did I not know?” Hinata demands, slaps at Atsumu’s chest again, “Atsumu-san, why didn’t you tell me!”

 

“I only confessed a couple weeks ago,” Atsumu placates. “We’re still workin’ things out, so we haven’t been shoutin’ it from the rooftops just yet, Shou-kun, or ya woulda been the first to know. After Samu.”

 

“I guess that’s okay,” Hinata grumbles, glancing between them. “You’re really dating? I didn’t know you liked Atsumu-san like that, Omi-san.”

 

“He’s bad at expressin’ his feelings,” Atsumu says, and Sakusa half-glares at him, which seems to sell it for Hinata, who laughs, and beams up at Sakusa with his megawatt grin.

 

“I’m really happy for both of you,” he says. “It’s good to see you out, Omi-san! I want to party with you more often.”

 

“We’ll see,” Sakusa says in a tone of voice that means ‘absolutely not’. Atsumu laughs, and gently ushers Hinata back toward the pong table, where Futakuchi is leaning an arm on Terushima’s shoulder, his eyes wide and jaw slackened as Sakusa and Atsumu approach. Ennoshita rounds the table to stand next to Noya, looking skeptical, and Semi gleefully curls around his boyfriend’s back, with no evident remorse for throwing Sakusa and Atsumu straight in the deep end.

 

“You have a boyfriend ?” Terushima yells as soon as Atsumu is within range, grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him. “Tsumu!”

 

“Yuuji-kun,” Atsumu growls, batting Terushima’s hands away, “lay off, will ya? Yer gonna break Omi’s damn arm when ya shove me over.”

 

“I will not catch him if he falls,” Sakusa clarifies, making Terushima laugh.

 

“Just what Tsumu needs, Sakusa-san, someone to keep his big head in check. That’s why I asked out Chikara, y’know! Chikara!” Ennoshita sidles up beside them, Noya bouncing on his shoulders, eyes shining with unabashed delight. “Chikara, whaddaya know? Tsumu and Sakusa-san.”

 

“I suppose we should have seen it coming with all the incessant bitching and moaning in first year,” Ennoshita says sagely. Atsumu flushes, turning his face into his shoulder as Sakusa’s burning eyes settle on his face. “My condolences.”

 

“Appreciated.”

 

“Omi-” Atsumu tries to whine, but a solid fist catches him in the chest, and Sakusa’s hand tightens on the back of his neck, forcing him to stay upright.

 

“Tsumu, you bastard! Showing up all cool with a hot new boyfriend, making all of us look lame!” Noya laughs, grinning up at Sakusa. “And he’s tall too! How tall are you?”

 

“Omi’s almost six-four,” Atsumu boasts, and Noya’s face screws up.

 

“Dammit! Asahi’s only six-two!”

 

“Noya, are you seriously competing over whose boyfriend is taller?” Ennoshita asks.

 

“Yes!” Noya says, leaning heavily on Ennoshita’s shoulder to grab Hinata by his, rattling him. “Did you know about this, Shouyou?”

 

“No! I only just found out now, Noya-san, I swear!”

 

“Noya, where’s Tanaka?” Ennoshita gripes, swatting the small man away from him like a particularly annoying fly. “I thought he was supposed to keep you entertained.”

 

“He’s sucking face with Tora somewhere,” Noya waves a dismissive hand, “I got bored of third-wheeling, and besides , I can only hang out with Shouyou until Kageyama finds him. You can’t make me leave my favourite kouhai.” He squeezes between the four of them to drape his arms around Hinata and squish his cheeks up between his hand, which has Hinata nodding his emphatic agreement. Atsumu grins.

 

“Good luck with that, Chikara-kun,” Ennoshita looks like he would have fun sticking his foot up Atsumu’s ass, “me and Omi are gonna grab a drink, since someone pounced on us before we could get to that.”

 

“Have fun,” Semi says sweetly as they pass and Atsumu mouths a threat.

 

“Stay safe, use protection,” Futakuchi adds, and Atsumu turns to swing at him, but Sakusa’s hand on the back of his neck steers him forward in a beeline for the kitchen. As soon as they’re hidden from view, Atsumu blows out a sigh and slumps against one of the counters. Sakusa’s hip burns where it presses against his own.

 

“There’s your two conversations,” Atsumu says, once he’s sure opening his mouth won’t make him scream, “now what the hell do we do for the next three hours?”

 

“I… don’t know,” Sakusa says, idly toying with a button on Atsumu’s jacket. “What do people normally do at parties?”

 

“Have ya never been to a party before?”

 

“Not one like this. Wakatoshi-kun has wine and cheese nights.” The bridge of Sakusa’s nose pinkens at the admission, and Atsumu laughs a little, turning his hand over to brush along the underside of Sakusa’s forearm. He stiffens a little, before relaxing into the touch, letting Atsumu’s broad hand cup his elbow for stability.

 

“It’s not as scary as it seems. People drink. They dance. Mingle.”

 

“Sounds terrible.”

 

“Only ‘cause ya hate fun.”

 

Yahaba chooses that moment to breeze past them, tugging open the fridge and leaning in to inspect the contents. His hair is as immaculate as always, but his shirt is half undone and he’s sporting a particularly angry looking hickey.

 

“Nice shiner,” Atsumu says. Without skipping a beat, Yahaba pulls two bottled beers from the fridge and offers his most biting reply;

 

“Eat dick.” Sakusa chokes as Atsumu laughs.

 

“Maybe later, Shigeru-kun. Can I steal a beer for Omi?” Yahaba pulls a third beer out and hands it to Atsumu.

 

“Magnetic opener is in the drawer behind your ass.”

 

“You need it?”

 

“Nope.” Yahaba positions the lids against the jut of the counter and smacks downward with the palm of his hand, popping them off in quick succession. He picks up the lids, bins them, moves on.

 

“Yer not even gonna ask?” Atsumu yells at his retreating back.

 

“The less I know, the better. The less attention you get, the better.” Yahaba says, breezing across the dance floor and back down the stairs. Atsumu grumbles as he pulls the magnetic opener from the drawer and uses it to suction the cap off the beer, handing it to Sakusa.

 

“Does that happen often at parties?” He asks, and Atsumu huffs an affirmative. Sakusa smiles, small and private behind the lip of his beer. “I take it back. Parties are fun.”

 

“Cruel, Omi-kun, cruel.”

 

Atsumu pours himself some of Terushima’s shitty vodka into a solo cup- green! - and, after sniffing the bottle to make sure it hasn’t been spiked, he adds a decent amount of Sprite. He and Sakusa clink plastic cup to beer bottle in polite cheers, and then they turn back to the room.

 

Their arrival seems to be forgotten, Noya and Hinata having gone back to losing quite spectacularly at beer pong, especially now with Futakuchi goading them, Semi still leaning against his back, hands laced on top of his shoulder. Ennoshita lands a shot and Terushima grabs his face between his hands and kisses him while Noya mimes gagging and Hinata stares mournfully at the solo cup of questionable liquid he’s now committed himself to drinking. 

 

Over by the sliding doors to the balcony, Atsumu can see a couple of the former volleyball club managers that he knows from various hang-outs with Bokuto and Terushima over the years. Kawanishi from Shiratorizawa is posted up on one of the couch arms, leaning into a conversation with Aoba Johsai’s libero whose name Atsumu can’t remember but knows he’s been told. He can see the white of Hoshiumi’s wild hair bobbing through the crowd every now and again, lost in a sea of giants. There’s Kenma’s friend Fukunaga, bent toward his phone with Ennoshita’s best friends leaning on either of his shoulders to see. Atsumu snaps a picture and sends it to Kenma, who reads the text and doesn’t reply.

 

“What’s upstairs?” Atsumu turns his attention back to Sakusa, who is glancing at the staircase hidden behind the kitchen.

 

“Bedrooms. They have an attic, but ya probably wouldn’t like it up there.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“It’s private space,” Sakusa squints. Atsumu sighs, and mimes rolling his hips. Sakusa flushes, again.

 

“Terushima-san designates areas for that ?!”

 

“Nope, but what else d’ya think horny college students do when they find a secluded space that most people aren’t gonna fuck around going to?” Sakusa makes a muted noise of distress as Atsumu laughs, cocking his head. “Y’know, I’ve never seen ya blush before today.”

 

“It’s been the most embarrassing day of my life, so far,” Sakusa grumbles, scrubbing at his face. “I don’t know why I agreed to this.”

 

“Night’s still young, Omi, don’t underestimate my ability to get you to have fun.”

 

“Alright, I’ll bite.” Sakusa turns, leans his body into Atsumu. Atsumu fits his hand into the small of his back, watches with a lazy gaze as Sakusa’s throat bobs around a sip of beer. “What do you think we should do in order for me to have fun?”

 

“Hm,” Atsumu taps his fingers idly against his cup, doing a scan of the room again. “I think ya would hate beer pong. Yer competitive enough to like it but I doubt ya would wanna be throwin’ back that much alcohol, ‘specially not with the whole ball thing added in. Ya don’t smoke. Yer not a big drinker. Yer not much of a people-person. I saw ya eyeing up those couches like they’d give ya somethin’... so the only option left is to dance.”

 

“Dance? I don’t dance.”

 

“For tonight, with yer super handsome, super talented, sex-god boyfriend, ya do.”

 

“If you ever describe yourself as a sex-god to me again, I’m going to strangle you. What does that even have to do with dancing?”

 

“It means I have excellent control over my hips-” Atsumu laughs as Sakusa digs his heels in, refusing to be pushed any more toward the dance floor. “Yer not even remotely curious about what it feels like to have someone grind on ya?”

 

“Miya I swear to-”

 

“Okay, so another beer and then we’ll revisit the dancing,” Atsumu laughs as Sakusa glares at him, nods toward the stairs. “c’mon, I know what ya will actually enjoy.”

 

“If this is a joke about us making ou-”

 

“Snoopin’,” Atsumu assures him, and Sakusa squints, but Atsumu doesn’t miss the way the tips of his ears go slightly redder. After a beat, Sakusa’s fingers trail down the inside of his arm, and his hand slips into Atsumu’s own. Together, they duck through the kitchen, avoiding Futakuchi’s loud-mouthed upperclassman that Atsumu has only met a couple of times arguing with Oikawa’s friends, Hanamaki and Matsukawa. God, he hopes Oikawa isn’t here. He’ll never hear the end of this if Oikawa catches wind.

 

The upstairs hall is slightly smaller, the stairs jutting into a small landing before wrapping around and continuing up. There are three doors in the foyer. Atsumu points them out to Sakusa in clockwise order- Terushima and Ennoshita’s room, toilet, Futakuchi’s room.

 

“So, where are we snooping first?”

 

“Futakuchi-san seemed rather involved in our relationship,” Sakusa muses, and Atsumu smiles his wild smile, “it’s only fair.”

 

Atsumu flings open the door and he and Sakusa slip inside, creating a barrier between themselves and the noise of the party downstairs. Futakuchi’s room is the same as Atsumu remembers it being; unmade bed, organized chaos for a desk, an assorted collection of potted plants scattered across his room with colour-coded care guides tacked to the walls. Sakusa seems most interested in these, taking his time perusing them while Atsumu plops into Futakuchi’s desk chair and rolls his volleyball out of the corner, cleaning it with the pocket wipes Sakusa requested he carry.

 

“He doesn’t seem the type to keep plants,” Sakusa says, tossing a glance across to Atsumu.

 

“His best friend’s real big on plant care,” Atsumu says, starting to set the ball idly above his head.

 

“You know who his best friend is.”

 

“Yeah. Ya never played Date Tech at InterHigh Nationals, right?”

 

“Date Tech went to InterHigh Nationals?”

 

“Answers that question,” Atsumu snorts. “Yeah, third year. That’s how me and Kenji-kun met for the first time, shakin’ hands as captains. They got Rin’s quick first try, the bastards.”

 

“You always were too interested in players who could outplay you.”

 

“Omi-kun, ya better not be gettin’ a big head about that category includin’ ya,” Atsumu wags a finger at him as Sakusa gives him his smug little smirk, “I bugged ya ‘cause you were easy to bug, not ‘cause I thought ya were a good player.”

 

“Okay,” Sakusa says, and goes back to looking, “so Futakuchi-san is a good player?”

 

“Yep. Date Tech’s got super impressive blocks. They bunch block and read block at the same time. When we played ‘em, it kinda hinged on Kenji-kun and Aone-kun, but Koganegawa-kun was startin’ to get better at blendin’ in to make it triple blocks. Rin thought he could aim around Aone-kun and then bam, Kenji-kun popped up and cut him off. The look on his face…”

 

“You usually hate it when people shut you down like that.”

 

“Oh I was so mad. Not as mad as Rin, though. I think he’s got a rank of most hated opponents and it’s like. Tsukishima-kun, Kenji-kun and Satori-kun in that order.”

 

“What about you?”

 

“Me?”

 

“Who are your least favourite opponents?”

 

“You, duh.”

 

“Oh, I’m the only one? How special.” Atsumu spins in the chair to lightly kick the back of Sakusa’s knee, earning himself a half-hearted slap to the shin in response.

 

“I dunno, Omi-kun. I don’t really rank ‘em the same way Rin does. He likes playing against people who piss him off, so it can motivate him to one-up ‘em and get the last laugh. I like playing against people who motivate me to get stronger, like Shou-kun, but I don’t hate ‘em, not the way as Rin. Does that make ‘em my favourite opponents or my least favourite?”

 

“Favourite, I suppose.”

 

“Then Shou-kun. Samu. You. I only get to pick three, right? Same as Rin?”

 

“Suna-san could have more than three,” Sakusa says, gently brushing his fingers over the desk, cocking his hip against it and crossing his legs idly at his ankles. “But I’m starting to think you know almost everyone in Japan, so we could be here all night if you had to rank them. Three is fine.”

 

“Omi-kun, I’m not Shou-kun,” Atsumu whines, rolling himself closer. Sakusa takes an unsympathetic sip of his beer.

 

“You know so many people at this party. It’s really quite shocking.”

 

“Whaddaya mean, Omi-kun? I’m a real charmin’ guy.” Sakusa snorts, so Atsumu kicks him again. Sakusa kicks back. The door opens. Sakusa straightens instantly, shoulders tensing. Atsumu lolls his head to the side to see Futakuchi in the doorway, Semi brushing past to drop onto his bed, curling his legs up underneath him.

 

“So here’s where you disappeared to,” he says, as Futakuchi closes the door again and crosses to take his volleyball from Atsumu. “What are you drinking, Atsumu?”

 

“Vodka and sprite,” he tips his cup forward for Semi to inspect, “yerself?”

 

“Moscato. Kenji has craft beer stored, if you’re interested.”

 

“No I don’t,” Futakuchi says, stretching himself across Semi’s lap and taking a sip from his solo cup. “No clue what you’re talking about. ‘Specially not for someone who was dicking around in my room.”

 

“Omi-kun doesn’t do too good with crowds.”

 

“Why my room?”

 

“Chikara-kun and Shigeru-kun are much less likely to hesitate in killin’ me.”

 

“That would be why I like them most,” Sakusa muses, and Atsumu groans, tipping his head back past the edge of the chair.

 

“Are you in the doghouse for dragging poor Sakusa-san here, Atsumu?” Semi looks amused.

 

“He is,” Sakusa answers for him. “I think it wouldn’t have been too bad if I knew more people. I’m glad you’re here, Semi-san.”

 

“Aw,” Futakuchi says, “you’re blushing.” Semi, who is absolutely blushing, punches him in the chest.

 

“I hope you don’t think I’m prying, but are you okay? Wakatoshi said you seemed stressed about the whole Chihaya situation.”

 

“He sucks ,” Futakuchi says, turning his rankled expression to Sakusa. “I didn’t say it earlier but I’m so fucking sorry you have to deal with him at all. We take an elective class on advertising culture together and he’s just so snotty.”

 

“Omi-kun’s a bit of a snob,” Atsumu says, and Sakusa glares at him.

 

“No, he’s more of a brat like you, Atsumu,” Futakuchi continues, “he has an attitude like he knows everything despite the fact that he clearly doesn’t understand any of the content, and he just acts like he does, he argues with the lecturer when their opinions differ, and his opinions aren’t even good opinions. I can only imagine how utterly awful he is to interact with outside of class because he’s the most annoying little shithead I’ve ever met. And that’s coming from me .”

 

“You are quite astoundingly good at being an annoying little shithead,” Semi muses gravely.

 

“Exactly,” Futakuchi squints at Sakusa again. “How would you feel if he slipped down the stairs?”

 

“I think I would feel like I definitely didn’t see anyone around and it would most certainly be an accident.”

 

“Cool,” Futakuchi sits up a little to take a sip from his solo cup. “I like Sakusa more than you now, Atsumu.”

 

“Kenji-kun!”

 

“There you go, Sakusa-san,” Semi says helpfully. “By the end of the night you’ll have far more friends here than Atsumu.”

 

“You’re all so cruel to me,” Atsumu grumbles. “Omi, c’mon, I deserve a cuddle for that at least.”

 

It’s not like Atsumu expects him to do it. What he expects is for Sakusa to wrinkle his nose like he’s smelled something foul- he does- and tell Atsumu to shove it. Instead, he closes the distance between them and puts his arm over Atsumu’s shoulders, hand resting at the base of his neck again.

 

“You big baby,” he says. Atsumu grins at him.

 

“Eita, don’t take this the wrong way, but I might be in love with Sakusa. He shut Atsumu up like it was nothing.”

 

“Hey!”

 

“Nevermind, Atsumu’s mouth is open again, infatuation over.”

 

“Good. As much as I like Sakusa-san, he’s not allowed to steal my boyfriend.”

 

“I wouldn’t want to anyway,” Sakusa says evenly, which makes Semi laugh, Futakuchi sigh like he’s been wounded, and Atsumu turn his head to press a kiss to Sakusa’s clothed bicep. The pressure makes Sakusa start, his eyes wide and a little panicky as they meet Atsumu’s.

 

Sakusa’s eyes are so pretty. So dark, like the ocean at the peak of midnight. It’s unfair that he should have eyes like that, really, especially when they soften in the corners, and warmth pools into them, his thumb gently circling against the nape of Atsumu’s neck.

 

“Whipped,” he says, muffled into Sakusa’s arm, and Sakusa flattens his hand out and smacks the base of his skull with the flat of his palm, making Atsumu laugh.

 

“I feel like I’m intruding in my own room,” Futakuchi mutters, and Atsumu swivels, letting Sakusa’s hand settle back against his neck, the weight of his arm comforting across his shoulders. “So… Sakusa.”

 

“Kenji,” Semi says, exasperated.

 

“Atsumu is my friend. He’s a pain in the ass, he’s mean, he’s an attention whore and he’s not even funny to balance it all out, but he’s my friend, and if you break his heart, being Ushiwaka’s friend won’t save you from my wrath,” Semi shoots Sakusa an apologetic look as Futakuchi props himself up a little more, gesturing with his cup. “But anyone important to Atsumu is a friend to me, so you don’t ever have to worry about him when he’s here, if you don’t want to come to these, okay? We’ll watch out for him.”

 

“Thank you,” Sakusa says, “but I think I’ll be okay. You keep this place surprisingly clean.”

 

“Yahaba’s a demon about it,” Futakuchi sighs. “He treats every day like it’s an open-home.”

 

“I think you would really enjoy Ennoshita’s chore charts, Sakusa-san,” Semi says. “They’re very thorough. Wakatoshi and I are considering employing his system in our apartment too.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Omi-kun yer not gonna start talkin’ about cleaning on date night , are ya?”

 

“Yes.” Atsumu groans, tilting his head back.

 

“Fine. But ya gotta dance with me if ya do.”

 

“What? That doesn’t make sense.”

 

“I don’t wanna listen to ya talk cleanin’ or yer gonna get ideas, and ya don’t wanna dance, so it’s a trade.”

 

“You’re such a brat,” Futakuchi says, with a laugh. “If you want to dance, I’ll dance with you. Let Sakusa chill out.”

 

“No,” Sakusa says archly, and Futakuchi blinks. It’s lazy, but Atsumu has known him for long enough now to know that when his eyes are sharp like that behind languid lids, he’s analyzing, like a vulture picking at a carcass for any weakness he can sink his talons into solidly enough to tear flesh and expose bone. “No. It’s fine. I’ll dance with him. Tell me about the chore charts, Semi-san.”

 

Futakuchi gives Atsumu a look. Usually, he’s pretty good at deciphering what Futakuchi means; he supposes it’s all the years with Osamu, learning to read people just from the way their faces move. But this time, when Futakuchi looks at him, he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s supposed to get from it. Semi is explaining to Sakusa about incentivized responsibility for cleanliness- like anyone would ever have to give Sakusa incentive to be clean- and Futakuchi grins, broad and delighted, in the way Atsumu recognizes as his victory grin, when he knows he’s got something over someone else. It unsettles him, and he frowns, hiding it in his drink as Sakusa’s thumb keeps circling on the back of his neck.

 

Atsumu is the first to finish his drink, and when Semi’s wine runs out, the four of them vacate to source themselves refills. Semi braves the attic space for the four of them and returns with a brand new solo cup of wine for Sakusa too, who sniffs it once and then seems to decide it’s acceptable. Futakuchi passes him an APA he promises is ‘decent’, Sakusa refuses the christening sip, and they all head back downstairs.

 

There’s more people than there were before; a new group has taken over the beer pong table. Terushima has relocated to the couch with Ennoshita’s legs settled in his lap, talking animatedly about something to Yamaguchi and Tsukishima, one of them seeming markedly more interested than the other. Semi puts his hand in Futakuchi’s and splits off from them toward Kawanishi who has managed to find Shirabu and Goshiki, still stuck with Koganegawa following them around like a puppy. So much for Sakusa’s initial plan.

 

“Where to, Omi-Omi?” Atsumu asks, brushing past a couple who have decided a counter is the perfect place to shove their tongues down each other’s throat. “Ya still have two hours on the clock.”

 

“I’m starting to regret my own terms,” he mutters, and Atsumu laughs, slings an arm around his waist again and sips his beer.

 

“I knew ya were gonna come around on the ‘no kissing’ eventually.”

 

“Shut up, Miya, you’re not funny,” there’s no bite to it, so Atsumu just laughs louder, until Sakusa rolls his eyes and throws back more of his wine in a move distinctly unclassy. Atsumu tells him as much, and Sakusa tells him to shove it. Such is their life.

 

“C’mon, ya know people here.”

 

“I know Hinata,” Sakusa says, scans the crowd, “the Shiratorizawa boys, vaguely. They’re at Wakatoshi-kun’s sometimes.”

 

“Ya need to get out more,” Atsumu says, and Sakusa glares. “That’s a thing, right? Like exposure therapy?”

 

“It’s not that easy.”

 

“I guess not,” Atsumu takes another swig of his beer. It’s not bad. “But, yer already out tonight, and ya did promise me a dance.”

 

“Not one of my finest moments,” Sakusa mutters into his cup, and Atsumu grins crookedly at him.

 

“C’mon, it’ll be fun,” he says, holding up a pinky finger. Sakusa looks at it like Atsumu’s just suggested he lick the gym floor after volleyball practice. “I pinky-swear I won’t let anyone else touch ya.”

 

Again, Atsumu has the distinct feeling that he’s missing something, just like Futakuchi’s look earlier in the night. Sakusa’s eyes blow wide, and then darken considerably, in a way that Atsumu recognizes as the void of his pupils swallowing up his thunder-cloud irises in their depths as they expand. What that means , however, Atsumu doesn’t know. Sakusa swallows, the bob of his throat slow and elegant as his tongue swipes over his lower lip, briefly, and his pinky folds around Atsumu’s. There’s a slight tremor in his hand. Atsumu can feel him shake.

 

He squeezes tight, wiggles their joined hands.

 

“So what does a pinky-swear do?” Sakusa asks, sounding a little winded, like he’s just sprinted to catch a train. Vaguely, Atsumu wonders if all the touching he’s done tonight is the equivalent of that.

 

“If I break it, ya get to break my pinky.”

 

“Why would I want to do that?”

 

“Fun, I guess,” Atsumu shrugs. “Guess I better make sure I don’t fuck up.”

 

“Guess you better,” Sakusa says, lowering their hands between them. His pinky stays twined with Atsumu’s.

 

Holding his hand like that, Atsumu leads him to the edges of the dance floor. It’s much less a designated space, and more open ground where people have decided it’s most convenient to dance. Still, Atsumu stays carefully clear of elbows and the crush of bodies that he would normally throw himself headlong into. He doesn’t recognize this particular song, with a throbbing bass beat and whisper-growled lyrics, which means it’s probably something Semi queued, but it’s decent enough to get into, so he lets it seep into his bones and carry his body to the tune of it.

 

“How do you do that?” He opens his eyes, finds Sakusa staring at him, still like a statue.

 

“Do what?” Sakusa gestures vaguely with the hand gripping his solo cup.

 

“Dance.”

 

“C’mon, Omi-kun,” Atsumu says, swinging their joined hands. “Don’t tell me ya never danced before.” Sakusa is deathly silent, mouth pressed flat and colourless in the way that Atsumu has come to recognize as his ‘ I absolutely under no circumstances will admit to what you just said aloud ’ face. His jaw drops a little, before he shakes his head.

 

“Figures,” Atsumu says, and Sakusa scowls, “the great Omi-Omi, too above it all to shake his ass in the privacy of his own home.”

 

“I hate you,” Sakusa seethes, but he steps closer anyway. “Jow do you do it, Miya? You didn’t answer me.”

 

“Anyone can make dancin’ look good, Omi-kun. Even Tobio-kun doesn’t look half bad when he does it. It’s all in the hips.” He takes a swig of his beer as the song changes into a more upbeat pop tune that Atsumu recognizes from his youth. Cheers go up across the room, a chorus of voices joining in to half-scream and half-sing the lyrics. Sakusa looks bewildered, so Atsumu laughs, tugs his hand loose from Sakusa’s grip to gently settle it on Sakusa’s waist.

 

Sakusa gasps, flinching like Atsumu’s hand burns, so he immediately pulls back, but Sakusa’s hand slams down atop his wrist, fingers twisting into the fabric of his jacket sleeve, as he yanks Atsumu’s hand back against his side. Atsumu splays his fingers out, thumb catching against the underside of Sakusa’s lowest rib, his pinky finger brushing the leather of his belt. Sakusa’s hand slides up his arm, clutches at his bicep, thumb digging in almost painfully.

 

“Don’t push yourself,” Atsumu tells him, and Sakusa squeezes harder.

 

“Shut up,” Sakusa says, “just teach me.”

 

“Conflictin’ statements there, Omi-Omi,” Atsumu teases, ignoring Sakusa’s look-that-could-kill in order to plow on. “Ya can pretty much dance to anything so long as ya move yer hips from side to side. It’s just like, swayin’ but to a beat I guess. The beat’s the hard part, but it’s like volleyball, y’know? Once ya get into the rhythm of it, it’s easy.”

 

“Okay,” Sakusa says, apparently deciding to forgo murdering Atsumu in favour of pursuing knowledge. “I don’t really get it, but okay.”

 

“Close yer eyes.”

 

“What?”

 

“Just trust me. Close yer eyes.” It occurs to Atsumu as soon as it’s out of his mouth that it’s probably the wrong thing to say. He and Sakusa barely have what could be considered a functioning relationship off the court. Sakusa trusts Atsumu’s tosses because Atsumu’s tosses are the thing Atsumu cares about more than anything, and Sakusa knows that, but trusting Atsumu with anything else must be nothing short of anathema to him.

 

Sakusa closes his eyes.

 

Atsumu’s breath catches in his throat as it all catches up to him. Sakusa does trust him. Has been trusting him all goddamn night; from the second he said yes to Kuroo’s proposition and sat down to type up those conditions, Sakusa has trusted him. He trusted him to respect his boundaries, to touch him, to keep him safe. Sakusa has trusted, and trusted again, and he’s trusting Atsumu now, after Atsumu promised he’d take care of him. The knowledge of it chokes him, as he watches the sweep of Sakusa’s long, thick eyelashes twitch, like he desperately wants his eyes open again, lips pursed, brows drawn.

 

“Feel it,” Atsumu chokes out, clears his throat rapidly. “The music. Just listen. Then move the way ya think ya should.”

 

Sakusa pauses, fingers twitching hesitantly against Atsumu’s arm, so he moves his own hips, sways into the beat of the song, uses the flat of his palm against Sakusa’s hip to push his hips one way, and Sakusa seems to get the message, moving them in awkward, stunted little swings, but moving them nonetheless. Atsumu chuckles, Sakusa’s ears go red.

 

“Don’t laugh at me,” he grumbles. “I’m new to this.”

 

“Doin’ good,” Atsumu tells him, and Sakusa’s fingers fist in his jacket. “It’s okay. No one’s watchin’ ya but me.”

 

Sakusa swallows, Atsumu chases the way his throat bobs with his eyes, but his movements get more confident after that. They’re less stuttery, more fluid, still a little off beat but getting better. It’s nothing special, mostly just Sakusa swinging his hips from side to side with vague transfers of weight from leg to leg, but he looks far less ridiculous than some people Atsumu has seen, so he supposes that’s a win.

 

“Can I open my eyes now?” Sakusa asks.

 

“Sure,” Atsumu says, so Sakusa does. His eyes scrape over Atsumu, watching him intently. Atsumu’s grateful for the miniscule amounts of alcohol in his system; if he were stone sober, he’d probably be self conscious. As it is, he smirks at Sakusa with half-lidded eyes, which makes Sakusa’s cheeks go red again, his fingers smoothing out the fabric they’d bunched against his bicep.

 

“What are you doing with your feet?” Sakusa asks, finally, and Atsumu chuckles.

 

“That’s a lil’ advanced for ya, Omi-Omi. Not a move for beginners.” Sakusa glares, and Atsumu laughs. The equilibrium of their universe is restored. “It’s just like the hips thing but with more movement added in. I’m basically just steppin’ in ways that match the rhythm.”

 

“Okay,” Sakusa’s brow furrows in concentration. He moves his feet in shuffling, abortive steps, sucking his cheeks in between his teeth as he tries to match what Atsumu’s doing with little success. Atsumu laughs, and Sakusa glowers at him.

 

“Yer thinkin’ too much about me,” he smacks his lips. “Damn, that felt wrong to say. Anyway, it’s like the first thing we did. Ya gotta move to the music.”

 

“You’re better at this than I am.”

 

“Duh, Omi-kun, I’ve been to more places where shakin’ your ass is a requirement, and I like a good dance party alone in my room.”

 

“Do you have to phrase it like that?”

 

“Yup.”

 

“Ugh,” Sakusa sighs, squeezes his eyes shut again. For a moment, he’s still, and Atsumu lets him be, mouthing along to the lyrics now that he’s sure Sakusa isn’t looking at him to make fun of the over-dramatic facials he’s pulling. When Sakusa moves again, it’s still hesitant, but he slowly smooths into it, still a little janky, but at least he seems decided about how he’s moving his feet.

 

“Nice,” Atsumu says, because he’s feeling magnanimous today. “Ya don’t look like a massive scrub anymore.” Sakusa scoffs in the back of his throat, but there’s a little smile quirking the corners of his lips.

 

“Shut up, Miya.”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu retorts, although there’s no real heat behind it. Sakusa’s eyes are open again, and he takes another sip of his wine, having to pause most of his dancing to do so. Atsumu counters by taking a sip of his beer without missing a beat, punctuating his swallow with a body roll in time to the beat. Sakusa flushes, turns his gaze out over the party. Atsumu lets him, lets his own eyes slide half-closed as he loses himself in the music. This is what he wanted from this party; the opportunity to do his own shit, have fun in his own way. Sakusa lets him be. He appreciates that.

 

“Is that normal?” He turns his head to follow Sakusa’s gaze, across the sea of dancers before settling on Yahaba, who has resurfaced with Kyoutani, the pair of them pressed right up against each other. Kyoutani’s hands are on Yahaba’s ass, Yahaba’s hands are hooked around Kyoutani’s neck, their mouths are pressed tight together, hips grinding idly to the beat.

 

“For them? Yup,” Atsumu sips his beer again, turns back to Sakusa. Sakusa’s ears are pink again. He takes a quick sip of his wine, strangles out his next words like he has a rock stuck in his throat;

 

“In general.”

 

“Oh,” Atsumu blinks, shrugs, “I guess. Lotta couples dance like that, but it’s not like… a requirement.”

 

Sakusa keeps looking, his lower lip absently caught between his teeth. Atsumu watches him. This close to his face, he can see that there’s a freckle not quite as dark as his eyebrow moles right underneath his earlobe. If it wasn’t Sakusa and Atsumu felt more like getting his head bitten off in the middle of a pretty good party, he’d be tempted to kiss it.

 

“How do you…,” Sakusa’s voice is breathy, high in his throat, “what are the logistics of that. I-”

 

“Omi-kun, chill,” Atsumu laughs, “it’s just dancing.” Sakusa turns his dark gaze onto him.

 

“Show me.”

 

“Ya sure?” Atsumu counters, which he feels is pretty admirable, because really Sakusa could have brained him with a cast-iron skillet instead of saying ‘ show me how to grind, Atsumu ’ and it would have had the exact same effect.

 

“Yes,” Sakusa says, and he doesn’t sound unsure, so Atsumu thinks fuck it . It’s not like anyone’s ever claimed he’s renowned for good ideas anyway.

 

He nudges Sakusa’s arm up until Sakusa gets the message and slides it around his shoulders, fingers curling tightly into the back of his jacket. Sakusa looks laser-focused on the task as Atsumu gently kicks his feet further apart, settles their stances so that one of Atsumu’s feet is on the inside of Sakusa’s, his other leg bracketing the outside of Sakusa’s opposite thigh. He snakes his hand around further, curls his fingers into the back of Sakusa’s belt and hauls him closer.

 

Sakusa stumbles a step, inhaling sharply. They’re pressed together now, flush chest to knee, and Sakusa shakes with it, so Atsumu holds him, finds his eyes with lazy indifference. Sakusa’s eyes are like steel, mouth slightly parted as he exhales, roughly, and stills. He tilts his chin up, haughty, the way he does so he can look down his nose at Atsumu, even though Atsumu’s not short enough for Sakusa to actually manage that. He grins, lazily.

 

“Careful, Omi-Omi, I know I’m hot but we wouldn’t want ya gettin’ carried away,” Sakusa rolls his eyes, flexes his fingers against Atsumu’s upper back, before they fist in his jacket again.

 

“Shut up, Miya.”

 

Atsumu does, but the crook of his grin tells Sakusa he thinks he’s won. He moves his hips, swings them in time to the beat, and Sakusa jolts a little, clearly shocked to feel the pressure of a body moving against his own. For a moment, Atsumu thinks Sakusa might fling him away and flee, but instead he exhales, roughly, and awkwardly shifts his hips back, more forward than side to side, which makes Atsumu’s jaw twitch with the effort of not making any kind of noise about that. Instead, he adjusts his grip on Sakusa’s belt so he can kind of pull him the way he needs him to go.

 

It should be, Atsumu thinks, much weirder than it is for how they fit together. Sakusa’s never danced until tonight, but he picks up the rhythm of Atsumu’s body with ease, sways against him in perfect sync, eyes downcast into the non-existent space between them, brows tight with concentration so he can watch the way he moves his hips. He lets Atsumu hold him close, lets their hips brush with every movement, his hand inching away from Atsumu’s jacket and up to cradle the back of his neck again, holding tight like Atsumu is his anchor keeping him from being ripped away in the middle of a storm.

 

Atsumu takes another sip of his beer, blames his flush on the alcohol, even though he hasn’t had enough to be even moderately tipsy. When the bottle drops away from his mouth, Sakusa is staring at him, eyes dark and all-consuming. Atsumu doesn’t know a lot about space stuff and terminology, but he’s pretty sure there’s some metaphor out there about black holes and the infinite mysteries of the universe that he could tack to Sakusa’s eyes when they’re like this. As it stands, he grins his cocky little grin and swipes his tongue pointedly over his lips. Sakusa jerks his gaze away, tips of his ears red.

 

“Say it, Omi,” he says, leaning in probably a shade too close, because Sakusa stiffens under the feeling of Atsumu’s breath on his jaw. “Say I’m good at this.”

 

“You’re a good dancer, Miya,” Sakusa sounds like his mouth is full of sawdust. “You don’t need me to tell you that.”

 

“I like hearin’ it from ya though,” he says, and Sakusa huffs, turns his gaze away.

 

“You like making me embarrass myself, is what you like.”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu says, with another one of his grins. Then, because Atsumu can’t resist pushing his luck, he says; “turn around, Omi-kun.”

 

“What?” Sakusa says archly. “Is this another joke about my ass?”

 

“Somethin’ like that,” Sakusa glowers at him for a moment, but Atsumu is learning now, and he sees the way Sakusa’s eyes soften in the corner and the flat line of his mouth becomes less severe. The moment he decides to just trust Atsumu, like that’s the easiest thing in the world, like Atsumu isn’t volatile and crass and selfish. Sakusa knows all this about him, and he decides to trust in him anyway. What a guy.

 

Atsumu presses up behind him, the backs of Sakusa’s thighs a searing heat against the front of his own, his hand sliding around to rest on Sakusa’s stomach so he can feel the way the muscles twitch, even under the fabric of Sakusa’s shirt.

 

“Miya?” Sakusa says, high-pitched and breathy, as Atsumu tucks his face against the back of Sakusa’s shoulder and rocks his hips in a slow circle. Sakusa’s hand slams into the back of his head, fingers curling tightly into his hair. Atsumu expects to be dragged away so hard the roots of his hair will hate him for the next three days, but Sakusa just holds him there, holds onto him like he’ll crumble if he lets go.

 

“Just like before,” Atsumu says, and Sakusa nods, and the next time he moves his hips, Sakusa moves with him, swaying back into the cradle of his lap. Well , Atsumu thinks, okay then . If anyone had any doubts about their cover story, he’s certain they don’t know, and he can’t really bring himself to care about selling it when Sakusa’s head falls back onto his shoulder, curls brushing his cheek. When Atsumu looks at him from the corner of his eye, he can see Sakusa’s eyes squeezed closed, like he’s afraid to open them. He does though, when he feels Atsumu looking.

 

Atsumu grins at him. Sakusa smiles back, the smallest twitch in the corner of his mouth, but Atsumu doesn’t miss it, and he downs another significant mouthful of his beer.

 

It’s easier for Sakusa to drink his wine like this too, and he seems comfortable like this, watching people come and go from the kitchen and not having to worry about the dancers behind him, with Atsumu’s body acting as a barrier. Sakusa’s hand doesn’t move from his hair, but his grip relaxes as he relaxes. He loses time of how long they dance like that for, but he’s out of breath and sweaty by the time Sakusa angles his empty cup toward him.

 

“I could go for some water,” Atsumu tells him, right next to his ear, and Sakusa shudders.

 

“Water is good.”

 

Sakusa straightens a little and Atsumu trails after him, hand sliding back around to the small of his back. Sakusa shoots him a brief look that Atsumu can’t quite decipher- it looks like Sakusa’s ‘ why would you do that ’ look but there’s something else there that Atsumu hasn’t ever seen on Sakusa before that changes it not at all and completely- before he forges forward and Atsumu has to stumble to keep up.

 

Atsumu’s new solo cup is blue this time. He rinses Sakusa’s cup first and fills it with water, and then fills his own. They do cheers, and lean against the counters together, taking measured sips.

 

“Are you hungry?” Sakusa asks him, after a few minutes of silence.

 

“Yea,” Atsumu says, because there’s not much point in lying.

 

“There’s food around somewhere, right? Do you want to go get some?”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu says, with a shrug. Ennoshita is responsible and he knows there’ll be finger food floating around somewhere, but he also knows that touching it could trigger Sakusa, and he’s clearly having one of his good nights, so Atsumu had decided against it the second Sakusa had closed the door behind him without his mask on. “All good, yer comin’ back to mine, right? We can just pick somethin’ up on the way back.”

 

“Right.” Sakusa goes quiet, and Atsumu thinks nothing of it, watching Noya and Hinata try to teach Kageyama some complicated dance move that’s making his face curl up like one gigantic question mark.

 

“It’s fine, right?” Atsumu tilts his head toward Sakusa, but doesn’t look at him. “Me… staying.”

 

“Yea, ‘course,” Atsumu says. “It was kinda weird at first ‘cause like, I thought ya would rather die than stay over but ‘s’not like it’s a problem. Kenma’s at Kuroo’s so we’ll have the run of the place.”

 

“And what do you expect we’ll do with the place all to ourselves?”

 

“Dunno,” Atsumu says, finally turning to look at Sakusa, “break somethin’, maybe? That’s what Kuroo and Kenma do when I leave ‘em alone, so don’t ask about the lawn chair.” Sakusa’s eyebrows make a valiant effort at shooting up toward his hairline.

 

“Lawn chair?”

 

“Yer gonna see, eventually.” Sakusa looks like he very much does not want to see. “I just want it on the table that the lawn chair is not my fault.”

 

“I feel like the lawn chair is still your fault.”

 

“It’s not! I just came back one weekend and my fuckin’ dinin’ chair was gone, lawn chair in its place.”

 

“I don’t believe you,” Sakusa says, with a disdainful sniff. Atsumu leans hard into his side with a whine.

 

“Omi-Omi!” Sakusa smirks at him then, that little twitching up-tick in the corner of his lips. Atsumu narrows his eyes at him, before shaking his head with a sigh. “And people say I’m a jerk.”

 

“You are.”

 

“Well, yer one too.” Sakusa blinks, and then laughs, a deep, indulgent chuckle.

 

“It all works out then, I suppose.”

 

“Guess so,” Atsumu says, before elbowing Sakusa in the ribs. “Just so ya know, I’m better at bein’ a jerk than ya are.”

 

“Is that something to brag about?”

 

“Yea. ‘Cause I’m hotter and funnier and more well-liked even despite me bein’ a jerk,” he leans in close then, teeth flashing wolfishly in the dim light, and he watches the way Sakusa’s eyes flick between his mouth and his forehead, trying to avoid catching his gaze. “And ya prob’ly like me because of it.”

 

“That’s a bold assumption, Miya.”

 

“What is?”

 

“That I like you.” Sakusa takes a measured sip of his water. Atsumu feels his laugh bubble from somewhere deep inside him, the kind of laugh that rocks his whole chest with the force of it. Sakusa is smiling. Sakusa is smiling around the lip of his solo cup, and Atsumu is laughing like it’s the last time he’ll ever laugh.

 

“Yer here, ain’t ya?” He says, finally, and Sakusa rolls his eyes, hooks his fingers against the jut of Atsumu’s elbow.

 

“Let’s go dance, Miya. At least you’re quiet that way.”

 

“Ya only want me for my body,” Atsumu complains, loudly, so that a passerby looks at them oddly and Sakusa’s shoulders hunch a bit, before his fingers curl into the lapel of his jacket and tow him back to the dance floor.

 

They stay for just under three hours exactly- Atsumu tells Sakusa that he will, generously, forgive this breach of the contract and Sakusa tells him to eat dick, much to Atsumu’s delight- spending their time alternating between dancing and casual rounds of the party, having more than the prescribed two conversations with Atsumu’s friends. Sakusa likes Yahaba because Yahaba is mean to Atsumu, Atsumu likes Tanaka because Tanaka has the inherent ability to make Sakusa redder than ever in sheer embarrassment, Sakusa likes Ennoshita for all the embarrassing Atsumu stories he shares without remorse, and so on and so forth. They only leave in order to catch the last bus back to campus, Sakusa allowing Semi a friendly clap on the shoulder as Futakuchi and Atsumu blow each other over-dramatic kisses, complemented by raised middle fingers. Terushima forgoes his usual goodbye hug in favour of waving with both hands and telling Sakusa he’ll get him out to another party if it’s the last thing he does.

 

“It will be,” Sakusa says, “because I’ll kill you myself.” Terushima laughs, face flushed in the manner of someone undeniably careening toward ‘drunk’ territory.

 

“I like you, Sakusa-san. Take care of Tsumu for us, ‘kay? It’s good that he’s finally settling down.”

 

“I’ll do my best,” Sakusa says earnestly, moment then ruined by Atsumu piping up to loudly declare he doesn’t need to be taken care of because he’s not a baby .

 

The bus is empty except for them, but they still stand, Sakusa clutching Atsumu’s arm to steady himself, Atsumu marvelling at how he feels pleasantly buzzed but not drunk enough to start swaying, which is probably good because their bus driver drives a little like they’re trying to outrun God. Sakusa looks relieved to be free, and Atsumu can’t say he doesn’t relate.

 

They swing by a late night sushi bar for dinner, which Sakusa seems satisfied by since he can see his food being made and ascertain the cleanliness of the process to be up to his standards. They carry their takeout back to Atsumu’s dorm, where Sakusa holds the food while Atsumu takes off his shoes and sanitizes his hands.

 

“There really is a lawn chair,” Sakusa says, sounding like he’s been struck in the head with something.

 

“... Yea?” Atsumu says, like it’s obvious, because it is.

 

“I half thought you were just lying to make fun of me.”

 

“Why would I lie about a lawn chair?” Sakusa levels a glare at him, the kind of glare that says ‘ I don’t know why but it’s the exact kind of thing you would do ’. Atsumu thinks it’s probably scary just how good he’s getting at reading Sakusa, but then again, it’s probably because Sakusa levels that glare at him a lot because Atsumu tends to do things like lie about owning a lawn chair for no particular reason a lot.

 

Atsumu takes their food from Sakusa’s hands so he can take off his shoes. Sakusa pauses, balling his socks into the toes of his shoes, and frowns a little at the floor under his feet. His feet. Which are not touching the floor. Because Sakusa doesn’t know where Atsumu’s floor has been. He briefly debates smacking the sushi boxes into his forehead.

 

“Shit, Omi-Omi, I’m sorry, I shoulda thought to get ya guest slippers or somethin’-”

 

“It’s fine,” Sakusa says crisply.

 

“Put your foot on the ground, then,” Atsumu challenges. Sakusa twitches, but his foot doesn’t move. Sakusa glares at it like it’s the source of all evil in the world. Atsumu huffs out through his nose, and scans the apartment, before landing on the kitchen. “I cleaned the kitchen.”

 

“That’s… well, not very helpful considering,” Sakusa gestures vaguely to the whole rest of Atsumu and Kenma’s communal living space between them and the kitchen. It’s not far, really, if Atsumu ran he could probably make it there in under ten steps.

 

“Okay, so let’s run then.” He says, and Sakusa looks up at him like he’s lost it. Maybe he has, a little.

 

“What?”

 

“That’s why people run in rain, right? For less exposure. If we run across the floor ya won’t have to touch the ground as much.” Sakusa stares at him, jaw wide open, before he hiccups a strangled sound that Atsumu realizes is the start of a laugh . Sakusa laughs, bright and incredulous. A little scratchy, like he’s never learned how, breath coming in short, sharp bursts as he tips his head back and his shoulders shake with such force Atsumu is sort of afraid they’ll rattle every last bone in Sakusa’s body straight out of him.

 

“That’s not-” Sakusa sucks in a breath through his teeth, “that’s now how it works!”

 

“Made ya laugh though, didn’t it?” Sakusa blinks up at him, before he smiles, and that warmth seeps into his eyes again, prickles under Atsumu’s skin like Suna’s pointed needling when Atsumu doesn’t get what he’s needling him about.

 

“Yeah,” Sakusa agrees. Atsumu holds out the hand sanitizer he’d bought for the night, and Sakusa tucks his shoes away in the cubby before accepting a generous dollop, massaging it into his hands. Atsumu holds his own hand out to Sakusa, who takes it, and pulls himself up.

 

And then they run.

 

It takes them five long-legged strides to skid onto the shitty linoleum, Atsumu clutching Sakusa’s hand tightly and clenching his bicep to draw them up short and stop their momentum before they hit the fridge. Sakusa laughs, breathlessly, even though it wasn’t much of a sprint. Atsumu puts their sushi boxes down on the counter, and holds up both hands. Sakusa eyes them warily for a moment, before he huffs through his nose and slaps both their hands together, palm to palm.

 

“This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” he tells him, and Atsumu grins.

 

“Shut up and eat yer sushi, Omi-kun.”

 

Sakusa does as he’s told, which must mean that he’s hungry enough to get over the sheer horror of having to listen to an Atsumu-given instruction. He watches, quietly, as Atsumu rummages through their cabinets and comes up with his cereal box and a roll of duct tape. He takes the plastic lining out of the cereal box, makes sure it’s rolled and pegged before he puts it away. He acquires a marker from the drawer, and begins to flatten the box down. Then, he places it on the floor, and slides it across to Sakusa.

 

“Stand on that,” he says, and Sakusa opens his mouth to say something- probably Miya, what the fuck Atsumu thinks- so Atsumu rolls his eyes and cuts him off. “Just do it, ya bastard.”

 

Sakusa presses his lips into an unimpressed line, but he carefully moves to stand on the cardboard. Atsumu proceeds to uncap the marker and draw around the outline of Sakusa’s feet.

 

“What are you doing,” Sakusa asks, sounding like he might startle like a spooked horse. “You were the one who insisted on getting food and now you’re-”

 

“Blah blah blah,” Atsumu says, tugging the cardboard back toward himself. He exchanges the pen for scissors, sitting criss-cross on the kitchen floor and leaning back against the counter. “Quit yer whinin’, Omi-kun, yer gonna see soon enough.”

 

Sakusa goes quiet, so that must be enough to appease him, because he doesn’t speak another word as Atsumu cuts around the outline on the cardboard, and then uses the off cuts to make two long strips. It’s an activity he only half remembers, really, something their granny had forced he and Osamu to do when she’d got tired of them thundering around her house and screaming black and blue at each other. He hasn’t done anything of the sort in years , but it comes back to him naturally enough, wrapping the cardboard in layer after layer of tape, until he’s managed to create a pair of extremely rudimentary looking slides.

 

“They’re not gonna be the best,” he says, setting them on the ground and turning them so that Sakusa can slip into them, “but they’ll do, right?”

 

Sakusa is silent.

 

Atsumu looks up to find Sakusa staring at the ground with something Atsumu can’t place settled on his features. His hand is curled tight around the edge of the counter, knuckles turning white, lip caught between his teeth, eyes wide and… wet?

 

“What’s the matter with ya?” Atsumu asks, and Sakusa snaps back to reality, wiping his face against his shoulder and slipping his feet into his new shoes. They look a little tight across the bridge- Atsumu had kind of had to guess how much space he’d need- but Sakusa looks at them like they’re the greatest thing in the world. Like maybe he likes them more than volleyball. It makes Atsumu’s heart try to climb up his throat.

 

“Nothing,” Sakusa says, “they’re fine. Now eat your fucking sushi, Miya.”

 

Atsumu grumbles something about Sakusa being ungrateful, does a quick little cleanup of his kitchen that involves putting away the tape and scissors and disposing of the leftover cardboard. He washes his hands vigorously under Sakusa’s careful stare, and then he finally gets to chow down. He only realizes how hungry he is when the food actually hits his tongue, so he closes his eyes, savours the taste and the familiar feeling of his stomach filling up. Maybe Osamu is onto something with his food obsession.

 

It takes him a while to realize that something on the side of his face is burning. His eyes snap open and he presses a hand against it just a shade sly of a slap, surprised to find the skin perfectly fine and decidedly not on fire. When he traces the source of the heat with his eyes, he finds Sakusa staring at him with an intensity that makes it seem like he’s trying to telepathically incinerate him. And it might be working.

 

“Wha?” Atsumu says. “What’s with the face?”

 

“Nothing,” Sakusa says, shakes his head so that his curls bounce. “Eat with your mouth closed.”

 

Atsumu’s pretty sure he was , but now that Sakusa’s said that, he’s making an active effort to eat with his mouth as open as possible. Sakusa makes a face and turns away to finish his food with his back to Atsumu, which is when Atsumu is free to go back to eating like a civilized person without fear of being set alight by whatever the fuck thoughts Sakusa is thinking and beaming out through his eyes.

 

“Why Kenma?” Sakusa asks after a while.

 

“Hm?”

 

“I don’t know him very well, but it doesn’t seem like you two would get along.” Atsumu thinks on that a bit, and shrugs.

 

“Dunno,” he says, “guess it’s just one of those things in life that happens, y’know? I didn’t think I’d get along with him real good either, but he knew Shou-kun and I knew Shou-kun and honestly I think he likes that he can be a shit with me ‘cause his other friends raise all hell about it, but… then it was just comfortable, and I know he was stressing ‘bout gettin’ a new roommate for second year so I said we should just request each other an’ so we did.”

 

“Hm,” Sakusa says, as if he’s trying to figure out the deeper meaning behind something that really doesn’t have one. Atsumu’s not sure what works between him and Kenma, but something does, and neither of them question it. There are lots of unspokens in their relationship, he supposes. Like the dining table and the lawn chair; it’s not college-issued furniture, it’s something Kenma and Atsumu had decided upon because they wanted one, so Atsumu had scoured second-hand stores until he found one that was cheap and in good condition, and he and Kuroo had moved it into their apartment with the unspoken knowledge that when Kenma inevitably stopped freaking out about the concept of living with Kuroo and actually started living with Kuroo, Atsumu would get the dining set.

 

“Dunno,” he says again, “things like that happen, right? People click when it doesn’t really make any sense.”

 

“I guess so,” Sakusa seems to think about this, tipping his head back to survey Atsumu’s ceiling. “I honestly didn’t think I’d ever manage to stand being in the same room as Bokuto, let alone become his teammate.”

 

“And now ya go to team-bondin’ exercises with him,” Atsumu says with a crooked smirk, and Sakusa nods, the corner of his mouth twitching upward in his teensy tiny smile.

 

“I suppose I do.”

 

S’pose ? Ya don’t remember them?” Atsumu mocks, and Sakusa rolls his eyes.

 

“Clearly I try very hard to repress those memories, Miya.”

 

“Shocker that ya even remember my name, then,” Atsumu says, before he makes his eyes widen in faux-realization. “Maybe ya don’t, and that’s why you refuse to call me by my name.”

 

“That’s so stupid ,” Sakusa sputters, but Atsumu is already moving in, standing toe to toe with him and crowding him against the counter.

 

“Say it,” he demands, “c’mon, Omi-kun, ya gotta prove you can tell the difference between me and my twin.”

 

“As if I’ve forgotten Osamu’s name, this is so-”

 

“Say it!”

 

“Miya-”

 

“Say it.”

 

Atsumu ,” Sakusa hisses it out through gritted teeth, and Atsumu cheers, snickering in laughter as Sakusa glares at him. What Atsumu expects is this: Sakusa to go a little red in anger, to call him a moron or an imbecile or infantile or something to try and bite back at him, which might work if Atsumu wasn’t already on the high of making Sakusa acquiesce to his demands. What happens is this: Sakusa’s eyes take on that warm quality again, and his mouth tugs up in one corner as he says; “Atsumu.”

 

It’s fond. Almost unbearably so, like Sakusa is turning it over on his tongue so gently and delicately that he’s afraid it might shatter. Atsumu’s heart pounds in his rib cage, and Sakusa’s hand lifts, lingers, before settling against his bicep, thumb tracing the swell, hot like a burn. Atsumu looks at him; Sakusa with his beautiful curls and the moles above his eyebrow and the subtle curve of his mouth, the way his nose upturns slightly at the tip.

 

“Atsumu,” Sakusa says again, quiet, like it’s a secret, only Atsumu doesn’t know what secret he’s being told. It’s not the first time tonight that he’s felt out of the loop, his usual skills for picking people apart failing him, but right now, he can’t bring himself to care, not when Sakusa’s throat is bobbing again, his tongue wetting his lower lip, before he leans forward and-

 

No.

 

Atsumu’s brain grinds to a halt. There’s no way Sakusa Kiyoomi is holding his bicep like it’s his new centre of goddamn gravity, leaning forward to kiss him in his kitchen. There’s no universe where this happens. No way in hell. But Sakusa is here, his long eyelashes are fluttering closed, his lips are half parted, and most mortifyingly of all, he can feel his own eyes closing, drawn to Sakusa like a moth to flame.

 

His eyes snap open again when sudden noise floods into the hallway outside the front door and Sakusa jerks back. Atsumu pauses with baited breath, as if someone is going to swing open the door and subsequently destroy whatever this is, like Kenma and Kuroo would for any reason leave Kuroo’s apartment at this hour. The sound of yelling voices fades down the hall, but whatever the fuck is happening is clearly over, because Sakusa is looking away, eyes trained on the floor, and Atsumu feels vaguely unsteady.

 

“Damn,” Atsumu grumbles, taking a step back and scraping a hand over his face, “maybe ya are rubbin’ off on me, Omi-Omi, can’t believe I’m gettin’ pissy at someone for being loud on a Saturday night.”

 

“Right,” Sakusa says, and then; “I’m tired.”

 

Atsumu doesn’t say anything to that, too caught up in the whirlwind of what-the-fuck swirling full force around his mind. Instead he inclines his head in a gesture meant for Sakusa to follow, and wanders toward his bedroom. Sakusa follows him in, pausing briefly at the threshold as Atsumu picks his sleepwear up from the foot of his bed and holds it against his chest.

 

“So,” he says, watching Sakusa eye up the room, “I vacuumed the floor and dusted the whole place before I left and there’s wet wipes on the bedside table that I haven’t opened ‘cause I thought ya would probably like ‘em better if they were fresh y’know? Sheets have been laundered, and then I did a load of clothes as well so there’s somethin’ for you to sleep in and somethin’ to wear tomorrow but uh. No underwear ‘cause-”

 

“Yeah, Miya, I get it,” Sakusa says, folding his arms over his chest. “Thanks.”

 

“Yea, yea,” he stretches up to drag down his comforter case with his extra blankets and pillows. “Washroom’s the door closest to the genkan. Help yerself to a shower ‘n all.”

 

“Right,” Sakusa says. “You’re not staying here?”

 

“No?” Atsumu blinks a little, tries to read the little flickers of expression he can catch in Sakusa’s scrunched-up face. “I mean, I figured it’s prob’ly weird enough ya havin’ to sleep in someone else’s bed, ya don’t need me crammed up in there next to ya.”

 

“But-”

 

“Don’t stress ‘bout it,” Atsumu waves a hand, already moving for the door. “I fall asleep on the couch all the time. It’s pretty comfy.”

 

“Miya.” He pauses, turns to face Sakusa. Sakusa cradles his elbows in his palms, shoulders turned inward like he’s trying to make himself smaller, eyes fixed on the fox plushie on Atsumu’s desk, staring it down like it killed his childhood pet.

 

“Yea?”

 

“I…” Sakusa starts, swallows, glares more balefully at the fox, “I’ve had sex before, you know. I have sex. And I like sex. Because it’s- I wouldn’t be attracted to someone if they weren’t clean enough for me, you know?”

 

“Okay?” Atsumu says, with a little chuffed laugh. The way Sakusa is speaking now reminds him of Hinata. Hinata’s always talking about stuff Atsumu doesn’t understand or need to know, but Atsumu humours him anyway because it seems like Hinata wants him to know it. So he does what he does with Hinata: shrugs and moves the fuck on. “Like I said, ‘s’not anyone’s business but yers. Night-night, Omi-Omi!”

 

He breezes out of the room to set up his bed on the couch, and then locks himself in the toilet to change into sleepwear. By the time he comes out, he can hear water running in the room adjacent, which must mean Sakusa is showering. Atsumu uses the opportunity to sneak back into his room to dump his laundry in the designated basket and take the Vollyeball Monthly magazine he hasn’t finished yet back to the living area with him.

 

Sakusa leaves the washroom fully dressed, and marches right past Atsumu, his usually haughty air undermined by the awkward slapping of his duct-tape sandals chasing him all the way back into Atsumu’s room. Atsumu takes his time finishing the magazine, and then heading to the bathroom to wash his face and wipe away his eyeliner.

 

It’s as he’s brushing his teeth, pulling his lips back in a grimace to make sure he really gets at the top of his canines that he considers he should potentially think on what Sakusa wanted him to get from that last awkward assertion. Because Sakusa isn’t like Hinata. Hinata says what’s on his mind and doesn’t bother to hide things. He’s refreshingly simple and earnest, and this makes him easy to understand. Sakusa, on the other hand, doesn’t say a lot, but what he does say is always measured and calculated because he wants someone to understand. Atsumu knows he’s not the only person who’s categorized Sakusa as blunt, which means Sakusa was trying to tell him something.

 

But what? That he likes sex? For a brief, horrifying moment, Atsumu wonders if something in Atsumu’s room made Sakusa take that conversational direction. A bra from a previous lover? No, his last three hookups have all not involved a bra. Lube? No, well and truly hidden inside a plastic storage container under his bed. Condoms? No, those went in his gym bag before he left. Then what could have possibly triggered that?

 

Atsumu can practically see the lightbulb going off over his head. He scrabbles to grab his phone from the pocket of his sweatpants.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (1:02am)

did u google what a dmc is

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (1:05am)

Yes

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (1:05am)

and ur topic of choice for a deep meaningful conversation was sex?

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (1:08am)

If you’re going to be like that I’ll just never talk to you about anything ever again.

 

God, he’s so smart. Atsumu chuckles to himself, lets his toothbrush hook into the corner of his mouth as he types out a reply.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (1:08am)

cute omi-omi 🖤

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (1:08am)

Shut up, Miya.

Chapter Text

Atsumu wakes up to the distinct feeling of being watched. Which is to say he registers drool running down his cheek from one corner of his mouth, feels the ache in his calf from where one foot has been propped up on the arm of the couch all night, and opens his eyes to find Kuroo’s smirking face looking back at him. Atsumu makes an undignified noise and flails at him, snatching his blanket higher up his chest. Kuroo bats his lashes at him.

 

“Good morning, sunshine.”

 

“Where the fuck did ya come from?!” Atsumu sits up. Kenma, sitting in the lawn chair with his legs pulled up under him stares back. “Why are ya here?!”

 

“I live here,” Kenma says, turning his attention back to his game. “Duh.”

 

“Are ya snooping ?!” Atsumu hisses, whipping his head around so fast he’s pretty sure he hears a tendon in his neck snap. “Where the fuck’s my phone?”

 

“I don’t need to ask you how your night went,” Kuroo responds evenly, which makes Atsumu feel like biting him because it’s just so suggestively cryptic that Atsumu feels like he should pick up what Kuroo’s putting down while being full of absolutely no substance whatsoever. He does put Atsumu’s phone in his hand, though, so Atsumu decides if he lowers himself to biting Kuroo, it won’t be today.

 

His phone is at 31%, which Atsumu supposes isn’t bad after a whole night out, but when his eyes flick down to the time on the display, he lets out an undignified squawk and flails out of the blankets.

 

“Why didn’t ya wake me!” He yells, and Kuroo simply blinks at him, mouth curved into that godawful fucking smile. “Holy fuck, I missed my run, it’s almost fuckin’-”

 

He runs out of steam then, because then he realizes he’s completely skipped over several text notifications.

 

 

From: shou 😎☀️ (12:15pm)

ATSUMU-SAN PLS RESPOND 😭😭😭😭

14 more messages

 

SUPERIOR COLLEGIATE VB TEAM 👏😜🤠 (11:09am)

evil incarnate ❤️: f lol

50+ more messages

 

From: rin 😐😙 (10:41am)

damn atsumu

 

From: inferior miya 🖕🖕🖕 (10:37am)

Atsumu.

 

From: noya 🤪💘 (10:31am)

im so fucking hungover lmao but brooo get ins 👅👅🍑

 

From: kita-san 🥰💞💓 (7:04am)

Congratulations Atsumu. I’m happy you found someone. Call me soon.

 

Instagram (2:04am)

@teru_yuu tagged you in a post!

 

Atsumu opens Hinata’s messages, and is instantly bombarded by 15 messages starting as early as 8am. Atsumu cringes, remembering how much Hinata had to drink last night. How the fuck is he awake at 8am? How is he alive ?

 

 

From: shou 😎☀️ (8:01am)

okay atsumu-san please don’t freak out i’m sorry i know you were trying to keep it secret 😢😰

atsumu-san??? are you okay you’re usually awake by now

please please please don’t be upset i feel so bad about it i should have made terushima-san double check the picture

atsumu-san please talk to me 😣😭

okay i hope you’re still asleep but even that’s worrying me atsumu-san WAKE UP!!!! please respond

tobio is really worried about you too 🥺🥺 worried-yama atsumu-san

i’m sorry atsumu-san i’m kind of freaking out so i called osamu-san please don’t be mad

ATSUMU-SAN WHY AREN’T YOU REPLYING ARE YOU DEAD????

kenma says he’s coming home atsumu-san you better be there 😤😤😓

okay kenma says you’re still sleeping which is okay i figured that just PLEASE don’t freak out when you wake up

also please tell omi-san i’m really sorry 😭🥶 i’m trying to make terushima-san delete it

the post i mean i can’t perma delete images in the group chat i’m so sorry

bokuto-san wanted to know and i was drunk atsumu-san please don’t be mad 😓🤕

ITS SO LATE ATSUMU-SAN WAKE UP OMG YOU ARE DEAD

ATSUMU-SAN PLS RESPOND 😭😭😭😭

 

“Atsumu?” Kuroo says, which is all evidence Atsumu needs to know he looks like he’s about to pass out. With a renewed, frantic energy, he exits out of his messages and opens up Instagram, immediately tabbing to his notifications and scrolling rapidly to find the post Terushima tagged him in.

 

It’s several pictures of Terushima and various attendees of his party. Terushima, Ennoshita, Futakuchi and Yahaba in what is clearly the pre-party outfit check. Terushima and Yamaguchi making faces at the camera held at an angle under their chins. Atsumu squatting and giving the camera his best smoulder with Terushima looming behind him making prayer hands, a photo Atsumu remembers from late in the night. Hinata and Noya doing matching magical girl poses at one end of the beer pong table. Kageyama looking bewildered at being dragged into a selfie with one of Hinata’s arms around his neck, Terushima’s tongue stuck out; of course it is , Atsumu thinks. Kyoutani and Tanaka arm-wrestling with Terushima’s mockingly wide eye in the lower right hand corner. Shirabu glaring at the camera over Goshiki’s shoulder, both middle fingers raised, Goshiki’s mouth attached to Shirabu’s neck. Terushima, Hanamaki and Matsukawa staring dead at the camera while balancing solo cups on top of their heads.

 

Atsumu squints at the caption.

 

 

teru_yuu great night with my many cool sexy friends :-) miyagi captain squad stay hot 🥵

yamaguchiii it was rlly great to see u last night!!! 🥰🤗

noyyah thats 😤 my 😤 bestie 😤 @heyitsryuu

mad_dog16 @heyitsryuu next time

heyitsryuu @mad_dog16 try me 😼💪

shirabuhoo I’m about to commit an act that will get me suspended for harassment

motoya_k IS THAT KIYOOMI AGHSKGDHJKSHJD??????

 

Wait. Atsumu scrolls back up to the pictures. Swipes through them a few times. Takes a deep breath, and really looks . And sure enough, in the background of the Terushima-Hinata team attack on Kageyama, there’s Sakusa’s unmissable mop of dark curls, so close it merges with the unmistakable platinum sweep of Atsumu’s hair, Sakusa’s pale hand curled around the back of Atsumu’s neck, the rest of their bodies pressed flush together where they’re grinding on each other.

 

Ah , Atsumu thinks, fuck.

 

Already resigned to his fate, Atsumu opens up the volleyball team group chat and scrolls back until the last messages he can remember. What appears to have happened is that that photo was sent to the group, which lead to Bokuto zooming in on them and sending a screenshot of it accompanied by an eloquent ???? message, which in turn leads to blurry pictures of Atsumu and Sakusa dancing, which results in Bokuto losing his goddamn mind for a solid twenty messages, and then Yaku’s prophetic message several hours later:

 

 

evil incarnate ❤️ : sakusa is going to kill you when he sees this.

 

In fact, Sakusa’s little typing bubble at the bottom of the chat is active right now. Which means Sakusa is awake right now. Which means Sakusa also knows this has happened. Which means that everyone else can probably see that Atsumu is online because they’ll be looking for him now. He sighs and gazes despondently at Kenma, who sighs back.

 

“Kuro?” Kuroo turns back toward him, brow raised. “Break out the pancake mix.” As Kuroo nods solemnly and moves off to obey Kenma’s instructions, Atsumu types a single message into the chat and hopes Sakusa can pick up on the vibes he’s now trying to directly beam through the door.

 

 

thighmaster 🥵🤪: omi

 

Sakusa’s typing bubble stops. Hinata’s pops up at the speed of light.

 

 

hinatiddies: ATSUMYG SBA

 

evil incarnate ❤️ : holy shit shouyou are you okay

 

hinatiddies: ATSUMU-SAN YOU’RE ALIVE 😭😭😭

hinatiddies: IM SO SO SO SORRY

hinatiddies: TO YOU TOO OMI-SAN IM REALLY SORRY I SHOULD HAVE DOUBLE CHECKED IT

hinatiddies: AND ALSO NOT SENT THE OTHER IMAGES DAICHI-SAN AND SUGA-SAN ALREADY YELLED AT ME LOTS

 

thighmaster 🥵🤪: chill shou-kun me n omi-omi r gonna talk about it now ok

 

hinatiddies: OKAY ONCE AGAIN I AM REALLY REALLY SORRY

 

The door to Atsumu’s room swings open and Sakusa emerges, hair rumpled and looking frankly murderous. Kenma looks up from his switch. Kuroo looks up from his pancake mix. Atsumu makes a gurgling noise of distress in the back of his throat and flops back down onto the couch.

 

“Where did Bokuto get that photo?” Sakusa demands, looming over Atsumu.

 

“It was on Yuuji-kun’s Instagram,” Atsumu groans, putting his hands over his face. “I don’t think he meant any harm by it ‘cause ya weren’t tagged but Motoya-kun definitely recognized ya.”

 

“I know,” Sakusa says. “I have thirty one text messages.”

 

“Damn, Shou-kun only sent me fifteen.”

 

“Who else has seen it?”

 

“Probably everyone the two of you know,” Kuroo supplies helpfully, and Atsumu sits up on the couch to glare at Kuroo with as much venom as he can muster. Kuroo smiles back, sweetly.

 

“This is yer fault,” Atsumu seethes, “this was yer idea.”

 

“Uh, no,” Kuroo points his spatula accusingly at them, “my idea was that you two could go to the party, lay low, let rumour reach Sakusa’s wannabe real-boyfriend- sorry Sakusa, I told him- and then quietly reveal the plan once you were sure he was out of the picture. Nowhere did I say Sakusa should pretty much drop it in your lap.” Sakusa goes red all the way down his neck into the collar of Atsumu’s shirt.

 

Kuroo ,” Kenma scolds, dropping the affectionate nickname, before he turns to the pair of them, “it was a bit much, though.”

 

“Kenma,” Atsumu whines, leaning his chin on the back of the couch.

 

“Look,” Kuroo continues, now using his Lev voice which Atsumu hates, but it seems to cow Sakusa, “it’s probably good for your cover anyway. Did you two really think you could just go out as a couple a single time and then fake break up immediately after?” The silence is deafening. Atsumu is sure if there was a cricket in the apartment, it would be chirp-chirping away. Kuroo sighs, as if this brings him great pain. It probably does. Atsumu hopes it does. Fucking Kuroo.

 

“For smart guys you’re both really dumb,” he says, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Your friends are probably already taking bets on you, which seems harsh but even when I was thinking about it I knew it was a long shot, so they’re probably waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I’d give it like, a week or two at least so it seems like you were actually trying.”

 

“A- week?” Sakusa splutters a little, shaking his head. “No, no. The money- that was for one night -”

 

“Yeah, one night to solve Atsumu’s problem. This solves your problem, because this guy might be decent enough to step off you if you have a boyfriend, but that’s only conditional to you having a boyfriend , c’mon Sakusa, if you hadn’t figured this out already you’re even dumber than Atsumu is!”

 

“Hey!” Atsumu protests. Sakusa scowls, folding his arms across his chest and glaring at the ground.

 

“I get that you both have appearances to keep up and neither of you wants to admit you had fun last night but the proof is right there, broadcast on Terushima’s Instagram, so you know it, and you know that Kenma and I know it, so really, what’s the point in lying about it to us at this point? You have wildly different majors so you won’t see each other during classes, you don’t have to hang out with your friends or anything, and honestly your teammates probably won’t expect you to act any different around each other at practice anyway so what changes apart from you two occasionally lying about hanging out and doing couple stuff if someone asks?”

 

“I’m a bad liar,” Sakusa says lamely.

 

“Atsumu’s not,” Kuroo ignores the noise of indignation that Atsumu makes, “so all you have to do is keep your mouth shut while Atsumu spouts his bullshit and congratulations, you have a perfectly functioning fake relationship until loverboy gets the hint and moves on, and then you can both go back to your lives like nothing happened and laugh about what an elaborate prank you pulled.”

 

Sakusa falls silent, and Atsumu watches him. Sakusa’s shoulders are drawn up into a protective hunch the way he does when he wants extra protection for his face. Without his mask, it’s easy to see his facial expression, to see the way his brow knits and his nose wrinkles in the corner, the downturn of the corners of his mouth. He’s thinking hard, Atsumu realizes as he watches Sakusa exhale and tip his head back as if silently asking for strength, before relaxing his shoulders and balling his hands into fists at his sides.

 

“I didn’t,” he says, sounding like Kuroo is personally wringing the words out of his throat, “I didn’t hate it.”

 

“Wow, Omi-Omi,” Atsumu drawls, “way to make a guy feel special.” Kenma glares at him, so Atsumu shuts his trap.

 

“You’re going to get a big head about if I admit that at this point my next option is physical violence, so I’m not going to say anything about it,” Sakusa sucks in a breath through his teeth. “But since you’re too much of a jerk to offer it, I’m going to say that I want to continue being your fake boyfriend because it would actually help me out, a lot, and against my better judgement I trust you.” The truth of it knocks the wind from Atsumu’s lungs. He knew, but hearing it from Sakusa’s mouth is a whole different deal.

 

“And,” Kuroo adds, “if you and Sakusa started dating before yesterday, that technically means you’ve had a boyfriend for longer than Osamu.” That’s enough to make Atsumu sit bolt upright, manic grin stretching gleefully across his face.

 

“I’ll do it,” he says, at the same time Kenma sighs, heavily, and slumps further into the lawn chair so that the fabric gives a protesting squeak.

 

“Good,” Kuroo says. “Sakusa and Atsumu, go wash up, I’m almost done with these pancakes.”

 

“Pancakes don’t have an exceptionally high level of nutritional value,” Sakusa sniffs in a last-ditch effort to regain some of the dignity absolutely obliterated by being ordered around by Kuroo. Atsumu can definitely relate; when Kuroo has to be the voice of reason, something is definitely wrong.

 

“Whatever,” Kuroo says, with a dismissive flick of his spatula, “it’s the end of the week and your fake-relationship just got broadcasted to your whole social circle. And Oikawa hasn’t even called yet.”

 

The impending horror of Oikawa’s call is all Atsumu needs to send him skittering to the bathroom, Sakusa hot on his heels with the slap-slap-slap of his duct tape sandals echoing in his wake. Atsumu washes his hands for a respectable amount of time, and then Sakusa washes his for twice that.

 

Oikawa does call in the middle of breakfast- or brunch, given that it is one in the afternoon- after eight consecutive texts that mostly amount to ‘what the fuck tell me everything’, which Atsumu very much does not do and eventually sets his phone to flight mode to avoid having to field any other calls. Sakusa remains mostly unharassed except for a singular text that he promptly ignores and refuses to reiterate the contents of to the rest of the table.

 

Atsumu lets Sakusa shower first while he helps Kuroo with the dishes. Once he is also freshly showered, he laces his running shoes onto his feet, sanitizes his hands, and he and Sakusa leave the apartment. Somehow, it feels like the world should have stopped and they should step out into a world of fire and brimstone, but as it stands the dorm hallway is dead quiet on a Sunday afternoon, and there are only a few people milling about campus as they cross toward Sakusa’s dorm building in relative silence.

 

“Thank you,” Sakusa says, as Atsumu pulls open the door, “for everything, actually. This probably isn’t your ideal situation.”

 

“I’ll live,” Atsumu say with a shrug, “what’s a few more weeks without sex?” Sakusa’s face screws up like he’s just taken a bite out of a lemon.

 

“I take it back. You’re disgusting and crass and I hate you.” Atsumu laughs him to the elevator, but he still presses the button with his knuckle instead of his fingertip, and he still catches Sakusa looking at him with that indecipherable expression on his face.

 

“Whatever, Omi, ya know ya love me,” Atsumu says with a sniff. “But hey. Draw up a new set of conditions or whatever you called ‘em and bring ‘em to practice whenever, okay?”

 

“Don’t you have any?” Atsumu thinks about that. Does he have any conditions? It’s not really the same, he supposes. He doesn’t have anything like Sakusa’s mysophobia that would potentially require boundaries to be set in place. It’s not like he hasn’t done more with people for much less. A good amount of people at Terushima’s party probably could have told Sakusa if he needed someone to suck face with for any reason, Atsumu would have been down. Several from personal experience.

 

“Nah,” he says finally. “Like I said, I’m touchy in relationships, so.”

 

“It doesn’t have to just be about touch, you know,” Sakusa says, as the elevator opens on his floor. “It can be anything. Like if you want… I don’t know, certain things to not be said. You know, I wouldn’t want you to say we went on a beach date or anything because I don’t like the beach and it might give people ideas.” He blinks a little, sucking his teeth as he and Sakusa wander toward his dorm, Sakusa swinging his plastic bag of laundry off of two fingers.

 

“Could ya call me Atsumu?” He asks, and Sakusa blinks a little. “Not like, all the time, but y’know, if yer talking to me in front of someone else…”

 

“Okay,” Sakusa says, coming to a stop in front of his door. “Okay. I’ll bring the boundary document to practice tomorrow.”

 

“Yer gonna have to wait behind,” Atsumu tells him, and Sakusa nods.

 

“I know.” Atsumu’s eyes trail over Sakusa’s shoulder, where someone’s door has opened, and a person steps out, trained on the pair of them. A lazy grin crosses Atsumu’s face as he takes a step closer and watches Sakusa tense a little as Atsumu’s hand lands in the small of his back.

 

“Loverboy inbound, Omi-kun, tell me ya had a good time last night.”

 

“I had a good time last night… Atsumu,” Sakusa says, a little stiffly, and a smidge too loud, but it works for him. After a moment of hesitation, his hand slides around the back of his neck again, thumb brushing against his nape. Atsumu hums, leaning into the touch with a deep, indulgent chuckle. When he opens his eyes again, Sakusa’s suitor is bearing down on them with intent, so Atsumu tilts his head, crooks it close to Sakusa’s ear.

 

“D’ya mind if I brush your hair back?”

 

“Go ahead,” Sakusa whispers back, sounding kind of winded. Atsumu leans back, smirking like he’s just said something worthy of the blush that’s pinkening Sakusa’s ears, and laughs another one of his rumbly chuckles, reaching his free hand up to slowly brush a lock of Sakusa’s curls away from his face.

 

“Gotta get ya some hair-clips or somethin’, Omi, can’t see yer pretty face with that in the way.”

 

“You’re so full of it,” Sakusa says, at the exact moment that a third person arrives abruptly next to them.

 

“Sakusa!” Says Sakusa’s suitor, whose name Futakuchi definitely said and Atsumu didn’t deign to remember. “You’re back late.”

 

“Chihaya-san,” Sakusa says, taking a subtle step closer to Atsumu. Bad liar Atsumu’s ass he thinks, gleefully.

 

“This is the guy that's been buzzin’ round ya?” Atsumu asks, looking Chihaya up and down. Chihaya keeps smiling, but Atsumu knows his type. There’s a little tic under his eye where it jumps with how hard his jaw clenches on his back molars. It’s almost too easy.

 

“Who’s this, Sakusa?” Chihaya says, completely oblivious to the way Sakusa’s eyebrows draw just a little tighter.

 

“This is Miya Atsumu,” Sakusa says, and then, more pointedly; “My boyfriend .”

 

“Oh,” says Chihaya, in a way that’s far too casually feigning interest, “I didn’t know you had a boyfriend.”

 

“Well, he does! Omi’s nicer than I am,” Atsumu says, and thinks it’s probably true, “so he’s been a lil’ too shy to tell ya to shove it ‘cause he’s taken. I ain’t, though.”

 

“Atsumu,” Sakusa scolds, “do not make me call your brother.”

 

“C’mon, Omi-Omi,” he whines, “lemme defend my boyfriend’s honour.”

 

“You are so annoying,” Sakusa grumps, “I’m wearing your clothes, what more do you want?” It seems to occur to Chihaya then that Sakusa is, in fact, wearing clothes that are not his. Sakusa is, in fact, wearing a t-shirt that’s a little too small for him in the shoulders and a little too short at the waist, and sweatpants that sit too high on his ankles to be the right length. His expression darkens, briefly, and Atsumu grins.

 

“It was nice to meet ya, Chihaya!” Atsumu says, and Sakusa rolls his eyes again.

 

“Well, now that you’re acquainted, I’d like to finish my walk of shame in relative peace.” Oh . Maybe that should be in his boundary document; warning a guy before you spring fake-sex on him. Still, Atsumu refuses to lose to this scrawny little shit who’s been heckling Sakusa, because it must have been bad if Sakusa “ would rather die than admit an emotion ” Kiyoomi was talking to people about it.

 

“Aw, Omi,” he says, gently dropping his head to press his kiss against his clothed shoulder. Sakusa shudders a little, and turns his face to the wall. “Yer so cute, all bashful and stuff. Get some rest an’ call me when ya wake up from your nap, ‘kay?”

 

“Fine,” Sakusa sighs, gently sliding his hand down to grip Atsumu’s shoulder, finger curling into the fabric of his hoodie. “Haven’t you had enough of me yet?”

 

“Never, Omi.” Sakusa rolls his eyes and withdraws. Atsumu watches him as he pulls his pocket wipes from his sweats and produces one to wipe down his door handle, and then another to wipe down his key, before he turns it into the lock and disappears inside his apartment. He can hear Sakusa shuffling around, behind the door, and clearly Chihaya can too, because he’s just standing there, watching Atsumu watch the spot where Sakusa disappeared.

 

Many people have accused Atsumu of being a jerk. Once upon a time, Osamu had looked him dead in the eye and told him the volleyball team didn’t like him. And that was fine with Atsumu; he’s never needed people to like him, and it makes the people who do all the more special because he knows they don’t like him in spite of him being a shit, but they like him because of it. So, it takes absolutely nothing for him to drop his lazy smile off of his face and stare daggers into Chihaya with the same vehemence that he used to stare at people who interrupted his serves.

 

“Scram,” he says, low and vicious, taking a step closer. “I know ya been sniffing ‘round my boyfriend, and this is the only nice warnin’ yer gonna get to quit that shit. Now shoo.” He draws himself up to his full height, sneers down at Chihaya. He wilts, but only slightly, his own pout vicious with seething hatred when he aims it at Atsumu. He feels a thrill. Ah, the unmistakable glee of a new enemy made. How he’s missed it.

 

“We’ll see, Miya.” Chihaya says, before turning around and stomping back down the length of the hall.

 

Atsumu takes his phone from his hoodie pocket to text Sakusa.

 

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (2:39pm)

he’s gone 🏃🤙

also lol we’ve had sex now omi?

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (2:44pm)

I figured he would take you seriously if I implied I let you touch my naked body.

Also, I was wearing your clothes.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (2:44pm)

awww omi-omi so cute 🥰🤧

but also who says ur not into clothed sex 

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (2:51pm)

You’re the worst person I’ve ever met.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (2:51pm)

ur dodging the question 😏👀

Read 2:52pm

Chapter Text

Atsumu would rather die than admit Kuroo is right about anything, but in a vein similar to something Kuroo may or may not have predicted- Atsumu can’t remember, he really can’t, he tells Kuroo sweetly when Kuroo decides to get a big head about it- nothing much changes. He and Sakusa meet five minutes before practice on Monday to walk in together, and with twin glares that could cut they send their teammates scattering away with congratulations and Hinata’s continued profuse apologies. That’s the end of that.

 

Atsumu goes to his classes and Sakusa goes to his. They don’t see each other. Atsumu banishes Hinata from his dorm room with the excuse that Sakusa is coming over on Wednesday as vengeance for Kenma’s involvement in this whole debacle and ends up getting his ass handed to him in Mario Kart.

 

By Thursday, Suna’s moved on to a new target- Komori, who Sakusa reportedly caught with Washio on Tuesday- and Osamu’s back to answering Atsumu’s calls after losing an argument to him for what is possibly the first time in his life. Maybe, Atsumu thinks somewhat smugly, he shouldn’t have been hurling about a sack of bricks in a tantrum about not being the first to know about Atsumu’s quote-unquote boyfriend when he was standing in the very small glass house of Atsumu being informed about Osamu’s boyfriend via an eight-hour-old Instagram post. Bokuto has stopped trying to set up double dates with Akaashi, Hinata has finally stopped looking like he might spontaneously combust if he stands anywhere within Sakusa’s line of sight, and even Yaku has gotten bored of staring at them like he can mentally puzzle out their relationship with his eyes alone.

 

It’s Friday, and Atsumu’s world has not ended, so he cracks open an aloe drink and sips at it, pleasantly achy from volleyball practice. He’s a good twenty minutes into a collegiate rugby broadcast- Atsumu likes rugby even if the rules don’t make sense; the hot men running into each other in tight shirts and little shorts is entertaining even if he still doesn’t really get how the refs call offside- when his phone pings.

 

Atsumu ignores it.

 

It takes him all of a millisecond to puzzle out who it could be. Option one is Oikawa, who is still needling him for details Atsumu is remaining stubbornly tight-lipped on. Option two is Kenma, probably letting him know he’s not coming back from Kuroo’s, as if that’s surprising at all. Option three is Osamu, who is not nearly important enough to warrant an immediate reply. What gets Atsumu to actually pick up the phone is the fact that after ten minutes, it pings twice more in quick succession.

 

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (8:53pm)

Miya your boyfriend services are required.

Don’t fucking ignore me

MIYA

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (9:06pm)

damn omi-omi gotta say i’m flattered

didn’t take u for the booty call type but tbh i’m not surprised who wouldn’t want all of this 😏👅

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (9:07pm)

Just so you know, I threw up in my mouth a little.

Anyway help

Chihaya has been outside my door for the past fifteen minutes

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (9:08pm)

WGHKDHDHHHF 15 MINUTES!???!?!

DAMN BITCH DOESN’T HE HAVE A LIFE?!?!?!?!?

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (9:08pm)

Evidently NOT it truly is driving me crazy

I’ve been sitting in the bathroom with the shower running but I think he knows I’m faking it

 

Atsumu pauses, and takes that in, thumb brushing over Sakusa’s words printed on the screen, like that will somehow make them make more sense. There’s plenty he could do here, lots and lots of good, prime, making-fun-of-Sakusa material presented to him by Sakusa himself. But, as much as he hates to admit it, he really doesn’t want to. Atsumu’s a jerk, but he’s not enough of one to kick Sakusa while he’s laid so low that he can’t even enjoy the opportunity to shower indefinitely.

 

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (9:10pm)

i’m gonna assume like all ur clothes r clean cuz ur omi-omi so

yknow that sweater with the really low neckline u wore to the izakaya after the semis last season?

yea get in the shower for real put that on and then answer the door like u expected me

be there soon 🏃🏃

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (9:13pm)

It’s a wonder you hate Kuroo so much when you’re both so… scheme-y.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (9:16pm)

cruel 😰

 

Atsumu taps out his reply fresh from the shower, scrubs his teeth furiously and dresses in a mad rush. He’s momentarily glad that Kenma isn’t home to witness him, bedroom door ajar, throwing shit into his cleanest duffle bag like an early 2000’s double-speed shopping montage. He’s been trying for ten minutes, but he’s going to be later than that, which is what spurs him into speed-walking a little faster than he needs to in order to reach Sakusa’s dorm building.

 

Sakusa’s voice drifts toward him as the elevator doors ding open.

 

“-really can’t, Chihaya-san, Atsumu-”

 

“Aw, you can just tell him you dropped by mine, right? It’s not like it would be hard for him to find.” Chihaya’s hands are laced behind his back, and he rocks back on his heels like Hinata does, only Hinata does it because he’s genuinely nice and the movement suits him, but Chihaya doing it gives Atsumu the flash impulse to apply his limited rugby knowledge to real life and punt-kick him like a rugby ball down the hallway.

 

Instead, he pretends like he didn’t hear, putting a bounce in his step as he jogs down the hall toward them.

 

“Omiiiiii!” Sakusa looks up, relief so clearly flooding his features that Atsumu has to wonder if Chihaya is dumb or just willfully ignoring it at this point. “Hey, I like this sweater. Good choice.”

 

He steps in close, hooks his finger into the hem of it and tugs. The bridge of Sakusa’s nose flushes pink.

 

“You’re late.”

 

“But I’m here,” he responds easily, turning as if he’s just noticed Chihaya, “and so’s Chihaya-kun.”

 

“Hi.” Chihaya says, sounding like he’d rather spit on Atsumu. Sakusa’s hand lands on the back of Atsumu’s neck, so he proceeds to put into motion phase two. That is to say, he spreads his legs a little and cocks his hip just-so as he chuckles, leans his head into the touch as Sakusa’s spindly fingers brush the close-cropped hair at the base of his head.

 

“Bit late to be makin’ social calls,” he drawls, watches with glee as Chihaya’s eyes skim the way Sakusa’s sweater hangs low enough to expose his collar bones and the divot at the top of his chest, flick to Atsumu, and then down to what Atsumu knows is the focal point of this whole get-up. His eyes snap back to Atsumu’s face just as fast, and he’s noticeably redder. Atsumu lets his smirk relax into something lazy, lids his eyes a little.

 

“Some other time, Sakusa,” Chihaya offers, and Sakusa makes a non-committal grunting noise, hesitating for a moment before slipping his hand down and onto Atsumu’s bare bicep, tugging him into his dorm room and closing the door behind them. They stand wedged in the small genkan together, Atsumu idly toeing off his loosely-laced running shoes, Sakusa’s hand burning into his flesh like a brand.

 

Sakusa seems to almost be holding his breath as Chihaya shuffles on the other side of the door, and then retreats down the hallway. He exhales harshly, breath fanning over the apex of Atsumu’s cheek as a door slam carries back toward them.

 

“Thanks,” Sakusa says, releasing him, “you can come in, if you want.”

 

“Omi, I’m already here, I ain’t leavin’ until ya got a tic from me nosin’ through your shit,” Sakusa gives a long suffering sigh, shoving his socked feet back into his house-slippers and dropping a pair of guest slippers for Atsumu. Obediently, Atsumu puts his socks inside his shoes, puts his feet in the guest slippers, and sanitizes his hands. Sakusa watches him like he’s trying to bore a hole through the back of his skull.

 

“What’s in the bag?” He says, finally.

 

“Stuff,” Atsumu replies, grinning when Sakusa’s face scrunches up in distaste, “the drink I had open. Laptop. Change of clothes. Shit like that.”

 

“Why would you need a change of clothes?” Sakusa asks, trailing Atsumu as he looks around for a place to put his bag that won’t mega-offend Sakusa.

 

“Well,” Atsumu draws out the word, finally deciding on settling the bag half-under Sakusa’s squat little coffee table so that it’s out of the way but also not directly touching the floor, since Sakusa has put a rug under it.

 

“Miya.”

 

“Look, yer a smart guy, I’m sure ya can figure out what ol’ loverboy thinks is happening right now-”

 

“Could you at least look at me while you’re implying someone thinks we’re fucking?” Sakusa grumps, and it punches a little cackle out of Atsumu. Slowly, he turns, settles his stance just-so, folds his arms across his chest and raises a brow. Sakusa does not look appeased.

 

“Well, y’see, Omi-kun, I mighta dressed ya up to make it look like ya were waitin’ to get railed, but the real cherry on top is the fact that these are my ‘ I came to fuck ’ pants.” Sakusa looks at his pants. And then back at his face. And then he squints, confused.

 

“Why would you have pants for that?”

 

Because ,” Atsumu says very pointedly, “if I move my legs half an inch to the left there ain’t gonna be any questions left ‘bout what I want ya to notice in these pants, and Chihaya-kun sure as fuck noticed.”

 

It’s a delight, really, to watch Sakusa grapple with that. His eyebrows pinch, first, dark and heavy over his eyes, his mouth parts in a silent question as his eyes track down Atsumu’s body, gaze furious enough that it could probably set Atsumu’s beloved sweatpants alight, before the knowledge that they’re sweatpants dawns and his eyes bug just a little, like he’d be less shocked if Atsumu had backhanded him, before red crawls across his cheeks and up over his ears, jaw slack, eyes desperate like he’s sprinted directly to the bargaining stage of grief.

 

“Your plan was to make him look at your dick print ?!” Sakusa’s voice cracks on the last syllable, and Atsumu tips his head back and full-body laughs, the kind that shakes him right down to his toes, arms bouncing against his chest where he’s folded them.

 

“Worked, didn’t it?”

 

“I hate you,” Sakusa says, rapidly approaching something like ‘acceptance’. He’s not looking away. Experimentally, Atsumu shifts his weight, watches Sakusa’s eyes snap toward the far wall so fast he’s a little worried the poor guy’s gonna get headrush. He seems fine, if not flushed to hell and back.

 

“So,” he concludes, wiping a tear away from the corner of his eye, sniffing back his laughter, “a change of clothes.”

 

“Are they comfortable?” Sakusa asks, quietly. “The pants.”

 

“I mean. Yea?”

 

“Then you don’t have to change,” and Atsumu doesn’t really even have time to process what that means, before Sakusa’s sharp eyes are on him again, tone cutting and accusatory. “They are clean, right?”

 

“Duh,” Atsumu rolls his eyes, crouching at his bag to produce his laptop and aloe drink, “ya really think I would wear unwashed clothes knowin’ I was comin’ to yer place?”

 

Atsumu thinks, really, that Sakusa has plenty of reason to believe that. It’s not like Atsumu hasn’t pushed before. There’s the whole thing about wheedling for details of Sakusa’s sex life, the making fun of his long-forgotten crush on Ushijima, the many times he’s hovered his hand just a fraction too close like he really would make good on the back-slap after a particularly good spike. Atsumu pushes. Sakusa can accuse him of doing something like that just to piss him off and it probably wouldn’t be unfounded. Sakusa is, surprisingly, quiet.

 

When Atsumu looks up, Sakusa is watching him carefully, the way he used to analyze tosses back in highschool. He used to do it to Atsumu’s tosses as well- and yeah it used to fuck Atsumu off to no end, because his tosses were always the best- but that has long been forgotten in favour of familiarity. Atsumu almost forgot what that expression looked like; the calculation, the reckoning. Sakusa’s eyes soften in the corners again, and this time he smiles that little twitchy smile of his, folding his hands in front of himself and idly massaging one of his thumbs.

 

“No,” he says softly, truthfully.

 

“Coaster?” Atsumu asks, breathlessly, brandishing his drink. Sakusa snaps out of whatever it was he was wallowing in, and places one down for him from a stack on the coffee table. Atsumu balances his laptop on his knees and uses a pocket wipe to clean the base of it before he settles that on the coffee table as well. “Whaddya wanna do?”

 

“I don’t know,” Sakusa says, as if the concept of Atsumu staying hadn’t occurred to him. “I was probably just going to study.” Atsumu snorts.

 

“Of course ya were, nerd,” Sakusa huffs at him. “I was watchin’ the rugby team if ya wanna watch with me.”

 

“Why would I want to watch a game of rugby?”

 

“It’s fun?” Atsumu raises a brow. “Right, forgot ya don’t know the meanin’ of the word.”

 

“I know what fun is, Miya,” Sakusa pouts. “My idea of fun is just very different to yours.”

 

“Yea, yer idea of fun ain’t fun at all,” Sakusa looks like he’s debating murdering Atsumu and living with the consequences. At least he’d die looking hot. Instead, Sakusa primly settles himself on the couch next to Atsumu, watching him boot up his laptop and reload the stream, rapidly back-tracking to the last minute of gameplay he saw before Sakusa’s SOS text.

 

“So… what are the rules?” Sakusa asks as Atsumu twists open his drink and pulls his legs up criss-cross underneath himself.

 

“Not real clear on ‘em myself, Omi-Omi, but the main one is ya can’t pass the ball forward. Gettin’ it over the end line is five points, and then they get a free kick and gettin’ that is an extra two, and if ya kick it off a penalty or in the field it’s three.”

 

“Sounds confusing.”

 

“Sure,” Atsumu says, gesturing to the figures running around his screen, “but I like the shorts.”

 

“You would,” Sakusa says with a sigh, but he leaves it at that.

 

It’s a comfortable silence with the game’s commentary filling the void. Every now and again Sakusa looks to Atsumu for guidance on a specific penalty, and Atsumu explains to the best of his ability which is, admittedly, not at an expert level. They make it to half time and Atsumu skips ahead to the second half since they’re already behind in the livestream. Sakusa has settled a little more, curling himself toward Atsumu, feet tucked up underneath himself, picking at the stitching on the inside seam of his sweats.

 

“You know, Miya,” Sakusa says, after Atsumu makes a grumbled protest about a penalty being given to the other team even though he’s not sure whether or not it was actually warranted, “you didn’t have to stay.”

 

“Omi-kun, if ya want me gone you can just say it.”

 

“No, that’s not it,” he shakes his head a little. “Don’t you have something better to do? Better for you, I mean.”

 

“Not really,” Atsumu shrugs, “this is pretty much what I was doin’ anyway. Kenma doesn’t care about watchin’ sports and he’s at Kuroo’s anyway, and Futakuchi is pretty much just fuckin’ intolerable at the moment so.” He lets it hang. He’s sure Sakusa can put the rest together himself.

 

“Okay,” Sakusa says, and then; “I want to practice touching you.”

 

“Wha?”

 

“Like, earlier, with Chihaya. I wanted to maybe hold your hand or something to really sell it, but I didn’t know whether or not it would trigger me.” Atsumu frowns, watches as Sakusa stares intently at his own legs, avoiding looking at Atsumu.

 

“Ya think practicing will help?” Sakusa nods, tightly.

 

“You’re mostly a safe person for me, because I know you respect my boundaries and I know that you’re actually pretty hygienic, but I’m not used to touching you, and I think that freaks me out a little. I know you say I can touch you wherever, but…”

 

“It’s like drivin’, right?” Sakusa startles, and Atsumu feels his eyes lock onto the hinge of his jaw. Atsumu is looking at the ceiling now, arms stretched above his head. “Me and Samu got our licenses when we went home the first summer after we started college, y’know? I’ve always liked it, but Samu got freaked out by it. And I kinda get what he means it’s like- ya know what ya can do and ya know yer own limits and shit but it’s still scary when ya gotta factor in someone else ‘cause that’s outta yer control.”

 

“Yeah,” Sakusa says, sounding a little strangled, “it’s almost exactly like that.”

 

“So this is yer defensive drivin’ course then,” Atsumu concludes, shifting on the couch and dropping one leg onto the floor, patting the space between his legs for Sakusa, “so ya can learn how to react to any unexpected shit.”

 

“Sorry,” Sakusa says, shifting onto his knees, frowning at Atsumu’s upturned palms. “I’m still trying to process that someone thought it was a good idea to unleash you on the roads.”

 

“Hey!” Atsumu barks. “I’m an excellent driver, thank a very much. I bet yer a terrible driver, Omi-kun.”

 

Sakusa does that twitchy little smile again, hands hovering over Atsumu’s own, before he carefully brushes his fingers over his palms. Atsumu shudders and Sakusa’s hands quickly retreat, before they slowly lower towards his again, the tips of his slender fingers brushing over the pulse in his wrist. They trace the meat of his palm, circle the center of it until Atsumu has to bite back a ticklish giggle. Sakusa slides his hands forwards again, wraps them tightly over his wrists, grips and squeezes. Atsumu brushes his fingers over his forearm, just like at the party.

 

“I never learned how,” Sakusa admits, “my family wouldn’t let me use the car, and Motoya’s mother- my aunt- tried to give me lessons in hers but I panicked too much. I wanted to learn to drive so I wouldn’t have to use public transport, but…”

 

“It’s scary,” Atsumu says, watches as Sakusa pushes his vice-grip higher up Atsumu’s arms, over his forearms and into the crook of his elbow, up around his bicep to the sleeve of his t-shirt. Sakusa pauses, fingers brushing just under the cuff of his sleeve, hands braced against the swell of his muscle. “I could teach ya, if ya wanted.”

 

“I think I’d rather die,” Sakusa says without any of his usual venom, and Atsumu chuckles, low and indulgent, from somewhere deep in his belly. Sakusa shudders with it, fingers twitching against Atsumu’s bare skin.

 

“Why? ‘Cause ya would have to admit I’m better at it than ya are?” Sakusa sucks his lower lip between his teeth, hands brushing across Atsumu’s t-shirt and up to his neck, fluttering uncertainly against the column of his throat, thumbs chasing the swell of his Adam’s apple, following the way it bobs as he swallows back a mouthful of spit. His mouth feels suddenly very dry.

 

“You’d make me run off the road just to laugh about it,” Sakusa says, but his voice sounds far away, like someone else is piloting Sakusa’s mouth for him. Atsumu scoffs.

 

“Please, Omi-Omi, I like makin’ fun of ya, but not enough to fuck up my pretty lil’ face for ya,” Sakusa’s twitchy smile is back, fingers brushing white-hot against Atsumu’s jaw. Sakusa’s face is red , red like the time Atsumu had loudly declared his bets on Sakusa having wildly kinky sex in the middle of the locker room when he’d been certain Sakusa would finally snap and kill him then and there. Now, his eyes are soft and his mouth is slightly slack, pink tongue pushing against his lower lip where it looks almost raw from being bitten. He doesn’t look like any Sakusa Atsumu knows, but he thinks he could get used to him.

 

“You’re so vain, Atsumu,” Sakusa says, fingers lightly brushing away his damp hair from his forehead, tracing the shape of his cheekbone, thumbs smoothing down either side of the bridge of his nose.

 

“Gotta be,” Atsumu murmurs, closing his eyes against the feather-light touch, “since everyone else is in denial ‘bout how ridiculously sexy and handsome I am.” Sakusa scoffs, but his fingers shake as he presses them to the corner of Atsumu’s lips.

 

Atsumu’s eyes snap open. Sakusa’s are trained on his lips, refusing to meet Atsumu’s gaze, even though Atsumu knows he’s concentrating hard enough that Sakusa should be spontaneously combusting any time now. Instead, his index finger traces around his mouth, following the shape of his cupid’s bow, reverently curving around the swell of his lower lip, before his thumb swipes across them, brushing across them in their entirety.

 

Atsumu’s eyes lid, and almost reflexively, he puckers his lips, drags the barest brush of a kiss against the pad of Sakusa’s thumb. Sakusa sucks in a sharp breath, like he’s been struck, eyes blown wide and so dark that Atsumu can’t tell where his irises start and his pupils end. Atsumu’s lips part, and he watches as Sakusa, seeming transfixed, curls the hinge of his knuckle, presses the the pad of his thumb against his teeth. Atsumu closes his jaw on it, top row of teeth resting against his cuticle, gently. Sakusa holds his breath. Atsumu gives him a lazy smirk, curls his tongue up too flick against his thumb. Sakusa’s shoulders tighten, his lip is sucked between his teeth again, fingers shaking where they’re cupping his jaw. Finally, Sakusa takes a deep breath, flexes his thumb. Atsumu’s eyes slide closed.

 

His phone buzzes on the coffee table, and Sakusa jerks back at the same time that Atsumu just about jumps out of his skin. Sakusa’s up like a shot, striding across to his private bathroom and throwing open the door. He leaves it open so that Atsumu can see him as he scrubs his hands, vigorously, eyes trained on the sink, face still obscenely red. Atsumu chuckles, stretching out across Sakusa’s couch, phone in hand.

 

 

From: yakkun 😈🤩 (10:13pm)

the immaculacy of our vibes when we serve our murder charge together 😍💞💕

 

Attached is a photo of Kuroo, stretched out on his couch, half his body hanging off the edge, drool pooling in one corner of his mouth. He’s shirtless, there’s a hickey blooming on his collarbone, and Kenma is curled up against his chest in an outfit consisting completely of clothes pilfered from Kuroo. His Playstation controller is still clutched tight in one hand. Kenma is also drooling.

 

 

To: yakkun 😈🤩 (10:13pm)

the impending horror of replacing ur whole couch w lawn chairs

 

From: yakkun 😈🤩 (10:13pm)

AHDJDHDH NO NEVER

 

To: yakkun 😈🤩 (10:14pm)

watch out yakkun they’re comin for all ur furniture 😳😬🤪

 

From: yakkun 😈🤩 (10:14pm)

if ANY of my furniture ends up broken kai will not be able to hold me back and they WILL be running laps at our practices

like sucks to be you but i’m built different 😇💕

 

“Hey Omi,” Atsumu calls in the direction of the running sink, “did that help? The touchin’.”

 

“A little,” Sakusa says, after a few seconds of deliberate silence.

 

“Ya wanna try cuddlin’?”

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“I said,” Atsumu raises his voice a little, “ya wanna try cuddlin’?”

 

“I heard you the first time,” Sakusa grumbles, “but why?”

 

Atsumu presents the phone screen to him, holds it out at the very end of his arm. Sakusa leans toward it, and squints, which turns into a glare in Atsumu’s general direction.

 

“I can’t see that.”

 

“Guess ya gotta c’mere to see it then, huh?” Sakusa’s glare gets more potent, like he might miraculously conjure the ability to spit venom at Atsumu, and as per usual, it glances off of him without leaving so much as a dent in his grin. After a moment, Sakusa shuts the tap off, dries his hands on a hand towel in his usual particular manner, and wanders back into the living room to squint at the phone screen.

 

“This doesn’t really answer my question.”

 

“Come cuddle. Then we can send one back.”

 

“Why would we do that.”

 

“Uh,” Atsumu says, as if it’s obvious, because it is, “cause couples cuddle? And it’s Yakkun, it‘s not like he’s gonna broadcast it everywhere.”

 

“You’re not drooling on me.”

 

“Jeez, Omi-Omi, what kinda heathen do ya take me for, huh? I can’t pretend to be asleep, I already texted Yakkun back, he knows I’m awake.”

 

“Fine,” Sakusa sighs, frowning down at him, “how is this supposed to work?”

 

Atsumu spreads his legs a little, makes space between them for Sakusa to settle in. Sakusa makes a face like he’s sucking lemons again.

 

“Ya don’t have to look at me, y’know. Sit facin’ away from me and then just lie back on me. Like a big body pillow.” Sakusa looks like he thinks that suggestion is just as bad, but still, he settles gingerly between Atsumu’s legs and leans back into his chest, head nestled onto his shoulder. Carefully, Atsumu slides his arms around his waist, turning one of his palms face-up, knuckles brushing Sakusa’s thigh. Sakusa jumps a little, turning to glare at Atsumu, the force of it especially potent with his face close enough to feel the huff of his breath against his jaw.

 

“Okay?” Atsumu asks, wiggling his fingers some. Sakusa flicks his gaze back down to Atsumu’s hand, circling the tips of his fingers over Atsumu’s palm just like before. Then, carefully, he slots their fingers together, laces them, and holds tight with their palms flush.

 

“Okay.”

 

Atsumu fits his other leg back onto the couch as best he can, bracketing Sakusa in. Sakusa shifts, curls more into Atsumu’s chest, hooking one knee on top of Atsumu’s thigh to give him more space. Atsumu can feel the heat radiating off of Sakusa’s cheek against his shoulder, even as he opens up the camera app on his phone. Sakusa makes a face at the camera, probably out of genuine disgust, which makes Atsumu laugh as he snaps a picture as fast as possible.

 

“Don’t send that,” Sakusa snaps immediately after, and Atsumu jerks his phone out of Sakusa’s reach.

 

“I’m not gonna! We’ll take a few and then ya can pick, okay?” Sakusa squints suspiciously at Atsumu’s phone, probably trying to telegraph that it’s the current bane of his existence. Atsumu threateningly turns it in his direction again, and Sakusa tucks his face against the curve of Atsumu’s throat, glaring from the corner of his eye when he realizes there’s nowhere else to hide. Atsumu snaps another photo, still grinning.

 

“I don’t even know what to do,” Sakusa grits out, and Atsumu shrugs.

 

“We just make faces I guess. It doesn’t have to be like, romantic or anything. Kuroo’s droolin’, after all.” That seems to relax Sakusa a little, his grip on Atsumu’s hand loosening. His thumb sweeps across the back of Atsumu’s hand, before he adjusts his head to look at the camera with his usual intense focus. Atsumu chuckles, squeezes his hand. Sakusa squeezes back.

 

They take a few photos with Atsumu pulling faces at the camera and Sakusa looking flatly unimpressed but in a way that looks deliberately put on. Then Atsumu tucks his mouth to Sakusa’s temple, which startles him, before he flushes and casts a half-glare from the corner of his eyes at Atsumu. He rapidly snaps photos of those too, before he pulls his phone back a little more to take a photo that includes their joined hands. Face impassive, Sakusa holds up his free hand in a peace sign. Atsumu grins, smugly.

 

“That one,” Sakusa agrees upon inspection, so Atsumu taps out a message.

 

 

To: yakkun 😈🤩 (10:23pm)

u wish u were built like me n my hot sexy boyfriend 😳🥰😍

 

From: yakkun 😈🤩 (10:25pm)

sakusa blink thrice if you need help buddy

 

Yaku attaches a photo of him curled into Kai’s side in their shared bed, middle finger raised, Kai laughing while rubbing away sleep, reading glasses askew on his nose and both of them illuminated by his laptop screen. Sakusa huffs out an amused little snort at it. Atsumu smiles, and then switches back to his photo gallery, swiping through his new pictures.

 

“What are you doing?” Sakusa asks, tilting his head to be able to see the screen.

 

“Gonna make one of ‘em my lock screen, if that’s okay with ya. ‘Cause y’know, that’s something couples do.” Sakusa blinks, and then reaches up with his free hand to flick through photos, until he can find the one with Atsumu’s tongue stuck out around a smirking grin and Sakusa’s faux-glare.

 

“This one,” Sakusa says quietly, “I like this one.”

 

“‘Kay,” Atsumu says, and sets it as his lock screen without further argument. He doesn’t have the heart to get rid of him, Suna and Osamu at graduation as his home screen, so Sakusa will just have to deal with sharing he supposes. Sakusa doesn’t seem like he has any complaints about that.

 

“I thought it was just Bokuto and Akaashi,” Sakusa says, after a long moment, clearing his throat, “the… lock screen thing.”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu shakes his head, “just everyone obnoxious.”

 

“Oh, so you finally admit it?” Atsumu cackles.

 

“Yea yea, try not to overdo yer mileage on that one, Omi-kun,” he snorts, swipes his thumb over Osamu’s smiling face with tears in the corners of his eyes, “I dunno. I think I’d do it seriously if I were real-datin’ someone too, ‘cause I like bein’ reminded of moments that make me happy like this.”

 

“What was it before this?” Sakusa asks, free hand tracing the shape of Atsumu’s fingers around his phone, sliding down over the bump of his wrist, tracking the dips and curves of his forearm muscles, eyes locked on Atsumu’s jaw. Atsumu can feel himself go a little red.

 

“It was me and Kenma doin’ face masks.” Sakusa snorts, so Atsumu fists his phone tighter and bonks him on the forehead with the corner of the bounce-proof case. “Shaddup.”

 

“Hinata’s hideous phone case,” Sakusa teases, gripping Atsumu’s wrist to stop another strike, “a terrible picture of you all snot-faced and crying, and a face-mask selfie. You are a terrible sentimentalist.”

 

“Oh yea ?” Atsumu goads. “Yers is better?”

 

“Leaps and bounds.”

 

“Show me,” Sakusa sniffs, derisively, so Atsumu puts his phone on Sakusa’s stomach and reaches for his pockets. Sakusa kicks and thrashes as Atsumu tightens his hold on his hand and pins their arms around Sakusa’s middle. Sakusa folds almost completely in half trying to jam his foot under Atsumu’s jaw to hold him off, but a lifetime with a twin means Atsumu evades him easily, rams his hand into Sakusa’s sweatpants pocket and yanks his phone up triumphantly.

 

Sakusa’s phone has a plain black drop-proof case and an immaculately applied glass screen protector with a little puffy lemon sticker on the bottom right hand corner of the case. When Atsumu hits the power button and the home screen comes into focus, it’s a picture of two hands each holding a corner of an old polaroid, unannotated.

 

He recognizes one of the hands immediately as Sakusa’s; pale and slim, with the familiar callouses from volleyball and the neat cuticles. The other, he can intuit, is probably Komori’s, given that the kids in the polaroid are clearly Sakusa and Komori as kids, young-Komori’s arm thrown over young-Sakusa’s shoulder, smile so wide it scrunches his eyes closed. Young-Sakusa’s hands are fisted in his trousers up on his thighs, but a big smile is on his face, delighted, even if a little shy. It makes Atsumu’s heart do a weird little stuttery thing in his chest.

 

“Yer such a sap,” he says, and Sakusa snatches his phone back with a huff. “Ya don’t have to change it just ‘cause I did, y’know.”

 

“I know,” Sakusa snaps back, settling his phone gently on his thigh, “you’re not that pretty, Miya.”

 

“Lies!” Atsumu half-yells, dodging Sakusa’s attempt to knock him upside the head. “Didn’t take ya for a big, fat liar, Omi-Omi.”

 

“You’re the worst ,” Sakusa seethes, shaking his hand rapidly to try and dislodge Atsumu’s. Atsumu, naturally, tightens his grip and holds on harder, watching with morbid fascination as Sakusa jerks his wrists this way and that, exercising his freaky flexibility in an effort to escape.

 

“And here ya are,” Atsumu crows, following the flow of Sakusa’s twisting to minimize potential damage to his wrists, “cuddlin’ with me.”

 

“I’m about to be responsible for your death if you don’t reign in that smug attitude,” Sakusa’s elbow hits him hard in the solar plex, forcing a surprised huff out of him. In retaliation, he squeezes his thighs tighter around Sakusa and tilts his upper body to the side.

 

“I’ll throw us both off this couch, Omi-kun,” he says, “ya think I won as many fights as I have without sacrificin’ a little dignity?”

 

Sakusa gets a hand in his hair and pulls, so Atsumu digs his fingers into his ribs and delights in the way that Sakusa twists away from him with a strangled yell. He keeps him pinned by their conjoined hands, leaning into the tugging on his hair to stop the majority of the pressure, jabbing his fingers against Sakusa’s side wherever his hunched body doesn’t quite manage to cover all openings. Sakusa tries to kick him again, bending a leg at the knee with an awkward sort of grace and stamping it down on top of Atsumu’s shin.

 

Their struggling is stopped dead by a knock on the door.

 

“What the fuck?” Atsumu says, at the same time that Sakusa picks up Atsumu’s phone to check the time and says, with extreme prejudice;

 

“Really?”

 

“Want me to get it?”

 

“In your sweatpants not-fit-for-morally-decent-company?”

 

“Ya like ‘em,” Atsumu sing-songs and Sakusa sighs and shoves him away, so Atsumu swings his legs out from under Sakusa, tucks his phone in his pocket and scampers across to the genkan, leaving his guest slippers on the lip of the step-up into the dorm proper. He opens the door, hair mussed at the back of his head, t-shirt collar askew, and sweatpants obscenely showy to find Chihaya staring back at him with barely contained rage.

 

“Hullo, hullo,” Atsumu says, leans one arm on the door frame and sags into it, “need somethin’?”

 

“Atsumu?” Sakusa calls, clearly struggling to see around Atsumu’s frame blocking up his doorway, “are you torturing one of my friends?”

 

“Which one could I effectively torture?” Atsumu shoots back. “Ushiwaka-kun ya might as well be hurlin’ glass bottles at a brick wall, Motoya-kun’s had to put up with yer cranky ass half his goddamn life and I really dunno if ya got a third one, baby.” There’s silence, and then Atsumu feels his empty aloe drink bottle bounce off the back of his head and clatter to the ground as Sakusa grumbles something and the sound of his bed-springs squeaking echoes into the space.

 

“Well,” Chihaya says smoothly, with that smile of his that makes Atsumu want to take one of those whack-a-mole mallets to it, “that answers my question as to whether or not Sakusa is in.”

 

“Whaddya want?” Atsumu says, drumming his fingers on the door frame. “He’s tired.”

 

“I would prefer to talk to Sakusa himself, if you don’t mind.” It’s a good trap, it really is; forcing Atsumu to choose between giving him access to Sakua or seeming to be a controlling asshole. Atsumu squints at him, and bites down the urge to just say ‘nah’ and slam the door. It’s what he would do, but Chihaya reminds him vaguely of Oikawa, if you drew Oikawa from memory while blindfolded. Which is to say, his conversation requires a little more tact, so Atsumu conjures up a little Oikawa on one of his shoulders for imaginary Oikawa advice. Imaginary Oikawa says Sakusa is smart enough to play along, with whatever lie Atsumu starts up and Atsumu agrees.

 

“Baby,” he croons, leaning back in the doorframe, “ya still too sore to come here?”

 

“Come back to bed,” Sakusa grumbles, and Atsumu shrugs helplessly at Chihaya, who is opening his mouth to say something else.

 

“Duty calls,” Atsumu sing-songs, and then slams the door in his face. When he rounds the corner to see Sakusa smiling smugly at him where one side of his face is pressed to his pillow, Atsumu concludes that even if Oikawa would have cut Chihaya down into itty bitty little pieces and probably left him having a full on sobbing breakdown in front of the door, he’d probably be proud of him anyway.

 

“What’s that guy’s problem?” Atsumu asks, dumping the lid of the aloe bottle into the trash and then the bottle itself into the recycling.

 

“I don’t know,” Sakusa sighs, “even you were less pushy.”

 

“This happens often, then?” Sakusa doesn’t respond and smashes his face fully into his pillow as a response. “Yeowch.”

 

“Why me?” Sakusa gripes, muffled by the pillows. “What did I do to deserve this?”

 

That, Atsumu thinks, is probably a pretty good question. Sakusa can be a bit of a jerk, sure, but if only because he doesn’t mince words and because people disrespect his boundaries probably more than they should. Atsumu is a very generous guy, so he can admit as much about him. Sometimes he thinks Sakusa deserves to sit on the bench for a whole game and watch him set perfect tosses to Bokuto and Hinata and sulk about not getting any for himself, but he definitely doesn’t deserve whatever the fuck this is.

 

“Must have pissed off some kinda deity in a past life,” Atsumu offers, and then; “d’ya wanna start stayin’ the night at mine, sometimes?” Sakusa’s head snaps up to stare at him. His mouth opens and closes- once, twice, three times- like a fish, before he shakes his head and squeezes his eyes shut.

 

“What?”

 

“Just a suggestion,” Atsumu shrugs, “he can’t annoy ya if he doesn’t know where ya are, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know where my dorm is.”

 

“You can’t- no,” Sakusa shakes his head, again, disbelieving. “Miya, that’s too much to ask.”

 

“Okay, shit, sorry,” Atsumu holds up his hands. “I can do laundry and stuff, maybe not every time but if you bring your own sheets and shit-”

 

“No, I mean I can’t ask that much of you,” Sakusa says, sitting up properly now, hands folded in his lap. “I can’t.”

 

“Hey, moron,” Atsumu grins as Sakusa’s baleful pout is turned on him, “I’m offerin’, ain’t I?”

 

“Yeah, but-”

 

“And,” Atsumu talks over him, “I’m happy to do it if it pisses that little fuck off.”

 

“Of course you are,” that seems to visibly relax Sakusa, who takes a deep breath, “and you don’t need to change the sheets every time, it’s just- it’s a matter of making sure inside bodies go into the sheets and that nothing from outside touches them.”

 

“So shower before bedtime, big whoop, super inconvenient.” Sakusa pouts at him, Atsumu grins back.

 

“And,” Sakusa adds, wringing his hands in his lap, “if we’re going to do this, you don’t sleep on the couch.” 

 

“Wha,” Atsumu says, feeling like Sakusa just violently ripped the rug out from under his feet and beat him with it like a comically-oversized rolled newspaper.

 

“You’ll give yourself spinal problems,” Sakusa continues on, massaging over the joint of his thumb, “and then that will affect your volleyball, so you can’t sleep on the couch.”

 

“Ya sure yer good with that?” Atsumu asks, settling himself on one of the couch arms and folding his arms over his chest.

 

“I’m sure,” Sakusa says, and he sounds sure, because Sakusa doesn’t say what he doesn’t mean, so Atsumu trusts him, nods.

 

“Okay then. What days d’ya wanna be at mine? Shou-kun usually comes over on Mondays and Wednesdays to hang out with Kenma ‘cause Kuroo has late labs on those days. D’ya wanna be over when he’s there? Might make things easier.”

 

“That works,” Sakusa says quietly. “Would you mind three days in a row? My last class on Thursday is closer to your dorm building, and Fridays because…” He casts a furtive glance in the direction of the front door. Atsumu nods, firmly.

 

“Four, if ya really gotta. Any day he bothers ya, come right on over, okay? Use it as an excuse to get outta conversations or whatever. Ya sure yer gonna be fine on Saturdays?”

 

“I think so,” Sakusa says, but his brow tics just a little. Atsumu frowns.

 

“Don’t get in your head about it, stupid,” Sakusa glares. “Push comes to shove we sneak ya back here at midnight. Like Cinderella.”

 

“With my duct-tape slippers,” Sakusa says, wryly, and Atsumu tips his head back and laughs. It’s a full-body one, the kind of one he means. Even a week ago, he never would have called Sakusa funny, but here he is, laughing at a joke that only they understand.

 

“I’ll take ‘em back with me,” Atsumu says, when he has control over his voice, “emergency back-up for if the guest slippers ya give me don’t do it.”

 

“I’m giving you guest slippers?”

 

“I sure as fuck ain’t buying ‘em for ya.”

 

“You’re a terrible boyfriend,” Sakusa intones, swinging himself off the bed, crossing to stand almost toe-to-toe with Atsumu. “Can you stay here tonight?”

 

“Sure,” Atsumu blinks, “I got a change of clothes after all. And my toothbrush.”

 

“You brought your toothbrush?” Atsumu shrugs.

 

“All basic cleanin’ supplies, Omi-kun, I was tryna be prepared for all possible outcomes but it ain’t my fault my bag ain’t packed for a small apocalypse.”

 

“Is… anyone’s?” Sakusa looks puzzled. Atsumu squints. Thinks about Kuroo’s backpack. Fucking Kuroo.

 

“Doesn’t matter,” he finally announces, “d’ya wanna finish that rugby game?”

 

“Sure,” Sakusa says, “why not?”

 

They retreat back to the couch. Sakusa sacrifices his euro pillow- of course he has a euro pillow, Atsumu says, and Sakusa threatens to smother him with it- and uses it to cushion Atsumu’s back against the arm of the couch. Sakusa sits between his legs again, both of their hands twined, arms curled around Sakusa’s stomach. Atsumu can feel the way it shifts with every breath. It’s always been an odd sensation to Atsumu, to feel such obvious evidence of another person’s existence, but with Sakusa it’s even stranger; beautiful, statuesque Sakusa, carved out of porcelain and stardust. Something intangible becoming very much real. Sakusa’s fingers trace the shape of Atsumu’s hands, as if awed by their very existence. For the first time, he wonders if he seems so alien to Sakusa.

 

Their team wins against the home team, although neither he or Sakusa have enough stake in the game to be properly enthused by it. Still, Atsumu has been entertained, and Sakusa seems half-asleep on him, long lashes so close to interlocking where his head rests against Atsumu’s shoulder, the lace of their fingers loose now. Atsumu lets him be for a bit, attends to his phone.

 

 

From: inferior miya 🖕🖕🖕 (11:01pm)

dinner wednesday?

 

To: inferior miya 🖕🖕🖕 (11:18pm)

nah plans with omi

 

From: inferior miya 🖕🖕🖕 (11:20pm)

😃

what the fuck is wrong with you

give me back my brother imposter 👊

 

 

To: kyanma 🐈🎮 (11:18pm)

not comin home tonight stayin at omi’s don’t freak out

 

From: kyanma 🐈🎮 (11:25pm)

🤔

 

To: kyanma 🐈🎮 (11:25pm)

KENMA????

BITCH WHATS THAT SUPPOSED 2 MEAN

 

 

To: yakkun 😈🤩 (11:28pm)

kick kenma out of ur house he’s a rude bitch who won’t reply 2 me

 

From: yakkun 😈🤩 (11:29pm)

how i sleep knowing i ignored this: 😇😴

honestly peak comedy is you thinking i like you more than kenma 💓

 

 

To: kenji 💚💛 (11:30pm)

bruh no one in this house cares 4 me

 

From: kenji 💚💛 (11:30pm)

deserved! 💚

 

 

From: kuroo 🤬😒 (11:30pm)

lol

 

Atsumu gives up after that, wiggles his shoulders until it jostles Sakusa awake. Sakusa squints at him like he’s done the equivalent of very rudely stabbing him upwards of forty times for no reason, so Atsumu of course gives him his best kissy face and gets a hand half-heartedly smacked to his cheek to forcibly turn his head away for his efforts.

 

“You shower first,” Sakusa says with a yawn. “I’ll get you a towel.”

 

The bathroom is even smaller than the one in Atsumu’s two-person suite. He suppose that makes logical sense, but the shower makes him feel very cramped, and almost every time he lifts his arms to soap at the top of his back with Sakusa’s body wash, his elbows brush the wall or the door or something. He’s not sure how Sakusa stands it; surely it would be enough to drive him mad. At least the bathroom he shares with Kenma has more than one square of floor space.

 

He takes probably more time than he should inspecting Sakusa’s shower caddy. His expensive natural, ethically-sourced shampoo and conditioner, his body wash, face wash, regular body soap. Atsumu rinses his hair but leaves the hair products alone and scrubs himself as best he can without the aid of a cloth or anything of the like. Using things for Sakusa’s body and Sakusa’s body alone feels like a betrayal he can’t bring himself to commit.

 

In the interest of Atsumu’s clean change of clothes not touching anything that would trigger Sakusa, they remain wrapped in the plastic bag Atsumu had put them in, on the wiped-down coffee table in the other room. Atsumu towels down his hair and pats down his body, wraps the towel around his hips, brushes his teeth and exits the bathroom. Sakusa zips by him in a blur and closes the door with a firm, definitive click of the lock. Once he hears the water start running again, he changes, folds the towel and places it on top of the now-empty plastic bag before making his way- as instructed- immediately to Sakusa’s bed.

 

The sheets are soft- briefly, Atsumu thinks about trailing Futakuchi and Yahaba at the end of first year when they’d signed their rental agreement, bickering over thread count and excessive expenses on sheet sets- and a different set to what had been on the bed before Atsumu got into the shower. It answers questions Atsumu had about Sakusa’s inside body on his outside body being on his inside bed.

 

Atsumu snuggles down into the sheets, in the space closest to the wall, still scrolling on his phone. His heartbeat thuds jackrabbit, no matter how hard Atsumu tries to calm it down. He feels woefully out of place, even invited into this space as he has been.

 

Atsumu turns directly to the wall when the water shuts off, and doesn’t look up even as he hears Sakusa shuffle around. Hears the rustle of clothes and Sakusa’s shaky breathing. Hears the whisper of fabric dragged against plastic- the towel- picked up; dumped into laundry. The tap, running again. Sakusa washing his hands. Brushing his teeth. Swishing and spitting his mouthwash.

 

It’s even worse not to see it, Atsumu thinks, eyes trained on some volleyball article about the Italian leagues that he hasn’t been fully engaged in, ears perked like some ancient prey creature trying to figure out what shadow certain doom is lurking in. When Sakusa’s weight dips the bed, he jumps so violently that he clips himself in the jaw with the edge of his phone case and wails.

 

Fuck , Miya,” Sakusa hisses, and when Atsumu rolls over to pout at him, he’s gripping the fabric of his t-shirt like his heart might burst through it. “You scared the shit out of me.”

 

“Ya scared the shit out of me !” Atsumu yelps. “I keep thinking ‘bout all the ways I could fuck this up.”

 

“Could you be any more full of yourself?” Sakusa violently rips the covers back, shoves himself into bed and yanks the covers up to his chin. “If you think sweating into my sheets is going to make me reconsider please take time to remember that I’ve had sex. In this very bed.”

 

Yuck , Omi-kun,” Atsumu whines, jostling Sakusa’s shoulder, because while a double is bigger than the narrow singles in the other rooms, it’s still definitely not enough space for two men over six feet. Sakusa elbows him in the ribs.

 

“Like you haven’t had sex in your bed, Miya,” Sakusa grouses, and even in the darkness, Atsumu can see the way the flush is starting to crawl onto his face.

 

“I mean, yea , but I wasn’t gonna tell ya that,” he makes a face. Sakusa makes one right back. Atsumu huffs, shifting onto his side a little so that he can feel the coolness of the wall against his back. To his surprise, Sakusa shifts too, rolling onto his side and tucking both hands primly under his pillow as he blinks at Atsumu.

 

“Sorry,” he murmurs after a long moment of silence where he just looks . Atsumu shrugs.

 

“Whatever. But if it was this bed specifically, that means it was this year?” Sakusa kicks him under the covers. Atsumu kicks back, so Sakusa kicks him again, until their legs have crossed at the ankles, burning hot even through layers of pants.

 

“I’m not talking about this,” Sakusa grumbles, and Atsumu snickers.

 

“Yer the one who brought it up, Omi.”

 

“I was nervous,” Sakusa says, “but I just remembered I don’t have to be. It’s just you. Stupid, annoying Miya.”

 

“Sexy, funny Miya,” Atsumu sing-songs back and Sakusa shoves at his face again. “Do it one more time, I’m gonna lick yer hand.”

 

“You’re disgusting,” Sakusa says, wrinkling his nose, “have I mentioned I hate you?”

 

“All the time, Omi-Omi, but I know it ain’t true.”

 

“No,” Sakusa responds, pensive now, “I guess this is rather telling.”

 

“Hm,” Atsumu leans his face closer to the pillow, watching Sakusa watch him. Pays particular attention to the way Sakusa’s mouth falls slightly open, tracing the way Atsumu forms his name with intense focus, “Omi?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Why me?” He whispers, and Sakusa’s brows knit so rapidly Atsumu could have blinked and missed it. “Ya could have turned Kuroo down, told me to go shove it or whatever, asked Shou-kun or Bokkun to lie for ya. They woulda done it in a heartbeat, y’know? They love ya.”

 

“That’s a very big word, Miya.”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu agrees, “but it’s true. Guys like them- they got lots of it. Shou-kun’s got so much it spills outta him like he can’t hold all of it in. It’s why he’s got so many friends, y’know? Enough of ‘em to populate a small village, probably. Bokkun loves everyone and everything, ‘cause he doesn’t know how to do it any other way. His friends, his family, random people who say nice things to him, random cats he sees on the street. And yer their teammate. Like it or not, they definitely love ya too.”

 

“And what about you?” Sakusa asks, reaching out to gently pry Atsumu’s fingers from around his phone, rolling over to daintily set it face-up on his nightstand. Atsumu raises a brow at his profile.

 

“What about me?”

 

“You set yourself apart from them like you don’t also have a lot of love in you,” Sakusa turns back to him, tilting his head into his pillows. “You pretend you don’t, but you’re bad at hiding it.”

 

“Am I?”

 

“Mhm,” Sakusa nods, eyes softening in the corners. “You talk a lot of shit, but it’s obvious how much you love Osamu. Suna-san, too. The way you care for Hinata and Bokuto. Kenma. Your admiration for Ojiro and Kita-san.”

 

“Well, yea,” he sniffs a little, suddenly feeling very scrutinized, like Sakusa has pinned him down under a microscope. Does Sakusa use microscopes in his fancy science degree? “They’re my teammates, and I live with Kenma.”

 

“No one asked you to love Kenma the way you do,” Sakusa challenges back. “No one ever said you had to love your teammates either.”

 

“I guess not,” Atsumu smiles a litte, “but I do.”

 

“Hm,” Sakusa says with a little chuckle, “you throw it around so much, you know? I think I’ve lost count of all the times I’ve heard you say it.”

 

“Have ya been countin’?” Sakusa turns his gaze away, momentarily, and then meets his again, with a little shrug.

 

“It fascinated me. I didn’t think it should be so easy to say.”

 

“I never think about it,” Atsumu says, realizing it’s true as the words leave his mouth. “I just feel it.”

 

“I know,” Sakusa says, hand reaching into the miniscule space between them to gently trail his fingers against his jaw, over the curve of his chin. “Atsumu?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Do you love all your teammates?”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu shakes his head a little, and Sakusa’s hand freezes. “I don’t need ‘em to love me back to work with ‘em, but some of ‘em are just little shits, just like ya.”

 

“Charming,” Sakusa says, “and yet here you are.”

 

Atsumu takes a minute to think about that. Here he is, in Sakusa’s bed, on an emergency SOS call to pretend to be his boyfriend, freshly showered in Sakusa’s body wash, curled so close that he can feel Sakusa’s breath brushing across his face. Two weeks ago, Sakusa was complaining about Atsumu’s childish nicknames and hunching his shoulders to all but sprint from him after volleyball games, but even then Atsumu remembers giving up his hi-fives and back slaps for knowing fox-like grins in Sakusa’s general directions, cocky winks on a particularly good play. Even then, Atsumu was pressing elevator buttons with his knuckles when he knew he’d be around Sakusa, holding doors open to post-game izakaya outings, shifting his body to blockade Sakusa from the crush of bodies on the train to an away game. Sakusa is fun to annoy because he’s easy to annoy, with his expressive eyebrows and scowling mouth, but somewhere in there Atsumu had missed the point where he’d started to care.

 

“Shaddup,” he says, feeling his face go red. He tries to roll over pointedly, but Sakusa’s legs are still tangled with him and they anchor him in place even as he thrashes. Sakusa laughs, that throaty, breathy laugh from the lip of his genkan, shifting closer again to chase Atsumu closer against the wall.

 

“You’re so stupid,” he says, although it’s more of an exhale, almost like he didn’t expect it to slip out. “How are you so stupid?”

 

Atsumu makes a garbled noise and smacks both hands onto Sakusa’s cheeks. Sakusa jumps, eyes widening a little, as Atsumu blinks back at him. His cheeks are markedly different from Osamu’s. Osamu has always had rounder cheeks than even Atsumu, a softer face. Sakusa is sharp and angular under his hands.

 

“Shhhhh,” he intones very seriously, “don’t be so fuckin’ rude to yer boyfriend.”

 

“Fuck off,” Sakusa says, equally as seriously, and then turns his head to try and bite the meat of Atsumu’s palm.

 

Atsumu squawks, indignantly, which leads to another bout of wrestling. It’s almost insulting, the fact that Sakusa still seems to think he can win against Atsumu, when Atsumu knows for a fact Sakusa has never wrestled with anybody in his life, let alone with the same stakes as a Miya-twins brawl.

 

“Give up,” he hisses into Sakusa’s ear, holding him in a firm headlock as Sakusa leans his weight back harder into Atsumu’s torso and jabs his elbows around his stomach like this alone is enough to make Atsumu release him. As if he didn’t once almost tackle Osamu out an open window in order to retrieve an embarrassing half-finished confession letter his brother had plucked from his desk with full intention to read aloud. As if Aran hadn’t had to physically hoist him off of Osamu to end that fight. Sakusa doesn’t know what he’s dealing with. Still, it’s Sakusa, so he says:

 

“No,” and proceeds to squirm harder, bouncing Atsumu’s head back against the wall. He yelps, Sakusa laughs, so Atsumu hooks their legs together as best he can and uses the tight crush of their bodies to roll Sakusa on his front, landing heavily on top of him. Sakusa has maybe two inches on Atsumu, if he was calculating off the top of his head- he won’t know for sure until the collegiate team pamphlets go out for the next tournament season- but Atsumu is heavier than him. Not by a lot, but by enough.

 

“Get off ,” Sakusa hissed, trying in vain to knock Atsumu off of him.

 

“Admit I won,” Atsumu crows, holding Sakusa’s wrists down into the bed. Sakusa slams his face into the pillows and makes a muffled growling noise. “C’mon, Omi-Omi, I got all night.”

 

“You’re the worst,” Sakusa seethes, “I hate you.”

 

“Only ‘cause ya picked a fight ya couldn’t win.”

 

“Die.”

 

“Nice try, Omi. C’mon, I’ll even kiss yer wounded pride all better.” Sakusa’s jaw jumps like he’s making a valiant effort to not audibly grind his teeth. It delights Atsumu. Every indicator of annoyance like that delights Atsumu. Sakusa’s hands flex, once, and then twice, before he lets out a long-suffering sigh.

 

“You win. This time .”

 

“Ya don’t have twenty-one years of twin experience,” Atsumu replies, smugly, but he rolls off Sakusa, watches him prop himself up on one elbow. In the dark, it’s still difficult to read his expressions, but he can see the way one of his eyebrows raises expectantly. “What?”

 

“You said you’d kiss me better.”

 

“Oh,” Atsumu blinks, “I mean, I was kiddin’ around ‘cause I thought ya would like, rather die than have me kiss ya, but sure. If ya want.” Sakusa doesn’t respond to that, but he turns his cheek upward, the slightest, most subtle of movements. Taking a deep breath, Atsumu leans forward, and very gently brushes his lips across the skin. Sakusa shudders under it, inhaling a deep breath, so Atsumu presses his lips down more firmly.

 

And then blows a huge raspberry against the skin.

 

Sakusa makes a sound like the breath just got punched out of him, hand shooting out to smack Atsumu upside the head immediately. The lancing pain of it is worth it as he cackles, falling back into the sheets, Sakusa’s hands snaking after him to lightly punch his chest. It takes him a while to realize that Sakusa’s hand is shaking, and with a start, he realises that it’s because Sakusa is laughing his huffy little laugh again.

 

“You’re the worst,” he says, and Atsumu grins.

 

“Yup.”

 

“Fuck,” Sakusa settles back into the bed, carding a hand through his curls. Atsumu chases it, without thinking, tucks his curls more soundly back from his face.

 

“We really do gotta get ya some hair-clips, Omi-Omi.”

 

“You will do nothing of the sort.”

 

“Try to stop me.” Sakusa kicks him again.

 

“That’s no way to treat yer boyfriend,” Atsumu says, indignantly, kicking him back, the gesture repeated until once again, their legs end up tangled together. Sakusa smiles at him, small and sleepy. Atsumu reaches out, hand hovering between them for a second.

 

“What?” Sakusa whispers.

 

“It’s okay right?” Atsumu asks. “When I touch ya?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“It was in the instructions,” Atsumu murmurs, “to not touch yer face.”

 

“It’s okay,” Sakusa says, “I trust you.”

 

And well, isn’t that the damndest thing? It seems like it should come out of someone else’s mouth, but Atsumu has always been good at picking up things about his spikers to push them harder, make them greater. The most excellent conductor of the court is he. And it’s Sakusa’s voice, from Sakusa’s pinched, unhappy mouth; only it’s not pinched and unhappy tonight, it’s soft and smiling, the corners curled upward like lethargy has made him forget how to frown.

 

Atsumu reaches out, brushes his knuckles against Sakusa’s cheek. He hears his breath stutter a little, as he strokes them along the line of his cheekbone, tracing the shape of it with rapt fascination. Touching Sakusa is such a novelty; it feels almost taboo, but here he is, laying and letting Atsumu touch him without reproach. In fact, Atsumu watches his mouth work in silence, before he swallows with a dry click, and huffs out a breath.

 

“People don’t-” Sakusa starts, “Atsumu. People don’t touch me a lot.”

 

“I know.”

 

“Can you- if you don’t mind-”

 

“C’mere,” Atsumu murmurs, because he knows his spikers. He spreads an arm out, feels the way his fingers brush under Sakusa’s armpit, across the top of his ribs. The weight of Sakusa’s body is grounding as he slides closer, and Atsumu hooks the arm around him, drapes the other one over his waist, presses his fingers into ten points against his spine. Sakusa’s shoulder clips his jaw as he slides both arms over Atsumu’s shoulders, tucks his nose into the hollow of his throat. Atsumu rumbles a little hum, tucks his nose into the birds-nest of his hair. It smells good. Maybe he should have stolen some of his hair products after all.

 

“Your shirt’s scratchy.”

 

“Shaddup, Omi,” Atsumu responds mildly, feels Sakusa’s mouth curl even against the collar of his t-shirt.

 

“Goodnight, Miya.”

 

“Goodnight, Omi-kun.” Atsumu says, and then, after a silence that feels like two seconds and two hours; “sweet dreams.”

 

He’s not sure if Sakusa hears it or not, because his breath is already slow and content against his chest.

Chapter Text

Monday rolls around with little fanfare. Atsumu texts Sakusa three times on Saturday; once, to check that Chihaya is still leaving him the fuck alone, a second time when he’s procrastinating catching up on his readings, and a third to wish him goodnight as sarcastically as possible.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (11:09pm)

gn omi-kun sweet dreams my darling may u dream of my pillowy tits 🥰😫

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (11:11pm)

Go fuck yourself. 🖤.

 

To: omi-kun 🤢 (11:11pm)

good idea actually

 

From: omi-kun 🤢 (11:19pm)

🤢🤢🤢🤢

 

Sakusa texts him a selfie on Sunday holding a pair of brand-new guest slippers, Komori looking like he would rather be anywhere else- possibly dead- in the background. Atsumu takes this to mean his weekend plans were making the forty-minute commute to Komori’s university, closer to Itachiyama than their own, which is probably a smart plan. What he sends him instead of remarking on any of that is a gym mirror selfie. Sakusa doesn’t respond to that.

 

Hinata waits for him after Monday’s practice, like he always does. Sakusa waits too, his gym bag slung over one shoulder, an overnight bag on the other. Atsumu takes the gym bag from him, and slips his hand into Sakusa’s, lacing their fingers together. Sakusa doesn’t even bat an eye. Hinata’s jaw just about hits the floor with how hard he gawks.

 

It takes Hinata three of the five minutes between the volleyball gym and Atsumu’s dorm room to recover from the apparent shock of the reminder that his teammates are dating. He shakes his bright orange head like a small puppy and shoots Sakusa his best winning smile. From the way Sakusa wilts under it, Atsumu can tell he’s charmed.

 

“So, Omi-san!” Hinata says, skipping ahead a few steps. “How are your classes going?”

 

“Fine.”

 

“That’s good! Are you doing any fun subjects this semester?”

 

“Do you consider physics to be fun?” Hinata makes a face. Given that Hinata is a sociology major, Atsumu can infer that he does not, in fact, find physics fun. After a moment, Hinata shakes his head guiltily, like he’s just been scolded by a parent.

 

“Not… really,” he says after a moment, “but isn’t it more important that you think it’s fun?”

 

“I think it’s interesting,” Sakusa supplies, which is more gentle that Atsumu expected him to be, “and I think my current classes are interesting, so I suppose you could consider that to be good.” Hinata nods, appeased by this answer, and then abruptly turns on Atsumu.

 

“Atsumu-san, when are you and Omi-san gonna start going on double dates? Tobio wants to know-”

 

“Absolutely not,” Atsumu says, reflexively, and Sakusa elbows him roughly in the side. “Shou-kun! If ya wanna go on a double date with me an’ Omi-Omi, ya can’t hide behind such an obvious lie.”

 

“Okay, so I was lying,” Hinata says mildly, “but I’m really curious! Everyone on the team is really curious! You can’t blame us, we all thought Omi-san hated you and then next thing we know you’re dating!”

 

“Oh, I do hate him,” Sakusa says, and Atsumu grins, leaning closer to Hinata conspiratorially.

 

“It’s what makes the sex so good.” Hinata goes red all the way to the roots of his hair, and Atsumu cackles a laugh even as Sakusa makes a disgusted noise and attempts to wrench his hand free with another flex of his freaky little wrists. Oh, it’s too easy.

 

Hinata doesn’t ask any more questions in the short distance they have left to go, and Sakusa’s struggling only lasts a total of thirty seconds before he resigns himself to hand-holding again. Atsumu lets Hinata into the genkan first, where he promptly throws off his shoes and hurtles across to pile-drive Kenma further into the couch as Kenma lets out a strangled yell and tries to avoid accidentally clipping him in the face with his controller.

 

“Hi Kenma,” Atsumu sing-songs and gets a middle finger for his trouble. He shrugs, holds all of Sakusa’s bags as he sits on the lip of the genkan and slips into his brand-new guest slippers. He also puts the duct tape slippers back into the cubbyhole.

 

Once Atsumu’s shoes are successfully shucked, he carries their bags to his bedroom. Sakusa’s overnight bag goes on the desk, while both gym bags go on the floor. Sakusa hovers behind him, in the doorway, fingers flitting nervously against the wood as his mouth pulls down into a dour line.

 

“What?” Atsumu asks, as he crosses back toward him. Sakusa folds his arms over his chest.

 

“I don’t know if I can do this,” he says, “in front of Hinata.”

 

“It’ll be fine,” Atsumu soothes, “trust me. If Hinata’s got Kenma to entertain him, he ain’t gonna be thinking about us at all.”

 

“You’re not worried about the team gossiping about us?”

 

“They’re gonna do it anyway, Omi-Omi, and it ain’t affectin’ anyone’s volleyball so there’s no reason to take issue with it. If it gets to that stage, I promise, I’ll bite off as many heads as I gotta, okay?”

 

“Okay.” Sakusa nods a little, and then jerks his head back toward the bathroom.

 

They stand side by side, taking turns washing their hands. Sakusa goes first, and then Atsumu mimics his motions. Sakusa looks pleased by this, the slant of his shoulders relaxing. Atsumu grins at him, and Sakusa forces the expression off his face as hastily as possible.

 

“C’mon, Omi-kun, let me moisturize yer hands,” Atsumu says, and for a moment, Sakusa hesitates, before he turns and crosses back to Atsumu’s room without any further confirmation. Atsumu makes sure he turns off the light as he leaves.

 

Kenma and Hinata have settled in the interim, Hinata curled into Kenma’s side, forcing an awkward position for him to grip his controller, although he doesn’t look unhappy about it. Hinata is telling him about volleyball practice while Kenma hums and nods. Atsumu drops onto their other couch, stretches across it. When Sakusa returns holding his little pottle of moisturizing cream, he settles between his legs, back to Atsumu’s chest, without so much as flinching.

 

Sakusa unscrews the lid, Atsumu dips his fingers into it, before taking hold of Sakusa’s wrist and gently smoothing the cream across his palm. Sakusa shudders, ticklish, under the sensation, as Atsumu sets about massaging it into his hands. He spreads it across the thick of his palm, up along his fingers and into the crevices between, rubs over his knuckles and down the back of his hand, all the way back to his wrist. Then he repeats with the other hand. Sakusa’s eyes are closed, a comfortable weight sagged against him.

 

“Whoa,” Hinata says, and then turns red when Sakusa opens one eye to glare at him. “Sorry! I just- Omi-san you’re usually so strict about people touching you. It’s still weird to see you be touched.” Sakusa’s shoulders hunch. Atsumu pushes his mouth against the crown of his head, making Sakusa jump in shock.

 

“Shou-kun, stop observin’ him like he’s some lab specimen,” he scolds, and Hinata looks abashed. “He wouldn’t date me if he didn’t wanna touch me, y’know?”

 

“Sorry,” Hinata whines, “I’ve just been really worried since the party. I still feel bad about it.”

 

“It’s fine,” Sakusa says, before Atsumu can cut in. He’s tilted his head so that it’s nestled into the crook of Atsumu’s neck, playing idly with his fingers. “Honestly? I should probably thank you. Keeping it secret was my idea, but watching people flirt with Atsumu was a special kind of torture. Now everyone knows not to.”

 

“Or they think yer just a massive slut,” Atsumu says, and Sakusa tightens his grip on his hand hard enough to be punishing. “Ow, ow, ow, Omi !”

 

“Everyone knows you’re the slut, Atsumu,” Kenma says, without tearing his eyes away from his complex looking combat scene, “if anything, they think you’ve corrupted poor, reasonable Sakusa.”

 

“Yer supposed to be on my side here!”

 

“I never agreed to that.”

 

Kenma !” The evidence of his life-long friendship with Kuroo is in the smug little smirk tugging the corner of his mouth upward as Hinata muffles laughter into his shoulder. Fucking Kuroo.

 

“He must have done something to me,” Sakusa muses gravely, “there’s no other explanation for how or why I’m attracted to him.” Atsumu squawks, indignantly. It is not a dignified noise. He cannot bring himself to care, given that his sole focus is now trying to attach his mouth to Sakusa’s neck to blow the biggest raspberry possible. Sakusa’s hand is on his forehead, holding him a good distance away.

 

“Atsumu-san isn’t bad to look at,” Hinata says, earnest as always, “and he’s a good kisser.” The room falls deadly silent. Sakusa’s eyes are flicking between Hinata and Atsumu at top speeds. Hinata has gone red as it registers what he said. Kenma is very determinedly looking directly at the screen, but he breaks first, with a breathy little giggle, before he snaps his jaw shut.

 

“Oh, you actually did,” Sakusa murmurs, sounding like he’s been struck, “I thought that was just Bokuto spreading rumours.”

 

“C’mon, Omi-Omi, ya really think Tobio-kun has enough guts to confess without incentive?” Hinata makes a noise of protest in half-hearted defense of his boyfriend, but given that Kageyama did only confess after Hinata had asked Atsumu to stick his tongue down his throat, he seems to realize he didn’t have a leg to stand on. “Don’t worry though, I don’t like kissin’ him half as much as I like kissin’ ya.”

 

Now it’s Sakusa’s turn to blush. It crawls out from his nose and across his cheeks to the tips of his ears. He flips over, curls both arms around Atsumu’s torso and hides his face against his shoulder, mumbling a ‘shut up’ against the fabric of his t-shirt. Atsumu can see the flush colouring the back of Sakusa’s neck a furious red. He raises a hand to cover it, the other one landing low in the small of Sakusa’s back.

 

“Anyways,” he announces, “thanks for defendin’ my honour, Shou-kun. What I’m curious about is if Tobio-kun is even half as good at kissin’ as I am.”

 

“I like kissing him more than I like kissing you,” Hinata retorts, mischievous twinkle in his eye. “He’d only kissed one person before so he wasn’t very good at it, but he’s a fast learner.”

 

“Good for you, Shou-kun,” Hinata beams, as Atsumu turns his attention to Kenma, “wanna play Mario Kart?”

 

“Anything’s better than a competition over whose boyfriend is a better kisser,” Kenma says, with finality, and so that’s that. Sakusa produces a sanitizing wipe that Atsumu uses to clean both of the controllers that had been handed to them, while Hinata flits around Kenma, probably delaying the change in console by twice the amount of time it would have taken Kenma to change it on his own. Still, Atsumu can’t complain, one arm draped idly around Sakusa’s middle.

 

“Don’t cheat,” he says, on a whim, trying not to move his hand too much. Sakusa hums.

 

“I’m going to cheat so much,” he says gravely, “I want you to lose in the most humiliating way possible.”

“Yer such a bitch.”

 

“Mhm,” Sakusa says, sounding far too proud of himself. Atsumu has to refrain from leaning forward to bite him somewhere. For anyone else, that would be an instant argument win. With Sakusa, he’s pretty sure he’d be signing his death certificate.

 

They’re still playing when Kuroo stumbles in, Akaashi trailing behind him. Kenma’s ahead sixteen games- or was, before he got up to answer the knock- then Atsumu by a slim victory over Sakusa, with Hinata woefully trailing at the end, eyeing the pair of them with a look of half horror half admiration, as if that’s not how people have looked at his rivalry with Kageyama since forever.

 

“Akaashi,” Kenma says, sounding surprised. Akaashi is toeing off his shoes in the genkan, holding tight to Kuroo’s bicep to keep himself upright. Kuroo keeps leaning slightly to one side to unbalance him. Once both shoes are off, Akaashi holds him in place and delivers a resounding kick to the ass.

 

“Hi to you too, baby,” Kuroo says, slinging his arm over Akaashi’s shoulder and steering him deeper into the dorm. Kenma patters after them, looking curious.

 

“Hi,” he says, “why do you have Akaashi?”

 

“I’m giving Kuroo a ride back to his apartment,” Akaashi says, pushing his glasses up to rub idly at his eyes, “he’s particularly insistent about me not staying on campus until midnight again, and he’s promised to proofread my assignment. Did you want a lift, too?”

 

“Is it okay with Yaku if I come over?” Kenma asks, tucking himself into Kuroo’s other side, accepting a forehead kiss with a gracious blink of his eyes.

 

“Yeah, of course,” Kuroo says at the same time that Akaashi says;

 

“Why wouldn’t it be? He likes you better than Kuroo.” Kuroo sticks his tongue out at Akaashi who sticks his tongue out right back. Kenma turns his attention back to the rest of them.

 

“Sorry, Shouyou,” he says, by way of accepting the invitation. Kuroo steers Akaashi toward Kenma’s room, presumably to pack his bag for him, loudly declaring he and Akaashi are going to have to have a serious conversation about how Akaashi should be way nicer to him. Akaashi’s muffled voice says he is probably not going to pay a lot of attention to that lecture.

 

“It’s okay!” Hinata says, sunny as ever. “I’ll see you Wednesday anyway, right?”

 

“Mhm,” Kenma says, collecting all the Switch controllers from the four of them. Even Sakusa dutifully places his in Kenma’s hand. “You can still use the other consoles if you want to, Atsumu.”

 

“Nah, I’m good,” he says with a shrug. Sakusa grunts, shifting in his lazy embrace.

 

“You’re only saying that because you don’t want to lose.”

 

“Mario Kart’s over, Omi-Omi, that means I win .” Sakusa grumbles, Kenma rolls his eyes and sets about collecting his console and walking Hinata to the door so they can continue their conversation in the genkan.

 

“What are we going to do for dinner?” Sakusa asks, and Atsumu shrugs.

 

“Kenma and I usually order in when Shou-kun comes over. I can run an’ grab ya somethin’ if ya prefer-”

 

“No,” Sakusa says quickly, “ordering in is fine but you have to let me pick the place.”

 

“Sure,” Atsumu says, before Akaashi appears at the head of the couch, making him jump in shock.

 

“Sorry,” Akaashi says, not sounding sorry at all.

 

“Hello, Akaashi-san,” Sakusa says, “it’s been a while.”

 

“I’ve been busy,” Akaashi says, “I just wanted to apologize for Bokuto. I told him he was probably bothering you, but if he starts up again, please let me know.”

 

“It’s fine,” Sakusa shrugs, “apparently everyone’s very excited about us.”

 

“I mean this in the nicest way possible,” Akaashi says in the tone of voice that implies whatever he’s about to say is going to be just a little deliberately mean, “but I think anyone would be morbidly curious about an apparent involvement with Atsumu-san.”

 

Hey !” Atsumu all but roars. “I’m a fuckin’ delight, Keiji-kun, I’ll have ya fuckin’ know! Omi! Defend my honour!”

 

“He’s a delight,” Sakusa says, blandly, “and the sex isn’t bad.” Atsumu splutters, Akaashi nods sagely, and then gives Sakusa a warm smile.

 

“As long as you’re happy. We should catch up over coffee some time.”

 

“I’ll text you,” Sakusa promises and Akaashi, seemingly appeased, rounds the couch to catch up to Kuroo, who is leaning his chin lightly on Kenma’s shoulder and saying something to Hinata that’s making him go red and spluttery while Kuroo laughs.

 

“You’re terrible,” Atsumu hisses when he’s out of ear shot, “just so y’know, if we’d had sex for real ya would be singin’ my fuckin’ praises. I pull, Omi-kun, and I pull ‘cause I’m fuckin’ godly in bed.”

 

“Stop,” Sakusa tries to clap a hand over his mouth, “stop talking, holy fuck, I don’t want to hear about your sexual exploits!”

 

“Yer ruinin’ my good name,” Atsumu grumbles, grappling with his wrists to hold them away from his face, “yer gonna have people sayin’ I ain’t all that but I am. I am and ya have no fuckin’ clu- BYE KENMA!”

 

Kenma waves as the door closes behind him with a click, automatically locking into place. Suddenly, the silence feels stifling. It’s not the first time he’s been alone in his dorm with Sakusa, but clutching his wrists like this in a newly empty space; it’s different.

 

“So,” he says, releasing Sakusa, “dinner?”

 

“Yeah,” Sakusa says, stretching across to swipe Atsumu’s phone from the coffee table. Atsumu makes a disgruntled noise but he unlocks it anyway, lets Sakusa skim through Uber Eats and tries not to think too much about the dent it’s going to put in his bank account. When Sakusa has inputted his order, he hands the phone to Atsumu to add his own and make sure the address is right. Atsumu closes his eyes when he presses order.

 

“It’s not that bad,” Sakusa sniffs, and Atsumu makes a wounded noise.

 

“Ya could have just shot me, rich boy.”

 

“Ugh,” Sakusa says, rolling over onto his front, “stop being dramatic, Miya, there’s a difference between being poor and being cheap. You are the latter.”

 

“I’m cheap because I’m poor, ya bastard,” Atsumu’s breath comes out strangled as Sakusa slides both hands under his shirt, settling them against his bare back. “Uh. What?”

 

“I’m practicing touching,” Sakusa says, like this explains everything. Atsumu blinks at least ten times in quick succession and then decides to get the fuck over it in favour of continuing his argument with Sakusa.

 

“Not that ya would know what that’s like,” he grumps, Sakusa’s fingers sliding in blindingly hot points along his spine, “since yer like, disgustingly rich and shit. Goin’ to some fancy institute .”

 

“You’re so stupid,” Sakusa says with a roll of his eyes. “I didn’t pay to have the school named like that.”

 

“Ya think I could afford to go to an institute ? An academy , even?”

 

“Shut up Miya, for fuck’s sake,” Sakusa pushes his face into his neck, “will it appease you if I say I’ll pay you back?”

 

“I’ll be appeased when I’m paid back,” Atsumu grumbles, suddenly very aware of his hovering hands. “Hey, Omi?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“D’ya want me to practice touchin’ ya too? I know ya mostly wanna initiate but like…”

 

“Yeah,” Sakusa cuts him off, breath. “Yes.”

 

“Cool,” Atsumu says, gently settling his hands in the small of Sakusa’s back. “Tell me if ya want me to stop.”

 

Sakusa hums his acknowledgement. His hands squeeze at Atsumu’s shoulders, tracing the shape of his back muscles, all the way back down his spine. Atsumu’s hands trace upward, thumb hooked over the ridge of his vertebrae, right up into the nape of his neck, circling against the bare skin there. Sakusa shudders, huffing out a soft sigh against his throat. Huh. Maybe that’s why Sakusa likes doing it so much.

 

He has no time to think on that, because Sakusa is wedging his hands between them and sliding them up over Atsumu’s stomach toward his chest. He can feel the way his own muscles involuntarily seize under the contact; Sakusa’s fingers pressing into the movement curiously. It’s strange, feeling Sakusa’s hands against his bare flesh. Sakusa’s hands, that usually take the utmost care to avoid it. Sakusa’s hands, which are off limits. Sakusa’s hands, pressing against the underside of his pectorals.

 

“Whoa!” He laughs a little, rolling his shoulders in a way that makes Sakusa’s head jostle a little bit, mouth brushing the hollow of his throat. “Okay I get why yer fascinated and all ‘cause they’re really somethin’ but ya shouldn’t do that or-”

 

Sakusa’s hand snakes out from under his shirt, twists around his back to grab one of Atsumu’s hands, and slams it straight onto his ass. Atsumu blinks, voice dying in his throat with the same grace as a cat falling into the ocean. Sakusa tilts his head to look up at him, long lashes bouncing off of each other as he blinks. It’s weird, being close enough to him to be able to tell that.

 

“Uh?” He says, trying not to grimace at how high-pitched his voice comes out.

 

“What?” Sakusa snaps, face red. “You seem like the kind of person who’s into that kind of thing.” The gears in Atsumu’s head whir at full speed until comprehension kicks in.

 

“Did ya just assign me ‘ ass man ’?”

 

“Are you not?” Sakusa’s glaring at him in earnest now, struggling to sit up. Atsumu flexes his fingers around Sakusa’s ass and hauls him upright, dragging a strangled noise out of Sakusa’s throat. He claps his hand over his mouth, eyes wide in mortification, and Atsumu cackles. Sakusa fists his free hand and brings it down hard on Atsumu’s chest, blush crawling across his cheeks.

 

“Oh man,” Atsumu wheezes as Sakusa shifts, swings a leg over Atsumu and straddles him properly, one hand still covering his mouth.

 

“Shut up,” he hisses, “shut up.”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu says, hooks his other hand around Sakusa’s ass. Sakusa braces a hand on Atsumu’s chest, “is this like, something yer gonna want me to do? In front of other people?”

 

“If I were wearing jeans maybe you could… you know,” Sakusa is so red. He looks like he’s going to overheat. This does not spare him from Atsumu’s laughter as he squeezes again, marvelling in the way Sakusa’s whole body jolts in surprise.

 

“How many shitty romantic comedies d’ya watch , Omi-Omi?” He sing-songs. “Hand in the back pocket, fuckin’-”

 

“Don’t tease me,” Sakusa hisses, fisting both hands in Atsumu’s shirt and rattling him. “It would. It would probably really sell it to Chihaya-san at the very least-”

 

“Oh man, it would piss him off so much,” Atsumu snickers. “Y’know what, sure, just for that I’ll do it. Means ya gotta start wearing pants with back pockets more often though, ‘cause otherwise I’m just gonna have to do it freeform.”

 

“You will not ,” Sakusa says, one shade shy of screeching, “you will absolutely not, under no circumstances, grope my ass free-form , Miya Atsumu.”

 

“Ooh, full name,” Atsumu jeers, “I’m so scared.”

 

“You should be, because I am going to bury y-” Atsumu’s phone dings, and both of them turn to look at it. Sakusa snatches it from the coffee table before Atsumu can get anywhere near it. “Food’s here.”

 

“Alright, ya gotta get off me then.” Sakusa stands abruptly, and Atsumu swings off the couch to grab his keys, take his phone and collect their food. Sakusa is already running the sink in the bathroom when he leaves.

 

He’s still washing his hands when Atsumu gets back, even as Atsumu abandons the food on the dining table in favour of his kitchen wipes in order to clean the table, and then wanders back to the doorway of the bathroom. Sakusa shuts the tap off, and dries his hands, before stepping aside. Atsumu wordlessly takes his place, humming a tune to help time his hand-washing. It takes him a few seconds to notice Sakusa hasn’t immediately left, still standing in the doorway, watching him.

 

“I promise I’m washin’ properly,” Atsumu huffs. “Ya don’t gotta watch me like a goddamn hawk.”

 

“I’m not-” Sakusa shakes his head, brows knitting, “that’s not it.”

 

“What is it then?”

 

“Nothing important,” Sakusa says, vaguely. “Come eat.”

 

“It’s my fuckin’ dorm?” Atsumu yells at his retreating back. Sakusa shoots him a smug little smile, and Atsumu grumbles under his breath, drying his hands diligently before chasing after him to the dining table. He sinks into the lawn chair, and Sakusa takes the chair to his immediate left, watching with unabashed curiosity as Atsumu pulls his legs up criss-cross underneath him, knees settled against the fabric arms as he hauls his donburi bowl toward him.

 

“Why don’t you throw it away?” Sakusa asks after a moment. “You could get another proper dining chair.”

 

“I dunno,” Atsumu says, after a long moment where he realizes he’s never actually considered it. “It doesn’t feel right. I mean, I know this whole thing with Kenma ain’t gonna go on forever but like, maybe one day we’ll be thirty or somethin’ and in our own houses and he’ll come over for a barbecue or whatever and I’ll crack out the lawn chair and we’ll have something to laugh about. Somethin’ only we know about, y’know? Those are the best kind of laughs.”

 

“I… don’t know if I’ve ever had that kind of laugh,” Sakusa says, gently breaking apart his chopsticks. He and Atsumu both mumble their thanks for the food before Sakusa takes a careful, neat bite. Atsumu hauls rice into his mouth and chews contemplatively, watching Sakusa slowly and meticulously consume his dinner.

 

“Like, never?”

 

“What?” Sakusa arches a brow, casting his dark eyes up toward Atsumu.

 

“Like, have ya never had an inside joke with someone?”

 

“Not… really?” Sakusa’s face scrunches up as he thinks, before he seems to deflate a little. It’s only an instant, and very quickly his shoulders are squared again, expression carefully disdainful, but Atsumu doesn’t miss the fidgety little twitch of his hands. “I thought you were aware, Miya. I don’t have many friends.”

 

Atsumu can’t help but wince. He knows he’s thought that before; has he said it? To Sakusa’s face? He can’t remember. He’s starting to see Osamu’s point about him being cruel at times. There would have been no reason for him to say such a thing to Sakusa beyond his own wounded pride. For a brief moment, he entertains texting Yaku, who manages to be blunt and just a little mean while still managing to somehow be the most nurturing member of the team. But Yaku’s not here, just Atsumu and the glaring knowledge of Sakusa’s vulnerability.

 

“Maybe it’s just ‘case ya have a shit sense of humour,” Atsumu says, cramming chicken into his mouth and chewing obnoxiously, “can’t make jokes with someone who doesn't appreciate ‘em.”

 

“Like yours is any better,” Sakusa says, snappy, which means Atsumu has made the right move, the one that maintains balance, keeps the world turning on its correct axis.

 

“I’ll have ya know, Omi-kun, that I’m fuckin’ hilarious, actually. And a genius too, after all, it was my quick thinkin’ that had ya survive the floor, huh?” Sakusa blinks at him, mouth dropping open into a little ‘o’, before he huffs out his airy laugh. The raspy sound of full-body laughter makes Atsumu crook a wild grin, as Sakusa hides his mouth against the back of his hand, shoulders shaking.

 

“You’re such a dick,” Sakusa tells him around a wheeze. “Don’t fucking pity me.”

 

“I’m not!” Atsumu protests. “I’m providin’ ya with cold, hard, factual evidence of my clear intellectual superiority.” Sakusa rolls his eyes so hard Atsumu’s sure he’s going to hurt himself, but he allows himself a moment of content with the pleased little smile Sakusa wears and the flush on his cheeks when he lowers his hand.

 

“Shut up,” Sakusa says, without any of his usual heat, “eat your food.”

 

For once in his life, Atsumu listens. It is, for all intents and purposes, pretty average food, especially when Atsumu is used to cooking shoulder to shoulder with Osamu, squabbling over the music blaring in their tiny little kitchen, and getting to beam in shared pride over the delight of their family. That Osamu’s passion for cooking outweighed his own is simply luck of the draw; perhaps, in some other universe, Atsumu is the cook and Osamu is the volleyball-crazy one.

 

But, when Sakusa gently unfurls his hand closest to Atsumu and stretches it across the table until Atsumu reaches around and slips the fingers of his left hand between Sakusa’s, and they stay like that until both of them are finished, it becomes easily one of the best meals he’s had in his life.

 

“If I disinfect my laptop, d’ya wanna watch a movie in bed?” Sakusa thinks on that for a second, before he nods, watching Atsumu collect their rubbish and move to dump it in the kitchen’s bin.

 

“That depends. Do I get to pick the movie?”

 

“D’ya not trust my taste, Omi-kun?” Atsumu asks, already knowing what the answer will be.

 

“Not in the slightest, Miya,” Sakusa answers breezily, tapping out something on his phone. “You’d probably want to watch some disgusting slasher horror just for shock value.”

 

“Not a big fan of horror, then?”

 

“What about me makes you think that I would be?” Sakusa squints over his shoulder.

 

“Kenma likes ‘em so we watch ‘em sometimes but they ain’t my favourite, Omi-Omi. Guess again.”

 

“Hm. Terrible, awful comedies then.”

 

“Warmer.”

 

“Don’t say rom-coms.”

 

“What’s wrong with rom-coms?”

 

“I hate you,” Sakusa says with a sigh. “But fine, we can watch a rom-com. Only if I get to pick it though.”

 

“Jeez, if yer gonna sound like I shot ya we might as well watch some crappy action movie. They ain’t meant to be good but the explosions are cool sometimes.”

 

“Go shower, Miya. I’ll do the disinfecting.” Atusmu laughs his way into his bedroom, letting Sakusa watch as he carefully tucks his fresh pyjamas into a plastic bag. He showers thoroughly, indulging in a neat little scalp massage as he pushes his shampoo through his hair. He does his skincare routine while still in his towel, threads his leave-in product into his platinum locks- he really should get them touched up soon, he thinks- and then dresses, careful not to let his clothes brush anything as he scampers back across the apartment and throws open the door to his bedroom.

 

Sakusa all but hurls Atsumu’s phone across the room, where it bounces on the bed, next to Atsumu’s laptop. Sakusa’s face flushes red, as if he’s embarrassed to be caught, but before Atsumu can ask him about it, Sakusa is tearing out toward the bathroom. The door slams behind him, and Atsumu squints at his phone like it will give him all the answers to the universe. He picks it up. Sniffs it. It smells like the lemon scented pocket wipes Sakusa carries around. So does his side table, where both his and Sakusa’s water bottles are resting, alongside Sakusa’s phone, all apparently wiped down. Atsumu picks up his laptop and slips into bed, scooting close to the wall. He balances his laptop on his knees, checks his phone.

 

He has no text notifications. He and Sakusa stare back at him. He blinks, thinks little of it, and opens his phone to scroll Instagram. Semi has recently posted a picture of him, Tendou and Oohira eating ice cream directly from the container. Atsumu likes it. Sugawara posted a picture of him and Daichi out at an izakaya with their old Karasuno coaches, captioned ‘great weekend!’. Atsumu likes that one too, extremely grateful that Sugawara hasn’t managed to get his evil little claws into the whole Sakusa-boyfriend situation because he’s probably the only person who manages to outdo Oikawa in the ridicule department.

 

He continues scrolling through his feed; Noya mirror selfie showing off some of Asahi’s designs, Yaku pulling the finger with Lev doing double peace signs in the background- captioned ‘@tetsuchan_ is the inferior tutor obviously’- Tanaka, Kiyoko and Kanoka gym selfie with Tora losing his whole mind in the comments. Atsumu comments that he is looking respectfully because he’s committed. Tanaka and Shimizu both like the comments within seconds.

 

He’s still laughing about it when Sakusa climbs into the bed behind him, immediately leaning into Atsumu’s space to look at his screen.

 

“Who are you looking respectfully at?” Atsumu scrolls up so that Sakusa can see the photo. He hums, but doesn’t voice his opinion. Atsumu leans into his shoulder, curling his head into the crook of his neck. Sakusa startles, briefly, but relaxes into it, leaning his cheek on top of Atsumu’s head.

 

He’s silent for a bit, watching as Atsumu comments something antagonizing on Osamu’s most recent selfie. Atsumu almost forgets he’s there, busy hyping Oikawa’s picture of him and Iwaizumi, which Oikawa responds to almost instantly, apparently over Atsumu’s refusal to spill details about his quote-unquote boyfriend. He comments truly blasphemous amounts of hearts and sparkles and tabs back to his feed. Likes Yamaguchi’s artistic sunset pic. Likes Tsukishima’s study group selfie; he looks bored, Kyoutani looks three seconds away from tearing his textbook up with his teeth, Koganegawa is on the verge of tears. Sakusa speaks.

 

“We should post.”

 

“Wha?”

 

“Together. We should post a picture together.”

 

“Ya doin’ okay, Omi? Ya coming down with somethin’?” Sakusa flinches, and then shakes his head a little, mouth pursed tight.

 

“No,” he says, “but couples post, right? And you post a lot.” Atsumu squints at him. Sakusa squints back. Sakusa is giving him the ‘ don’t ask how I know that ’ look so Atsumu gives him the ‘ I don’t need to ask because I’m inferring very hard how you know that ’ one in return. Sakusa retaliates with the ‘ you’re full of yourself ’ look so Atsumu sticks his tongue out at him.

 

“Fine, Omi-Omi, ya can just say you want my hot bod on your page.” Sakusa glares. “C’mon. We gotta try hard to be more obnoxious than Oikkun.”

 

“I thought his picture with Iwaizumi-san was very nice. Although he did not need to be lifting his shirt like that.”

 

“It’s Oikkun, good luck tryna tell him that,” Atsumu sniffs, “anyways, what movie are we watching?”

 

“You don’t want to take a picture?”

 

“No offense, but ya really think I’m gonna let us post lame couple pics? In the mornin’.”

 

“Okay,” Sakusa relents, “but we’ll have to get up early. I have a nine AM.” Atsumu crooks a grin at him, and Sakusa makes a face, clearly able to pick up on Atsumu’s apparent glee at his newfound avenue for causing Sakusa distress.

 

“Oh, ya don’t gotta worry ‘bout me Omi. I’ll be up at six for my run anyway.” Before Sakusa can even get a word out- Atsumu sees him opening his mouth to say something about the ungodliness of the hour- Atsumu smacks a kiss to his forehead. Sakusa’s eyes bug out, and he blinks rapidly, before his whole face goes furiously red.

 

“Pick yer movie, Omi-kun,” Atsumu says sweetly, returning his attention to his phone. Sakusa slaps it out of his hands like a particularly evil cat. Apparently, Atsumu making an extremely ugly squawking sound and chasing it like its his last tether to life is enough to sate Sakusa’s appetite for revenge, and when Atsumu settles back against the wall, Sakusa tucks himself against Atsumu’s side and hauls Atsumu’s laptop into typing reach.

 

He spends close to ten minutes trying to decide on a movie, before he picks a rom-com that he apparently finds the least offensive to his sensibilities. He snuggles into Atsumu’s chest, letting him loop an arm around his middle and settle against his stomach. Sakusa’s hand settles over Atsumu’s wrist, tracing the shape of it idly.

 

Neither of them are really watching the movie, Atsumu knows, but it’s nice background noise. Sakusa is more interested in spectating as Atsumu scrolls through his social media feeds. Every now and again, when they both tune in to the movie again, it’s mostly just to make fun of it, although Atsumu does feel a tug at his heartstrings with the final love confession. Sakusa immediately opens Letterboxd on his phone and gives the movie two and a half stars, along with a novel of a review. Atsumu, on the other hand, has been furiously text spamming his twin after finding a tweet offering to sell Atsumu’s truck. That’s his truck, the bastard.

 

“Oh fuck,” Sakusa says, face twisting up into a grimace. Atsumu finishes up another string of cusses with some creative emojis, before tilting his head to peer down at Sakusa’s phone screen. The movie review has either been forgotten or completed, and in its place is Sakusa’s messages.

 

From: Wakatoshi (10:49pm)

I will see you and Atsumu at wine & cheese night next week.

No longer optional.

 

“Damn,” Atsumu whistles a hissing little thing through his teeth, “what is he? Yer dad?”

 

“More like upset with me skipping,” Sakusa sighs, scrubbing a hand over his face. “Shiratorizawa was good to Wakatoshi-kun, but he still struggles sometimes, and it probably hurts him to think that I want to stop hanging out with him because I have a boyfriend now. Which isn’t true. I just-”

 

“I get it,” Atsumu smooths a hand up his stomach, pats his chest. Sakusa twitches. “I mean, I feel kinda bad that only my friends know the truth of it, y’know? I feel like ya shouldn’t have to deal with how weird it is on your own.”

 

“Wakatoshi-kun doesn’t like to lie, and Motoya... would laugh himself stupid if he knew the truth of it, so there’s no hard feelings,” Sakusa sighs, pushes a frustrated hand through his hair. “Do you mind?”

 

“Not at all, Omi-kun. I subjected you to that party, after all.”

 

“You’re right,” Sakusa decides, tapping in a decisive reply, “you do owe me.”

 

To: Wakatoshi (10:54pm)

I’ll be looking forward to it, Wakatoshi-kun.

Please tell Tendou-san to go easy on Atsumu. He’s nervous.

 

Atsumu is nothing of the sort. He tries to slap the phone out of Sakusa’s hands. It is not effective.

 

From: Wakatoshi (10:59pm)

Satori promises to be on his best behaviour.

Futakuchi-san will also be there, if that makes Atsumu-san feel more comfortable.

 

Futakuchi, the glorious, beautiful bastard. Maybe next time he sees him, Atsumu should plant a big, fat kiss on him for the twist of fate that had him grow up next door to a boy who would befriend Sakusa’s weirdo volleyball friend years down the line. Whatever had clicked in Futakuchi’s brain to make him realize he liked Semi is owed Atsumu’s eternal gratitude, if only because if Tendou is in the same room as both Futakuchi and himself, Atsumu can hedge fairly safe bets on who Tendou will gravitate more intently toward antagonizing.

 

“Sorry to destroy yer friendship with Ushiwaka-kun,” Atsumu says, gently propping his chin against the top of Sakusa’s head. Sakusa shrugs.

 

“You’d have to try much harder than that. I just- I don’t feel good about lying to him, especially not in his own home.”

 

“Well, hopefully Chihaya-kun gets over himself fast then, and we can tell him the truth. Ushiwaka-kun seems like he’s a nice dude, even if he’s got a face that could make someone shit themselves.” Sakusa’s nose wrinkles again in distaste, and he lifts a palm to smack the heel of his hand against Atsumu’s temple.

 

“Don’t be disgusting.”

 

“Like tellin’ me not to breathe, Omi-Omi. Ya made it especially clear ya think I’m gross and icky.” Sakusa grumbles, trying to struggle away as Atsumu hooks both arms around him and squeezes him tight. Sakusa goes boneless, but looks fuming. Atsumu thinks it’s stupidly cute.

 

“You’re the worst,” Sakusa sighs. Atsumu doesn’t dignify him with a response.

 

Sakusa takes over shutting down Atsumu’s laptop, setting it on his sanitized side-table with careful, precise motions. Atsumu’s bed is smaller than Sakusa’s, so Atsumu rolls himself right up against the wall, still pressed back-to-back with Sakusa as they take their time winding down. Every now and again, Sakusa’s phone buzzes, indicating the conversation with Ushijima continuing past Atsumu’s fleeting interest in it.

 

He only realizes he’s almost dozed off when the bed shifting makes him jolt, and he rolls over a little to find Sakusa blinking down at him.

 

“Sorry,” he whispers, “were you asleep?”

 

“Not yet,” Atsumu mumbles around a yawn, holding up his phone to Sakusa, “d’ya mind?”

 

Sakusa takes it gently, daintily, puts it on top of Atsumu’s laptop, where he has apparently placed his own phone sometime between texting Ushijima and Atsumu half-drifting off. Sakusa settles back down, facing Atsumu now, eyes expectant and glittery.

 

“Wha?” Atsumu says.

 

“The light,” Sakusa explains, patiently.

 

“Oh, fuck, yeah,” Atsumu grumbles, swinging a leg over Sakusa and digging it into the mattress next to him, before using it to swing himself onto his feet. He doesn’t miss the way Sakusa’s whole face goes red, but his brain is too busy protesting getting out of his nice warm bed to think too much about it. He scampers across, flicks off the light, accepts the hand sanitizer that Sakusa squeezes into his palms. Sakusa presses himself up against the wall and Atsumu wiggles into the space he’s left.

 

“Don’t elbow me,” Sakusa grumbles, still facing Atsumu as he settles down on his side.

 

“There ain’t a whole lotta room, Omi,” Atsumu stifles a yawn, ducking his head to rub his eye against his shoulder. “Sorry.” Sakusa is silent for maybe a beat too long.

 

“It’s fine,” he says, “do you mind-”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu holds his arms out, Sakusa slides into his embrace after a moment of hesitation, “it’s prob’ly easier this way.” Sakusa hums in agreement, letting Atsumu settle his arms around him comfortably, Sakusa pulling him in tight by his waist, broad hands sliding under Atsumu’s shirt again to sit against his bare skin.

 

“You’re really warm,” Sakusa murmurs, lips catching on Atsumu’s shirt. He closes his eyes against the sensation.

 

“Just say I’m hot, Omi, ‘s’okay,” Sakusa headbutts his shoulder, driving a tired snicker out of Atsumu’s throat. Sakusa settles in again, and Atsumu’s eyes flutter closed as he tilts his head into Sakusa’s curls. They’re still a little damp from his shower, and his hair smells like Atsumu’s shampoo. He smiles into it.

 

Atsumu is almost asleep again when Sakusa huffs out a little sigh through his nose and adjusts his head. Atumu’s whole body jolts when lips accidentally brush his neck. Sakusa freezes too, and Atsumu feels his nails catch on the skin of his back. He shifts away from the feeling, and into Sakusa more. With a shaky little breath, Sakusa presses his lips against Atsumu’s neck again, still feather-light, the barest pressure, right where his pulse jumps at the hollow of his throat.

 

Oh , Atsumu thinks, okay then . Sakusa doesn’t really seem like the kind of guy to be massively into PDA anyway, but what does Atsumu know? It’s not like Sakusa has ever introduced a potential partner to the team, and if he dated anyone in high school, Atsumu certainly wouldn’t have known, given that any information about Sakusa he ever had any interest in learning then was strictly related to volleyball and how to best grind him into a little pile of dust under his heel. Osamu had called him deranged when he’d said that out loud, and Atsumu had whipped the pillow off the bottom bunk and smacked him with it. Simpler times.

 

So maybe Sakusa does like to neck in public? Maybe Sakusa is expecting him to neck in public? Or at the very least in front of Chihaya, who would probably blow several gaskets if he could see the way Sakusa is brushing his mouth along the column of Atsumu’s throat, breathing harshly against the bob of his Adam’s apple, dropping firmer kisses along his neck until Atsumu tilts his head to give him more space to work with. It’s fine. It’s probably a good sign that Sakusa is willing to put his mouth on Atsumu’s bare skin, probably a sign of progress with regards to Sakusa’s comfort touching him.

 

Sakusa’s nails dig into his back, and Atsumu grunts a little. Okay, so definitely a sign of progress. Sakusa’s mouth parts against his neck, and his tongue gently dips against the cord of muscle tensed against his skin. That slaps whatever common sense was left in Atsumu’s head right out of it, landing somewhere on the floor. It rolls under the bed too, probably, just for good measure. He says a silent apology to Osamu and Kenma who would be majorly disappointed with him for what he’s about to do.

 

He breathes out harshly, listens to the way Sakusa’s own breath hitches in his throat, feels the way his fingers twitch against his skin. He tilts his head the other way, brushes his nose along the slope of Sakusa’s cheek. Sakusa shudders, tilting his head back, and Atsumu leans in, presses his lips firm against the underside of Sakusa’s jaw. Sakusa is deadly silent, but the flat of his palm presses against Atsumu’s spine, hauls him closer. One of his legs hooks behind Atsumu’s thigh. Alright then .

 

Atsumu is never one to be outdone, and for a second he considers that his competitive attitude is bordering on unhealthy, but he dismisses it in favour of brushing his lips down the long line of Sakusa’s neck. He makes a sound like he’s being strangled, so Atsumu tongues the dip above his collarbones, mouths his way up along Sakusa’s throat until his nose is settled along his jaw again.

 

This close, even in the dark, Atsumu can see the way Sakusa’s eyes are squeezed shut, curls obscuring his forehead moles from sight. His mouth is pressed closed, teeth caught against his lower lip. For a moment, guilt laces through him. This is Sakusa, who doesn’t touch people, like, ever . And here he is, mouth all over his skin. For a moment, he draws back, but Sakusa’s hand curls into the base of his hair and he tugs him closer again with his whole body. The guilt subsides.

 

Sakusa holds him close, so Atsumu kisses his skin again, traces the strong slope of his neck, nuzzles into the hollow of his throat. Sakusa’s grip on his hair is almost painful at this point, but even if Atsumu wanted to pull his head away, he’s not sure he could, given that his mouth is pretty much crushed against his neck right now. He drags his tongue along the skin, and Sakusa makes a particularly desperate little sound in the back of his throat, tugging at Atsumu’s hair.

 

He lets Sakusa pull him back, lets him maneuver their faces until Atsumu’s brushing his lips over Sakusa’s cheek, gently, almost calmingly. The adrenaline and whatever else swimming around in his blood is already starting to die down, as he thumbs down Sakusa’s spine gently, nuzzles his nose behind his ear.

 

“Shh,” he murmurs, and Sakusa grumbles, tilts his head into Atsumu’s hair, “shh.”

 

He can feel the way Sakusa’s chest heaves against him, can feel the way it slowly settles into a much calmer breathing pattern, can feel when Sakusa’s hand slips from his hair and settles around his shoulders, can feel when Sakusa pushes his face into Atsumu’s neck again, holds him tight. Atsumu can’t find it in himself to make fun of him. He just tucks his face into Sakusa’s curls, and breathes in the scent of his own shampoo.

 

Sakusa mumbles something into his shoulder. It sounds like goodnight, but it also doesn’t. Atsumu doesn’t know if he says anything back. Sakusa looks too disgruntled by Atsumu’s alarm for him to remember to ask in the morning. He tucks him back into bed as gently as he can, brushes his curls away from his face and drops two quick kisses on the moles on his forehead.

 

Then, he slips into his running gear, and he runs for his life.

Chapter Text

The week has been, frankly, disastrous. Tuesday, Osamu and Suna spontaneously show up at his door, interrupting his blessed day off, and Kenma isn’t even there to run interference as they grill him about Sakusa. Wednesday, Sakusa has a minor freak out about the sheets and refuses to let Atsumu change them, even though it’s not a big fuckin’ deal anyway ‘cause he already washed the sheets he took off on Monday. Thursday, Atsumu spills coffee on himself during his morning lecture and has no time to change between classes, which means by the end of the day when Sakusa shows up he’s crabby and over it. Friday, Sakusa lets him give him a fist bump after a particularly good spike, and the team responds by tumbling head first into frenzy until Sakusa won’t even look at him. Saturday Atsumu almost twists his ankle on his morning run and has to call Akaashi to come pick him up, Sunday Kuroo and Kenma fight and Atsumu stays up all night with Kenma, who refuses to cry but shouldn’t be alone anyway. He skips Monday practice out of sheer exhaustion and wakes up to 19 missed calls and 46 texts from Hinata. Kenma has to let Sakusa into the apartment because Atsumu forgets, which makes him feel shitty enough, before he remembers he passed out on top of his bed without showering and has to strip the sheets again , even though Sakusa insists it’s fine but Atsumu knows it’s not.

 

On top of all that, Atsumu has had thinking to do. Thinking about how every night, regardless of how shit the day had been, Sakusa still insists on cuddling. And neck kisses. Fuck , the man is obsessed with them. Wednesday, Sakusa asks to be spooned, and then nudges his head back onto Atsumu’s shoulder until he gets the message and traces the muscles in his neck with his tongue. Thursday, Sakusa scrapes teeth just under his ear and Atsumu almost punches him in shock. Friday, Sakusa puts his hand in Atsumu’s hair again and holds him there until Atsumu can’t kiss his neck any harder without leaving a bruise. And then Atsumu gets up in the morning, goes for his jog, and by the time he gets back and showers, Sakusa is awake and doing his readings.

 

At least Sakusa’s couple photo-shoot went according to plan: Mirror selfie with his chin propped on Sakusa’s shoulder for Atsumu’s Instagram; Atsumu with his cheeks stuffed with his breakfast food for Sakusa’s. One out of an infinite number of opportunities is not exactly what Atsumu would call a success rate, but he and Sakusa made it onto the bus without any major dramas, so he supposes that counts. Sakusa is tucked right up against him in rush-hour occupancy of the bus, the pair of them standing as far away from other people as they can be.

 

“Would you stop thinking so loudly?” Sakusa snaps, glaring up at him. His messages with Ushijima are open on his phone. Atsumu badly wants to smack it out of his hands. “You’re making me nervous.”

 

You ?!” Atsumu hisses back. “I’m the one walkin’ into fuckin’ hellfire here, Omi-kun. Ushiwaka-kun’s freaky ass boyfriend is gonna eat me alive and Eita-kun ain’t gonna stop him.”

 

“Grow up,” Sakusa says, wholly unsympathetic, “I survived your friends at Terushima-san’s party, and besides . If Wakatoshi-kun asks Tendou-san to be polite, then he will be. It’s not like you’ve ever backed down from a challenge like that before, anyway. People trying to fuck with you usually just makes you meaner.” And well, isn’t that the truth? He makes a note that his competitive spirit is definitely unhealthy, and drops his temple against Sakusa’s.

 

“Ushiwaka-kun scares me,” Atsumu whines, “and he’s not even funny.”

 

“You’re not even funny.”

 

“Bitch,” Atsumu grumbles, which makes Sakusa twitch a smile.

 

“You’re getting soft, Miya,” Sakusa says, lifts a hand to cup the back of Atsumu’s head and direct his head to his shoulder. Atsumu holds onto his hips to keep him steady, and they stay that way until they reach their stop. Atsumu doesn’t argue, because he knows it’s true, and that disquiets him enough to hold his tongue and think on why exactly that is.

 

He hasn’t come to any kind of a conclusion by the time he yells loud excuse-mes and they break free of the bus somehow miraculously untouched. Sakusa slips his hand into Atsumu’s and confidently strides off in what Atsumu assumes is the direction of Ushijima’s apartment. Even though he’s known Semi almost as long as he’s known Futakuchi, Atsumu’s never actually visited his apartment. Mostly because he and Semi aren’t that close, and if he wanted to hang out with Futakuchi he wouldn’t crash date night to do it. Now he’s wishing he had crashed date night. At least then he wouldn’t have to walk into unknown territory with how weird Sakusa’s been hanging over his head.

 

The apartment complex is nice. Like, way nice. Atsumu isn’t surprised given that he’s been at least eighty percent sure Ushijima was rich since the first training camp they’d met at. Possibly richer than Sakusa. Maybe even richer than Akaashi. What a man. Sakusa wanders in, clearly not feeling the slightest bit out of place, while Atsumu lifts the collar of his t-shirt up to his face and gives it a self conscious sniff.

 

“Stop that.”

 

“Stop what?” Atsumu punches the button with more force than strictly necessary.

 

“Stop fussing.”

 

“Ya coulda warned me this place was so fancy,” Atsumu mutters, “I am fuckin’ underdressed. Ya goddamn liar.”

 

“You are not underdressed. Semi-san will be wearing sweatpants.”

 

“Oh gee, that makes me feel so much better, Mister Gucci Belt.”

 

“It’s not Gucci.”

 

“It could be. Looks that fancy.” The elevator dings open, and Sakusa hauls him out in lieu of an answer. Atsumu thinks about bitching more, but given that Ushijima’s apartment is apparently directly in front of the elevator- seriously, is this guy just like a beacon for cosmic inconvenience?- he keeps his mouth shut, lets Sakusa put on a show of fussing over his hair after he knocks on the door. There’s nothing wrong with Atsumu’s hair. Maybe. Probably.

 

Tendou answers the door which is enough to make Atsumu want to pass out in grief, but he skips over him completely in favour of zeroing in on Sakusa.

 

“Kiyoomi-kun!” He flings his arms out wide, wiggling his fingers animatedly, which seems to be his adopted work-around for the whole Sakusa doesn’t like hugs thing. It makes Sakusa smile, so Atsumu figures it must be the usual between them. His thumb strokes along Sakusa’s spine, absently.

 

“Tendou-san. Good evening.”

 

“How many times have I told you to just call me Satori?”

 

“From the sounds of it,” Atsumu says, “prob’ly enough to know he ain’t gonna listen.”

 

“True,” Tendou laughs his wheeling laugh, flaps his hands about like he’s conducting an orchestra only he’s privy to, “but can you fault a guy for trying?”

 

“Nope.”

 

“Then you’re just as I remember you, Atsumu-kun. Come in, come in! Wakatoshi’s just vacuuming the couch.”

 

“He has a hand-held vacuum,” Sakusa informs Atsumu. Atsumu mimes gagging. Sakusa catches his jaw in his hand and squeezes his cheeks until Atsumu’s pretty sure his fingerprints are going to bruise. Tendou turns around again to find them struggling in the genkan. Sakusa blinks. Atsumu tries to mouth the word ‘help’, but it’s hard when his face is being held perfectly still.

 

Tendou ignores his pleas, skipping around the corner into what must be the living room, considering Atsumu can see the whole kitchen slash dining area- and seriously, how rich is Ushijima to be able to afford all this? Atsumu’s truck was cheap as shit second hand and even that had been as painful as being shot- singing out for Semi.

 

Sakusa takes out a pair of guest slippers- from a cubbyhole labelled KIYOOMI because apparently Ushijima is a better boyfriend than Atsumu- and switches his shoes over, sanitizes his hands. Atsumu takes his off, tucks them away safely, also sanitizes his hands. Sakusa puts his hand straight back into Atsumu’s and laces their fingers together. Atsumu tries not to think about it too much.

 

They almost smack into Semi in the arch to the living room. There’s another arch into what looks like a hallway. Atsumu feels the twitching urge to break something. Sakusa’s grip on his hand tightens like he senses this. Semi, for his part, is in fact wearing sweatpants. He is wearing sweatpants that Atsumu knows belong to Futakuchi because he bought them while Atsumu was present. His shirt is an old Date Tech VBC practice tee. Atsumu is sure he can guess where that one came from too.

 

“Hi,” Semi says, stepping aside to usher them in. “Atsumu, you look nice.”

 

“Yer gonna make fun of me ‘bout this to Kenji-kun right away, aren’t ya.”

 

“Yes,” Semi tells him, without a hint of remorse. He already has his phone out. Ushijima is settling the hand vacuum back on it’s charging port, Tendou leaning both arms on his shoulders. Ushijima does not seem like he notices the weight. Oohira wanders out of the hallway, waving at Sakusa, and then at Atsumu. What a guy. At least one of Ushijima’s roommates isn’t evil.

 

“Wakatoshiiii,” Tendou sing-songs, pressing kisses all over his boyfriend’s hair, “say hi to Kiyoomi-kun.”

 

“Hi,” Ushijima says in his deep rumble, “it’s not charging.”

 

“Wakatoshi, we can sort it out later. Don’t you want to meet Sakusa-san’s boyfriend?” Oohira’s voice seems to be the voice of reason, and Ushijima straightens, Tendou shifting with him like water to drape both arms around his neck and snuggle into him. Ushijima wraps an arm around him, presses a little kiss to his forehead, and then nods at Atsumu.

 

“Atsumu-san.” At least he remembers that much from their few interactions.

 

“Ushi...jima.” Sakusa eyes him from the corner of his eye. Ushijima also looks surprised, which makes Atsumu contemplate running full-tilt for the nearest window, because Ushijima’s usual range of emotion expression is ‘brick wall’ to ‘cinderblock’, which means he’s really cocked it up. So he does what he usually does; plays rude.

 

“Yeah yeah, yukk it up, ain’t like ya couldn’t slap my head hard enough to make it explode if I messed with Omi-Omi or whatever, sue me for bein’ a little nervous.”

 

“He means he wants you to like him,” Sakusa translates to Ushijima, who just nods.

 

“If you make Kiyoomi-kun happy, then I like you.”

 

“Great,” Atsumu grumbles, curls into Sakusa’s side. Clearly, all the practice touching and neck kissing has done something for Sakusa, because he presses a long, lingering kiss to his forehead. Atsumu’s eyes fall closed against the pressure, and he misses it when it’s gone.

 

“Sorry that my roommates forget their manners,” Oohira says, shooing Tendou and Ushijima with his hands. “Sakusa-san, Atsumu-san- it is alright that I call you by your given name, yes?”

 

“Yea, prefer it like that.”

 

“Great! You can call me Reon, if you like. Anyway, as I was saying. Sit. And Satori - thank you, Wakatoshi.” Ushijima has preemptively hooked both arms around Tendou to restrain him while Sakusa wanders around the couch, inspecting it. Semi has already sprawled himself in a beanbag, long legs splayed all the way out. Atsumu lets Sakusa do his thing, crouches next to him.

 

“Where’s yer boyfriend?”

 

“On his way from work,” Semi says, with an apologetic shrug. “Sorry. I know Sakusa-san probably used him to con you into getting here.”

 

“He didn’t con me, he asked me, and I agreed ‘cause I’m his boyfriend ,” protesting it so adamantly feels odd to Atsumu, like his world has shifted slightly, and not in a way he knows how to understand, so instead he forges on. “I’m in the deep end here, Eita-kun. If Satori-kun turns his powers of evil on to me I ain’t got anyone to ally with.”

 

“What am I, chopped liver?”

 

“We all know where yer loyalty lies,” Semi makes a noise that amounts to something like fair enough, so Atsumu shoots him a withering look and skulks back to Sakusa.

 

Sakusa inevitably decides against the couch and settles on the armchair that he apparently always sits in during these nights, only this time he’s in Atsumu’s lap in the armchair, Semi is directly across from them on the beanbag that he and Tendou had a kick-fight over. Tendou is appeased by being curled into Ushijima’s side where he’s settled against the arm of the couch, one big hand holding Tendou’s thigh steady in his lap. Oohira, at least, sits like a normal, classy person.

 

Atsumu gets the distinct impression that he’s been shown off. Like a toy, or some kind of dog. He’s not sure he likes it, not with Sakusa constantly fixing his hair and sitting at exactly an angle that some bone in the general vicinity of his ass is waging war on his upper thigh. It’s probably going to bruise. Atsumu can’t figure out where to put his fucking hands .


This arrangement also means that his sake is controlled by Sakusa, who can apparently hold his glass the entire time, but not Atsumu’s, which means every time he wants a sip he has to ask Sakusa to hand him the glass, which isn’t strictly terrible because Atsumu doesn’t even like sake that much, but he feels the intense need to stress eat, and the food is also being blocked by Sakusa’s body. Worse yet, they’re talking about adult things like job interviews and post-graduate programs and politics .

 

Atsumu just wants some cheese. And maybe for Semi to stop throwing him sympathetic looks like he can tell that Atsumu is having a minor crisis. As if Atsumu is that obvious.

 

“Omi,” he says, in the middle of Oohira asking Ushijima about scouting offers, “ya gotta get up, yer ass is making my legs go numb.”

 

“Oh,” says Sakusa, in that faux-sweet voice which Atsumu knows to mean that he’s gonna say something to piss him off probably on purpose next, “is that your problem? You’ve been thinking about my ass in these jeans?”

 

Atsumu slaps him hard on the thigh, and Tendou perks up like a shark smelling blood in the water. Or something. Ushijima looks blank as always. Sakusa’s yell is strangled, and he curls his fingers into the back of Atsumu’s hair and pulls, but it’s too late, because Atsumu is already laughing, grinning crookedly at him.

 

“Baby, it’s so cute how attached ya are to these jeans, all ‘cause I told ya yer ass looked good in ‘em one time. And as much as I love yer ass,” he slaps a hand on it and squeezes hard for good measure, watching the way Sakusa jumps and flushes red with glee, “it’s givin’ me a dead leg, so please stand up so I can get comfortable.”

 

“I don’t think I will,” Sakusa says, with a measured sip of his wine. “I’m quite comfortable here.”

 

“In my lap.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Ya heard it here first, folks,” Atsumu announces to their amused audience, “I, Miya Atsumu, am the greatest most sexiest man of all time if I can make the Sakusa Kiyoomi admit to bein’ comfortable in my lap.” Sakusa rolls his eyes, but he strokes his fingers through his hair, Tendou grins, fingers idly playing with Ushijima’s.

 

“You do have nice thighs, Atsumu-kun.”

 

“Don’t I?” He grins, pats Sakusa’s butt again, but gentler this time. “Seriously, babe, ya gotta stand up, just for a second.”

 

Sakusa complies, and conversation resumes as Atsumu shuffles him around in the cradle of his lap, and then settles, nuzzling into Sakusa’s neck and dropping a kiss there. Sakusa closes his eyes against it, content, and hands Atsumu his glass of sake. He’s mid-sip, when Tendou speaks. It’s his prying voice. The kind that makes it known he’s watching you closely. Atsumu’s only ever heard it on the volleyball court as part of his regular taunting, but it’s no less haunting without a much contested game hanging between them.

 

“You know, Kiyoomi-kun,” Tendou says, holding Ushijima’s wrists and making his hands dance. Ushijima allows it, having taken exactly two sips of his imported red since they all sat down, “you’ve never told us how you two got together.”

 

“Satori,” Oohira says, exchanging a meaningful look with him, before he apparently relents, and sighs. “We don’t mean to pry, but I am admittedly a little curious.”

 

“The last time I heard you even mention Atsumu before Terushima’s party, you still spoke like he was the bane of your existence,” Semi says, swirling whatever the fuck he’s drinking in his glass and taking a sip. “You have no idea how surprised I was to see you show up with him.”

 

“You did a good job of hiding it,” Tendou pipes in, and then adds, like it wasn’t obvious, “the relationship.”

 

“Yea, well, obviously we were uh, figurin’ things out,” Atsumu says, gently rubbing his hand down Sakusa’s thigh. Sakusa’s hand tightens in his hair, fingers flexing nervously, “and we didn’t plan for so many people to know as soon as they did. No offense or anythin’. So. Yea.”

 

“It’s fine, Atsumu,” Sakusa says, “you know I’m not always the best at expressing my feelings. I’d known for a while that the majority of my quote-unquote hatred for him was misplaced frustration for what I assumed to be an unrequited crush. Probably since early last year.”

 

And if that doesn’t smack the wind right out of Atsumu. He’s staring up at Sakusa now, having to crane his head back further than he usually would. He’s warm in Atsumu’s lap, expression almost fond with nostalgia. Bad liar his ass, Sakusa is lying his ass off and he’s doing a good job of it, because Oohira’s expression softens, and Semi looks enthralled. It’s probably suspicious that Atsumu seems surprised at this, but before anyone can call him on it or pry further, the front door rattles and there’s scuffling in the genkan.

 

“Kenji!” Semi scrambles to his feet, ungraceful in the shifting landscape of the beanbag. “Do you need a hand with anything?”

 

Atsumu can’t even be grateful for Futakuchi’s interruption, given that Sakusa hasn’t just gone and knocked his little world off its rotational axis or whatever the technical smarty-pants turn for it is. He’s spun it like Oikawa spins volleyballs before his monster serve; and then he’s monster-served it, for good measure. He feels all kinds of fucked up, like down is up now and up is down. Is he even in Japan anymore? He couldn’t tell you that for sure.

 

“Hey?” Sakusa says, gently, strokes his thumb down the back of his neck. Atsumu hands him his sake, abruptly.

 

“Pass me some food, will ya?” Sakusa doesn’t look sold, but he obliges anyway. Atsumu crams as much of the cheese and dip slathered cracker as he can into his mouth, and then gives Futakuchi his best smile when he finally appears, Semi trailing him with one of the grocery bags.

 

“Sorry I’m late,” Futakuchi says to no one in particular, “you’re looking comfortable, Tsumu.”

 

“Fuck off,” Atsumu grumbles, squints at Futakuchi, who blows him a kiss.

 

“I’m gonna shower and change. Sakusa?” Sakusa tilts his head. “Semi didn’t touch any of my clothes, and I sanitized my hands before packing the groceries, just in case you were worried.” He gives Sakusa a double thumbs up, and then rounds the couches to head through to the washroom.

 

Semi starts to unload Futakuchi’s haul; some of it is clearly just flat supplies that Semi probably asked for, but he’s also included sweet potato chips, a whole chocolate sponge cake and another bottle of the regular sake that Atsumu had been drinking. That answers his questions about where that came from; the koshu he could chalk up to Semi, the imported red is what both Oohira and Ushijima are drinking and Tendou has only been drinking sparkling non-alcoholic. He’s never been more thankful for Futakuchi. How nice it feels to know someone relatively normal.

 

“I’m not sure my coaches would approve of these snacks,” Ushijima says, squinting at the cake like it might try to bite him. Tendou lifts both hands to his mouth and peppers kisses along the backs of them, until Ushijima gently tugs his wrists free, only to wrap his arms more solidly around Tendou.

 

“Wakatoshi, the whole point of these nights is to have fun. What your coaches don’t know won’t hurt them!”

 

“What if it affects my performance,” Tendou’s mouth opens, and Ushijima adds, seamlessly, “at volleyball.”

 

“You’re no fun,” Tendou announces to the whole room, apparently well aware of the fact they could all tell what joke he was going to make. “Wakatoshi, my darling, love of my life. I don’t think there’s anything in this life or the next that could affect your performance at volleyball.”

 

“I still remember the time you came to practice with a cold, Wakatoshi,” Oohira says, his voice stern. Ushijima’s expression still reads blank to Atsumu, but apparently something in there is enough to make Oohira chuckle warmly. Interesting. Atsumu can feel the nagging part of his brain start tugging. He wants to work Ushijima out. Crack him like a code. Sakusa lightly smacks the back of his head. He must have been staring.

 

“Sorry,” he murmurs, brushes a kiss to Sakusa’s shoulder. Sakusa hums, presses his lips to his forehead. While he can’t see him, Atsumu squints at the wall. He files it away. It’s in a little file in his head. The file is highlighter yellow so he can’t miss it, and it says ‘WHAT THE FUCK IS OMI’S DEAL?’. Underlined three times for good measure. It’s a folder he hasn’t updated in a long time, but the last few weeks have had him making constant additions.

 

“Anyway,” Sakusa says breezily, “Wakatoshi-kun, you were saying about scouting offers?”

 

And just like that, Atsumu relaxes, balances his glass of sake against Sakusa’s thigh, cradles him in his lap with his spare hand. Sakusa’s fingers work through his hair; less fixing, more petting, as the conversation shifts back to Ushijima’s offers from pro-volleyball teams and the minutiae of the offered contracts, and does anyone know a law student who would go over them for an added opinion.

 

Futakuchi appears in the middle of Semi trying to convince Ushijima that if the benefits of a team is better than all the others he should move out of the apartment and into the dorms for the mandatory period of time, or try to negotiate to not have to leave them to see how badly the team wants him. He does all this while standing and then seamlessly dropping back into his boyfriend’s lap once Futakuchi has settled in the beanbag. He pours him a glass of sake and hands it back to Futakuchi, still arguing his ass off. Atsumu raises his glass in silent acknowledgement from halfway across the room.

 

“Eita, I’m not even a college graduate yet. I’m not sure I’m in a position to negotiate.”

 

“Six division one teams have tried to scout you, Wakatoshi,” Semi replies, giving Ushijima his best ‘you’re being stupid’ look. Atsumu has been on the end of that look many times. “I’m just saying, long-term, it’s going to benefit you to play for a team that has better resources to support you, and if the one downside of that is living away from us for a while, I think that’s not such a big deal in the long run. Or you could use that as a way to competitively alter your contract.”

 

“Honey,” Futakuchi says, gently patting Semi’s side, “can you have your lover’s spat later.”

 

“Eita-kun,” Tendou whines, sagging across Ushijima’s lap like his body is made of liquid, “don’t steal my boyfriend.”

 

“Eita wasn’t-” Ushijima tries at the same time that Semi scoffs and takes a pointed sip of his drink. Oohira chuckles warmly, turns his gaze on Sakusa and Atsumu again. Atsumu blinks, takes a preemptive sip of his drink and immediately feels glad that he did.

 

“Speaking of boyfriends, I’m sorry. We cut you off before, didn’t we?”

 

“Technically we cut Wakatoshi-kun off first,” Sakusa replies evenly, but Atsumu feels the way his hand tenses in his hair. He smooths his hand down his thigh.

 

“Huuuuuuh?” Futakuchi drawls, tilting his head. Atsumu gives him his best pout. “Was it embarrassing Atsumu? I vote we go back to embarrassing Atsumu.”

 

“Don’t be mean,” Semi scolds, but there’s no heat to it.

 

“I also vote we go back to embarrassing Atsumu-kun!” Tendou announces, and while Oohira gives him an exasperatedly fond look, Ushijima simply turns to Sakusa, face as serious as always and says point-blank:

 

“I would like to hear, Kiyoomi-kun. I want to make sure you are happy.” And that’s the point of no return, Atsumu thinks, because Sakusa isn’t going to say no to Ushijima when he asks like that. Sure enough, Sakusa’s hand settles high between Atsumu’s shoulder blades, playing with the collar of his shirt. Atsumu lets him, gently tilts his head at him.

 

“Want me to fist-fight him for yer honour?”

 

“You’d lose,” Sakusa tells him, “but thank you, Atsumu. It’s okay though.”

 

Atsumu is trying to beam lasers through his head to remind him that they very much have not talked about fake cover stories beyond Atsumu confessed and it was new and it is now less new but still not old. Sakusa ignores him, pensively swirling his wine in his glass, before a fond smile curves his lips. It’s interesting, Atsumu thinks, how often Sakusa smiles these days. Or, rather, how often he sees Sakusa smile. No one else seems at all surprised by it.

 

“In all honesty,” he says, “it wasn’t anything grand or particularly special but… it didn’t need to be. I always assumed he didn’t like me back, because it was hard to imagine him really liking me back, but so, so easy to imagine it dishonestly.”

 

“So what changed?” Oohira asks, leaning forward now, having readjusted to avoid Tendou’s long legs ending up in his lap.

 

“Nothing, really,” Sakusa laughs at that, and it strikes Atsumu dumb, has him grinning a reflexively wild grin as Sakusa turns his fond, knowing smile onto him. A secret only the two of them know. He holds Sakusa tight to keep him in place, like Sakusa might choose this moment, of all the moments they’ve had, to launch himself out of Atsumu’s lap and never come back. The thought of that distance winds Atsumu, makes it feel like his whole chest has been crushed.

 

“And then he turned up at my dorm one night, all red and panting like he’d run all the way there, and then he told me he liked me, and that he couldn’t stop thinking about me, and would I like to go on a date with him? And I said yes, and we talked about it, and… well.” He gestures, vaguely. Atsumu, struck by the sudden urge to do so, grasps his forearm, brushes the gentlest of kisses to the inside of wrist, feels his pulse jump underneath his mouth, before Sakusa’s fingers flutter out, touch his cheek.

 

“Omi,” he says, surprised at how wrecked his own voice sounds, “yer spillin’ all my most embarrassing secrets.”

 

“I think it’s sweet,” Semi announces, tilting his head against Futakuchi’s, “it’s way better than how Kenji asked me out at least.”

 

“How did Kenji-kun ask ya out, Eita-kun?” Atsumu asks, leaning into Sakusa’s palm as he cups his face more broadly. He’ll never miss an opportunity to shift the ribbing to someone else .

 

“Yeah, Kenji, how did you ask me out?” Futakuchi grumbles, his face going red, before he concedes.

 

“I told him our sisters wanted to be each other’s sisters so we should go out to make them happy,” Semi grins, smugly, and Futakuchi’s voice raises an octave, cracks a little at the end. “I was sixteen! What did you want from me?!”

 

“Flowers, for a start,” Semi says, takes a sip of his wine and then places a consoling kiss to Futakuchi’s forehead. “So Atsumu is more romantic than you. You ran all the way there?”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu says, doing his best to look bashful as he shrugs, “he was on my mind. Fucker wouldn’t let me get any sleep.”

 

“It was affecting your volleyball,” Ushijima says, nodding sagely.

 

“No,” Atsumu says quickly, shakes his head. It feels monumentally important to clarify. “It was affecting me.”

 

The room falls dead silent for a moment, Sakusa’s stunned eyes trained on the side of Atsumu’s face. He can’t bring himself to meet his gaze, feeling pinned underneath it as is. The moment shatters with a tandem-coordinated squeal of delight from both Tendou and Semi, both of them cooing over how sweet Atsumu is while Oohira laughs warmly and Futakuchi mimes gagging. Even Ushijima gives a small, approving smile. Test: passed.

 

Sakusa drops a kiss to his forehead, feather-light and fleeting. Atsumu lets it happen, turns his face into his shoulder blade as Sakusa leans back into him, cards his fingers through his hair. The conversation turns, then, to embarrassment Olympics via relationship stories. Tendou loudly and proudly recounts how Ushijima assumed they were dating for six months and Tendou only realized when he got upset about an apparently missed anniversary. Ushijima doesn’t so much as blush. Oohira gamely recalls Yamagata first meeting his parents and how he’d kept going to the bathroom to the point that his parents had been genuinely concerned he had bowel problems. This seems to delight Tendou to no end.

 

“What about Atsumu, Sakusa-san?” Semi asks, curled in tight against Futakuchi’s chest, relishing in having his hair played with. “Surely he’s done something embarrassing.”

 

“He has sweatpants,” Sakusa says, and Atsumu feels his soul leave his body, “specifically for when he wants to fuck.”

 

“Oh? Experienced with them, are you?” Futakuchi asks, innocently, and Atsumu makes a strangled noise in the back of his throat that implies if he didn’t have Sakusa sitting on his lap and effectively pinning him to the seat, he would be launching at Futakuchi with intent to kill. Sakusa shoots him a withering look. Futakuchi smiles sweetly.

 

“Kiyoomi-kun,” Ushijima says, sounding just faintly scandalized. Sakusa goes red.

 

“It’s not like that,” he says, “I just think it’s ridiculous. The only reason I know they exist is because he wore them over to show off in front of Chihaya-san.”

 

“Okay, and it worked didn’t it? He got jealous and probably fucked off to go jerk off all jealous about how I’m the one who gets to fuck you.” Sakusa somehow manages to go redder, downing the last of his wine and abruptly holding out his glass for more. Oohira, managing extremely graceful composure, tops him up without a word.

 

“I can’t believe you wore the sex-pants just to piss of Chihaya,” Futakuchi says, sounding like he absolutely can believe it, and also like he’s positively gleeful over it. “Oh man, I would have paid to have seen his face. You guys will not believe his opinions of the communicative properties of advertising.”

 

“Oh no,” Sakusa leans back into Atsumu, shifts again to sag deeper against him. Atsumu lets him, hand still gently cupping his thigh, “he’s one of those people?”

 

“Claims to not be affected by advertising, trades in his phones as soon as a newer model drops anyway,” Futakuchi confirms. Atsumu mumbles something rude against Sakusa’s shoulder.

 

“Honestly,” Sakusa sighs, “I don’t know what I did to deserve this. I can’t see why someone like him would be interested in me , of all people, and I don’t even mean that in an Atsumu-way, I mean it as I can’t fathom how he thinks we could or would ever work as a couple.”

 

“Kiyoomi-kun,” Ushijima says, worry tinging the edges of his voice, “you are doing something about it, right?”

 

“I’m staying with Atsumu most nights of the week. Honestly, I would have liked to take it slower, but he’s been very good about my mysophobia and working with it. It’s very sweet of him.”

 

“It’s just common decency,” Atsumu mutters, somehow feeling embarrassed by the statement, “it ain’t like I’m purposefully gonna upset ya. I’m a shithead, but I’m not that cruel.”

 

“Wait, Atsumu, can you say ‘I’m a shithead’ again? I wasn’t recording.” Atsumu mimes kicking Futakuchi from across the room. Futakuchi puckers his lips at him in response until Semi pinches his arm and he forgoes teasing Atsumu for whining about that.

 

“You interest me,” Tendou says, voice lilting and slicing as it cut through all conversation, “the concept of the two of you together. I could tell Kiyoomi-kun felt more for you than he was letting on when he talked about you to us, but I couldn’t put my finger on what. Still, you were unexpected. The last time I checked, you had a super obvious crush on your high-school capta-”

 

Atsumu just yells. With his hands preoccupied holding Sakusa and his sake, he can’t clap them over his ears, so he makes do by simply yelling over Tendou, as his face goes furiously red. Sakusa jumps in shock, and then raises a brow. Puts a hand over his mouth. Atsumu continues screaming into the palm, although the sound is muffled.

 

“Stop being so dramatic,” Sakusa says, sounding half-concerned, half-annoyed, “it’s not like Kita-san is the most embarrassing person you could have had a crush on.”

 

“Kita is a very nice man,” Ushijima supplies helpfully, even as Atsumu thunks his head on Sakusa’s shoulder. “He is more than worthy of any past affections you may have had for him.”

 

“Does everyone know about that? I thought I made it pretty fuckin’ clear that Samu wasn’t s’posed to talk about it!”

 

“Osamu didn’t tell anyone,” Sakusa replies irritably, “you were just so obvious.”

 

“I was not !”

 

“Were too.”

 

“No!”

 

“Yes.”

 

“No!”

 

“I’m not doing this with you,” Sakusa decides, puts a thumb against his lower lip and wedges his jaw open with the grip it provides him. Then, he lifts his own wine glass to his lips and sloshes some of it into Atsumu’s mouth. Reflexively, he gulps it down, smacks his tongue around his mouth to try and decide if he likes the taste while the rest of Sakusa’s friends sit in awed silence.

 

“You know,” Semi says, finally, “Kenji, I’m starting to get what you meant about being in love with Sakusa-san.”

 

“Right?!”

 

“I mean, he shut Satori up like it was nothing. I’ve been trying to do that for years .”

 

“Cruel, Semisemi!” Tendou protests, picking up a couch cushion and lobbing it at his friend. Semi catches it with his free hand and hurls it back, where Ushijima snatches it from mid air before it even comes close to hitting Tendou.

 

“Do not bring that nickname back!” Semi tries to protest, but it’s lost to Tendou’s wild cackling, as Oohira chuckles politely into the rim of his glass and Futakuchi unabashedly tips his head back and laughs and laughs and laughs. Atsumu’s laughing too, because Semi’s offended face is just too funny, and Ushijima looks vaguely confused, like he’s having trouble keeping up with the pace of the conversation.

 

“It’s too bad for you,” Sakusa says finally, “there’s only one man in this room whose feelings I return.”

 

“Aww, baby,” Atsumu croons, “stop it. Yer gonna make me blush.” He puts his hand on Sakusa’s ass anyway. Sakusa doesn’t move it away.

 

They stay like that, Sakusa curled into his lap, letting Atsumu trace small circles against the base of his spine, laughing at Futakuchi and Tendou sniping good-naturedly at each other, until Ushijima yawns so broadly that Atsumu is sure his lower jaw might just fall off.

 

“I think that’s us, then,” Oohira says, sounding amused. “I should call Hayato anyway, he’ll be missing me.”

 

“But then we’ll miss you,” Semi wheedles, which makes Oohira chuckle and drop a kiss on his forehead as he passes. Ushijima is busy rubbing his eye with his knuckles, letting Tendou gently pry his glass from his hand and settle it down on the coffee table.

 

“He’s a terrible lightweight,” he announces, “and the red puts him right to sleep.”

 

“Satori,” Ushijima rumbles, pouting- honest to God pouting , Atsumu thinks gleefully- although he seems to perk up when Tendou cups his jaw in one hand and pulls his face toward him to pepper kisses over it.

 

“Thank you for having us,” Sakusa says, “it was good to see you again.”

 

“You too, Kiyoomi-kun.” Ushijima nods, takes a deep breath. “I was worried you didn’t want to be my friend anymore.”

 

“Are ya kiddin’?” Atsumu says, before Sakusa can jump in and make a fool of himself. “Omi talks ‘bout ya all the time, he’s just been nervous ‘bout people bein’ nosy about this. Ya know how he is.”

 

“Yes,” Ushijima says thoughtfully, eyes softening in the corners, so much like the way Sakusa’s do that Atsumu instantly understands how they’re friends, “I do.”

 

“Sorry for keepin’ him from ya,” Atsumu says, giving Sakusa a little squeeze, “only I’m not, really. I’m selfish like that.”

 

“Then thank you for sharing him.”

 

“I’m not a chew toy,” Sakusa grumps, but there’s a smile on his face, a flush on the bridge of his nose, probably more from the wine than anything else.

 

“Apologies, Kiyoomi-kun,” Ushijima says, readjusting his arms around Tendou as he crawls into his lap, “I did not mean to imply that you were. I simply missed you. It was nice to have you around again.”

 

“You know what that means, Sakusa-san,” Semi says, eyes half-closed against Futakuchi peppering gentle kisses against his shoulder, “you’ve got to promise to not be a stranger.”

 

“I promise,” Sakusa says earnestly, “text me your volleyball schedule, Wakatoshi-kun. I’ll come to a game.” Ushijima squints at him.

 

“You want to spy on me.”

 

“Yes.” Ushijima nods, mulling this over.

 

“Very well.”

 

Ushijima walks them out, as much as he can when he’s half asleep on his feet, clearly only kept up by Tendou’s arm around him. He and Sakusa make idle chatter in the genkan as Atsumu laces on his shoes again and then sanitizes his hands, has the bottle ready for Sakusa when he cups his palms expectantly.

 

“You know, Atsumu-kun,” Tendou says, tilting his head at him with that piercing gaze Atsumu remembers from their game with Shiratorizawa in his first year at Nationals, “I think love has made you soft.”

 

“Dream on, Satori-kun,” Atsumu grins. “Omi-kun says I’m full of love, and that never stopped me before. I just wanted to make a good impression, but if ya insist -”

 

“Don’t start a fight you’ll lose,” Sakusa tells him mildly, standing up again, “I’ll text you, Wakatoshi-kun.”

 

“Okay,” Ushijima says, as Tendou and Atsumu stick their tongues out at each other, teasingly. Tendou gives up first, in favour of sticking his arm out and wiggling his fingers like he had when Sakusa had first walked through the door. Sakusa gives him one of those tiny, stable smiles, and Atsumu grins at his profile, before letting Sakusa hook an arm over his shoulders and steer him out the door.

 

He slips his hand into Sakusa’s on the elevator ride down, and they’re quiet on the bus ride back, holding on to each other, with Sakusa’s face tilted forward and into his neck. Atsumu lets his head fall to the side a little, rests his nose in Sakusa’s messy hair and lets himself sink into the now-familiar smell of his shampoo.

 

“Miya?”

 

“Yea?”

 

“Do you… want to stay for a bit?”

 

“Yer not sick of me yet, Omi-Omi?” He feels the way Sakusa’s mouth tugs into a smile against his skin.

 

“Not yet.”

 

“Okay, then.”

 

It’s when Atsumu is shifting from foot to foot in Sakusa’s too-big sweatpants and too-big t-shirt, waiting for the jug to boil so that he can make himself a cup of tea while Sakusa fusses over sanitizing his nightstand, that he thinks to ask.

 

It’s a wonder it didn’t occur to him before, actually. He feels like smacking himself in the forehead, disgruntled by the knowledge that Kuroo would definitely be laughing at him for letting it hang for so long, but Kuroo isn’t here to laugh at him and Kuroo will never find out that he’s been this slow on the uptake. Atsumu will take that secret to his grave. So, he clears his throat, tucks his hands up under his armpits and rocks back on his heels.

 

“Omi?”

 

“Mm?”

 

“How’d ya do all that, back at Ushiwaka-kun’s?” He can hear Sakusa go still behind him. “Ya said yer not a good liar and all but ya came up with a pretty good story. Wasn’t bad, y’know.”

 

“Right,” Sakusa clears his throat. Atsumu doesn’t dare turn to look at him. “I guess I just thought of how I’d want you to confess.”

 

“Right,” Atsumu says back, like he understands. He does not, in fact, understand. That little tidbit gets filed away into the highlighter yellow folder in his head. Instead, what he says is; “chamomile?”

 

“Please.”

 

He hands off Sakusa’s mug to him, and settles onto the couch with him. True to form, Sakusa curls into his side almost immediately, and Atsumu sacrifices an arm to Sakusa’s shoulders. Maybe Tendou is right and this whole fake-relationship is making him go soft. It feels good though, to see Sakusa so comfortable and relaxed, both hands wrapped around his drink and his eyes half-lidded.

 

Sakusa has never been small. Sakusa has never been larger than life, either, always a steady constant to Atsumu. Never an indomitable opponent, simply one who had a stronger team every time Atsumu came up against him. And still, here, curled up into Atsumu’s side on his own couch, half asleep and barely sipping his tea, Sakusa seems almost fragile. It makes Atsumu have the urge to do something insane like protect him, like Sakusa needs protecting from anything at all. 

 

Still, he lifts his hand, pushes his fingers into his hair. Sakusa leans into the touch like he’s never shied away from Atsumu’s hands before. Like he couldn’t even dream of doing it. Atsumu brushes his curls back, drops a kiss to his forehead, right on top of the upper mole. Sakusa chuckles, light and breathless, and Atsumu smiles against his skin.

 

He thinks it should be stranger than it is, falling into a pattern like this so easily. It’s true that Atsumu is touchy in relationships, but he and Sakusa are very much not in a relationship; not here, not behind closed doors. Sakusa soaks it all up though, leans into him like he’s trying to weld their bodies together, and those words run around in Atsumu’s mind until he feels winded- people don’t touch me often - and it cuts off whatever else he was going to think about. People don’t touch Sakusa Kiyoomi, but Miya Atsumu does, and he likes it, and so Atsumu finds that he just can’t stop touching him.

 

He finds it in him to extract himself when his mug of tea is completely drained and the ceramic of it is cold, if only because he doesn’t want to miss his morning run again because he has assignments to catch up on that he has very much not been doing because his routine has slipped quite viciously to the left. Sakusa watches him with bleary eyes from the couch, where he’d been half-asleep in Atsumu’s lap a moment prior.

 

“You know you could stay if you wanted to,” he yawns, muffling it in the crook of his elbow.

 

“I know, Omi, but I’m good,” he crouches by the couch again once he’s finished rinsing their mugs, gently brushes his hair away from his face. “Ya should get into bed though, passin’ out here ain’t gonna do much for ya.”

 

“Mmmgh,” Sakusa says, eloquently, which is very Kenma-esque of him and it makes Atsumu’s heart tug fondly.

 

“Aww, sugar tits,” he croons, laughs as Sakusa instantly socks him in the chest, “want me to tuck ya in?”

 

“No, thank you,” Sakusa sits up, rubs his eyes, “these are outside clothes anyway, they’ve been on the couch and I haven’t cleaned it recently.”

 

“Mmkay, if yer sure, but I still gotta change outta this-”

 

“You can keep them,” Sakusa says, gently tugging at the sleeve of Atsumu’s- Sakusa’s - shirt so that the shoulder-seam actually sits on his shoulder, gently brushes it with the tips of his fingers so it’ll smooth into place. “I’ll pick them up whenever.”

 

“I’ll leave ‘em out with yer stuff whenever I put ‘em through the wash,” Atsumu promises, trying not to think about how weird it’ll be, wandering back across campus in Sakusa’s clothes. Not quite walk-of-shame esque, but close enough. He hopes Kenma won’t be home, because this will be a source of ridicule if he ever catches wind of it.

 

“I’m going to shower now,” Sakusa says, using Atsumu’s shoulders as a brace to sway to his feet.

 

“Invitation?” Atsumu asks him, around a crooked grin. Sakusa curls one hand into a fist and brings it down, lightly, on the top of his head.

 

“Goodnight, Miya.”

 

“Sweet dreams, Omi.” The bathroom door clicks closed behind him. Atsumu waits for the shower to start running, before he picks up his clothes and leaves.

 

He wanders across campus bare-foot, shoes hooked by the heel on his middle and index fingers of his left hand, right hand holding his phone. He brought it out to text Sakusa, but staring at his messages with him, something feels off. It takes him all the way to the lobby of his building, dew-fresh grass stuck to the soles of his feet, before he realizes what it is. The elevator is waiting for him as he bundles his shoes to his chest and taps out a message.

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (11:49pm)

yo try not 2 die gettin into bed would b embarrassing 4 u

and tonight was fun

see u 2morrow

 

Sakusa doesn’t text him back immediately. Atsumu’s okay with that; he still wipes down his nightstand and his phone before bed, showers and gets into his inside clothes to slip between the sheets. He does all this so he can tell Sakusa that he did it tomorrow, and it won’t be a lie. He would never lie to Sakusa about this anyway, not when he knows how much it means. He’s a jerk, but he’s not that much of a jerk. He already knows if Sakusa wants the sheets changed tomorrow anyway, he won’t put up a fight. His phone buzzes on the nightstand.

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (12:21am)

I had fun too.

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (12:21am)

obvi my company is a luxury n a treat

also btw showered n inside clothes n all that

so try not 2 worry 2morrow but it’s okay if u do

but jsyk u would b able to tell cuz i smell so good rn

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (12:29am)

You always do.

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (12:30am)

flatterer lol

🖤

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (12:35am)

:)

Maybe so.

 

And Atsumu doesn’t have a reply to that. Partially because Sakusa using a smiley is enough to make the world feel like it’s ending. Mostly because his eyes are already drooping shut, dumb grin stretching his mouth so hard it hurts. He wakes up with drool on his pillow and his alarm screaming inches from his face. He does not think about the smiley as he runs. Not one bit. Not even a little at all.

Chapter Text

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:01pm)

I’m dyingggg

Miya I have like 10 minutes left of this lecture I don’t think I can make it

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:01pm)

i know i’m addictive but STOP TEXTING ME lol u know i’m at study group

kenji-kun is givin me the evils now

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:03pm)

Just tell Futakuchi-san your boyfriend needs you

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:03pm)

he will take that 2 mean u want to meet up 2 hook up

hate that i can tell ur doin that angry blushing thing u do rn

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:11pm)

I do NOT have an angry blushing thing that I do

And also my class was finishing. So.

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:11pm)

good!!!

then u can stop texting me!

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:12pm)

Cold, Miya.

Honestly, I could use a chance to study

Would you & Futakuchi-san mind if I joined you?

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:12pm)

can’t get enough of me, huh?

ur good tho come on over we r inviting strays anyway

back corner of hummingbird cafe two blocks over from campus

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (2:13pm)

You do exist to make my life a misery

On my way

 

Futakuchi bounces a balled up piece of notepaper off of Atsumu’s head, making him whine, rubbing the spot even though it didn’t hurt that much. Futakuchi leans to the side easily as Atsumu hurls it back at him.

 

“Are you actually going to get any work done or are you just going to grin like an idiot at your phone the whole time?”

 

“Quit bein’ so cranky, Kenji-kun. Omi was just askin’ if he could join us.”

 

“Ah, so another wayward soul is inducted into the fold.”

 

“I coulda said no , if yer gonna be a bitch about it.” Futakuchi gives him the look that he usually reserves for Koganegawa’s antics, and Atsumu does not appreciate that at all, so he kicks him soundly under the table and retreats back to his ‘work’, which is currently trying to decide which pair of running shoes he wants to buy while a lecture recording plays from one loose earbud. He’s not really listening to that, anyway. It’s more white noise about printing presses and shit Atsumu couldn’t care less about.

 

“Stop being pouty,” Futakuchi says, actually doing his work, which involves math , and Atsumu is not interested in that at all thank you very much, “if Eita wasn’t busy he’d be here too, we both know it. I’m just saying. I’ve never seen you this goopy before.”

 

“Ya haven’t seen me in a serious relationship before.”

 

“I know. Kinda freaks me out.”

 

“Shut up. Just ‘case yer practically married to the boy next door,” Atsumu flicks a pencil at him.

 

“Eita is very much not a boy-next-door kinda guy,” Futakuchi flicks the pencil right back.

 

“Okay but he literally lived next door to ya. Y’know what I mean.” Atsumu huffs, picking the pencil up to lob it end over end. Futakuchi catches it in mid air and promptly sets it down as far away as he can, which is considerably far away from Atsumu. Atsumu gives him the finger instead.

 

“Stop sulking, Atsumu, I think it’s nice,” Futakuchi continues, ignoring the murder beam Atsumu is aiming right at his forehead. “Not to act like someone’s parent but it’s actually genuinely good to see you settle down. It’s all well and good for you to be sticking your dick in whatever-”

 

“Fuckin’ hell-”

 

“- but as your friend, it comforts me, knowing that you’ve got someone stable.”

 

“Stop bein’ nice. Makes me feel like ya got bodysnatched.”

 

“Okay then, mean-mode activated again. Stop looking at running shoes and do your fucking revision or you’ll fail miserably and graduate a semester behind the rest of us.” Atsumu grumbles, because that doesn’t make him feel any better, but he begrudgingly plugs his earphone in again and makes an attempt at listening to the lecture replay while making sure his most phenomenal sulking face is in action. Futakuchi ignores it in favour of solving another math equation, the bastard.

 

Atsumu is still rapidly scribbling notes when Sakusa’s hand lands on his shoulder. He jumps, a little, turns his head upward to blink a hello. Sakusa’s wearing a mask and his eyes look harried, and before Atsumu can even tug an earbud out to ask what the problem is, Chihaya pops into view over Sakusa’s shoulder.

 

“Fuck all the way off,” Futakuchi mutters, aggressively dragging his headphones up over his ears and cranking his music up until it’s loud enough that the tinny bass is audible across the table. Atsumu kicks him for abandoning him to his fate. He really is a terrible friend. 

 

“Hi, baby,” Atsumu croons instead, hitting pause on his lecture to shift in his seat a little, “kiss okay today?” Sakusa nods, so Atsumu drops a kiss against his clothed shoulder, since it’s easy for him to reach.

 

“Hello, Miya,” Chihaya says, “I didn’t know you’d be here, too.”

 

“I told you I was going to study,” Sakusa says, in the tone that implies at any second he might snap and say something truly bitchy, “and Atsumu’s buying me coffee.”

 

“Am I?”

 

“You are,” Sakusa smooths his hand up, hooks it around the back of his neck. Atsumu hates the bastard, he decides, even as he’s leaning his head into it, peppering little kisses against Sakusa’s forearm, over the sleeve of his shirt.

 

“Yer lucky I like ya so much,” Atsumu tells him. “Settle in. I know what ya order.”

 

If Sakusa’s surprised, Atsumu isn’t watching to see it. He’s too busy marvelling at his own surprise. It’s true, he realizes, as he starts to stand, that he does know what Sakusa orders. He usually can’t be convinced to attend coffee runs after morning practices in the thick of tournament season, but on the odd occasion he’d joined Bokuto, Hinata and himself in the campus cafe, he’d always ordered the same thing.

 

“I’ll pay you back for a cappuccino,” Futakuchi says, music now an acceptable volume. Atsumu grunts his agreement, as Sakusa gives the surface of the table a little wipe, before sliding into the seat. Chihaya rounds the table to drop into the one next to Futakuchi.

 

“Are you studying for 322?”

 

“No-”

 

“Great! Because I was thinking we could go over-” Atsumu ignores Futakuchi’s help-me eyes and swans toward the cafe’s counter instead. 

 

When he returns, he’s made the informed conclusion that Chihaya is just wilfully ignorant of how other people respond to him, given that Futakuchi looks about a second away from evolving into a venomous species and biting him. Sakusa is steadfastly ignoring their conversation and is pretending his stack of science-y textbooks are more interesting than they really are.

 

“Aight,” Atsumu says, exercising mercy by saving Futakuchi from a clearly painful situation, “weird person coffee for Kenji-kun, matcha latte for ya, and I got us a blueberry muffin to share.”

 

“Thoughtful,” Sakusa says, starting to unhook his mask so that Atsumu can see the ghost of a smile, “even though you’ll end up eating most of it, I’m sure.”

 

Rude , Omi-Omi, I got manners!”

 

“Doubtful,” Futakuchi says, and only Sakusa’s lips pressed against the apex of Atsumu’s cheek stop him from aiming another kick at him. He can feel his face redden a little, before he grins, crookedly, and leans into the brush of pressure against his skin. Sakusa draws back with a little private smile, hiding it behind the lip of his coffee cup.

 

“See, this is why Eita-kun doesn’t wanna hang out with you-”

 

“Eita has a health and safety walkthrough of that club his band is playing at.”

 

“-’cause you’re a bitch ,” Atsumu finishes, undeterred by Futakuchi’s interruption. He takes a sip of his drink and gives his friend the finger, before he draws one of his legs up underneath himself and leans into Sakusa’s shoulder.

 

“You guys are fun,” Chihaya says, which makes Atsumu’s nose wrinkle a little.

 

“What are you doing?” Sakusa asks, holding out his sanitizer bottle. Atsumu accepts a generous dollop so that he can work it into his hands, before reaching across to cut the blueberry muffin in a perfect half.

 

“Just listenin’ to some lectures for my class on news story structure,” he hands one half to Sakusa, takes a bite of his own. “I’m on the real borin’ stuff ‘bout the technological history of the industry and how that impacted on what sorta narrative structures became prioritized so I was also looking at running shoes.”

 

“Why? Your running shoes are fine, you literally went for a run in them yesterday morning.”

 

“For fashion, Omi,” Atsumu says sagely, “they’re multipurpose that way. Look hot with my outfit but if I gotta sprint away from someone I’m ready, y’know?”

 

“I absolutely don’t know. Show me which ones you were thinking about.” Sakusa curls a knee into Atsumu’s lap. Atsumu puts his hand on it, gently stabilizes it while he holds out his other for a sanitizing wipe. He takes it to his computer keyboard and trackpad before tabbing back to the shoe website and scrolling through his page of liked shoes.

 

“These ones reminded me of ya,” he announces, stopping on a pair of neon yellow shoes. Sakusa glares, takes a pointed chomp of his muffin.

 

“Hilarious. You have a problem, these shoes are all so expensive, and you’re so cheap.”

 

“I know, I’m limitin’ myself to one pair.”

 

“Or you could buy no pairs and take me on a nice date instead.”

 

“Cute, Omi-Omi, nice fuckin’ try, we both know yer idea of a nice date is strictly indoors and not out at some fancy restaurant that hasn’t had a health inspection in the past month,” Sakusa huffs at him, and Atsumu grins, bumps his nose against his forehead.

 

“Could you two stop being grossly into each other for five minutes?” Futakuchi asks, but he sounds amused. “Some of us are actually trying to do work.”

 

“Sorry, Futakuchi-san.”

 

“Just blame Atsumu, Sakusa, we all do it.”

 

Hey .”

 

“You guys haven’t been together that long, right?” Chihaya pipes up, chin resting in the cradle of his palm. “Everyone’s saying so.”

 

“It’s… new,” Sakusa replies, cautiously.

 

“We’ve known each other way longer than we’ve been datin’ though,” Atsumu adds, “I met ya first year of high school, huh? That was our first U-19 camp, with Ushiwaka-kun.”

 

“I remember,” Sakusa says, taking another sip of his drink, “that was the first time we talked, but I think the first time we actually saw each other was InterHigh Nationals, since that was before the camp.”

 

“Shit, that’s right! When I came to grab Aran for warmups! Man, ya looked so offended I had the fuckin’ audacity to be in yer presence.”

 

“You know how I get. I didn’t like all the people.”

 

“I know that now . Back then I’m pretty sure I thought ya were just a dick.” Sakusa hums, like this is fair. Atsumu brushes a gentle kiss to his forehead, before reaching for his half of the muffin to take another bite.

 

“Are you in love with each other?” Chihaya says, like he’s inquiring about the weather.

 

“Excuse me?” Sakusa says, archly.

 

Huh ?” Atsumu says, a shade away from thundering.

 

“You really are a piece of work,” Futakuchi says, flat and unimpressed. Chihaya smiles sweetly back at them.

 

Atsumu has plenty of choice words for him. The idea of being in love with Sakusa is strange, but the fact that the question makes Atsumu’s heart beat like he’s just sprinted a marathon without stopping is even more disconcerting. Whatever reply he could concoct would never be cutting enough, scathing enough, couldn’t turn Chihaya away hard enough to make him leave Sakusa alone and swear off asking him questions like that forever.

 

The bell at the door chimes, and Oikawa Tooru breezes in.

 

Atsumu decides then and there that there must be some kind of deity watching over them, like Kita’s granny always used to say. Oikawa is tall and handsome and sun-kissed with a tan from his year studying abroad in Argentina. Oikawa is pushing his sunglasses up onto the top of his head and fixing Atsumu with a laser-beam glare. Oikawa is possibly the meanest person Atsumu has ever met, when he deigns to be.

 

“You,” he declares, pointed a wrestled-off shoe at Atsumu, “are in big trouble, Miya Atsumu.”

 

“If this is about the Omi thing-”

 

“I can’t believe ,” Oikawa continues, as if he hadn’t spoken, striding forward with his shoe raised threateningly, “that you not only didn’t tell me you got a boyfriend, you let me find out through social media and then refused to tell me anything about it! I’m a romantic, Attsun! We’re supposed to be friends , Attsun! You ghosted me, you little brat!”

 

“You’re causing a scene,” Iwaizumi says flatly, behind him, “Atsumu doesn’t have to tell you anything.”

 

“Thank ya, Hajime-kun!” Atsumu points at the raised shoe. “Don’t let him hit me with that, it’ll upset Omi, and ya kind of owe me for Kuroo’s party.”

 

Iwaizumi looks like he might actually let Oikawa throw the shoe for that one. After a brief moment of contemplation, he sighs, and gently grasps Oikawa’s wrist to pry his weapon loose. He does owe him for Kuroo’s party, after all. It had been in Atsumu’s first year, a send off to Iwaizumi and Oikawa before they went for their year abroad, when Iwaizumi had gotten phenomenally wasted and Atsumu and Daichi had to lift him up the stairs to his apartment because the elevator had been out of order. Oikawa had taken the stairs three at a time ahead of them in a fit of drunken energy and had been exactly zero help.

 

“Tooru,” Iwaizumi says, “put the shoe down.”

 

“You’re no fun, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa responds, but lets his boyfriend take the shoe from him, because they are unquestionably in love, and Chihaya wouldn’t have to ask them a dumb question like that. Atsumu sneaks a glance at Chihaya from the corner of his eye, who is watching the display with beady curiosity and also slight bewilderment. Atsumu hopes Oikawa eats him alive.

 

“Good afternoon to you too, Oikawa,” Futakuchi said, spirits cheered considerably by someone threatening explicit harm to Atsumu. He’s spent too much time with Yahaba, he decides then. Whoever allowed the pair of them to live together has it out for him.

 

“Futakuchi!” Oikawa trills, delighted, drapes himself over his back and peppers kisses against the side of his face while Iwaizumi patiently unpacks their things and drags two seats close together.

 

“Stop harassing Futakuchi and sit down,” he says, settling into his chair, “we’re already late.”

 

“I don’t control the train lines, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa sniffs back, dropping into the one Iwaizumi has provided for him and swinging his feet into his lap. “I know you think in my infinite excellence I’m able to command the tides at will, but alas, you’re mistaken.”

 

“Don’t be annoying,” Iwaizumi says, opening his laptop in a way that gives his words little conviction, “Atsumu and Futakuchi have a friend.”

 

“Debatable,” Futakuchi says.

 

“Hi,” Chihaya says, at the exact same time. Futakuchi re-settles his headphones and fixes a particularly baleful glare on his workbook. Atsumu waits for the pages to burst into flame. Sakusa hooks a foot around Atsumu’s ankle under the table, so he turns his hand face-up. After a moment of hesitation, Sakusa slips his fingers between his.

 

Oikawa, of course, watches all of this with his all seeing eyes. Oikawa’s eyes have always been unsettling; so warm and vibrant one minute, cold and cutting the next. Atsumu doesn’t envy Chihaya for being on the end of Oikawa’s dissecting gaze. He hates when Oikawa does that. It feels like being ripped apart and having his entrails exposed. If Iwaizumi notices the staring- and Atsumu knows he does, because Iwaizumi notices if Oikawa so much as breathes slightly off-key- he doesn’t make any move to stop him.

 

“Ah,” Oikawa says finally, with one of his radiant smiles. He leans forward, props his chin in his hand, blinks his startlingly long lashes as his pretty mouth curls up into fascinated amusement. “You’re Sakkun’s Suitor-chan.”

 

“Chihaya Eishun,” Chihaya clarifies, with barely bitten-back irritation. “You’re Oikawa Tooru.”

 

“Hm,” Oikawa says, before twisting his whole upper torso to face Sakusa and Atsumu, even as Iwaizumi slaps a pen into his hand and forces him to hold it, reaching around him to slowly tap in Oikawa’s laptop password. “Anyway, Attsun, as I was saying , I’m a romantic, and it’s cruel and heartless of you to deprive me of the story of such a grand romance, and even more cruel and heartless to do so while supplying your company to my greatest enemy.”

 

“Oh,” Atsumu says, with a sage nod, “this is ‘bout Ushiwaka-kun. Got it.”

 

“Yes, it very much is,” Oikawa groans. “I hate him. Why him before me?”

 

“It was my fault, Oikawa-san,” Sakusa says, with a little hint of amusement tinging his tone. “Wakatoshi-kun was upset that I wasn’t seeing him as much. Atsumu has been very good about respecting my desire for privacy, but I don’t like seeing my friends upset.”

 

“Sneaky, Sakkun, appealing to my sense of loyalty,” Oikawa doesn’t sound remotely upset. “Attsun, you’re lucky your boyfriend is so smart, but you owe me a double date now. No excuses.”

 

“Come on, Crappykawa, leave them alone,” Iwaizumi thwacks his pen against the back of Oikawa’s head, eliciting an over-dramatic yelp. “Sakusa doesn’t need to watch you try and stick your hands up my shirt in public, and you need to focus on your studying or you’ll fail your exams.”

 

“Iwa-chan!” Oikawa squalls, scandalized. “You take that back this instant! I have never failed an exam in my life .”

 

“Yeah, because I always make you knuckle down and study.”

 

“No, it’s because I’m intelligent and capable. You weren’t there to boss me around in Argentina! Say I’m intelligent and capable right now, or we’re getting a divorce.”

 

“You’re very intelligent and capable, Oikawa,” Iwaizumi intones, pressing a kiss to the hinge of his jaw, “also, we’re not married.”

 

“Not yet,” Oikawa grins, and Iwaizumi sweeps his eyes over the group. 

 

“You’re all witnesses to him threatening me,” he says, gravely, as Oikawa sucks a finger into his mouth and then belligerently jams it into Iwaizumi’s ear. Sakusa hides his grin against Atsumu’s shoulder, and Atsumu is thrilled to know he can feel it even through the fabric of his shirt.

 

Iwaizumi and Oikawa’s resulting scuffle is short-lived, and decided by Iwaizumi clamping a hand around Oikawa’s jaw, placing a kiss on his nose, and then dropping a hand to gently massage his shin. Oikawa settles, spins his pen absently around his fingers as he reads through his notes on his laptop.

 

Futakuchi hasn’t looked up from his book in close to twenty minutes, even though he must feel Chihaya’s eyes continuously landing on him. One of Atsumu’s arms has migrated around Sakusa’s shoulders. Sakusa leans himself back into Atsumu’s chest, props his textbook on his raised knees and does his highlighting and annotating from there while Atsumu’s free hand takes his own notes. He hasn’t even caught on to his own thumb rubbing gentle circles against Sakusa’s shoulder when Chihaya drops his pen onto his notepad with a startling thud.

 

“You know,” he says conversationally, puts his chin in the cradle of both hands, “you never answered my question.”

 

“Are you fuckin’ serious ?” Atsumu hisses. Oikawa’s eyes have gone sharp again, and this time they’re flicking between Atsumu and Chihaya. Every time they land on him, Atsumu swears they open another cut. Fucking Chihaya.

 

“What question?” Oikawa asks, even as Sakusa’s frown deepens into a genuine scowl, his fingers going white-knuckled around his pen. If he wasn’t so agitated, Atsumu would lift them to his mouth. Kiss them better. Instead, he leans forward, mouth curled into his ugliest sneer so that his teeth are bared and his dark eyebrows are settled low over his eyes. People have always called his eyes warm, but he’s wishing frostbite on Chihaya with them right now.

 

“It’s none of yer fuckin’ business, so ya can just butt the fuck out.”

 

“Atsumu,” Sakusa says, shifting a little to place a placating hand between his shoulder blades, thumb over the nape of his neck.

 

“Why so defensive? Is the answer not one you’d like to admit to?” Atsumu gets half-way to standing before Sakusa yanks him back down, face flushed red. It strikes him then that this is all very embarrassing to Sakusa, and he feels instantly cowed. He knows his face must collapse into something like concern, because Sakusa bites the inside of his cheek and turns his eyes downward toward his lap. Atsumu drags his arm back across Sakusa’s shoulders, smooths it down his back, leans across to touch his nose against the hair at Sakusa’s temple.

 

“What question?” Oikawa asks again, less curious now, more demanding. Atsumu has known Oikawa for a while now; can recognize that tone of voice as the one that masks the flames of fury. Even Iwaizumi is sitting up now, frowning like he doesn’t like this at all. It’s Futakuchi that pours gasoline onto the fire, because of course it is, and Atsumu has never been more glad for him than he is right now.

 

“He’s being nosy about whether they’ve said ‘I love you’ yet,” he sounds disinterested, pen touched to his lower lip as he watches Oikawa from under his lashes. “He asked if they were in love with each other.”

 

“Ah.” For all the ways fire is destructive and all-consuming, Oikawa’s fire is different. There’s dead silence between them for a moment, before Oikawa’s chair creaks with the weight of his shifting. There’s a dulled thunk under his elbow as he props it atop Iwaizumi’s abandoned notes. Settles his chin into his palm. His mouth curves up into a smile that could cut. His eyes sparkle, even though they’re cold like a blizzard.

 

“I was just curious,” Chihaya says, sounding too-pleased with himself. Oikawa hums, but it’s not a pleasant or content sound. His words are sharper than all of him; sharper than his hard eyes and his blade-like mouth and the angles of his strong body.

 

“Do you think this is fun, Ei-chan?”

 

“My name is-”

 

“Do you think it’s fun,” Oikawa repeats, speaking over him without even raising his voice, “to trail around the boy you like, as if you’re a lost little puppy, and accost him with questions he’s very clearly uncomfortable answering for your own vanity? This is all a rhetorical, of course. I only have one real question for you: are you genuinely stupid?”

 

Excuse me-”

 

“It’s the only conclusion I can come to, Ei-chan, when you seem to imagine that forcing yourself into the space Sakkun has carved out for himself and Attsun is going to make him like you more. Because that’s really the whole point of this, isn’t it? To try and sway Sakkun into preferring you? How long have you been nipping at his heels for now, Ei-chan? If I had to guess, I’d say it was before Sakkun and Attsun started dating. It wounded your pride, didn’t it? Knowing that no matter how hard you persisted and what you said, there was always someone else that he preferred. I still haven’t figured out why Sakkun of all people, when I’ve seen you speak less than ten words to one another and can still tell you’d be a terrible match.”

 

“You don’t know anything,” Chihaya says, frosty and stiff. Oikawa’s smile brightens. Razor-sharp.

 

“Don’t I? Well, if I can’t know anything for sure, I suppose I could always guess , hm, Iwa-chan?” Iwaizumi hums, places his arm protectively over the back of Oikawa’s chair. “So here’s what I think. I think you have an extraordinarily high opinion of yourself, and Sakkun is something shiny and untouchable, and you decided that you wanted to be the one to touch it, because it would prove your own magnificence, to be the only one allowed inside his space. Even that, though, is a dehumanizing view of him, because he’s not a thing or a puzzle to be solved or a prize of some kind. Which is exactly the attitude you took to trying to get in his pants with, wasn’t it?” Chihaya is silent, fists clenched on the table in fury.

 

“Oooh, I’m good at this guessing thing,” Oikawa sing-songs, bumping his shoulder against Iwaizumi’s companionably. “So, Ei-chan, why do you suppose he prefers Attsun to you? Do you honestly think it matters whether or not he’s in love with him? I don’t think it does. See, you were already competing against Attsun before you even knew it, and Sakkun still chose him. Do you think there’s anything you could do by pestering him this way to make him un-choose him? Or do you persist just because you find it shameful to lose?”

 

“I don’t-”

 

“Because here’s my theory,” Oikawa leans forward again, almost halfway across the table now, grin bordering on manic. “I think that the more you push, the closer Sakkun shifts to Attsun, because it highlights the exact things he doesn’t want. And I think you should accept he doesn’t want you, and will never want you, because you’re a spiteful, petty, egocentric little prat who cares more for the way others regard you than you do for the comfort and happiness of the man you supposedly like.” Oikawa sits back then, clearly pleased with himself, fixing his hair back into place.

 

“Oh, and I think you should stop trying to antagonize Attsun, because one of these days he’s going to stop playing nice about it and clock you one.”

 

Silence descends over them again. Sakusa is slack-jawed and wide-eyed. Atsumu can’t help the compulsive grin on his face. Iwaizumi is looking at his boyfriend like he hung the stars in the sky, and also like he’s debating the ethics of locking them both in the cafe bathroom for fifteen minutes. Futakuchi looks gleeful, his delight only growing when Chihaya wordlessly scrapes back his chair, gathers his things, and hurries out of the cafe like his ass is on fire.

 

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi says, fondly, “you really are a shitty guy.”

 

“It’s a specialty,” Oikawa says, deflating into the cheek kiss Iwaizumi offers. “Sakkun, I’m sorry if that embarrassed you.”

 

“No,” Sakusa says, sounding like someone’s gone and smacked him upside the head, “no, thank you- I just. No one’s ever done something like that for me before. Wakatoshi-kun and my other friends are good, and they look out for me, but none of them are so…”

 

“Vicious?” Atsumu supplies, still grinning wildly. Sakusa makes a stunned noise of agreement.

 

“Well,” Oikawa says with a dismissive sniff, and a wave of his hand, “you might be of allegiance to Mega-Bastard Ushiwaka, but Attsun is my friend, and you’re important to him which means you’re important to me.”

 

“That’s a good ally to have on side, Sakusa,” Futakuchi says, with a crooked grin, “the stories we could tell you.”

 

“Thank you,” Sakusa says again, “I really mean it.”

 

“I know, but you don’t have to thank me.”

 

“It was the right thing to do,” Iwaizumi adds, to which Oikawa nods, firmly. “Your relationship isn’t anyone’s business but your own. We might be curious, but at the end of the day, it’s your decision how much you tell any of us, and we have to respect that.”

 

“I respect your right to privacy, but Ushiwaka getting details before me is an active declaration of war.” Sakusa blinks, and then his face melts into one of those fond smiles that makes Atsumu’s heart leap into his throat and beat there like it’s trying to jump out of his skin. He’s still not used to seeing them; the genuine, steady smiles. Sakusa smiles like that at him more often now, but it’s still a thrill every time.

 

“I think,” Sakusa says slowly, shyly, “after that display, I should be seriously worried.”

 

“Yes,” Oikawa responds, faux-gravely, “you should.”

 

The mood after that is more like study sessions that Atsumu likes; a little more lively, all of them taking turns talking about what they were studying and the content they needed to cover. Oikawa seems to take a particular interest in grilling Sakusa about astrophysics. Sakusa is sympathetic to Iwaizumi’s sports science problems. Futakuchi and Atsumu jeer at the three of them for being ‘nerds’, while trading their own advice to each other based on what they could understand from the overlap between their degrees.

 

Sakusa is the first to leave, for his last late afternoon class. He departs with a gentle brush of his fingers through Atsumu’s hair. Futakuchi is next, citing work as his excuse to slope off. Atsumu leaves Oikawa and Iwaizumi with a big kiss to Oikawa’s cheek as thanks for him ripping into Chihaya, and a friendly slap on the back for Iwaizumi, the pair of them still nestled close together in their separate seats.

 

His reason for leaving so early is doing a quick tidy up around his dorm before Sakusa gets there. This has become his routine on Thursdays, given that most other days of the week when Sakusa stays over, they come directly from volleyball practice. He likes the routine of it, has always liked the comfort of a familiar rhythm. He might have been known in the high school volleyball scene for his propensity to experimentation, but the ability to fool around came from the stability of something steady and sure to fall back on.

 

Sakusa, just like clockwork, is at his door just past six. Atsumu lets him in, offers him sanitizer, and then douses his own hands for Sakusa’s peace of mind as he steps into the dorm in his guest slippers. Atsumu leaves him to shut himself in Atsumu’s bedroom and change his clothes, while he settles on the couch, hooking his laptop up to the TV. 

 

“Kenma’s at Kuroo’s,” he says, when Sakusa reappears, setting himself primly on the couch next to Atsumu. “D’ya have anythin’ ya wanna watch? I was thinkin’ movie night, and we can eat dinner at a socially acceptable time.”

 

“You pick,” Sakusa says. “Can we talk?”

 

“Uh,” Atsumu says, with a flash of panic zipping through him. ‘Can we talk’ is universally bad, he thinks. That’s the phrase people use right before they break up with someone. The harbinger of bad news. He shifts his eyes sideways at Sakusa, raises a brow. “Sure.”

 

“Okay.” Sakusa says, and then falls silent. Atsumu has to resist the urge to grab him by the front of his shirt and shake him violently, until he suddenly remembers how talking works. Sakusa just sits there, hugging his knees and picking at the stitching of his sweatpants while Atsumu settles on a terrible looking teen drama that he won’t care too much about but will make for decent white noise.

 

They sit in silence for most of the first episode. Usually, silence is fine with Sakusa, because Atsumu knows things are fine. Usually, Sakusa has decided to practice cuddling by now, draped over him like a human blanket. Sometimes there’s even neck kisses, which Atsumu would have to be stupid to pass up. And contrary to popular belief, Atsumu is not stupid. Which is why he has his phone out, texting like his life depends on it.

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:13pm)

my heart is in my ASS pls help

 

From: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:15pm)

hi to you too, atsumu

how are you? i’m great, by the way, thanks for asking!

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:15pm)

aran pls u know i love u ur one of my oldest friends 😭😭

i promise if u help i will literally wax poetic abt how much i love u for a solid half hour

but i am in CRISIS

 

From: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:16pm)

normal person crisis or atsumu crisis

atsumu crisis is like the time you took over inarizaki gc to figure out which chocolates to buy for your date

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:16pm)

first of all that WAS a crisis 🤬👿

second of all sakusa hit me w can we talk and then went radio silent

 

From: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:18pm)

😰

damn “sakusa” not “omi-kun” okay so it is serious

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:18pm)

STOP IM FREAKIN OUT

AM I ABT TO GET DUMPED

 

From: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:18pm)

NO

YOU’RE A CATCH SAKUSA ISN’T GOING TO DUMP YOU

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:19pm)

ARAN 😭🥺💞💘

god i love u thank u for hyping me but i’m just rlly scared

 

From: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:23pm)

okay well admittedly i don’t know sakusa too well, and you haven’t exactly told me a whole lot about your relationship (hurtful btw i’m like your oldest friend) BUT from what i do know about him and what i can just kind of understand from observation & guess at? i don’t think sakusa is going to dump you. he seems like someone who probably doesn’t have to express his feelings very often and i think he probably trusts you a lot if he chose to date you, and whatever he wants to talk to you about is probably awkward for him and i understand how and why you would come to the absolute worst conclusion but i think you can have a little more faith in him than that

and if i’m wrong i will literally drive down and pick you up right away and we will get SUPER fucked up

okay? 

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:23pm)

yea ok

thanks aran i rlly needed to hear that

n if i don’t get dumped i’ll call u sometime 2morrow and tell u everything

sorry 4 dumpin this all on u btw i just didn’t wanna text samu he’s been weird abt the whole thing

 

From: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:24pm)

it’s no problem, you are one of my oldest friends or whatever ://

and you should talk to osamu, he’s probably upset about being left out

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:25pm)

HE DIDNT EVEN TELL ME ABT SUNA I FOUND OUT OVER INSTAGRAM

 

From: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:25pm)

oh nevermind then he can stay in the doghouse

i also had to find out over instagram but his own twin? damn 

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:26pm)

IKR??!

 

From: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:26pm)

next time you see osamu you can tell him i’m disappointed

i have to go though, team bonding thing

don’t expect me go easy on you on the professional circuit!! i’ll be waiting for you

and let me know how the thing with sakusa goes. call me if you need me to come get you

 

To: aran!!!!! 🤩🥰💖 (6:27pm)

i will 😊🤩

have fun with ur team aran ily

 

Atsumu settles back into the couch with a relieved little sigh, letting the tension drain from his shoulders. Aran has always been good like that, ever since Atsumu annoyed him into being his friend. For a moment, his heart feels in his throat and tears prick at his eyes as he thinks about how lucky he is to know Aran, who is unconditionally kind and unnaturally patient, who buoys others and asks for nothing in return. On days where even Osamu hadn’t understood him, Aran had, and Atsumu knows he can trust him when he says to have faith, so he lets calm wash over him, half-focuses on the TV show that is really not worth focusing on.

 

“Okay,” Sakusa says again, finally, exhales forcefully, “you have to promise you won’t freak out or laugh at me.”

 

“Not inspirin’ confidence, Omi-kun, but aight. I promise.”

 

“Alright,” Sakusa inhales sharply, screws his eyes closed. “I think you should give me a hickey.”

 

“What?” Atsumu says, after a crushing second of silence.

 

“I want you to give me a hickey,” Sakusa says, more sure of himself now while Atsumu is struggling to breathe around the confused scream that has managed to lodge itself into his throat. “It would make Chihaya back off more, I think, after Oikawa tore into him like that, and it’s not like we don’t practice neck kissing anyway. It wouldn’t be too much more, right?”

 

“Omi-kun,” Atsumu manages, sounding like Sakusa is presently pushing his whole fist down his throat, “yer askin’ me to mark ya.”

 

“I know.”

 

“And yer sure yer okay with that?”

 

“Yes,” Sakusa says, nods decisively, “I trust you.”

 

“Okay,” Atsumu exhales, turns to face Sakusa, who won’t meet his eyes, “can we talk ‘bout this some more?”

 

“Yeah,” Sakusa says, but he doesn’t look up.

 

“Well, if ya want me to… go that far when we mess around like that, then I will, but I feel kinda weird doin’ that just to make a mark, if that makes sense? And if ya change your mind, ya gotta tell me immediately, ‘cause the last thing I wanna do is betray yer trust.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“And I need ya to look at me and tell me ya want it,” Atsumu says, “if ya can’t look me in the eye and tell me it’s one hundred percent okay with ya, I won’t do it.”

 

“You pick this time to be chivalrous?”

 

“I dunno if saying ‘I won’t suck on ya neck until ya look me dead in the eye’ is chivalry, but I treat the people I hook up with well, I’ll have ya know.”

 

“Do we have to talk about that ?”

 

“No, don’t worry, I ain’t gonna torture ya with the details,” he chuckles a little, and Sakusa does too, finally lifts his eyes to shyly meet his. They sit like that for a moment, Sakusa watching Atsumu, and Atsumu watching Sakusa watch him. He smiles a fond little smile, reaches out to gently brush Sakusa’s hair out of his face.

 

“I want,” Sakusa says, breathless, eyes locked firmly with Atsumu’s, “for you to give me a hickey.”

 

“Okay. Just one?”

 

“As many as you like.”

 

“That’s a lotta power to give me.”

 

“Well, you’ve already said if I change my mind I can tell you to stop. And if I decide after the fact that you gave me too many, I’ll just kick your ass.”

 

“Yea, ‘cause that’s definitely an appropriate reaction to havin’ too many hickeys.”

 

“What’s yours, then?”

 

“Concealer, bitch.” Sakusa laughs, puts both hands on his shoulders and shoves him back, down into the cushions of the couch. Atsumu blinks, feeling heat crawl up his neck as Sakusa straddles his lap, thumbs smoothing over his collarbones.

 

“Can I give you hickeys, too?”

 

“If ya want. I’m gonna make fun of ya bein’ a biter to my friends, though.”

 

“I wouldn’t have expected any less.”

 

“Yowch. Such a low opinion of me.”

 

“You are quite literally bringing it on yourself,” Sakusa says, settles across Atsumu’s chest and tangles their legs together. Atsumu slides his hands up under the back of his shirt, nuzzles behind his ear. Sakusa hums, rests his ear right over Atsumu’s heart. “This show is shit, by the way.”

 

“So critical,” he laughs, presses a kiss to the top of his head. Sakusa tells him to fuck off, Atsumu laughs, and everything feels right again.

 

They stay like that for a few episodes, until Sakusa starts to fidget in the way Atsumu has started to recognize as meaning he’s hungry, so Sakusa sits at the kitchen table and shows Atsumu tweets of cute puppies while Atsumu cooks him dinner. They eat in companionable silence, boot up Kenma’s PS4 so that Sakusa can play around with games he never got around to buying. Atsumu is content to watch, scrolling social media with his head in Sakusa’s lap, offering advice when he thinks Sakusa needs it.

 

Sakusa showers and changes first, and then Atsumu after him, which has him grinning into the bathroom mirror around his toothbrush. Usually, Sakusa likes to go after Atsumu, because it makes him feel like Atsumu is more vigilant if he has the sense of Sakusa ‘watching’, which is exactly the kind of convoluted train of logic Sakusa would take, which makes his heart squeeze. It’s been doing that a lot, recently, probably ever since that first night Atsumu had stayed over. He tries hard not to think about it too much.

 

He turns off the lights as he enters the room, sanitizes his hands in the light of his battery-powered fairy lights that he’d strung up with Sakusa’s help on Monday to minimize the amount of times he needed to touch the light switch. The battery pack rests on his perpetually sanitized side table, which Sakusa vastly prefers. Sakusa scoots close to the wall, gives Atsumu room to wiggle in beside him.

 

The bed is barely big enough for Atsumu, let alone someone very near the same size as him, but Sakusa never complains about having to wedge right into Atsumu’s side, practically half on top of him. Atsumu winds one arm around Sakusa’s middle, scrolls on his phone with the other one. From the corner of his eye, he can see Sakusa texting Komori, but the contents of the conversation are lost on him.

 

He feels stupidly like a teenager again. It reminds him of being twelve, back when his cheeks had been round like Osamu’s, before he’d hit the bulk of his growth spurt, when his first ‘girlfriend’ had asked him to meet behind the bike shed after school, and he’d spent the day with butterflies in his stomach, knowing he was going to have his first kiss. It had been a horrendously awkward kiss, in retrospect, their lips mashed together so hard it hurt his nose, but he’d carried the brightness of it inside of him for weeks on end.

 

This feels like that; the giddy feeling of newness and anticipation. He knows the second he turns off this light, Sakusa will curl into him, kiss his neck like he always does, and then he’ll make good on his request, because Sakusa doesn’t waste time once he’s put his mind to something. It makes him feel antsy and on edge, but there’s no way in hell he’s texting Kenma about this. Or Aran, not after he already sent the text to tell him it all worked out fine and not to worry about him. 

 

“You’re vibrating,” Sakusa says, after a moment, tilting his head back to frown at him.

 

“It’s yer fault,” Atsumu snips, “yer the one who brought up the whole hickey thing.”

 

“Nervous?”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu shakes his head, “are ya?”

 

“Not if it’s you,” Sakusa says, smiles that sure little smile of his, brushes his own hair out of his eyes. Atsumu laughs, warm and indulgent.

 

“We gotta get ya some hair-clips, Omi-Omi, seriously .”

 

“Shut up, Miya.” Atsumu laughs instead, but Sakusa doesn’t seem to mind it, just tucking his little smile into Atsumu’s shoulder, curling a knee into his lap. Atsumu hooks his hand down around and under it, thumb brushing over Sakusa’s thigh.

 

Atsumu puts his phone down when Sakusa stretches over him to do the same, and then flicks off the lights. He turns toward Sakusa, letting him shift around until he’s settled with his head tucked against Atsumu’s chest, arms folded over his shoulders. In a bed this small, they’re tangled tight together, Atsumu feeling dangerously close to the edge with Sakusa wedged hard against the wall, Atsumu’s knuckles brushing it from where his hands are wrapped around Sakusa’s waist.

 

It’s Sakusa who always starts it, because Atsumu would feel weird about having it any other way. Sakusa brushes his lips over Atsumu’s neck. It’s always questioning, the first touch, like Atsumu might say no, like Atsumu has ever denied Sakusa and his void-like eyes anything. Atsumu tilts his head a little, and Sakusa leans in, kisses over his skin indulgently, presses his tongue against it to taste it. Atsumu brushes his knuckles down Sakusa’s spine, makes him shiver.

 

He lets Sakusa take the lead for a bit, tilts his head so that he’s breathing shallow little huffs to the ceiling while Sakusa seals his mouth time and time again against the column of his throat. It always seems to embolden Sakusa when he does it like this; makes his kisses firmer, with more intent. Sakusa traces the dip between his collarbones with his tongue- which is something he only does when he’s impatient, Atsumu’s learned- so he takes mercy on him, gently noses under his jaw and brushes his lips against the line of it.

 

Sakusa’s resulting gasp is sharp and clear, his hands bunching in the fabric of Atsumu’s sleep shirt. Atsumu lets himself be pulled closer, tries not to focus too much on the way Sakusa’s whole body is shaking as he drags his mouth down the corded muscle in his neck. Sakusa has always been blunt and clear about his boundaries. Sakusa would tell him to stop. Atsumu stops anyway, huffs out an unsure breath, opens his mouth to speak as he draws back.

 

“Are ya-” Sakusa’s hand curls into his hair and shoves him back down against his skin. Atsumu lets out a muffled yell and then, miffed, bites Sakusa, hard. The force of it makes Sakusa’s body press flush against him, and drags a strangled yell from the base of his throat. Atsumu doesn’t bother to kiss the mark better, in favour of wrenching his head back to glare at Sakusa.

 

“Yer such a little shit, y’know that? I was tryna be considerate, Omi-kun.”

 

“Miya,” Sakusa says, tugs urgently at his hair again, “shut the fuck up. Do that again.”

 

“Ya gotta-”

 

“I want it, fucking hell Miya can you pick any other time to be a decent pers- oh .” Sakusa’s voice trails off into a breathy, high-pitched gasp as Atsumu leans in again and presses his mouth over the bite mark. Sakusa’s hand tightens in his hair, hauls him close, and Atsumu decides then and there, around the dull pain in his roots, that if he’s going to do this, he’s going to do it right.

 

He alternates his kisses between slow and lingering and desperate and messy, cataloguing the way Sakusa responds to him. It shouldn’t really matter, Atsumu thinks. Sakusa asked this as a favour to help keep up their charade, not because he wanted someone to make it feel good. It doesn’t matter, Atsumu thinks, because he’s never done things by half-measures, and so he’s going to make it good anyway. 

 

Sakusa likes it slow, he finds; complains about it with impatiently grabbing hands and a pointed tilt of his head to the point where it has to hurt. He likes firmer kisses, a hint of tongue, the teasing scrape of teeth. He’s sensitive all along his neck, but he seems to like the wet, thorough kisses Atsumu leaves under the hinge of his jaw best. His whole body arches when Atsumu gently nips at his earlobe, so forcibly Atsumu is almost thrown off him.

 

And it’s good . Atsumu thinks he should probably be more ashamed to admit that than he actually is. But it feels good, sucking Sakusa’s skin into his mouth until he can taste the tell-tale metallic tinge of blood welling to the surface, making Sakusa’s pulse jump as he traces his Adam’s apple with his mouth, Sakusa’s thighs clamping hard around his waist, hands scrabbling frantically at the back of his shirt. He shouldn’t think it’s good. Sakusa isn’t his boyfriend, not really. This is his teammate. His friend .

 

The realization punches a laugh out of him, hot against Sakusa’s damp skin. He’s never thought of Sakusa as a friend before, but he realizes it’s true. Sakusa, who allows him to chatter when they do stretches and who is happy to sit next to him on buses to away games and who has placed his trust in Atsumu’s hands, folded his fingers around it and asked him to protect it. Sakusa, right now, is thrashing below Atsumu, growling low in his throat and trying to pull him closer by his hair again.

 

“What?! Why are you laughing? Come on, Atsumu, just-”

 

“I just,” Atsumu cuts in, wheezing, as he grinds his forehead against Sakusa’s shoulder, “I just realized we’re friends, ain’t we?” Sakusa’s silence could cut.

 

“Are you fucking kidding me?!” He hisses, seething so badly Atsumu imagines he can see the steam curling out of his ears. “I ask you to fucking mark me and what you get from that is that we’re friends?!”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu grins, scrapes his teeth over Sakusa’s jaw, which makes him tip his head back with a frustrated snarl, “ya trust me. Yer lettin’ me do this.”

 

“You are insufferable ,” Sakusa growls, hauling him impossibly closer, until Atsumu isn’t sure which pound of flesh belongs to him and what belongs to Sakusa. He laughs into Sakusa’s skin, harder when Sakusa fists a hand and smacks him between his shoulder blades. And then Sakusa is laughing too, a wonderous, breathy sound, from somewhere high in his chest.

 

“This is so dumb,” he mumbles, sucks Sakusa’s skin into his mouth so that it makes a distinctive popping sound when he pulls back, “I can’t stop laughin’.”

 

“Miya,” Sakusa says, pushes his fingers through his hair and cups his cheeks, “ Atsumu . You’re ridiculous.”

 

“And you chose me as yer fake boyfriend, so ya really don’t have ground to stand on here, Omi.”

 

“I suppose I don’t,” Sakusa murmurs, tucking his cheek against Atsumu’s to reach his neck. It becomes a race; who can place more kisses to whose neck the fastest, both of them breathless with stupid snickers and pulling at each other for an advantage. Sakusa concedes first, lets his knees drop away and releases Atsumu’s hips, smooths his hands up through Atsumu’s hair, sifts it tenderly back into place, closes his eyes and exhales contentedly through his nose.

 

“Goin’ to sleep?” Atsumu murmurs, kisses fading gentle, like placing healing touches to bruises invisible in the dark.

 

“Tired,” Sakusa mumbles back, so Atsumu nods, presses a parting kiss behind his ear, and props himself up so Sakusa can turn on his front. He slides his arms under Atsumu’s pillows as Atsumu settles against his side, chest half-pressed to his back, leg slotted between his own, nose against his shoulder. Sleep finds him easy, more sluggish with the day’s events than he first thought.

 

It’s not uncommon for him. Sleep is a familiar friend, sneaking up on him and taking him easily. This time, though, Atsumu wishes he could have willed his eyes open to see the kiss Sakusa brushes to his forehead, that leaves him with a giddy smile, a secret tucked to the cotton of his t-shirt.

Chapter Text

Atsumu remembers that it’s Sakusa’s birthday next week in the middle of his run. It’s probably not his proudest moment, given that last year Atsumu bought Hinata’s birthday present six months in advance and got Yachi to help him sneak it into his bedroom so it would be the first thing he saw when he woke up on the day itself. Hinata’s present for this year is already wrapped and hidden in Atsumu’s closet. His own boyfriend’s birthday- however fake- should probably have taken priority, and suddenly Futakuchi’s question from the very start of their weekly study session makes a hell of a lot more sense to Atsumu, as does the confused look that had followed when Atsumu had brushed it aside.

 

The revelation is very nearly responsible for a twisted ankle and a hell of a lot of cussing, but Atsumu manages to regain his footing and thunder on. The running helps him think, the easy rhythm of one foot in front of the other, the regulation of his breathing, the pump of his arms. It all helps to make his mind clear. And in the clarity of his mind, he realizes he has exactly zero ideas.

 

“Fuck!” He says into the open air, bows rapidly to a scandalized old lady who gives him a withering glare while passing with her little white carpet of a dog. Atsumu runs both hands through his hair, exhales heavily, turns, and runs back the other way.

 

Sakusa is still asleep, curled up facing the wall, his curls pools of ink in the early morning sun filtering under Atsumu’s blinds, with Atsumu’s sheets tucked under his arms. For a moment, Atsumu just watches him, the peaceful rise and fall of his shoulders, before he collects his intended clothes for the day in their designated protective bag and retreats to the bathroom. He blasts the shower at full force so that no one will suspect anything if they should wake up- Sakusa, mostly, Atsumu doesn’t think Kenma is physically able to voluntarily wake before noon- sits on the closed toilet lid and texts Komori.

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (6:56am)

emergency idk wtf to get omi 4 his bday 😰😫

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (6:57am)

i want you to know i debated not replying but i’m doing so out of the goodness of my heart

but also atsumu this is way too fucking early EXTREMELY bold of you to assume i would be awake

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (6:57am)

thank u o benevolent one

also r u not fucking washio? i heard he’s an early riser

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (6:57am)

BYE

WHO TOLD YOU TF DID KIYOOMI SNITCH

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (6:58am)

no ??? omi bitches abt everyone but u

rin is literally dating my brother tho so like that’s on u

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (6:58am)

HOW DOES SUNA KNOW

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (6:59am)

rin knows everything thru idk evil vibes or somethin

anyway pls help w the omi-omi gift thing

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (6:59am)

wowww miya atsumu master gift giver stooping to ask lowly ol me for help

you really must be stumped

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (7:00am)

i am at the stage of individually wrapped chocolates

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (7:00am)

that physically pained me

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (7:00am)

ikr mayb i’m losin my touch

look idk i just want to make it good for him yknow

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (7:00am)

you’re taking this really seriously

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (7:02am)

why wouldn’t i? he’s my boyfriend?

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (7:02am)

oh yeah of course i just meant like

most boyfriends would just go chocolates and flowers and be done with it

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (7:03am)

nice try even i know omi would loathe flowers undetermined amounts of ppl have breathed on

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (7:03am)

see!!! you’ll be fine!! you know kiyoomi better than you think you do

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (7:03am)

i kno ur only sayin that bc washio is also awake and u wanna get dicked down

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (7:04am)

pretty much yeah

but also genuinely atsumu your mind is like a steel trap i know you remember shit from truth or dare at our last u-19 camp

put it to use :-)

 

To: motoya 😋🥴 (7:05am)

evil emote

but ok if i freak out again i’m gonna text u just forewarning

enjoy ur dick

 

From: motoya 😋🥴 (7:05am)

oh i will 😇🥵

 

When Atsumu returns to his bedroom with his phone sanitized, hands thoroughly scrubbed and the rest of him freshly showered to fold his sleep clothes beneath his pillow again, Sakusa is awake, sprawled on his back, blinking sleepily at him with the corner of his mouth curled up in the slightest twitch.

 

“Shower’s free.”

 

“Mm. Your roots need a touch-up.”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu pushes a hand through his damp locks, with a shrug, “was kinda hopin’ it’d hold out ‘till break, ‘cause then I can get it done back home. Cheaper.”

 

“You’re going back to Hyogo, then?”

 

“Always do; me and Samu both. Parents like havin’ us home, and honestly? I miss the quiet when I’m here,” he smiles, fondly, thinking of home. “And yerself?”

 

“I’m not sure,” Sakusa says, “my parents are both busy most of the time, and my siblings have lives of their own, grown-up as they are. Even if I head home I barely see any of them. It mostly just feels transitory, like a pit-stop before whatever’s next.”

 

“Yer talkative in the mornings,” Atsumu says, settles criss-cross on the floor next to the bed as Sakusa shifts, rolls over and pillows his chin on his folded arms. “Ain’t that lonely?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Ya could always come south with your boyfriend, y’know.”

 

“With you? To Hyogo?”

 

“That’s what I said.”

 

“And I’d be welcome there?”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu crooks a grin, “my ma would be havin’ a field day force-feedin’ yer scrawny ass.”

 

“I’m not scrawny,” Sakusa says with a glare. Atsumu traces the broad slope of his shoulders and the corded muscle under his forearms with his eyes. Sakusa isn’t scrawny, or skinny, or little at all, but he’s still not as broad and sturdy as Atsumu is, which gives him license to tease.

 

“Sure. Ya would hate it there though. There’s a whole lotta bugs-”

 

“I like bugs. I just don’t want them to land on me-”

 

“-ya would hafta listen to me and Samu’s screamin’ bitch fits, sometimes we gotta help babysit Aran’s little brother, my dad’s gonna make ya help out with whatever he’s buildin’-”

 

“It sounds oddly nice,” Sakusa wipes away some sleep in the crook of his elbow. “It sounds… alive. Motoya’s family is like that, too, but not mine.”

 

“Well. Offer stands.”

 

“You don’t have to offer out of pity, Atsumu.”

 

“I’m not. I’d like havin’ ya around.” As soon as the words are out of his mouth, Atsumu regrets them for the sheer amount of information to process that they prompt. Sakusa’s eyes blow wide in shock, something small and delicate in his expression as his lips part and he inhales a rattly gasp, like Atsumu might have backhanded him instead of expressing that he enjoys his company. It strikes him, then, that this is likely due to the fact that he’s never really said anything of the sort before. This makes him want to smack himself in the head, which he would do, if Sakusa were not watching him, wide-eyed and flushed across the bridge of his nose with a twitchy, hopeful smile.

 

The second piece of information to process is that he’s not just covering his ass. He means it. He means it right down to the marrow of his bones, to the beat of his heart, the rise and fall of his lungs in his chest. Atsumu’s never been one to hide his emotions; he speaks freely and honestly, even when others would prefer to shy away from truth. This is something Sakusa knows about him. This is something Sakusa accepts about him, maybe even something Sakusa likes about him. Which means Sakusa knows he means it. And Atsumu has to reckon with the knowledge that he likes that too.

 

“I do like havin’ ya around,” he reiterates, scoots closer, though still careful not to touch the bed. Sakusa’s pupils are blown, watching Atsumu with an intensity that makes him burn inside out. “I know… when this whole uh, thing, started, that I acted like it was worse than the plague, and I guess that’s just ‘cause I was too dumb to realize I already thought of ya as a friend. And hangin’ out with ya? I’ve liked it. Yer cool to be around, Omi.”

 

“Thanks,” Sakusa says quietly, like a secret breathed into the air between them, “I like being around you, too.”

 

“Who wouldn’t? I’m a gem among men.” Sakusa snorts.

 

“Charming. Now get out, I’m going to get dressed.”

 

“I think I should be allowed to see my boyfriend’s bare ass.” The look Sakusa gives him could be concentrated into a laser beam, and it chases Atsumu from the bedroom with a manic cackle of glee. When he shuts the door behind him, he doesn’t miss the small smile and shake of Sakusa’s head.

 

As soon as Sakusa leaves in the morning for his classes with plans conceived over breakfast to wreak havoc on the afternoon’s practice again with PDA, Atsumu runs to fetch a pad of note paper and a pen from his desk, and situates himself in the lawn chair to begin his list. Things Sakusa likes. Things Sakusa dislikes. Things Sakusa might like if he gave them a chance. What to do with this knowledge. By the time he has to leave for his first class of the day, he has a plan.

 

On Tuesday, Kenma watches him with palpable concern as he barrels around the kitchen like a madman. Most of what he plans to cook come birthday night is easy enough, planned out through weeks of snooping on Sakusa’s food orders and reactions to Atsumu’s cooking. The real problem is the grand finale: a cake that will please even someone without an affinity for sweet things.

 

“Atsumu,” Kenma says carefully, watching Atsumu taste his third tester biscuit base of the day and promptly snarl in frustration for much more than the third time, “what is the point of all this?”

 

“This is too sweet, dontcha think?” He demands, instead of a proper answer, shoving a spoonful of it in Kenma’s direction. Kenma, who has been acting as his diligent second taste-tester so that he can further observe what he clearly thinks is Atsumu’s long overdue descent into madness, tastes it, then grimaces.

 

“Yes. Weird aftertaste too.” Atsumu lets out a half-groan, half-wail, and bangs his forehead against his forearms where he’s folded them on the counter. Kenma stares at him with no sympathy for his dramatics. “I’m not sure what you expect when you’re trying to make a base out of biscuits. They’re meant to be sweet.”

 

“Not all of them,” Atsumu stands quickly, slams both palms on the countertops so suddenly that Kenma jumps a little, blinking rapidly at him in shock. “Is Kuroo still comin’ over? Does he have any of those weird malt biscuits he eats?”

 

“I don’t know if I should drag my boyfriend into this,” Kenma says, glancing at his phone where it lies face-down on the table. “You’re behaving like you might maul him.”

 

“Kenma,” Atsumu whines, “I am actin’ perfectly fine! I just- Ma always says ya gotta try a recipe three times before ya really get the hang of it; one’s a fluke, two’s for wiggle room and three’s where ya find yer stride, but I don’t have the time or money to make three whole cheesecakes in a week to make sure I get it right, so I gotta do some taste combination testin’ and hope like hell for a fluke.”

 

“You’re taking this very seriously.”

 

“Uuuugh,” Atsumu rolls his eyes, pushing both hands through his hair and bowing his back to lean back as far as possible without falling over, “why do people keep sayin’ that to me?”

 

“Who else has said it to you?”

 

“Motoya-kun, yesterday, when I messaged him to tell him I was blankin’ on gifts for Omi.” Kenma’s eyes narrow, briefly, before he wipes the expression from his face with a careful shrug. Atsumu squints at him. By and large, Kenma is smarter than him. He knows this. Kenma is here on some fancy computer science degree that Atsumu could never possibly hope to understand. He picks people apart like their secrets are sand that he sieves through his delicate, bony little fingers. But Atsumu is not stupid. Perhaps part of their friendship, he thinks- thinks a lot about it, ever since Sakusa asked him how they worked- is because parts of them reflect each other. Atsumu is also good at reading people, and although Kenma has perfected the art of knowing what everyone else is thinking without letting anything slip himself, Atsumu can still see through him sometimes.

 

“What.”

 

“Nothing,” Kenma says, although Atsumu knows that he knows that he won’t believe the blatant lie, “I’ll text Kuroo.”

 

“We’re comin’ back to that later,” he warns.

 

“We’ll see,” Kenma says mildly, in his voice that implies he will be doing contortionist tricks to get out of ever having to address this at all. Still, when Kuroo shows up some twenty minutes later, half-consumed packet of malt biscuits in his hand and a curious twinkle in his beady eyes, Atsumu decides to let it slide, for now.

 

He still doesn’t trust the way that Kuroo and Kenma stand close together and whisper, Kuroo’s forehead brushing Kenma’s, Kenma’s fingers tracing the shape of his forearms tenderly. Osamu often tells him the world doesn’t revolve around him, and this much is probably true, given that Kuroo and Kenma are each other’s oldest friends, dearest friends, and they’re dating on top of that, which gives them plenty of non-Atsumu topics to whisper about. The prickle in the back of his neck, however, tells him that all the whispering is about him after all, and Atsumu does not like to be out of the loop.

 

He forgives Kenma the very next day when he valiantly helps Atsumu make it through half a perfect cheesecake and then calls Yamamoto to pick up the rest of it to deliver to his own rowdy roommates. Yamamoto lifts him off the ground and swings him around, plants loud, smacking kisses against both of Kenma’s cheeks, and Kenma bears it with an extraordinarily displeased expression that Yamamoto completely ignores. Kenma also defends his honour when Sakusa jeers at him for a resounding loss in their video game of choice for the evening, which is cause for Atsumu to give him a back-breaking hug before bed, and all is well.

 

Thursday, Sakusa starts to get suspicious. Atsumu distracts him by hooking a leg over his waist, pushing him down into the mattress and sucking a bruise into his neck. It really is, Atsumu thinks, a blessing that Sakusa likes them so much and seemed keen to continue with the practice, given that it’s extremely effective at clearing all other thoughts from his mind.

 

Friday after practice, Sakusa and Atsumu walk close enough that their hands brush, discussing a new attack combination with Bokuto, who swings Akaashi’s hand wildly as he talks. Then, the skies open up and it buckets down.

 

“Fuck!” Atsumu yells at the same time that Akaashi makes a frantic gurgling sound and wedges his laptop case under his shirt with his free hand, hauling Bokuto in the direction of the parking lot with newfound supernatural strength. In a similar vein, Atsumu slaps his hand into Sakusa’s and runs for his dorm complex.

 

Sakusa runs alongside him, and Atsumu’s not sure when it starts, both of them overtired from practice already, but suddenly they’re racing, hand in hand, Sakusa’s free hand securing his gym bag to keep it out of the way of his legs, Atsumu’s pumping wildly to aid his momentum. He crashes into the lobby a second before Sakusa, both of them breathing harshly to try and catch their breaths. Atsumu is still doubled over, probably dragging Sakusa down with him, when Sakusa starts to laugh.

 

“I don’t think it worked,” he says, and Atsumu’s brow must furrow in confusion, because Sakusa grins wide, bright enough to show his teeth, “running to avoid the rain.”

 

Atsumu’s laugh feels ripped out of his gut, the kind of laughter that shakes his whole body as he straightens up, feeling Sakusa stumble into him as their foreheads knock together. Sakusa’s laugh is the throaty kind, the kind from the step of Atsumu’s genkan all those weeks ago, and Atsumu is laughing so hard it hurts to breathe, the pair of them soaked and dripping onto the tile.

 

“This is so stupid,” Sakusa wheezes into his hair.

 

“Yeah,” Atsumu breathes back, against the apex of his cheek, “but it made ya laugh, didn’t it?”

 

When they’ve collected themselves enough to walk to the elevator, Atsumu steers him there with an arm around his shoulders, and Sakusa hooks one around his waist, leaning most of his weight onto Atsumu and leaving it up to him to guide him down the hall and into his dorm.

 

“We shouldn’t stand around in wet clothes,” Atsumu says as they’re kicking off their shoes, “d’ya want the shower first?”

 

“You’ll get cold,” Sakusa says, “and you’ll hate me if you catch something from it.”

 

“But if I take the shower first, then you are gonna get cold and hate me even more if ya catch somethin’ from it,” Sakusa frowns, like he hasn’t considered this, which Atsumu finds endlessly funny, because Sakusa considers everything when it comes to catching things and general unhealthiness.

 

“We could,” Sakusa says, still frowning at his half untied shoe, “we could shower… together.”

 

“Wha?”

 

“I mean,” he swallows thickly, hurriedly rips his shoe the rest of the way off and tucks them away into the cubby, “that’s basically what we do in the locker rooms anyway, isn’t it? There are dividers, but it’s not exactly private, and-”

 

“Sure,” Atsumu says with a shrug, “why not?”

 

“Why not ?”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu says, holds out a hand to take Sakusa’s gym bag and settle both of their bags so they’re out of the way of the door. He’ll take their damp clothes down to the drier when he gets a chance, he decides, along with whatever else the rain has soaked. Bags and shoes next to the heater, like his mother used to do. “It’s the most fair solution, and it’s not like I haven’t done worse.”

 

“Worse?” Sakusa parrots again, still sounding gobsmacked.

 

“Done worse in the shower, in fact,” he chuckles a little, knowing how Sakusa gets about mentions of Atsumu’s many exploits, before he quickly amends; “not this shower, though. Shower sex really isn’t all anyone makes it out to be.”

 

“There’s not a lot of space,” Sakusa offers, pensively though somewhat weakly.

 

This, Atsumu thinks, is very true, and becoming even more apparent as they strip in silence and try to wedge under the hot water. Atsumu’s shower isn’t as fatally tiny as Sakusa’s, but it’s not exactly a size suitable for two college athletes who are both over six feet tall. Sakusa slips, slams both hands back against the wall and would have taken both of them down in a tangle of limbs if Atsumu hadn’t slapped his hands to his waist and drawn him upright.

 

“Fuck, Miya,” Sakusa says, more breathes it around a laugh than anything else, while drawing an upside down triangle in the limited space between their bodies, “you’re so… and your thighs…”

 

“Hey, Omi-kun,” Atsumu faux-tuts, “eyes above the waist.”

 

Sakusa pushes his shoulder, playful, and Atsumu takes a step back, elbow knocking the door open and sending him into a fit of cussing as Sakusa grabs him by the shoulders and hauls him back in again, laughing into his unevenly dampened hair. Atsumu’s laughing too, mostly from the adrenaline of almost wiping out, as he drags the door closed behind him. Sakusa spreads his hands across Atsumu’s shoulders, shudders as Atsumu slides his hands up his back and mouths under the hinge of his jaw, trails butterfly kisses down his neck.

 

“This is not bed,” Sakusa complains, but there’s still laughter in his voice.

 

“I’ll stop if ya want me too,” Atsumu murmurs, “I just have a lotta energy and not a lot of space to like. Dance or somethin’.”

 

“How are you not dead? Dancing in this death trap.”

 

“Hard to get rid of, too sexy to die- ow!” Sakusa smirks, smoothing his fingers through the strands of hair that he just pulled. “I’ll show ya how easy it is to dance in the shower.”

 

“No-” Sakusa squawks in protest, the tail end of it trailing off into his throaty laugh as Atsumu tightens his arms around his waist and spins the both of them in a tight circle so that he can stand directly under the stream of water. “Okay, now I’m cold.”

 

“Serves ya right for yer attempt on my life.”

 

“Oh you want an attempt ?” Sakusa hooks a hand around the back of his neck and squeezes tight, and what follows is a fight Sakusa can’t possibly hope to win. Even in confined quarters like the shower, Atsumu has years of wrestling with Osamu under his belt. Of course, he’s never wrestled with Osamu like this, but he’s more than willing to try to trip Sakusa up, holler bloody murder when Sakusa pulls on his hair and bodies him on-purpose into the shower walls, forcing him to give up his grip on Sakusa’s body to hold on to something lest they both fall. At some point, someone’s elbow knocks the tap, swinging it back into the ‘cold’ territory, which has them both yelling in shock.

 

Atsumu reaches past Sakusa, presses him right up into the wall as he wrenches the handle of the tap back into a safely hot temperature. Atsumu laughs into Sakusa’s neck, grin broad and wild against the soft expanse of his bare skin. Sakusa’s hands slide across Atsumu’s shoulders, tracing the jut of his shoulder blades, mapping the ridges of his spine with delicate precision. It’s when Atsumu straightens up to push his damp hair back from his face and his nose brushes Sakusa’s that he realizes how close they’re standing, Sakusa’s arms functionally looped around his shoulders, chests bumping, abdomens skating against each other with each breath.

 

“Hi,” Atsumu murmurs, grins crookedly as Sakusa’s hands slowly come to a stop at the base of his neck, blunt nails scratching lightly at the skin.

 

“Hi,” Sakusa whispers back, more breathes the word out against his mouth than anything else. His lashes lower, he drags his tongue over his lower lip, inhales, ready to say more; “I-”

 

“Atsumu?” Kenma’s voice on the other side of the door shocks them apart a little, Atsumu leaning a hand on the wall to keep himself steady, Sakusa’s strong hand clamped around his bicep.

 

“Yea?”

 

“Is… Sakusa here?”

 

“Yeeeeup?”

 

“Are you… in the shower together?”

 

“Sure are.” Silence, for three seconds. Then;

 

“Okay.” Sakusa puts both hands over his mouth with wide eyes, a mortified squeak that sounds suspiciously like a giggle muffled against his flesh. Atsumu bites his lip to tamp down his own laughter, waits until he can hear the muted sound of Kenma’s door closing, before his forehead knocks into Sakusa’s and he giggles into the shell of his ear, feels Sakusa huffing laughter into the slope of his shoulder, feels a bony hand clutch the back of his neck to hold him close.

 

“We should really get clean,” Atsumu says, when he finally has control of his voice again, and Sakusa hums his acknowledgement.

 

“Will you get my back?”

 

“Yea, ‘course.”

 

This seems like a good idea in theory. In practice, it’s very carefully scrubbing his body-wash into Sakusa’s skin with the designated Sakusa shower cloth with his chest almost touching Sakusa’s back. There’s not a lot of mobility, and his elbow aches from the way he has to twist his arm to reach the very base of Sakusa’s torso, and the little shuddery noises Sakusa’s making isn’t really helping things either.

 

“You okay?” He mumbles into the back of Sakusa’s neck. The frantic nod he receives in reply almost collides with his skull, and he makes a whining noise in the back of his throat in protest. Sakusa brings a hand around to gently sift through his hair as an apology, and Atsumu leans into it, doesn’t deny the olive branch of a gesture.

 

“Sorry,” Sakusa murmurs, “I don’t think I’ve shared a shower or a bath with anyone since I was a kid.”

 

“Can’t believe ya let your parents plonk ya in the tub with some other child without throwing a massive tantrum,” Sakusa flattens his palm and knocks it against the back of Atsumu’s head, making him snicker as he steps forward, winds his arms around Sakusa’s waist while Sakusa cleans off his front with his free hand.

 

“I’m sure I must have, at some point. There’s probably a reason there’s not many photos like that out there.”

 

“There’s photos? Even more shockin’.”

 

“Fuck off, Miya.” Atsumu chuckles, leans forward further to let the beat of the water land on his head. Sakusa strokes his fingers through his hair again, leans back into his chest.

 

“Gettin’ mixed signals here.”

“Oh, shut up and turn around.”

 

Atsumu complies, stands still and tries to ignore the way his chest prickles with a chill, now that Sakusa’s body blocks the heat of the shower from him. Sakusa’s hands are gentle against his back, dragging the designated Atsumu-cloth over his skin. He follows the motion with the fingers of his other hand, in a motion that’s not really conducive to cleaning Atsumu at all, but seems more about Sakusa’s wonderment at having bare flesh pressed to his fingertips, so he lets him have it.

 

Atsumu doesn’t mind it either, eyes half-closed, arms lifted just a little to make it easier for Sakusa to reach everywhere he might want to. Sakusa decides to help out and scrub down Atsumu’s arms too, cradling his hand gently as he scrubs between his fingers. Atsumu lets him; has to try not to yank his hand away at the ticklish sensation of the cloth against the sensitive palm of his hand. Sakusa clearly notices, drags his nails along the lines in them and watches the way Atsumu’s fingers twitch reflexively.

 

“Yer an asshole,” Atsumu grunts, rolling his eyes as he feels Sakusa’s smile hidden against his shoulder. Sakusa drags the washcloth around to Atsumu’s stomach, scrubs in upward motions toward his chest, while Atsumu lazily basks in the attention of it. Sakusa pauses, suddenly, his free hand brushing under the jut of Atsumu’s right pec.

 

“Why are your nipples hard?”

 

“Cause I’m fuckin’ cold, Omi,” Atsumu says back, lightly rapping the back of his wrist. “Don’t just ask that while yer dick is like, touchin’ my ass.”

 

“It is not -”

 

“Might as well be,” Atsumu sniffs, “ya done?”

 

“No,” Sakusa says, petulantly, and because he’s someone who always sees things through. Atsumu knows this about him, has known this about him for a long time. It’s one of the things he likes most about Sakusa. He’s like Atsumu; never shies away, even when the going gets tough. Absently, he lifts his hand, grips Sakusa’s wrist where he’s finishing up cleaning his chest, and turns it over to drop a kiss to the very base of his wrist, top lip brushing the heel of his palm.

 

“What was that for?” Sakusa asks, quietly, resuming his ministrations with little fanfare once Atsumu releases him.

 

“Nothin’,” Atsumu says, because it’s true, “just thinkin’ about things.”

 

“Okay,” Sakusa says, and leaves it at that.

 

They’re quiet for the rest of the shower and that’s okay; Atsumu giving his legs a good scrub while balanced precariously in one corner of the shower, Sakusa hogging the majority of the showerhead’s stream. Sakusa laughs at him when he wobbles, Atsumu threatens to kick his legs out from under him, and Sakusa sniffs haughtily but doesn’t continue his jeering. Sakusa borrows some of his shampoo to soap through his hair, antsy about the rain having been in it, and he scrunches his face up as Atsumu has the time of his life lathering it in, fluffing his hair up into something resembling a mohawk before Sakusa firmly squashes it again, and tips his head back into the water, eyes closed as Atsumu rinses it out.

 

Sakusa steps out first, towels off while being careful not to touch anything else, before he pads out of the bathroom. Atsumu, trembling a little from the cold air biting at his wet body, does the same, although he stands with the towel wrapped around his shoulders for a few moments, just to feel some semblance of warmth. By the time he catches up with Sakusa, he’s stolen a pair of Atsumu’s old Inarizaki tournament tracksuit pants, and a t-shirt from a music festival Atsumu went to in summer last year. He doesn’t even have it in him to complain- Sakusa looks cute, carefully jamming his feet into his guest slippers that he must have picked up en-route to the bedroom.

 

“Am I ever gonna get those back?”

 

“I’m not a thief, Miya. Here.” He hands Atsumu some of his own clothes, glancing away quickly as Atsumu drops his towel and promptly dresses. “I’ll pay for dinner.”

 

“Yea, ya will, rich boy.”

 

“For the last time, Uber Eats isn’t that expensive.”

 

“Spoken like a true bougie fuck.”

 

“I could just let you starve.”

 

“Cruel, Omi-kun, cruel.” But Sakusa doesn’t let him starve. He lets him add on more food than Atsumu would ever order on his own, and doesn’t even complain about the dent in his bank account, although Atsumu supposes it would more be like bouncing the tiniest, most inconsequential pebble off of a brick wall.

 

When Sakusa tires of pressing sloppy kisses to Atsumu’s neck as he does every night they stay together, and falls asleep on top of Atsumu like an extra human-shaped blanket, Atsumu stays awake long into the night, grinning maniacally at how bad he’s going to get Sakusa come Monday.

 

Saturday and Sunday are spent in preparation. Kuroo and Kenma spend both days in the dorm with him, accompany him to the store for his supplies, sit in the kitchen and watch him bake while he alternates between singing very loudly to keep himself focused and laughing evilly at the excellence of his plan. They both seem, understandably, concerned. Atsumu half expects Kuroo to pull out a notebook and start writing scientific observations of him, in which case he is fully prepared to set the hypothetical notebook on fire.

 

Monday, Sakusa submits to one cheek-kiss and quick cuddle in front of the team when the rest of them wish him happy birthday, which of course causes near-riots for the uncharacteristic display of affection. This is a genius plan, Atsumu thinks gleefully as he sets a well-placed ball into Bokuto’s palm, because it distracts Sakusa from asking about Atsumu’s plans, which he definitely would have done if Hinata and Bokuto hadn’t fallen all over themselves to coo and gush about Sakusa and Atsumu’s relationship.

 

The dreaded question comes when he’s cornered in the showers, Sakusa standing at the open end of the stall with his towel wrapped around him, seemingly unbothered with Atsumu’s bare ass being presented to him. Good , Atsumu thinks, it’s a great ass .

 

“You don’t have something embarrassing planned for this whole ‘birthday’ thing, do you?” Sakusa asks him. Atsumu shoots him a grin over his shoulder, the kind that’s just a shade too evil to be un-menacing, and Sakusa’s face floods with dread in the millisecond before Atsumu opens his big, fat mouth to be an utter pain in the ass.

 

“Awww, Omi-kun, I know ya miss me but these shower stalls really ain’t big enough for two people.” Sakusa goes furious red, Bokuto and Hinata’s cacophonous squawking and subsequent brush with death spurred on by attempts to run on slippery tiles are both drowned out by Yaku’s raised voice;

 

“Sakusa Kiyoomi, get out of the shower stall, no one wants to watch you two suck face in public-” Sakusa slinks off before Yaku’s tirade can get worse, shooting Atsumu a glare that says ‘you’re in the doghouse’. Atsumu grins and blows a kiss at his retreating form, thinking we’ll see how long that lasts .

 

Sakusa has not forgiven him by the time he also steps out of the shower and into his outdoor-indoor clothes- Sakusa hates when he calls them that, Atsumu remembers with a distinct feeling of delight- given that Bokuto and Hinata are currently making a number of innuendos about birthdays. He still takes Atsumu’s hand in his own, slides their fingers together and curls his other hand around the top of Atsumu’s bicep to keep them pressed as close together as possible while walking side to side.

 

“It’s really okay if I come over on your birthday, Omi-san?” Hinata asks, while Bokuto abandons them in favour of tearing toward Akaashi with such fervor that Akaashi seems to be accepting his imminent death.

 

“Yup,” Atsumu answers for him, suffers the consequence of Sakusa slapping his bicep hard enough to sting with a disgruntled little noise, “it’s fine, I want multiple witnesses to me gettin’ Omi-Omi the best gift.”

 

“You can’t compete with Motoya,” Sakusa says, dryly, and Atsumu shoots him his best offended glare.

 

“Atsumu-san is a really good gift-giver,” Hinata pipes up, always quick on the defense. Atsumu shakes himself free of Sakusa’s hold to cup Hinata’s face in both of his broad hands and press the noisiest ‘mwah’ of a kiss to his forehead that he can. Hinata lets out his giggle that sounds like pure, undiluted sunshine, so Sakusa just rolls his eyes in the way that means he’s fondly charmed by these antics. And that’s Hinata’s power, Atsumu thinks, the ability to make even the most cranky of people love him all consumingly.

 

Hinata submits to Sakusa’s hand sanitizer with no complaint, before launching himself at Kenma, lifting his friend off the ground and squeezing him tight enough that something in Kenma’s back clicks and he makes a sound like a computer’s internal fan exploding. Sakusa watches with an expression that is either horror or fascination while Atsumu watches Sakusa with barely restrained glee.

 

“Present time!” He declares, when Sakusa straightens up and Atsumu can sling both arms around his shoulders and hug him back against his chest, because he knows Sakusa pretends to hate when he does that. Like clockwork, Sakusa’s hands shoot up to grip his forearms, enough to make it look like he’s trying to pull them away, but Atsumu can feel the way he anchors him in place. He nuzzles behind Sakusa’s ear, presses a kiss to his neck and watches a full-body shudder work it’s way down Sakusa’s frame.

 

“Do we have to?”

 

“Uh, yea?” Atsumu snorts, “One, I wanna see yer face when yer forced to admit I gotcha the best gift, and second if ya don’t like somethin’, me and Shou-kun can help ya figure out what to do about it while still bein’ polite.”

 

“You mean Shouyou will do all the polite and you will do all the recycling,” Kenma says, frowning pointedly at Atsumu. “You wouldn’t know polite if it bit you on the ass.”

 

“I’m tellin’ Kuroo he should wash yer mouth out with soap, Kenma- kun ,” Kenma gives him the finger, immediately. “I can be plenty polite when I wanna be.”

 

“Do you just never feel like being polite?” Sakusa asks.

 

“Pretty much,” Atsumu says, grinning as he receives twin sighs, as if Kenma and Sakusa are the most put-upon people in the world for having to deal with him. It makes his heart feel light with glee, Hinata laughing in the background. He loves his friends so much.

 

Still, Sakusa relents, letting Hinata take over wiping down the table’s surface so that Sakusa can place down the presents he received from the team at practice, then the Osamu-Suna gift and Komori gift he’d apparently been given on his weekend trip up to Komori’s apartment. Kenma adds a gift from himself and a separate one from Kuroo to the pile, which seems to surprise Sakusa, but not as much as Atsumu’s wholeass box of a gift being plonked down in front of him does.

 

“Open mine first!” Hinata insists, and who can deny Hinata Shouyou anything? Atsumu leans against the back of Sakusa’s chair as he opens his gifts one by one and dissects the contents with added commentary from Hinata and Kenma, which he seems to enjoy. Atsumu is pleased; he already knew Sakusa got along with Hinata, after two years on the same team, but seeing Kenma and Sakusa hit it off is important to him in ways he can’t even begin to comprehend. It’s something to think about later, he supposes, nose nestled against the crown of Sakusa’s head.

 

Hinata’s gift is two washable masks that Sakusa inspects as pedantically as he analyzes tosses. Both are plain colours, a midnight blue and a forest green. Sakusa does his twitchy little smile, and Hinata beams like he’s just been handed the world. Akaashi has picked out a book as detailed by his handwritten note, Bokuto- whose brain has three modes: volleyball, food, Love For His Friends- has included new finger tape, gel sachets that apparently help to sanitize gym shoes, a personalised list of all the things Bokuto appreciates about Sakusa that makes Sakusa look as close to crying as he ever gets and the expensive brand of dark chocolate that’s so bitter it makes Atsumu wants to gag.

 

Most of the other guys on the team have gone the safe route with gift-cards to places they think Sakusa will like. Yaku has included a set of expensive looking pens that apparently ‘write well’- Sakusa looks thrilled by them and Atsumu calls him a nerd- alongside a generous gift card to the local homeware store. 

 

Kuroo’s gift is the most recent statement on his warrant of fitness and registration for his car back in Nerima that he can’t afford to keep any closer to their university, along with custom-designed free driving lesson coupons and a hand-written note from Kuroo’s grandparents stating that they would love to teach Sakusa to drive in a much more relaxed environment than deep-city Tokyo. The gift is both very sweet and also horrifying to Atsumu, given that it reminds him just how much Kuroo remembers, considering the whole driving conversation had only been repeated in a much shorter manner to Kuroo in passing when Kuroo had been moaning about missing the autonomy of driving and cursing exorbitant parking prices. Atsumu has no hope for a future free of embarrassment for his past antics. Kuroo remembers everything. Fucking Kuroo.

 

Suna and Osamu gift Sakusa neatly packaged umeboshi, and Atsumu knows Suna cheated and asked Komori because there’s no way he just knew that off the top of his head, along with a Japan V League tournament merch shirt for the upcoming season, and-

 

“That’s my fuckin’ shirt!” Atsumu yells as Sakusa unfolds it- freshly washed- recognizing the sunshine yellow fabric with the white embroidered volleyball stitched over the chest. It had gone miraculously missing after a trip back to Hyogo and Osamu had sworn black and blue he had no clue where it went, the fucking bastard.

 

“Well,” Sakusa says, gently pulling it out of Atsumu’s reach, “it’s mine now. Osamu gifted it to me.”

 

“It’s not his fuckin’ shirt?!”

 

“No, of course not. It’s mine.” Atsumu lets out a sigh and resigns himself to cussing Osamu out later, given that Sakusa looks pleased with the gift, and he can’t make himself rip it away from him. Sakusa continues to unwrap his presents.

 

Kenma’s gift is a Switch case- apparently a conversation that Atsumu had missed while focused hard on not getting his ass handed to him by the pair of them in Mario Kart- with accurate constellations printed on a matte black background. Hinata cooes over it like it’s the best thing he’s ever seen. Sakusa and Kenma have a brief conversation about noncommittal plans to play some game or the other together sometime soon, and then Sakusa moves on to the main event.

 

It’s not a competition- only it is, because everything with Atsumu is a competition, and Sakusa had issued a challenge earlier, so now Atsumu wants to win - but when Sakusa opens Komori’s present and gives him a smug smile over the brand new expensive-looking hoodie and a new washable keyboard cover for his laptop, it’s that Atsumu knows he’s won. He grins, wildly, cheerily, and Sakusa narrows his eyes at him, because Sakusa knows Atsumu the same way Atsumu knows Sakusa.

 

“Why are you making that face?”

 

“No reason,” Atsumu says, which makes both Hinata and Kenma also squint at him, because there’s never not a reason with him. Atsumu knows this about himself, and he knows that Hinata and Kenma and Sakusa all know that he knows this. He also knows they should be expecting it, because Atsumu loves to cause a scene.

 

“Atsumu-san, you’re being very suspicious,” Hinata says, “did you get Omi-san a prank gift?”

 

“How could ya say that, Shou-kun, I’m wounded! He’s my boyfriend, ‘course I got him the best, most serious gift of all time, but he just refuses to believe me.”

 

“I refuse to believe you have the people skills for that,” Sakusa mutters, pulling Atsumu’s box toward him like it might bite.

 

“Unfortunately I have to admit that Atsumu is pretty good with gifts,” Kenma says with a sigh, “try not to let it stroke your ego too much.”

 

“It’s been stroked,” Atsumu tells him as Kenma slumps further into his chair, not even remotely calmed by Hinata pressing their cheeks together in sympathy, “like a very happy kitty-cat.”

 

“Die,” Kenma says, with vitriol.

 

“No wishing death upon my boyfriend on my birthday, please,” Sakusa says, “if he dies I lose my number one source of entertainment.” Atsumu grins, sticks his tongue out at Kenma and cuddles into Sakusa a little more, as Sakusa tilts his head to drop a kiss on Atsumu’s forearm. Kenma watches them like he’s trying to burn holes in them.

 

Sakusa takes his time opening the box, turning it this way and that until he apparently decides it won’t randomly explode on him, and carefully peels back the wrapping paper to reveal an assorted box of items. He blinks, eyes widening a little as he takes in the contents. Atsumu’s grin gets even smugger. Oh yeah, he totally won.

 

The fruits of his Saturday shopping trip are laid bare; temperature-activated mug that lights up a galaxy when hot water is applied, with a fancy tea blend from the artisan tea place in town tucked into it, a stack of reusable beeswax food wraps in a variety of floral patterns, courtesy of Kita’s willingness to pay express shipping after visiting a farmer’s market in Hyogo, three packets of face masks- the same kind Atsumu uses that he’s caught Sakusa eyeing up at least six times since he started staying over- and a sports drink.

 

Sakusa frowns, picks up the bottle, and then bursts into startled laughter.

 

“What?” Hinata asks. “What’s the matter?”

 

“Did you really get him a sports drink ?” Kenma asks, incredulous. “Who are you, what did you do to Atsumu?”

 

“It’s not just any sports drink,” Atsumu announces, as Sakusa clutches it close to his chest and leans back into Atsumu’s chest, tilting his head back against his shoulder.

 

“The first time we spoke,” Sakusa says, eyes full of wonder, “Atsumu, that was years ago. I can’t believe you still remember the exact brand.

 

“I got a good memory,” Atsumu kisses Sakusa’s forehead, watches his stupid-long eyelashes flutter closed. “Happy birthday.”

 

“What was the first time you two spoke?” Hinata asks, leaning across the table with bright, sparkling eyes.

 

“Youth camp, first year of high school,” Sakusa says, thumbing the bottle reverently. “I’d seen Atsumu before, but we’d never spoken, and the first night at the camp, a bunch of us got together in someone’s room-”

 

“It was Aran’s,” Atsumu announces, “prob’ly the only reason I got an invite.”

 

“You were an ass, but for some reason a lot of the other guys liked you,” Sakusa clicks his tongue, “anyway, it was meant to be an excuse to get to know each other better, and I only got dragged along because Motoya wanted to flirt with one of the other boys, and someone suggested truth or dare, but since half of us didn’t know each other’s names, we used an empty bottle to choose.”

 

“I called Omi a wimp for pickin’ truth over dare,” Atsumu grins, as Sakusa sneers back, eyes light-spirited, “and that was our first official conversation.”

 

“Yes, and I decided then and there that I didn’t like you.”

 

“How things changed, huh?”

 

“Indeed,” Sakusa says, gently lifting a hand to thread his fingers through Atsumu’s where they rest on his shoulder, “thank you. This was all very thoughtful.”

 

“So I win, then?”

 

“Atsumu-san!” Hinata all-but-yells, trying to be admonishing but falling short by a mile.

 

“You gotta say yes,” Atsumu continues, squeezing Sakusa’s hand until Sakusa starts to squeeze back with the intention to crush bone, “or I’m gonna cook yer birthday dinner an’ make you watch me eat the whole damn thing myself.”

 

“I suppose in that case, you win,” Sakusa concedes, amid much protest from Hinata and Kenma’s eye rolls.

 

Kenma, Sakusa and Hinata retreat to the couches to play video games while Atsumu cooks. It’s better for him that way; less chance of someone underfoot, easier to focus while tuning out the white noise of their chaos in the background. Hinata is wailing because he’s losing- badly- while Sakusa is apparently managing to keep up with Kenma. Atsumu supposes this makes sense, given that Sakusa is much like Kenma in that they have more money than God and a propensity to staying indoors, and thus he must have way more video game experience than Atsumu and Hinata combined.

 

He cooks, and he pours every ounce of love he can into his food. In his first weeks at college, he cried so much that Kenma must have thought he was the weirdest guy in the world. Away camps had never bothered him, because they’d been temporary, but without Osamu by his side and no Aran, Suna or Kita and his parents back in Hyogo, it had felt very much like a limb being severed. It was strange, having home and the place you lived being two different places, and the inherent knowledge that home would never be home again. Atsumu has never been much of a crier, and he’s not sure why that’s what broke him, but it was the first offer of friendship from his quiet roommate.

 

They first lived in a twin-share room, Atsumu on the left and Kenma on the right. He’d thought Kenma was asleep as he sobbed as quietly as possible into his pillow. And then Kenma had spoken, voice gentle in the pitch of the night;

 

“My boyfriend graduated from high school the year before me,” he’d said, earnest and plain, “I’ve known him since I was seven. He’s the one person who understands me wholly and completely. I don’t even have to say a word for him to understand. I can simply breathe, and he gets it. Before, we were inseparable. When he left for college, I cried this much too.”

 

“I’m not cryin’,” Atsumu had said into his pillow, “somethin’ in my eye.”

 

He smiles at the memory of it. When he cooks, he loves, provides something tangible and hearty for people he cares about. It’s how he and Osamu have always cooked. He loves Hinata, sunshine-bright and earnest as he is, everyone’s champion, everyone’s biggest fan. He loves him for his heart and how it encompasses everyone, for his laughter and his support. He loves Kenma for the friendship he never had to offer but did anyway, whose biting keeps him humble and whose affection is true and feels satisfying deep in Atsumu’s belly for how he earned it.

 

And he loves Sakusa; Sakusa his friend, Sakusa his teammate, Sakusa his absurd fake-boyfriend, Sakusa his greatest rival. He loves Sakusa for his honesty, his steadiness, his dedication. He loves Sakusa for the competition he provides him, the thing always chasing him in the corners of his eyes, pushing him forward and forward. He loves Sakusa for the little signs of his odd friendship, for his throaty laugh that sounds like no one ever taught him how to laugh like a normal person, for all the little things Atsumu knows about him that most people don’t know, that Sakusa offered him, knowing Atsumu would take them and handle them with care. So yeah, he has to make this good for him.

 

Kuroo shows up on time, which is around when Kenma abandons his video game in favour of hooking his arms around Kuroo’s waist and stretching up on the tips of his toes to kiss him while Hinata looks away politely, Sakusa smiles wistfully, and Atsumu makes incredibly mature retching sounds. Because they’re already standing and because Kuroo is responsible, he’s in charge of wiping down the table, Kenma setting it behind him while Atsumu plates up and banishes Hinata and Sakusa to the bathroom together to wash up.

 

He can hear Hinata trying to wheedle Sakusa into a double date with him and Kageyama, which makes him gleeful, until Sakusa uses Atsumu’s need to consistently needle Hinata’s boyfriend as an excuse to get out of it. Frankly, it’s just rude, and also not Atsumu’s fault that Kageyama is stupidly easy to rile up. Still, he decides to let it go, because it’s Sakusa’s birthday, and because Atsumu can think of things much more pleasant than sitting through a dinner with Hinata and Kageyama. Like being waterboarded.

 

Once everyone’s hands are thoroughly washed, they congregate around the table. Sakusa passes up on the offer to sit in the lawn chair, so Kenma takes it, Kuroo to his right hand side, Atsumu to his left. Sakusa sits next to Atsumu, and Hinata next to Kuroo, beaming across the table at Sakusa. Atsumu is kind of jealous of him, because he has the best seat in the house for watching Sakusa’s reactions.

 

As it is, Atsumu is stealing glances out of the corner of his eye to make sure Sakusa is enjoying himself. He doesn’t pick his food apart as much, but he still eats slowly and meticulously, the corner of his mouth quirked as he watches Hinata squall at Kuroo for calling him short, and insisting he’s grown since high school. Kenma leans forward a little to have a conversation with Sakusa about video-games as Hinata tries to drag Atsumu into defending him. Atsumu, forever Hinata’s greatest champion and Kuroo’s most vehement enemy, is only too game, even if he feels the brunt of Sakusa’s amused gaze on his cheek.

 

Feeling sufficiently like he’s won after an attack on Kuroo’s hair, Atsumu calls truce and allows him to help with washing the dishes, while Hinata, Sakusa and Kenma bicker about video game stuff that Atsumu doesn’t even want to try to understand. Instead, he scrubs thoroughly in the sudsy water, while Kuroo dries the dishes he loads into the dish rack.

 

“Thanks,” he says, into their silence, “for the drivin’ lessons. Nice gesture, Omi’ll appreciate it.”

 

“Uh huh,” Kuroo says, sounding faintly amused, “well, I figure Sakusa is rich enough to afford one of the designated dorm parking spaces, and it must kill you thinking about what sitting around stagnant is doing to your truck.” Atsumu makes a wounded noise in the back of his throat, mostly because Kuroo’s right. He does have plenty of spare thoughts for his poor, beautiful vehicle and its unused engine.

 

“Prob’ly gonna have to jump start her when I get back,” Atsumu sighs, “poor old thing.”

 

“Yeah, well. If Sakusa’s driving it around every other weekend or whenever he has time, at least mine will stay in good condition,” Kuroo closes his eyes, briefly, “at least until I can land a job that gives me a parking space I don’t have to pay for, but even then I’d have to find somewhere to park around our apartment.”

 

“That shit cleans you out,” Atsumu says with what is the closest he ever gets to sympathy, and Kuroo grunts something that probably means ‘ you’re telling me ’. Atsumu resolves that the second he gets back to Hyogo, he’s going to go for so many joy-rides just to make sure the engine stays in top shape.

 

“Why are we still sitting?” Sakusa asks finally, as Kuroo and Atsumu are finishing up. Hinata looks contemplative, while Kenma flicks a glance toward Atsumu, catches one look at his face, and shrugs, lazily, in the dispassionate way only Kenma is capable of.

 

“Because. I don’t want to play without Kuro.”

 

“Awww,” Kuroo cooes, gliding over the table and wrapping his arms over Kenma’s shoulder, placing obnoxiously wet kisses against his face. Kenma wrinkles his nose in apparent disgust, but there’s a glint in his eye and the slightest curve to his mouth that betrays how much he secretly enjoys it. Sakusa turns in his seat to blink at Atsumu.

 

“Is Kuroo-san released for the night?”

 

“Not quite,” Atsumu says, “I got one more surprise, and his job is makin’ sure you don’t peek.”

 

“Cover your eyes, Sakusa-san,” Kuroo says, amused, as Sakusa shoots him a suspicious glare. Kenma smiles a little to reassure him, leaning back into Kuroo’s embrace and gently clasping his hand over Kuroo’s forearm. Reluctantly, Sakusa covers his eyes, making sure his pinky fingers are touching so there’s no sliver of a gap to peek from. When Kuroo gives him a thumbs up, only then does Atsumu retrieve his cheesecake.

 

Hinata manages to stay uncharacteristically silent as Atsumu sets up, releasing the outer ring of the tin and taking it back toward the kitchen to swap it for matches to light the 21-shaped candle in the centre of the cake. Once he’s set the knife down on the table and lit the cake up, he stands back, dusts off his hands.

 

“Kay,” he says, “ya can open now.”

 

Sakusa drops his hands, slowly, before blinking owlishly at the cake, as if he can’t quite believe it’s there. Hinata, who has been silent probably as long as he ever has been since before exiting the womb, bounces in his seat, grinning maniacally. Kenma leans his head back and closes his eyes as Kuroo presses a kiss to his temple, and Atsumu puts both hands on his hips, puffing out his chest with pride.

 

“Surprise,” he says, “plum cheesecake for my favourite prickly bastard.”

 

“You know,” Sakusa says, even though he’s smiling like it got away from him, “plum isn’t the only flavour of anything I enjoy.”

 

“Yea yea, but this was the only one gonna be tart enough for ya, ya sour little shit,” Sakusa scoffs, “blow out yer candle. Make a wish.”

 

Sakusa narrows his eyes like he’s debating not doing it, just to spite Atsumu, before he leans forward with a contemplative expression, and decisively snuffs out the candle. Hinata cheers and claps broadly, while Kuroo whistles sharply in admiration, and Kenma simply nods his head. Atsumu rounds the table, drops both hands on Sakusa’s shoulders, and shakes him a little. Sakusa snorts, tilts his head back to smile at him.

 

“I won’t tell you my wish, no matter how hard you try.”

 

“We’ll see, Omi-kun,” Atsumu smiles, “and this is the only time I’m gonna trust ya with a knife ‘round me, so ya better savour it and cut yer damn cake already.”

 

“You put a lot of effort into this, clearly,” Sakusa says, reaching for the knife.

 

“Course I did, yer my boyfriend.”

 

“He even hand-whipped the mixture,” Kenma says, “with a fork.”

 

“It lets more air into the batter and makes the whole thing lighter!” Atsumu protests, which has both Kuroo and Hinata laughing while Sakusa just smiles his stupid smug smile up at Atsumu.

 

“Your boyfriend’s a domestic god, Sakusa-san,” Kuroo teases. “I’ll get everyone some plates. Kenma, you’re on dishes.”

 

“What?” Kenma sits up, scowling over his shoulder at Kuroo. “Why?”

 

“Because it’s your dorm too, Atsumu has worked enough, and we’re not even staying the whole night.”

 

“One day,” Kenma says solemnly, “when you least expect it, I’m going to smother you in your sleep.”

 

“Alright,” Kuroo says amicably, “just do it on a day when I don’t have anything important coming up.”

 

Atsumu laughs at that, and Kenma shoots him a withering glare, which is interrupted by Hinata shifting into Kuroo’s seat to distract Kenma from his murder plans. Sakusa gently pulls one of Atsumu’s wrists until he slumps forward against his back, arms lazily draped around Sakusa’s shoulders in an imitation of how Kenma and Kuroo had been standing just minutes before.

 

“Hard to move my shoulders with all your weight on them,” Sakusa says, and Atsumu hums, wraps his arms up so his hands cup each of his elbows,  keeping them well out of Sakusa’s way as he sets about cutting up his cake.

 

Kuroo returns just in time, and Sakusa meticulously slides slice after slice onto plates, before everyone takes their cutlery and digs in. Atsumu, back in his seat, watches Sakusa like a hawk. His first bite is dainty and tentative, but as soon as the flavour combination hits his tongue, his eyes brighten, and he takes another bite, chewing it contently. It’s then that he notices Atsumu looking, swallows, and sighs like this is all a very grievous task for him.

 

“It’s very good, Atsumu.”

 

“Ya bet yer ass it is,” he says back, and Sakusa rolls his eyes, but he doesn’t complain when Atsumu sacrifices the last bite of his own slice and spoon-feeds it to Sakusa instead.

 

“Thanks,” he says around a mouthful of tart plum topping and malt biscuit, leaning across to press a kiss to Atsumu’s cheek, right next to the corner of his mouth. Atsumu hums, and tries not to go red under the scrutiny of three gazes watching them for very different reasons.

 

“Omi-san,” Hinata sighs wistfully, a smile somehow warmer than his usual sunshine-grins settled peacefully onto his features, “it’s so nice to see you happy. I was worried you didn’t like us very much-”

 

“That’s not true,” Sakusa says quickly, “I might not be good at expressing it, but I appreciate all of you very much. It would be easy for you to forget about me outside of volleyball, but-”

 

“No way!” Hinata shakes his head. “You’re super cool, Omi-san! You’re really smart, and you know all these cool facts about space, and you’re really funny too, like when you razz Atsumu-san.”

 

“Thanks, Shou-kun,” Atsumu says dryly, and receives only the cheeriest grin in response. He gives him the finger, and Hinata blows him a kiss back. Sakusa smiles, reaching out to gently trace his fingers over Atsumu’s wrist. Obediently, Atsumu turns his hand palm up, and lets Sakusa slot their fingers together.

 

“He does make me happy,” Sakusa says, “but you all do, everyone on the team, everyone who took the time to be not just my teammate, but my friend.”

 

“Please go on a double date with us,” says Hinata, like someone forcibly smacked it out of him.

 

“No,” Sakusa says again, “Kageyama-san and Atsumu would try to kill each other.”

 

“Kageyama can behave!” Hinata squalls.

 

“Nah,” Atsumu agrees, “he still hasn’t forgiven me for stickin’ my tongue down yer throat, even though it was years ago.”

 

“And you can’t help yourself,” Sakusa adds. “I’ve seen how you are with Kageyama-san, and I’ve never seen you pass up an opportunity to tease him. So no, no double dates in our future.”

 

“Just unfortunate third-wheeling,” Kuroo suggests, which has Hinata turn his squawking protests onto him while Kuroo smiles his lazy smile, chin propped in his hand, clearly unbothered by Hinata’s yelling. Kenma levels Kuroo with his best unimpressed glare, which does absolutely nothing to deter Kuroo from simply trailing after him when Kenma picks up their dishes and heads to the sink. Hinata, not done trying to goad Kuroo into a fight, bounces after them, leaving Sakusa and Atsumu alone at the table.

 

“D’ya want me to bully Kenma into stickin’ around some more?” Atsumu asks, gently smoothing his thumb over the back of Sakusa’s hand. Sakusa shakes his head a little.

 

“Not necessary. I feel like you’ve been doing all the work, so we should hang out. Maybe a movie?”

 

“Ya hate watching movies with me.”

 

“Because you have terrible taste, and you talk over them anyway.”

 

“Do not ,” Atsumu sniffs, “but fine, whatever. What the birthday boy wants, the birthday boy gets.”

 

“That’s a dangerous amount of power to give me.”

 

“Don’t I know it. Ya should be really thankful for Samu right about now, ‘cause he’s one way to make sure I gotta split that power always.” Sakusa hums, gravely, before crooking a grin at Atsumu from the corner of his mouth. Atsumu chuckles back, gently resting their temples together.

 

“This means I get to pick the movie, you know.”

 

“I gathered that, thanks.”

 

“Just checking. Sometimes you’re slow on the uptake.”

 

“Ouch, Omi-kun, and for the man who made ya a whole cake for your birthday,” Atsumu tuts, “where the fuck are yer manners?”

 

“What’s Omi-san doing?” Hinata asks, dropping into a chair across from them. “I get why Akaashi-san calls Kuroo-san a pain in the butt now.”

 

“No luck on the argument front, huh?” Atsumu asks. Hinata shakes his head. “Omi’s just bullyin’ me again, nothin’ special.”

 

“I have to get my best shots in on the one day he’s not allowed to argue back,” Sakusa says, very seriously, and Hinata laughs a little bit.

 

“You’re evil, Omi-san,” he says, and then grins, wild and gleeful. “I make Kageyama fetch me my food on my birthday. He goes red like beetroot trying not to fight me on it.”

 

“And ya were worried ‘bout me razzin’ Tobio-kun,” Atsumu says dryly, while Sakusa only sniffs.

 

“I don’t care who fights with Kageyama, I don’t want to see it. I also don’t want to see Hinata’s make-up kisses. It’s bad enough whenever our teams play each other.” Atsumu hums his agreement, and Hinata looks offended for all of a second, before his eyes widen a little and he goes slack-jawed.

 

“Omi-san,” he says, sounding like he might burst into tears, “you’re joking with me.”

 

“He does that, sometimes. It took him a little while to pick up on the art of humour and- ow, ow that’s my nipple,” Atsumu folds in on himself, desperately trying to swat away Sakusa’s hand with the one that Sakusa isn’t holding in a death grip right now. Hinata is laughing at him, being precisely no help given that he’s currently on the euphoria high of ‘ blatant extension of friendship from Sakusa ’. Atsumu can’t really blame him, but the pain in his nipple is making him cantankerous enough to try .

 

“Well,” Hinata announces, ignoring Atsumu’s plight, “I just wanted to say that I’m really glad you’re my friend. And we should hang out more! Like, just the two of us. Bond and stuff. Or at least you should come to more parties. Hey, Atsumu-san?” 

 

“Yea?” Atsumu says, leaning into Sakusa’s side now that his tormentor has decided to sympathetically rub his chest like he’s not the cause of his pain.

 

“Are you coming to Tanaka-senpai’s thing next Friday?”

 

“I kinda already told him nah, ‘cause I didn’t think Omi would be chill with it.”

 

“What?” Sakusa demands. “Why not?”

 

“Look, Ryuu-kun’s parties are way different from Yuuji-kun’s. Smaller space, a lot more people, no Chikara-kun or Shigeru-kun livin’ there to keep ‘em in check. Whatever ya thought college parties were like? Ryuu-kun’s is that, times twelve.”

 

“He is pretty intense,” Hinata says.

 

“You know you don’t have to cancel plans for me,” Sakusa says, ignoring Hinata completely.

 

“Yeah, but Friday’s our day,” Atsumu says, “and I’m not rude enough to have ya stay here and then just fuck off to do who knows what without ya. Ya can pretend all you want but I know it would upset ya.”

 

“So does avoiding things because you think they’d upset me, I’m not made of glass.” Sakusa pushes his free hand through his curls, frowning at Atsumu. “How many parties have you missed because of me?”

 

Atsumu is damningly silent. He knows Sakusa knows he won’t want to hear the answer to that.

 

“A lot,” Hinata says, helpfully unhelpful, “people keep asking me where he is, like I have any clue. Even before he started dating you, Omi-san, I didn’t know what Atsumu-san does in his spare time.”

 

“Atsumu,” Sakusa says, like a thundercloud, “we’re going to the party.”

“Omi-kun,” Atsumu says back, “I say this with no amount of dramatics: ya will die.”

 

“So? Then I’ll die drunk and dancing on you.”

 

“What?!”

 

“If I die,” Sakusa repeats, like Atsumu didn’t hear him the first time, “I want it to be when I’m drunk, and dancing on you, like how Yahaba-san and his boyfriend dance.” Atsumu can feel the heat in his cheeks, can feel it crawling down the back of his neck and probably down the front of it too and he half feels like if it crawls any higher into his hairline it’ll pop his scalp clean off.

 

“Okay,” he says, feeling strangely calm, “Kenma? Time for you to collect your boyfriend and your shrimp and ship out.”

 

“Hey!” Hinata protests.

 

“Hm?” says Kenma, where he has very much not been doing any dishes and has very much been kissing his boyfriend instead.

 

Kuroo has, at the very least, finished the dishes despite the best efforts of Hinata and Kenma to deter him, which means he can use his captain's voice to shepherd the both of them around the flat to collect their things. Sakusa allows Kuroo a hug- an honest to God hug , Atsumu thinks proudly- before he leaves. Hinata looks blatantly envious, Kenma opts for a wave and a half-smile, and then they’re left to their own devices in the silence of the flat.

 

“So, can we talk about-”

 

“Nope,” Sakusa says, with a disdainful sniff. “I’ve made up my mind. What was it you said about the birthday boy getting what he wants?”

 

“Ya don’t know what yer gettin’ into! I’m tryna be considerate!”

 

“Consideration declined, Miya. Whatever it is, I’ll be fine as long as you’re there. And I’m taking the first shower.” And well, Atsumu really has no way to argue with that , because Sakusa really could have just punched him if he wanted him to feel as winded as he does.

 

I’ll be fine as long as you’re there. What the hell does that mean? Who just says that? Who dumps his trust one hundred percent into Atsumu’s hands and assumes he can protect him from the whirlwind chaos of Tanaka’s parties? How did it end up being Sakusa? These are all questions he’s contemplating even as Sakusa exits the shower and Atsumu takes over, scrubbing himself down almost mechanically. It should shock him how familiar he is with this routine already, this new way of being that he’s entrenched into the marrow of his bones, that he carries out even when Sakusa isn’t around. When this is over, when Sakusa doesn’t need him anymore and inevitably leaves, will he even know how to stop?

 

He doesn’t like that thought at all. He pushes it away, finishes rinsing the soap off his body and dresses, careful not to touch anything that would warrant another shower and change of clothes. By the time he returns to his bedroom, Sakusa has already made himself comfortable in Atsumu’s bed, fairy lights on, main lights off, nightstand smelling of familiar citrus disinfectant where his laptop rests. Atsumu hates that it’s comforting to him now.

 

“I got the light,” Sakusa says, sounding proud of himself, “but you still touched the doorknobs, so you’ll need to sanitize anyway.”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu agrees, “I just uh. I have one more thing for ya.”

 

“What?”

 

“A gift,” Atsumu says, “but I didn’t wanna give it to ya in front of everyone else, ‘cause it’s kind of special.”

 

“Oh,” Sakusa says, watching as Atsumu takes the little wrapped package from his desk drawer.

 

He sets it on the bedside table, and accepts the hand sanitizer from Sakusa, sitting on the edge of the bed. Sakusa draws his legs up, leans across to gently unwrap the small parcel, brows furrowed in confusion as he turns over the plastic-coated packaging. And then he smiles, small, but genuine, eyes gentle in a way that makes Atsumu’s chest feel on fire.

 

“Hair-clips.”

 

“Told ya, Omi-kun.”

 

“So you did,” his smile gets wider, eyes impossibly sweeter, as he turns his gaze to Atsumu. “Do you ever break a promise?”

 

“Not if I can help it.”

 

“Thank you, Atsumu,” he says, thumbing the star decal from under the plastic. “I actually really like them. They’re very pretty.”

 

“I picked the ones I thought ya would like best,” Atsumu says, “someone told me I know ya better than I think I do.”

 

“Motoya,” Sakusa sighs through his nose, sounding exasperatedly fond, “but he was right. I do like them. I’m going to wipe them down and then… then, will you put them on me?”

 

“If that’s what ya want.”

 

“That is what the birthday boy demands, yes.”

 

“Then yer wish, my command.”

 

“Oh, I could get used to that.”

 

“I am very threatened right now,” Atsumu tells him, laughing as Sakusa snorts and nudges his shoulder with his own. He rests his chin on Sakusa’s shoulder once he’s settled, watching him carefully remove the clips from their packaging and wipe down every one individually, careful to keep everything off the bed. Once they’ve all been wiped, he holds out his palm to Atsumu with the clips settled comfortably into it.

 

They really are pretty, in a palette of blues and golds with various star imagery, and one with a Saturn-shaped planet on it, because the shape of Saturn is easily recognizable, Atsumu supposes. He picks two of the stars, bright gold on midnight blue snap clips, and leans forward.

 

Sakusa stills like even breathing might knock Atsumu off balance and send him hurtling to the floor at devastating speeds. He’s appreciative for the consideration, because he feels like that too. For some reason, there’s something exciting about being allowed to gently brush the back of his hand over Sakusa’s cheek, sweep back his curls to expose his face, and pin them into place with one clip, and then the second; it makes him feel wild in ways he can’t even begin to describe.


Their faces are so close, and Atsumu’s knuckles are resting against Sakusa’s jaw. He can feel his pulse jumping there, and there’s a light flush colouring his pale cheeks as he smiles at Atsumu, his nervous twitchy smile again, although his eyes have turned into straight-black pools that threaten to swallow Atsumu whole and drown him in them. And by God, he thinks, what a fucking way to go.

 

“Atsumu,” Sakusa says, low, but whispered like a secret, “can I be greedy, and ask for one more birthday present?”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu says, “go ahead.”

 

“Let’s,” Sakusa says, swallows, “let’s kiss.”

 

“Huh?” Atsumu says, unsure if he heard right.

 

“It’s just,” Sakusa says, balling up the rubbish from the gift and walking it over to the bin, before sanitizing his hands again and climbing back into the bed. “It’s been a while since I’ve been kissed, admittedly. A long while since there was someone I wanted to kiss.”

 

“Ya wanna kiss me?”

 

“Yes, that’s why I’ve asked you to kiss me.”

 

“And yer sure?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Is this because I keep makin’ out with our friends?”

 

“For fuck’s sake,” Sakusa says with a sigh, “just shut up and kiss me, Miya.”

 

Atsumu sucks in a breath, and feels nervous. Sakusa is facing him now, blankets being gently fisted in his hands as he stares down at his lap. It strikes him then, that this is unfair to Sakusa. Sakusa is his friend, and Atsumu has made out with plenty of his friends without making this big a deal out of it.

 

“Yea, okay,” he says, gently cups Sakusa’s face in his hands, grins as Sakusa turns his shocked gaze onto him, “quit being such a big baby about it.”

 

He can feel Sakusa suck in air as Atsumu brings their faces in close. He keeps his eyes focused on Sakusa’s mouth, thumbs along the apex of his cheekbones, and gently brushes his lips to Sakusa’s. It’s the barest pressure, only just there, and it still has Sakusa exhaling in a gust, reaching out shaky hands to pull Atsumu in by the sides of his t-shirt.

 

He slots their lips together this time, still gentle and slow. He feels Sakusa’s eyelashes brush his skin as his eyes fall closed, nose tucked against Atsumu’s own as he presses their lips together again and again, carefully tilting Sakusa’s head to fit them together better. Sakusa tries to pull him closer again, breathes out harshly through his nose as Atsumu settles against him, Sakusa’s legs unfolding either side of him.

 

“Miya…” Sakusa mumbles, the sound of it brushed against his lips as Atsumu laughs, gently slides his hands back to thread in Sakusa’s hair. Sakusa sighs, contently, slips his hands under the hem of Atsumu’s shirt and glides them against his skin, all the way up to grip onto his shoulders, holding him tight against him.

 

Sakusa picks up the pace, presses more insistently against Atsumu’s mouth. He humours him, makes his kisses firmer, more intent, one hand cradling Sakusa’s head as if he’s precious, the other fumbling with the covers to get himself into the bed. Sakusa laughs against his mouth, pushes him onto his back and settles against him. His hand slides up over Atsumu’s heart, and Atsumu holds it there, kissing him again, and again, and again.

 

Sakusa’s lips are soft, which doesn’t surprise Atsumu at all. As Sakusa fits their lips together, letting their kisses linger with the pull of his lower lip- which seems to surprise a gasp out of him every time- Atsumu marvels at knowing what chapstick Sakusa uses. Marvels at knowing what the remnants of it taste like smeared across his own mouth.

 

It’s easy kissing Sakusa; slow, languid, like they have all the time in the world. They do, Atsumu thinks, like kissing Sakusa has enclosed them in a bubble separated temporally from the Earth’s rotation, where nothing exists but Sakusa’s shaky, huffing breaths against his cheek, the slow, exploring drag of lips against lips, the feeling of Sakusa’s thumb brushing the divot between his pecs, fingers flexing under Atsumu’s hand.

 

Sakusa’s leg settles between his own, his body settling down against the curve of Atsumu’s side. He slots there like they were made to fit together, even though Atsumu’s shoulder is wedged semi-painfully against the wall, because there’s just not enough space in this tiny fucking bed, it’s okay. It’s alright, because Sakusa is a warm, constant heat against his chest, free hand cupped around Atsumu’s neck, thumb brushing the base of his earlobe with every little circle.

 

Atsumu releases his hand, hooks it around Sakusa’s ass instead and laughs a huff through his nose as Sakusa gasps against his mouth. It earns him a kick, but Sakusa presses closer to him, hand roaming across his chest unrestricted now. He traces the shape of Atsumu’s collarbones, the curve of the underside of his pec, slides his fingers wide and presses his palm just above his sternum to feel the thump of his heart. And Atsumu kisses him through all of it, sifts the fingers of one hand through ink-black curls, holds the other against his backside to keep him close, because Sakusa lets him.

 

Atsumu kisses Sakusa, and Sakusa kisses him back like Atsumu’s lips are the last source of oxygen left on the planet. He rips his hand out from under Atsumu’s shirt to cradle his face in both hands, so Atsumu abandons his hair in favour of clutching him around the middle, pulling him close against them, fingers skimming against his ribs until Sakusa shudders a ticklish giggle into their kiss. Atsumu snorts, ungracefully, and Sakusa pulls back, ducking his face into Atsumu’s hair and laughing.

 

Atsumu laughs too, rubs the broad palm of his hand up the length of his spine, thumbs over the nape of his neck. He can feel Sakusa’s grin against the side of his face, where he’s slowly inching down toward Atsumu’s mouth again. He tightens his grip on Sakusa, flips them over in a way that makes Sakusa yell in shock, and then presses their lips together again. Sakusa is laughing into his mouth now, holding Atsumu’s face tight, nails scraping against his cheekbones as Sakusa folds his thighs up either side of Atsumu’s waist and hauls him in, squeezes until he’s got nowhere else to run to. 

 

“I get it,” Sakusa says when he pulls back, tilting his head so Atsumu can press kisses along the strong column of his throat. “I understand why you like kissing people so much. You make me understand.”

 

“Just say I’m a good kisser, fuckin’ hell,” Atsumu laughs, “ya really gotta be so roundabout ‘bout it?”

 

“Yeah,” Sakusa says, forcibly wrestling his face up to crash into him again. His lips are parted more this time, kisses open-mouthed against Atsumu’s lips. He takes the adjustment willingly, lowering himself against Sakusa as his lips become slowly but surely spit-slicked. Sakusa holds him close like Atsumu might suddenly vanish, as if he’s even considering running away from this. Atsumu traces his tongue against Sakusa’s lower lip, brushes carefully and tentatively until he feels Sakusa shift his head and press his tongue back toward the inquisitive pressure.

 

Sakusa makes a high-pitched noise in the back of the throat when their tongues touch, one of his hands sliding back to fist in Atsumu’s hair and haul him closer. Atsumu curls his tongue, pushes it against Sakusa’s to much the same effect. Sakusa kisses him like he’s dying, tongues sliding together with each pass. Atsumu smiles into it- it ruins the fit of their mouths, really- but Sakusa just tilts his head to kiss him better, holding him by the back of the head with both hands now.

 

Atsumu gently turns them onto their sides so he’s not crushing Sakusa so much. He slips his hands under his shirt, smooths them up Sakusa’s back. Sakusa sighs into his mouth, the sound of it desperate and enough to make Atsumu feel just the right shade of uncomfortably warm.

 

They kiss like that for a while longer; the gentle pressure of Atsumu’s tongue in Sakusa’s mouth, Sakusa’s hands mussing his hair up at the base of his skull, his hands tracing the vertebrae in Sakusa’s spine with reverent detail. It’s Sakusa who pulls back first, face red in the dim light, but smiling dumbly with his kiss-reddened lips.

 

“Was that good for ya, birthday boy?”

 

“Yeah, it was.”

 

“We gonna talk about it?”

 

“You know, for such a slut, you want to do a lot of talking.”

 

“Ouch, Omi-kun,” Atsumu chuckles, gently drops a kiss against Sakusa’s nose. “I just- is this gonna be a normal practice thing for ya, like the neck kisses and shit? D’ya want me to do it in public? Y’know this was against the rules too, right?”

 

“I know,” Sakusa smiles, smaller now, and smooths Atsumu’s hair back down. “We could do this in public. I might still freak out when you factor in other people seeing it, but honestly? That was fun. I’m starting to judge you less for how many people I hear about you kissing.”

 

“Some of those claims are probably pretty badly blown outta proportion,” Atsumu says, “y’know, just to humble myself or whatever. I have kissed a fair amount of people, though, that’s true.”

 

“Did you kiss Hinata like that?”

 

“Fuck no,” Atsumu barks a laugh. “The whole point of that one was to piss off Tobio-kun, so there was a lot more tongue. And a lot more groping.” Sakusa makes a face, which makes Atsumu laugh, shaking his head at him.

 

“Not an image I wanted in my head, thank you for nothing.”

 

“Uh-huh, uh-huh. Pick yer movie, Omi-kun, we can’t make out all night.”


“Can’t we?”

 

“Yer gonna end up complainin’ about how much yer jaw hurts. I know ya.”

 

“Well. I don’t think I’m done with you yet.”

 

“Choose yer movie,” Atsumu repeats, gently brushing their lips together, “and then we can make out through the boring parts.”

 

Sakusa grumbles, but he tugs himself loose from Atsumu’s arms to collect his laptop. Atsumu sits up and makes space between his legs for Sakusa to lean back into him, computer balanced in his lap. Sakusa spends no time at all picking something that he clearly isn’t planning on paying attention to, before he tilts his head and kisses Atsumu again.

 

It makes sense, Atsumu supposes , because he’s a charitable guy and all, that Sakusa kisses like he’s hungry for it. Atsumu does a lot of kissing; hadn’t realized how much he’s missed it these past few weeks until now, kissing Sakusa in the dim wash of small LED lights, Sakusa playing with the hair at the back of his neck, Sakusa pushing his tongue between the seam of his lips and sighing deeply through his nose. Sakusa, on the other hand, has always struck Atsumu as someone who doesn’t kiss a lot, and if the way he kisses Atsumu- slow, full of reverence- is any indication, he’s bang-on in that assumption.

 

It is shocking to learn that Sakusa enjoys kissing. Sakusa kisses like he never wants to stop, holds Atsumu close to him so he couldn’t retreat even if he wanted to. He very much does not want to, which is something else that will keep him awake at night, rattling around in that highlighter yellow folder. Sakusa swaps spit with him without a second though. Sakusa is dragging his hand through Atsumu’s hair without any hesitation. He has his free hand shoved up under Atsumu’s shirt, again. Two months ago, Atsumu didn’t know this version of Sakusa. Now, he can’t imagine going back to not knowing.

 

Atsumu couldn’t have named a single plot point by the time the credits start to roll. He could probably draw a map of the inside of Sakusa’s mouth, as explored by his tongue. Could probably write a dissertation on the best way to make Sakusa moan into a kiss, on where he most likes to be held when he’s shoving a tongue down someone’s throat. His lips are swollen red and kiss-shiny as Sakusa begrudgingly parts from his attempt to suck his soul out via mouth-to-mouth contact in order to shut off his laptop and set it aside. He immediately reaches for Atsumu again.

 

“Fuck, yer insatiable.”

 

“It’s been a while,” Sakusa grumbles, “a long while.”

 

“How long could it have possibly been?” Atsumu grumbles, even as Sakusa insists on pressing into a kiss, fingers tracing the shape of abdomen. “What, was the bed-sex an O-week hookup or somethin’?”

 

Sakusa goes dead still against his mouth. Atsumu lets him hold it there for a second, before his smile crooks into a wide grin. Sakusa makes a valiant effort at kissing it away from Atsumu, settles himself almost fully in his lap and tries to push his tongue through Atsumu’s teeth, but Atsumu flips them over with ease and flattens himself over Sakusa’s chest.

 

“Oh, Omi, baby ,” he croons, and Sakusa puts both hands over his face, but not fast enough to cover how his blush trickles out to his ears.

 

“Not all of us can be people who have no problem making out with their friends, Miya,” Sakusa snaps, defensive. Atsumu makes it worse by cooing at him, and then drawing a broad stripe up the back of one hand with his tongue. Sakusa makes a disgusted noise and reflexively swipes it back down Atsumu’s cheek, which he then proceeds to smash against Sakusa’s own and nuzzle while Sakusa’s free hand tries to tear him away.

 

“Well, good news for ya is yer fake boyfriend is someone who has no problem makin’ out with his friends when they want someone to kiss, so.”

 

“You complain a lot for someone who supposedly gets around.”

 

“Only ‘cause yer such a needy kisser.”

 

“I am not . Take that back.”

 

“Nuh-uh, that would be lyin’, and I’m no liar.”

 

“Give me your phone right now.”

 

“Huh? Why?”

 

“I need Osamu-san’s number so he can back me up when I tell you that’s the biggest, fattest lie you’ve ever told, and I’ve heard you lie about a lot of things,” Sakusa struggles, flailing for the bedside table. Atsumu grasps his wrist and presses it back into the pillows. Sakusa glares at him like he’s trying to mentally set him alight. Atsumu simply leans down, traces his lower lip over the shell of Sakusa’s ear and then laughs into it when Sakusa’s back bows and his body chases the pressure of Atsumu’s bulk on top of him.

 

“I hate you,” Sakusa says, “I really, really hate you.”

 

“Yuh-huh. Wanna make out some more?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

And really, Atsumu thinks, it’s a hell of an arrangement. If Sakusa missed kissing so much, he shouldn’t have made it one of his rules in the first place, because Atsumu really has no problems with this. He flicks off the lights, pillows Sakusa’s head on one of his biceps so he can play with his hair, cradles the small of his back with his free hand and kisses him time and time again.

 

He kisses him until Sakusa’s mouth forgets how to move, and suddenly he’s breathing slow and steady against Atsumu’s lips. Atsumu chuckles against it, tilts his chin up to press a kiss to Sakusa’s exposed forehead, and then nuzzles into the crown of his head. Sakusa sleeps peacefully, a dead weight curled right up against his chest, the middle finger of his left hand dipped just below the waist of Atsumu’s sleep shorts. Atsumu doesn’t sleep at all. He stares at the far wall, and thinks on the way he feels giddy long into the night.

Chapter Text

It really doesn’t surprise Atsumu that his dorm has become the designated pre-game spot for the night. Kenma’s in the bathroom working his way through his second pink gin and soda, doing his eyeliner in the mirror. He’d tried doing Kuroo’s, earlier, but Kuroo had flinched and chickened out as soon as the eyeliner wand had gotten too close to his eye, so he’s settled instead for bracketing Kenma from behind, nose tucked behind Kenma’s ear as he watches curiously and nurses his Sapporo.

 

Akaashi is today’s designated driver and has been ready to go since he got here, sipping moderately at some fancy, artisan, carbonated fruit juice in a glass bottle and chatting amicably with Aran, who has also volunteered his car for the night. Bokuto’s been queuing music from Kuroo’s phone for the past ten minutes, laughing raucously at Yaku’s joke, but he’s also been downing a litre bottle of hard cider and he’s at least three quarters of the way through it, so Atsumu’s about to be real worried about Sakusa’s sensibilities with regards to whatever Bokuto chooses to blast through his apartment.

 

Sakusa’s three beers down, swivelling idly in Atsumu’s desk chair, watching him crouched in front of his standing mirror to do his makeup. Really, he could get Kenma to do it for him, but this is faster, and it means he can participate in at least three conversations at once with the door open like this, instead of having to watch Kuroo and Kenma do their stupid-in-love act.

 

“Suna-san sent you another Snapchat,” Sakusa tells him, picking Atsumu’s phone off the desk. Atsumu is busy trying to line his eyes without stabbing himself, so he just grunts.

 

“The passcode is 0711,” he sees the look Sakusa gives him in the reflection of the mirror and grins, screwing the brush back into the liquid liner and resting it on his thigh so he can take another sip of his beer. Sakusa holds the snapchat up so Atsumu can survey it. It’s a Suna classic: the outfit reveal, only this time Osamu is standing with his chin on his shoulder and his hand on Suna’s bare stomach.

 

“He’s usin’ the hair glitter I got him. Good,” Atsumu says. Sakusa turns the phone back toward him, draws his other foot up underneath him and snaps a picture of Atsumu as he starts on the other eye. Atsumu can see him typing, but there’s no reflex instinct to make him stop. Sakusa’s not the type of person who would do anything insane while holding Atsumu’s phone. Weird how much he trusts him.

 

“Tsumu!” Aran yells from the living room. “Shinsuke says hi!”

 

“Kita-san!” Atsumu hollers back, even though he knows it’s just a text. “Tell him he’s my favourite senior!”

 

“Second-favourite senior, ya little shitbag,” Aran calls back, and Atsumu cackles wildly, hears Aran laugh his deep laugh, before his conversation turns back to something sensible and polite with Akaashi. There’s a faint tinge of amusement to both of their tones now; and he can hear Bokuto and Yaku laughing together, Yaku’s laughs coming short and breathy like he’s struggling to get them out around tears. Kuroo is squawking faintly from the bathroom, which means they’re probably making fun of him, and Atsumu mourns missing out.

 

He smears glitter on his face, carefully traces the shape of his cheekbones and the slope of his nose, adds a little in the dip above his top lip and then reaches for his mascara for a thin coat, just to make his eyelashes look swoopy. Sakusa watches him with the same intent as if he were watching Atsumu perform open-heart surgery.

 

“Want me to do yers next?” Sakusa wrinkles his nose.

 

“No thanks. I let Komori try once, but I really don’t like the way it feels on my skin.”

 

“Fair,” he squeezes his eyes shut and spritzes setting spray around his face, trying not to accidentally inhale it, “fuck foundation, actually, that shit’s gross.”

 

“Atsumu,” says Kenma’s voice, and he cracks an eye open to look up at him, where he’s hovering in the doorway, “can I borrow your glitter?”

 

“Yea,” he extends the little pottle to Kenma, who takes it, glances around Atsumu’s room, “somethin’ else?”

 

“Did I leave my scrunchie here? The red one with the little hearts.”

 

“Top drawer of the desk I think,” Atsumu gestures, vaguely, and Sakusa rolls out of the way so Kenma can access it. He rummages through, pulls up his scrunchie and snaps it around his wrist, before seizing a box of condoms and reading the back.

 

“Were these any good?” He asks Atsumu. Atsumu thinks about it. It’s been a while since he’s had cause to use a condom because of the whole Sakusa-situation, but when Kenma turns the box toward him, his brain comes up with a pretty decent recollection of their last application.

 

“Yea, think so. Pretty durable for how thin they are, which is good ‘cause it feels like yer not wearin’ one at all without havin’ to worry ‘bout ‘em breakin’,” Kenma hums, pockets three, and then pats Atsumu’s head on the way out of the bedroom.

 

“He just stole your condoms,” Sakusa says, sounding aghast.

 

“Yea,” Atsumu agrees, packing away his makeup and taking another swig of his beer, “he does that.”

 

“I’m starting to understand how your friendship works,” Sakusa mutters, trying to hook a leg around Atsumu’s ankle as he passes. Atsumu steps over him and tucks his kit back into its proper shelf, and then turns and places a hand either side of Sakusa’s thighs, gripping the seat of his desk chair and leaning in to accept the kiss Sakusa places against his lips.

 

“Gonna be that kinda night, huh?”

 

“I think it’ll help sell it,” Sakusa says, “and I might as well get used to it now. No use getting stage fright in front of your more concerning friends.”

 

“Stage fright,” Atsumu cooes, ducking out of the way of a head-smack, “yer so cute, Omi-Omi.”

 

“Nothing about me has ever been cute.”

 

“Yer wearin’ the jeans again,” Atsumu says, lifting a hand to pick at the stitching on Sakusa’s inner thigh, “the ones that make yer ass look good, which ya only know ‘cause I told ya. That’s cute.”

 

“Shut up,” Sakusa shoves at his shoulder. “I can admit when you have more sense about something than I do. I don’t go to parties like this at all, really. You know that. So, if you say something’s party appropriate, then I trust that.”

 

“See?” Atsumu says. “Cute.”

 

Sakusa gives up and rolls away from him with a finality. Atsumu laughs, and re-routes to pick up his beer, wandering out into the living room. Kuroo and Yaku are watching Bokuto try to teach them the choreography to some artificially peppy K-pop song that he’s probably learned from Hinata, while Kenma highlights Kuroo’s face with glitter, tongue stuck out between his lips. Akaashi and Aran have both twisted in their seat to watch Yaku try to replicate whatever the fuck Bokuto is doing while Kuroo laughs his chainsaw laugh.

 

Atsumu does what any good friend would do, when presented with a prime opportunity to catch up with their life-long friend: he takes several quiet steps forward and then leaps into Aran’s lap. Aran starts, violently, hand instinctively coming up to clutch at Atsumu as he laughs loudly.

 

“Fucking hell , Miya,” Aran says, but he’s laughing too, “way to give a guy a heart attack.”

 

“I missed ya, ya big lug,” Atsumu says, wraps an arm over his shoulders and squeezes him in a tight hug. Aran squeezes back, enough to make him feel like one of his ribs cracks under it.

 

“I’m like, forty five minutes away, not dead ,” Aran sounds amused, gently clapping Atsumu on the back. “Thanks for invitin’ me out, though. Gets lonely up there sometimes.”

 

“Ya should go play for Rin’s team,” Atsumu tells him, watching as Sakusa exits his room- hair now decorated with the Saturn-shaped hair-clip and one of the blue stars- and perches on the couch arm next to Akaashi, watching Yaku and Bokuto with vague disdain. “Accordin’ to him they’ve got great middle blockers but they could use an up on the wing spiker front.”

 

“That’s sweet,” Aran says, “but if I’m ever on a team with Suna again, it’ll be too soon. The pair of ya gave me premature gray hairs.”

 

“Liar,” Atsumu sing-songs, gripping Aran’s chin and forcibly tilting his head this way and that to mock-inspect his growing beard, “ya miss me.”

 

“Sometimes, yea. When I’m playin’ shit I kinda wish my setter would cuss me out like ya used to, give me a kick up the ass y’know?”


“I’m good for that,” Atsumu agrees, and the pair of them laugh. Aran squishes into one corner of the couch, Atsumu settles next to him, and then Sakusa settles between him and Akaashi, hooking one arm over Atsumu’s shoulders.

 

“Good to see ya again, Sakusa-san.”

 

“Ojiro-san,” Sakusa says by way of greeting.

 

“Ya can just call me Aran,” he offers with a little laugh, “no need to be so formal, yer datin’ one of my oldest friends after all.”

 

“Aran,” Atsumu whines with a mock sniffle, “so sweet.”


“Can it, ya little shit,” Aran ruffles his hair, making Atsumu yell and lean back into Sakusa, trying to shove Aran away from him. “As if yer not dolin’ out the same sappy shit all the time.”

 

“Okay then,” Sakusa says, “just Aran. And you can call me… just Sakusa.”

 

“Cool,” Aran says, then; “Akaashi was just tellin’ me ‘bout the book he’s readin’ for his class on the evolution of poetic structure-”

 

And just like that they’re off, the three of them talking about literary forms that Atsumu couldn’t give less of a shit about. It still makes him warm, though, seeing that genuine sparkle of interest in Sakusa’s eye as Akaashi gestures grandly and Aran nods thoughtfully. Three different friends from three different walks of life, all coming together and making each other happy. Atsumu excuses himself for another beer before he does something embarrassing like hug them all for no goddamn reason.

 

Kuroo’s joined in on trying to learn Bokuto’s dance, and he’s dragged Kenma into it too. Yaku seems to be getting the hang of it the fastest, but he’s laughing so hard that the movements still seem kind of half-hearted. Kenma is flashing Atsumu the ‘ fucking-save-me ’ eyes, so Atsumu breezes through and slides both arms around his waist, penguin-waddling him away with the claim of super-secret roommate business.

 

Super-secret roommate business is actually just escaping to Kenma’s room to rummage through his personal snack stash while Kenma re-checks his eyeliner in the reflection of his turned-off Switch screen. Atsumu selects some weird onion-ring flavoured vegetable crisps from an international grocer that Kenma likes, rips open the bag and sits on Kenma’s bed to offer him some. Kenma grabs a handful and eats them daintily, crunching the O-shaped chips into neat halves.

 

“So,” Kenma says, “Sakusa.”

 

“What ‘bout him?”

 

“You guys shower together now?”


“Ya really been waitin’ to pounce on me with that one, huh?” Kenma shrugs, which Atsumu knows is a yes. “It was just a one time thing. We got caught in the rain, and ya know how he is.”

 

“Hm,” Kenma says, watching Atsumu from the corner of his eyes. Atsumu squints back at him.

 

“What?”

 

“Nothing,” Kenma shrugs again, steals another handful of his snack, “I like him, though.”

 

“Yea, gathered that from the Switch case.”

 

“We play Animal Crossing together,” Kenma elaborates, “his island is very well-planned.”

 

“Does he have cool villagers?” Atsumu asks, settling back against the wall as Kenma curls into his side and rests his head on his shoulder.

 

“Not as good as mine,” Kenma says, then; “I’m not living with Kuroo next year.”

 

“I figured,” Atsumu says, crunching on his own chip, “ya had that big blowout, and then ya didn’t sit me down and tell me it was time for us to party ways, so I kinda guessed what conclusion ya came to.”

 

“I feel bad, making him wait,” Kenma says, touches the little bun that’s been made at the back of his skull with the scrunchie he’d retrieved, probably Kuroo’s handiwork. “I know he’s ready to move now, but it scares me. Sometimes I think I’ve known him so long that I don’t know how to read him anymore, just that I see what I want to see in him and ignore the rest.”

 

“Well, as someone who’s pretty good at readin’ other people, I don’t think ya have to worry about that,” Atsumu says, gently gripping Kenma’s hand and giving it a squeeze. Kenma taps his fingers against the back of his hand, appreciatively. “I think Kuroo’s so stupid in love with ya that ya could literally ask him to cut off both his hands and he’d do it with a smile on his face.”

 

“How could he cut off the second one?” Kenma asks, and Atsumu laughs, which is about the same time as Kuroo opens the door.

 

“Okay?” He asks Kenma, who nods. Kuroo hums, and crosses to them, splaying himself across both of their laps, head pillowed against Kenma’s thighs. Kenma reaches a hand down to gently card through Kuroo’s hair, gently rubbing soothing circles into the spot behind his ear that Atsumu knows Kenma knows Kuroo likes.

 

“We don’t have to go if you don’t want to,” Kuroo says, which is what Kuroo always says before a party that Kenma’s agreed to go to. Atsumu thinks it’s equal parts both sweet and stupid, because Kenma doesn’t do things he doesn’t want to. If he didn’t want to go anymore, he’d just say so.

 

“If I didn’t want to go anymore, I’d just say so, Kuro,” Kenma assures him, and Atsumu’s grin is smug.

 

“Alright,” Kuroo says, kisses his boyfriend’s leg, which is about the only place he can reach in his current position. “Atsumu? Your boyfriend is looking for you.”

 

“Y’know ya can just call him by his name,” Atsumu grumbles, already standing, throwing Kuroo off his legs and vaulting onto the ground. “Joke’s not funny anymore.”

 

“Uh-huh,” Kuroo says, in a tone that Atsumu doesn’t like at all , so he simply exits the room before the question as to why he doesn’t like it can catch up with him. When he re-enters the living room, it’s very readily apparent why Sakusa has been seeking his company again.

 

Akaashi, looking like he would be going through less pain if he was electrocuted, has been dragged into trying to learn the choreography, and Aran who is always game for something fun, is trying to get Yaku to teach him , because Bokuto’s cider bottle is completely empty now and he’s getting handsy. Sakusa extends a beer to Atsumu as he sidles up next to him.

 

“You spit in this or somethin’?” Sakusa gives him a dirty look.

 

“Don’t be disgusting.”

 

“Why not? It’s so easy to get ya worked up that way.” Sakusa rolls his eyes, inches closer to Atsumu with one of his hands curled around the edge of the counter so that the knuckles of his hand brush against the small of Atsumu’ back.

 

“Is he going to be okay to go like this?” Sakusa asks, nodding to where Bokuto has taken two handfuls of Akaashi’s chest and is pressing sloppy kisses against his neck. “He seems pretty far gone.”

 

“This is tame, for Ryuu-kun’s parties,” Atsumu says, grimly. Noya’s 21st, he’d been late because of volleyball practice, and by the time he’d arrived, Noya had been well on his way to a hospital visit, until Kiyoko had held him by the ear while her girlfriend practically funnelled water down his throat. Despite her best efforts, Atsumu had still been around the next morning to witness the absolutely killer hangover. Bokuto was a hell of a lot bigger than Noya, and if he had to make a guess, someone would give him an edible within twenty minutes of arriving and then Bokuto would eat for the rest of the night and wake up in the morning perfectly fine, completing the drunk person equivalent of getting hit by an eighteen-wheeler and then getting up and walking off like nothing even happened.

 

“Oi!” Kuroo’s booming voice jolts everyone toward him, where he’s exiting the room while Kenma pedantically fixes the way Kuroo’s shirt sits. “Do not fuck your boyfriend in my boyfriend’s living room.”

 

“I wasn’t gonna ,” Bokuto protests, loudly. “Kuroo, you have the worst opinion of me and we’re best friends! You should support me more!”

 

“I think Kuroo-san is allowed to be skeptical since you did have your hand down my pants while he was in the tent during our camping trip,” Akaashi says dryly, like he’s describing the weather. Bokuto goes red and splutters, yodelling something that’s probably supposed to be Akaashi’s name, but his apparent embarrassment pretty much strangles the sound. Kuroo and Akaashi exchange a grim nod of solidarity.

 

“I think that’s our cue then,” Atsumu says, kicking himself off the counter, “shoes and booze everyone, let’s roll out.”

 

Akaashi makes Kuroo, Bokuto and Yaku sit in the back of his car while Kenma gets the front seat, which means Sakusa and Atsumu are free to ride with Aran. Yaku makes furious eyes at the both of them to try and force them to help him escape his fate, but Atsumu grabs Sakusa’s hand with his free one and marches them toward Aran without looking back. Bokuto is still pouting and clinging to Yaku’s arm while grumbling about how he’s his only friend now when Atsumu opens the passenger door for Sakusa and helps him step up into Aran’s truck.

 

Aran’s ride is nicer than Atsumu’s by far, and it gives him major vehicle envy. He relishes in the leg space in the back, spreads them out wide as he selects the music for their trip. Atsumu’s truck is so old that the radio has completely given out, but Aran’s truck connects to phones through bluetooth . Sakusa informs him this is not a novelty. Both he and Aran threaten to kick him out of the car for the crime of being too rich to appreciate this luxury.

 

Sakusa does his scrunched-up look of distaste reserved for when he’s actually having fun and doesn’t want to admit it as Atsumu blasts a bunch of oldies that had been popular with Inarizaki back in the day, and he and Aran belt along to them. It’s a good, spirited drive, and time passes quickly. Noya and Tanaka’s apartment block has a commercial car park just behind it, no charges applying after business hours during the week. It’s awfully convenient, and Atsumu is willing to bet that surprisingly-discerning Noya took that into account when they were apartment scouting.

 

They wait for Akaashi’s car to arrive, and then enter the building together. Atsumu knows the building code from frequency, and they all cram into the elevator together like sardines. It’s not a particularly small elevator, but being wedged between Kuroo and Sakusa is making him realize how big they all are. Kuroo and Sakusa aren’t that much taller than him, but with Kenma wedged under Kuroo’s chin and Yaku up against Kuroo’s other side, Atsumu is suddenly very keenly aware that they are not exactly the smallest people ever.

 

When they stumble out into the hallway, it’s evident the party is in full swing. Noya and Tanaka’s door is propped open and the party has spilled into lawn chairs in the hallway, a couple people are playing Uno in a very drunk, very rowdy manner. There’s a couple up against one of the walls with their tongues down each other’s throats. This is par for the course, and Atsumu laughs when Sakusa wraps both arms around his bicep and holds it like he might faint like some poor old-timey maiden.

 

Tanaka and Noya’s apartment is a smaller space than Terushima’s rental house. The kitchen is practically a box and every inch of living space is covered in people, with minimal furniture in the way and the door to the balcony slid open. Atsumu knows from experience the rest of their stuff has probably been shoved into a bedroom, because the only thing this place has going for it over Terushima’s place is that it’s five bedrooms, two baths. Tanaka and Noya have the two directly off the living room, Fukunaga has the sheltered one tucked around the corner and adjacent to bathroom number one, then Yamamoto and Tanaka’s older sister Saeko on the other side, off the small hallway that houses the second bathroom.

 

As they step in, Atsumu can see Tanaka’s bedroom door open, most of his important stuff having been hidden away as well. There’s people conversing and lounging all over his bed, which has been covered by his oldest sheet set in a rather throwaway fashion. Sakusa still looks horrified over it as they take off their shoes in the genkan and set them as neatly as they can on the whole shelf that’s been set up for shoes and other belongings.

 

Aran instantly spots the two ridiculously tall middle blockers from his team and claps Atsumu on the shoulder before barrelling off. Bokuto must spot someone he knows too, because he yells loudly and incomprehensibly and then dashes off through the sea of people with a purpose. Akaashi gives them all a pointed look, and then trails off after him.

 

“Yaku-san!” A bellow breaks through the noise of the thrumming bass, and Yamamoto shoulders his way through party-goers to reach Yaku, who is already stretching out toward him and letting himself be engulfed in a back-breaking hug. Yamamoto lifts him right off the ground and squeezes hard. Yaku squeezes back and slaps his shoulders good-naturedly, with a big, belly-laugh.

 

Yamamoto moves on to Kenma and Kuroo, crushing both of them, one in each arm. Kenma looks like his soul is leaving his body, Kuroo laughs and musses the back of Yamamoto’s hair, before holding up their extra alcohol.

 

“You can store that in my room. I got a minifridge in there.”

 

“Why?” Kenma asks, but it doesn’t seem malicious.

 

“It’s technically Fukunaga’s but he couldn’t sleep with the hum of it so he keeps his special culinary school stuff in there, but you know me. I could sleep through anything. Plus it means I get first dibs on any of his leftovers.”

 

“I taught you well,” Kuroo says sagely, which has both of them laughing raucously again. Kenma rolls his eyes and starts moving toward Yamamoto’s room with a purpose. Kuroo turns to Sakusa and Atsumu. “You guys gonna be okay if we split up?”

 

“Yup,” Atsumu gives him a thumbs up, “I got Omi covered. Tora?”

 

“Yo?”

 

“Where the fuck’s ya boyfriend? Haven’t seen him in for-fucking-ever.”

 

“He’s around, somewhere,” Yamamoto waves a vague hand, and then he’s off, bouncing after Kenma and waving a hand wildly at a bowed head of silver hair with taped hands in it, silver-hair busy sticking his tongue down Koganegawa’s throat. Kenma’s small frame looks like he’s three seconds from breaking into a dead sprint to escape.

 

“There’s so many people,” Sakusa murmurs, close to his ear. Atsumu hums, raises his free hand to gently clasp over one of Sakusa’s.

 

“Ya doin’ okay? I can ask Saeko-nee-san if we can hide out in her room if it’s too much-”

 

“It’s fine,” Sakusa says, “you’re here.”

 

“‘Kay,” Atsumu relents, “but if ya change yer mind, let me know okay?”

 

“Okay,” Sakusa agrees, and with that, Atsumu steps into the fray. He recognizes a few faces amongst the crowd instantly. Hanamaki and Matsukawa have joined up with Oikawa and Iwaizumi, the four of them in a close-knit huddle around what is probably Hanamaki’s phone. Iwaizumi’s hand is on Oikawa’s ass.

 

Yahaba and Shirabu are standing close together, either arguing viciously or having their most civil conversation ever. Atsumu can never tell with those two. Kyoutani, as always, hovers around Yahaba awkwardly, but Goshiki has ditched his boyfriend in favour of talking to Kindaichi and Kunimi while mixing himself a drink from the selection that’s been left on the half-wall enclosing the kitchen. He can see Suga’s silvery hair, where he’s backed Daichi into the wall and has attached them at the mouths for better or for worse. Kiyoko, Kanoka and Yachi are listening with various degrees of concern to a story that Saeko is telling while gesturing broadly, and Tsukihima’s big brother- Atsumu’s met him once and cannot for the life of him remember his name- looks like he’s three seconds away from an aneurysm. Terushima has one arm draped companionably over Misaki’s shoulders, the pair locked in a serious and private conversation.

 

Something smashes into Atsumu from the side. Sakusa steadies him, and when Atsumu sees Asahi wading toward them with a look of horror on his face, Atsumu understands that he’s been hit by Noya. He wraps his free arm around him and squeezes the life out of him as Noya cackles his wild cackle and smashes his face into Atsumu’s chest.

 

“Bro,” he yells above the music, “has anyone ever told you that you have great tits?”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu yells back, “some guy called Noya, ya know him?.” Noya laughs again, gropes Atsumu’s chest as he tilts his head back over his shoulder to gesture wildly at Asahi. Sakusa is emitting deadly vibes, so Atsumu can’t really blame him for being apprehensive to approach, but Noya is insistent.

 

“Asahi, have you seen Atsumu’s chest? Doesn’t he look hot?”

 

“Hi, Atsumu,” Asahi says. Atsumu grins his response.

 

“I brought booze,” he announces, lifts the six pack he’s been carrying. Noya cheers, then looks at the half-eaten brownie in his hand, contemplatively.

 

“Trade you?” He hands over the beer, Noya hands him the half-brownie, and Atsumu devours the whole thing in one bite. Sakusa is glaring at him now, so once Atsumu has swallowed the whole thing down, he gives him his brightest, most cheesy grin.

 

“You two are very cute together,” Asahi says, bundling Noya to his chest. Noya slaps Asahi’s hands against his own chest, and Asahi obediently squeezes, which is enough to make Noya sag into him happily and wrap both hands around the back of Asahi’s neck, which keeps him pretty effectively still.

 

“Thanks,” Atsumu says, “Azumane Asahi, Sakusa Kiyoomi.”

 

“Hello, Azumane-san,” Sakusa says, with a polite nod. Asahi nods back with one of his shy little smiles. It’s always been funny to Atsumu that such a big guy could be so timid, but Noya is viciously defensive of his boyfriend and Atsumu has well beyond learned his lesson when it comes to needling him.

 

“Yo, Noya,” Atsumu says, “you seen Ryuu-kun around anywhere?”

 

“Nope,” Noya shakes his head, “I’ve seen the other Miya though, he’s-”

 

“I know where he’ll be,” Atsumu says with a laugh, “it ain’t like it’s a hard guess.”

 

“Tanaka was with Suga and Daichi,” Asahi says, probably the most helpful person in the party by far, “but he probably wouldn’t have stuck around after they started doing… that. Um, if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say try the balcony? I think Ennoshita is out there.”

 

“Aw, Asahi-kun,” Atsumu cooes, “if yer boyfriend wouldn’t bite my head off, I’d kiss ya.”

 

“I’d bite your head off first,” Sakusa snaps, “don’t be such a flirt.”

 

“That’s like tellin’ me not to breathe, Omi-kun.”

 

“Then don’t breathe.” Noya cackles again, and Asahi hides a small smile in his boyfriend’s hair, gently thumbing in a circle over his heart.

 

“I like you, Sakusa,” Noya announces, “but I’m super fucked up right now so don’t be offended if I forget to steal your number from Tsumu, ‘kay?”

 

“I’ll try not to be,” Sakusa promises, although it’s clear from his tone of voice that he’s not exactly sure what to make of Nishinoya. This isn’t surprising to Atsumu. Noya would be a lot more bewildering to him if the first time he’d met him, Noya hadn’t dropped to the court to do finger pushups after bungling a jump-float receive. After that, pretty much everything Noya has done seems relatively normal.

 

“Yakkun is around too, by the way,” Atsumu says, and Noya straightens up like a shot, grabbing both of Asahi’s hands in his own and pointing one of them in a vague direction.

 

“Asahi!” He bellows, and Asahi gives the pair of them a tired smile, before stretching on the tips of his toes, and guiding Noya off toward where he must have seen Yaku. Atsumu doesn’t feel sorry for unleashing Nishinoya on the poor guy; Yaku loves Noya almost as much as he loves Kenma, which is probably the byproduct of a long friendship with Sugawara, who plays blatant favourites.

 

“Should you have eaten that?” Sakusa asks, and Atsumu raises a brow at him.

 

“It’s fine,” Atsumu shrugs, “Fukunaga usually has a good ratio and I’m a big guy and that’s only half a hit so I doubt it’ll fuck me up completely.”

 

“Wait,” Sakusa blinks, “wait what ? I just meant-”

 

“Oh,” Atsumu says, and then he laughs. Sakusa flushes, leaning in close to hiss, like someone would jump out from the very non-hidden places around them and arrest them if he speaks too loud.

 

“You mean that had… weed in it?”

 

“Yea?” Atsumu raises a brow. “Shit, Omi-kun, ya really have never been to a college party, huh?”

 

“That’s illegal!”

 

“Only if ya get caught,” Atsumu says, towing him toward the balcony. Sakusa makes a distressed little noise, and Atsumu categorizes that for later. He might have to hunt down Kuroo again and make him look after Sakusa while he does the obligatory twin-greeting. And he probably shouldn’t tell Sakusa what they use Fukunaga’s room for.

 

Turns out, his preventative measures are all for shit, because Tanaka is in fact on the balcony, leaning against the wall while Ennoshita sits in a plastic chair. Their legs are tangled, and as they talk, they’re swapping a joint between them. Atsumu glides closer, sucking a big breath into his lungs to make his voice as loud as possible.

 

“Uh, that’s outside the designated area, fellas,” he says, and Tanaka jumps, almost fumbling the joint before Ennoshita catches his wrist, giving Atsumu his best captain-glare. He hasn’t lost it, but Atsumu has been immune to them since meeting Kita. There’s never been a scarier captain than his Kita-san.

 

“Atsu!” Tanaka cheers, handing the joint off to Ennoshita so that he can wrap Atsumu in a hug that forces the air from his lungs. He laughs, slaps Tanaka on the back and then fists his hands into his shirt to hug him closer. Tanaka shimmies them from side to side for a second or two, until Atsumu’s ribs absolutely ache , which is the only acceptable way to greet someone he hasn’t seen in forever, really.

 

“Shit, ya bulked up,” he tells him, gripping his biceps while Tanaka flexes them smugly, “Kanoka-chan and Kiyoko-chan whippin’ ya into shape at the gym, huh?”

 

“They sure fuckin’ are!” Tanaka laughs his big laugh. “So, I heard about the whole dating thing. Congratulations to both of you. It’s very nice to officially meet you, Sakusa Kiyoomi, former top three high school ace.”

 

“Hi,” Sakusa says, “you’re smoking.”

 

“Yup,” Tanaka says, holding a hand back. Ennoshita passes the joint back to him without question, and Tanaka offers it to Sakusa. Sakusa squints at it like it might give him the plague.

 

“Omi’s not so good with germs and shit,” Atsumu chimes in, “and honestly he’s still processin’ the whole weed thing, so I dunno if he’ll-”

 

Sakusa reaches out and takes the joint, squinting at it suspiciously, before he turns it over in his fingers, and holds it up to his mouth, still frowning. Tanaka grins, leans an elbow on the railing and crosses his legs at the ankles. Ennoshita stands and posts up next to his old friend, arms folded across his chest.

 

“Just inhale, Omi,” Atsumu says, places his hand in the small of his back, “don’t hold it too long, then breathe it back out.”

 

Sakusa winces a little as he places the end in his mouth, clearly trying hard to not think about the fact that Ennoshita and Tanaka have also had their mouths on it. He takes a quick inhale, and then lets out a ribbon of smoke. His eyes water, but he doesn’t cough. Tanaka grins, and carefully takes the joint back.

 

“Not bad,” he says, approvingly. Ennoshita steals the joint from his hand and takes a long drag.

 

“Tastes like shit,” Sakusa says, frowning sourly. This makes Tanaka laugh again, that big and boisterous way of his.

 

“It sure fucking does,” Tanaka agrees, “happens that way, with any kind of smoke, but you can’t fault anyone for trying something once. Except for Tsumu, but that’s mostly just for fun.”

 

“Yes,” Sakusa agrees, “it is fun to nitpick him.”

 

“Don’t be a shit,” Atsumu grumbles, shoving his hand into the back pocket of Sakusa’s jeans. Sakusa blinks a little, face going quietly red, before he hooks an arm over Atsumu’s shoulders and links his other hand to his wrist, cuddling into him. Atsumu forgives him instantly, and curses his own weakness.

 

“It is! Hard to do it when he’s been avoiding us all, though.”

 

“I wasn’t avoidin’ ya! Omi-kun and I were literally at Terushima’s party, but ya were too busy suckin’ your boyfriend’s face off!”

 

“And arm-wrestling,” Tanaka adds, “don’t forget the arm-wrestling.”

 

“Did you win?” Sakusa asks.

 

“Sure did!” Tanaka flexes again, and then leans closer to stage-whisper. “But only ‘cause Iwaizumi wasn’t there. No one’s ever beaten him in an arm-wrestle, not even Daichi.”

 

“I suppose that’s a respectable result,” Sakusa says.

 

“He supposes,” Tanaka says with a grin.

 

“He supposes,” Atsumu parrots, gleefully.

 

“I need a drink,” Sakusa grumbles, and then tries to steer Atsumu in a circle. Atsumu shoots Tanaka an apologetic smile and blows him a kiss, but ultimately lets Sakusa drag him away and inside. Sakusa sticks close, apparently comforted by Atsumu’s hand in the back pocket of his jeans as they pass through the crush of people inside the apartment. He spots Oikawa, dancing wildly into the cradle of Iwaizumi’s lap, and waves broadly in response to Oikawa raising his solo cup and knocking back whatever the fuck he’s drinking.

 

They stumble free, and Atsumu secures two clean solo cups and pours a vodka Sprite for himself, and watches Sakusa look over the spirits with general disdain, before he eventually just pours him vodka and cranberry juice with as little vodka as possible. Sakusa glares at him when he hands him the cup, but he doesn’t look disgusted when he takes a sip, so Atsumu counts that as a win.

 

“Osamu-san is here, somewhere?” Sakusa asks, and Atsumu hums.

 

“Yep.”

 

“You said you know where he’ll be?”

 

“Yea. In the weed room.”

 

“The what ?”


“The weed room.”

 

“What the fuck is the weed room?”

 

“The room for weed,” Atsumu says, helpfully, “that way it keeps it out of the rest of the party for people who don’t wanna get involved. Rin will be there, so Samu will be there. Easy.”

 

“Why do you know this,” Sakusa sounds pained, “why is it normal for there to just be a room for weed.”

 

“What the fuck else is there to do in small country towns, Omi-kun? Count cows or some shit?”

 

“Or some shit,” Sakusa responds, weakly, before he closes his eyes and chugs half his drink. “Okay. I think I’m ready.”

 

“For what?”

 

“To enter the weed room,” he levels Atsumu with his gaze. “I’m not going to keep you from your brother.”

 

“Yer so cute,” Atsumu says, feeling like it’s been punched out of him, “I’m not marchin’ ya to yer death. Ya don’t even have to have another hit.”

 

“Thank fuck for that,” Sakusa says, leaning into Atsumu. “Why does anyone smoke? It’s horrible.”

 

“Why’d ya do it then, dumbass?”

 

“The high is supposed to make you feel good, right? To ease stress.” Atsumu thinks that’s mostly true. He also thinks it might be prudent to not mention the possibility of bad highs, just in case Sakusa psyches himself out and tricks his brain into thinking he’s having one of the bad ones. He highly doubts a single hit is going to do much to Sakusa, but just in case, he resolves himself to keep a close eye on him for the rest of the night.

 

“Sugar tits,” he says instead of answering the question, “if ya wanted me to ease stress, I coulda just blown ya.”

 

“Don’t be crass,” Sakusa snaps, thwacking his shoulder, face as red as beetroot now. Atsumu laughs, kisses the corner of his mouth in apology. Sakusa turns his head and kisses him full on the lips. Atsumu leans into it briefly, before gently sliding his hand into Sakusa’s back pocket again, and squeezing his ass to propel him forward.

 

“C’mon, then. Let’s get Samu out of the way.”

 

Osamu is, in fact, in the weed room. The weed room, like it usually is, is Fukunaga’s room, which means Fukunaga is just chilling, reading a cookbook dedicated to soup. He nods to Atsumu in silent recognition when he enters the room. Atsumu recognizes some of the other usual suspects; Hanamaki chatting idly to Semi- whose nails are painted lime green and sparkly today- while Matsukawa takes a hit from a fancy bong that probably belongs to the Fukurodani guy that Atsumu recognizes but couldn’t name looking half-asleep against the wall. Shirofuku and Hirugami are chilled out against one wall, slowly making their way through an edible each, while Hirugami shows Shirofuku something on his phone. Probably his dog.

 

Suna is sitting in Fukunaga’s accent chair, Osamu is in his lap, and Suna is currently busy exhaling smoke into Osamu’s mouth, which is something Atsumu really doesn’t need to see. Still.

 

“Get a fuckin’ room,” he says, “and I’m s’posed to be the rude one.”

 

“Tsumu,” Osamu says, swinging to his feet and crossing toward Atsumu. Begrudgingly, Atsumu releases Sakusa and wraps his arm around Osamu, attempts to squeeze the life out of him in vengeance for forcing him to witness his PDA. Osamu just holds him close and smushes them cheek to cheek. Atsumu glares and gives Suna the finger as best he can while holding his solo cup.

 

“I’m gonna sic Aran on ya,” he tells them both, “let’s see how ya react to him havin’ to see you two being gross as shit.”

 

“Don’t be so dramatic, Atsumu,” Suna rolls his eyes, “I’ve seen you do way worse. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have photographical evidence of some really outstandingly touchy public displays.”

 

“Grindin’ is a perfectly acceptable party activity,” Atsumu replies huffily, “and shotgunnin’ is hot in private or whatever but c’mon, there’s other people around. Just eat an edible like a normal person.”

 

“Where’s the fun in that?” Osamu says, but Atsumu is busy having a staredown with Suna. Suna gives him the ‘ don’t make me bring out the videos that will make you look like a hypocrite ’ look, so Atsumu levels him with the ‘ different when it’s my brother ’ look, which makes Suna squint harder in an expression that probably means ‘ you knew the risk so why are you here ’ look and Atsumu curls up his lip and sneers at him with a ‘ maybe because I wanted an edible did you think of that ’ look. And then Osamu smacks the back of his head.

 

“Ow?!”

 

“Hey, dickhead, I’m talkin’ to ya,” Osamu says, “for fuck’s sake.”

 

“How do ya have friends, ya big fuckin’ jerk?” Atsumu grumbles, stepping away from his twin and retreating to Sakusa to wrap an arm around his waist. Sakusa drops a kiss against his forehead, and Atsumu feels smug. “What was it ya were askin’ me?”

 

“Fuck, just somethin’ about how ya been, but ya gotta go make everythin’ some big drama,” Osamu rolls his eyes. “And I was gonna tell Sakusa-san to stop fuckin’ hoggin’ ya, ‘cause I don’t see ya anymore and as much as yer a pain in my ass, yer still my brother, and I get first dibs.”

 

“Sorry, Osamu-san,” Sakusa says, not sounding very sorry, “but I think twenty-one years with him is enough time. I’m allowed to hog him for a bit.”

 

“Exactly!” Atsumu exclaims, taking a swig of his drink. “Besides, only one of ya is gonna kiss me when I’m bored so guess who I wanna hang out with more.”

 

“He has a point there,” Suna says, contemplatively, before; “I’m sorry that we don’t hang out so much anymore, Atsumu. I kind of miss you, sometimes.”

 

“Aw, Rin,” Atsumu sniffs, “I miss ya too, ya crazy bastard. Ain’t much fun starting fights if ya ain’t there to film it.”

 

“Please, no, God, no,” Osamu says, “I can’t go through that again.”

 

“Spoilsport,” Suna says at the same time as Atsumu blows a raspberry, and they grin at each other over Osamu’s shoulder.

 

“Anyways,” Atsumu says, leans into Sakusa, “I was just here to say hi, and ‘cause Omi-kun was havin’ a crisis about the existence of the weed room, so he thought we better get it over with, and then we can go do whatever and leave ya to your borderline fuckin’ in front of a goddamn audience.”

 

“Don’t be so dramatic,” Suna rolls his eyes, “kissing is not fucking. Are your brother’s pants open, idiot?”

 

“Don’t do this,” Osamu says, “don’t start this argument with him.”

 

“Do you want a brownie?” Hirugami says to Sakusa, holding up the tupperware. Sakusa shakes his head and mumbles something about it being nice to see him again, before he slips Atsumu’s hand back toward his ass. Atsumu grabs a handful, forgoing the pocket entirely, just to test his luck. Sakusa takes a sip of his drink like nothing’s happened.

 

“Fine,” Suna sighs, “I’ll come find you later, Atsumu. I want to dance.”

 

“Ya might have to fight Omi-kun for me. He’s pretty adamant ‘bout bein’ my only dance partner.”

 

“Cute that he thinks he could win,” Suna says, with a half-smirk, “as if I haven’t been wrestling with you two knuckleheads for way, way, way too long.”

 

“You don’t know how well he kisses,” Sakusa says. Suna and Atsumu share a meaningful look, and both Osamu and Sakusa look startled when they burst into laughter. It’s a joke that they’ve sworn never to elaborate on, so Atsumu tucks his mouth against Sakusa’s jaw and peppers kisses there until the tension bleeds out of his shoulders, and he doesn’t seem liable to ask anymore.

 

“We can dance together but not together ,” Suna amends, “and you can show your brother a thing or two, since I guess it would be awkward to sit in his twin’s lap now that we’re dating.”

 

“It would be real awkward,” Osamu intones, “do not sit in his lap.”

 

“Of course, babe,” Suna says, reaches for his solo cup and takes a sip of his mystery liquid, “if you figure out how to get around having two left feet.”

 

“I’m not that bad-”

 

“When Atsumu sets the standard? Yes, you are.”

 

“That fuckin’ cuts, Rin, ouch,” but Osamu’s eyes are smiling, so Atsumu pounces, wraps an arm over his shoulders from behind and squeezes, tight.

 

“I was too busy bein’ indignant before,” he says, “but I’m real happy for ya both. If it was gonna be anyone for my brother, Rin? I’m glad it was ya.”

 

“Oh fuck,” Suna says, “being in relationships makes you disgustingly sappy.”

 

“Yea yea, yukk it up,” Atsumu waves his hand with a laugh, but Osamu isn’t done. He turns, crushes Atsumu in a hug and cradles the back of his head with his hand to keep him close.

 

“I love ya, shithead.” He says. Atsumu smiles, winds his arms around his brother’s waist and gives him a comfortable little squeeze.

 

“I love ya too, dumbass.” Osamu releases him, eventually, giving him his best grin. Atsumu knows his own one is echoed back. It’s just the way they are; a reflection of one another, completely and nothing alike at the same time.

 

“Have you seen Komori yet?” Suna asks, and Atsumu can feel Sakusa’s idle gazing turn to laser focus.

 

“Motoya’s here?”

 

“Yeah, he came down with us,” Suna says, and the look he flicks to Osamu and then Atsumu in turn says ‘ do you think he’s avoiding Sakusa, specifically ’ and the look Atsumu is giving him back says ‘ yes ’. Suna hums, mulling it over as Osamu returns to his lap, sliding his arms around Suna’s broad shoulders. “I haven’t seen him or Washio since we got here-”

 

“Ah,” Sakusa says, face colouring in embarrassment, “it’s fine then. We don’t need to look for Motoya. Let’s go dance. I want to dance. Oikawa-san was dancing.”

 

“Okay, okay,” Atsumu laughs, “just- ya gonna get home okay?”

 

“We’re staying here,” Suna assures him. “Noya said we could crash in his room. We’ll be fine, go have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

 

“That ain’t a lot,” Atsumu grins. Suna’s responding grin is sly and twinkling.

 

“I know. That’s what makes it fun.”

 

Atsumu’s hand returns to its place in Sakusa’s back pocket as they duck out of the room and back to the party. Atsumu takes another sip of his drink and catalogues. Kageyama is awkwardly sticking to Yamaguchi and Tsukishima, the latter of which has been cornered by Lev, who is waving both hands as he speaks, heedless of how Koganegawa’s hand is laced with one of his own. Not that Koganegawa is complaining, given that he’s giving Lev big moon-eyes. Hinata has found Kuroo and Kenma in a corner near Tanaka’s room, chatting animatedly to Kenma while Kuroo listens with his chin tucked against Kenma’s head and his arms around his waist. Akaashi has found Futakuchi, laughing at something he said, hand on his bicep. Bokuto has managed to wrangle Hoshiumi into dancing with him, although Atsumu doubts that took a whole lot of convincing.

 

He and Sakusa wade into the crush of dancers, where the music is loudest, making a beeline for the bob of Oikawa’s hair in the crowd. He’s still dancing with Iwaizumi, the pair of them laughing loud and grinning wildly as they twist around each other. It’s always amazed him, ever since the first time he saw Oikawa haul his boyfriend out onto the dance floor, how well they fit together. Iwaizumi’s hands settle in the dip of Oikawa’s waist like they were moulded from the same block of marble. His body moves in perfect time to Oikawa’s, no matter what the other is doing. It’s really an art, he thinks, throwing himself into Oikawa’s arms for a crushing cuddle and noticing that Iwaizumi’s hips stay glued to Oikawa’s ass without him so much as even blinking at the intrusion.

 

“Attsun!” Oikawa all but screams into his ear. “How drunk are you?”

 

“Slidin’ scale to ten, like a two, maybe?”

 

“Unacceptable!” Oikawa pulls back, manhandles his drink up to his mouth and knocks the bottom of the cup until Atsumu chugs the whole thing and makes a face at the feeling of soft drink tickling the back of his throat. Oikawa throws up both hands in a cheer, and then reaches them out for Sakusa. Tentatively, Sakusa extends a hand, and Oikawa laces their fingers, hauling Sakusa in closer so that he stumbles into Atsumu’s back. “And you? Are you partying harder than him, Sakkun?”

 

“No,” Sakusa said, which is the wrong thing to say, because Oikawa points forcefully at Sakusa’s drink and doesn’t stop until Sakusa takes a confused little sip, at which point Iwaizumi bites the shell of his ear and he becomes vastly distracted.

 

Atsumu takes the opportunity to escape, ducking behind Sakusa and moulding them together again, chest to back. Sakusa relaxes into it, rocks his hips experimentally, trying to find his rhythm with the music. Atsumu lets him experiment, wedges his thumb into Sakusa’s belt loop and nuzzles behind his ear.

 

“I do have to tell you,” Oikawa yells at the both of them, “that I saw your little stalker slinking around earlier.”

 

“He pretty much ran from him,” Iwaizumi adds, and it sounds like he’s gloating. “I think he’s here as someone’s plus-one, but you should know, just in case.”

 

“I don’t care,” Sakusa says, “if Atsumu is here, then it’s fine, and I feel good about having you here too, Oikawa-san. I really appreciate what you said to him the last time.”

 

“Hear that, Iwa-chan? Sakkun’s giving me rights to be a massive bitch!”

 

“Dangerous amount of power,” Iwaizumi agrees, tightening his arm around Oikawa’s middle and spinning them in a circle as he kisses at his neck, which has Oikawa shrieking in glee. Atsumu laughs, hums as Sakusa’s free hand comes up to card through the hair at the back of his head.

 

“I think I like it when you’re a bitch,” Sakusa says, and Oikawa laughs in delight, head tipped back and wild grin on his face, “I like that you’re unapologetic about it. You and Atsumu both are, and that’s why I like him so much too. I’m sick of people acting like I’m a terrible person for not sugar-coating things. Some shit just needs to be said.”

 

“Yes!” Oikawa brandishes his bottled cinder, taps it against Sakusa’s cup. “You’re right! And do you want to know a secret, Sakkun?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I fucking love being mean,” Oikawa says, and then laughs as Iwaizumi rolls his eyes and tenderly nips at his neck. Oikawa gives his ass more of a meaningful wiggle into Iwaizumi’s lap, and Sakusa tries to replicate it. Atsumu feels it against him, and he gently puts pressure against Sakusa’s hip to help him move in the same manner.

 

It’s easy to fall into step with Sakusa again. Atsumu lets him set the pace this time, because Oikawa isn’t shy about giving his extra instruction to help him along. Once Sakusa seems to decide how the music feels to him, he’s good enough at translating it, and Atsumu’s had enough experience to rock along to it, smoothly adapting to whatever move Sakusa makes. Sakusa seems to give up on whatever complicated thing Oikawa and Iwaizumi are doing which involves tight, sharp turns so that they’re face to face, and then back to chest-to-back again.

 

At some point, Kuroo breezes through and drops a beer into his hand, before motoring on to join Bokuto and Daichi to dance with them. Atsumu’s glad, tucking his empty cup up around Sakusa’s as an extra layer, before taking a swig of his new drink. Then Sakusa tilts his head to the side and kisses him.

 

The kissing seems to distract Sakusa from the majority of the moving, but that doesn’t bother Atsumu. It’s easy enough to spread his fingers down the inside of Sakusa’s thigh and gently nudge him this way and that as Sakusa’s tongue presses into his mouth and stays there, curling against Atsumu’s own with every pass of their lips. He can taste Sakusa’s chapstick in full now. Atsumu thinks he maybe should have worn some of his lip balm because right now all he probably tastes like is admittedly cheap alcohol.

 

Not that Sakusa seems to care, holding him close and grinding his ass back into the cradle of Atsumu’s hips. Atsumu settles his palm flat against Sakusa’s stomach instead to hold him even closer, having to crane his head at quite an angle to kiss him properly. When Atsumu’s neck starts to hurt, he pulls back to take another sip of his beer.

 

Sugawara has joined Bokuto, the pair of them dancing together with the same bombastic energy. They’re good dancers, the kind of people who are too confident to look bad, although if Suga’s laughing face is any indication, he’s significantly less drunk than Bokuto is. Atsumu makes a mental note to avoid him, because if Suga’s brain is still sharp, he will be ridiculed. Daichi is more talking than dancing with Asahi and Kiyoko, the latter gently spinning Kiyoko in a circle as her dress flares out and she laughs. The three of them look stupidly happy. Kenma has found Kuroo again, slouched back into his chest while Kuroo grips his wrists and moves his hands around. Hinata and Yaku are with them, Hinata’s arm slung across Yaku’s shoulders as Yaku mimics Kenma’s ‘dancing’ with more energy.

 

He can’t see Aran over the crowd, but he can see Akaashi with Udai and Tsukishima the elder, dancing his little ass off with surprisingly little abandon for being one of the few sober people in the room. Tsukishima the younger is accepting kiss after kiss from Yamaguchi out on the balcony, both hands tucked into the back pocket of his boyfriend’s jeans. Hoshiumi is beelining for the door, just as Ushijima steps through it.

 

“No fuckin’ way,” Atsumu says, gleefully. Sakusa turns, and then smiles, lifting a hand to wave almost violently. Ushijima locks eyes with him and nods, once, before blinking politely at Hoshiumi and craning his head down to hear what he says. Tendou bounces in place at his shoulder, extending both arms and wiggling his fingers. Sakusa wiggles his fingers right back.

 

“Oh, fuck no,” Oikawa says, and turns to try and scamper away through the crowd. Iwaizumi remains an immovable wall, gripping Oikawa’s ass to hold him still against him. Oikawa claws at him like a disgruntled cat, making a distressed gurgling noise as Hoshiumi bounces toward them, Ushijima and Tendou in tow.

 

“You are going to stay here and say hello, politely,” Iwaizumi tells him.

 

“You’re committing a hate crime,” Oikawa seethes, “you are instigating violence against me, specifically.”

 

“You’ll live.”

 

“Mean, Iwa-chan.”

 

“Kiyoomi-kun. Atsumu-san.” Ushijima’s deep voice says next to them. Atsumu releases Sakusa so that he can give Hoshiumi a hug and a slap on the back. Hoshiumi slaps him back even harder; so hard and so pin-point between his shoulder blades that Atsumu wheezes.

 

“How the fuck are you, Miya!” Hoshiumi hollers into his ear. “Just like you fucking assholes to get together and never ask me to hang out, even though I’ve been third-wheeling you dickheads since U-19s!”

 

“Ya have yer own boyfriend, ya little pissant bastard!” Atsumu yells back, gripping the back of his neck companionably. “Ya can have higher aspirations than bein’ our third wheel.”

 

“I’m still your friend, dumbass!” Hoshiumi laughs then, and Atsumu laughs too, tucking him under one arm as he waves brightly to Sakusa, who waves back with a small smile. Ushijima and Oikawa have engaged in a staredown, while Tendou beelines for Tsukishima out on the balcony. Atsumu reminds himself to text Suna, who would probably love Tendou, if only for the chance to have an ally against Tsukishima’s snark.

 

“Oikawa.” Ushijima says, with a nod.

 

“Ushiwaka,” Oikawa says back, with significantly more bite, keeping his face tucked mostly against Iwaizumi’s hair and glaring at him from the corner of his eye.

 

“Iwaizumi.”

 

“Ushijima.” They, at the very least, nod politely to each other. “I didn’t know you were coming to this thing.”

 

“I did not intend to,” Ushijima says, “but Satori and I haven’t been out to something like this in a long time, and he enjoys them. Plus, Eita is here.”

 

“Yeah, I get that,” Iwaizumi says with a nod, “and hey, you’ve got Sakusa-san too, right? You can hang out with us if you need to.”

 

“Iwa-chan,” Oikawa is aghast.

 

“Hang out with me,” Iwaizumi amends, “Oikawa has other friends.”

 

“Oikawa’s capacity for friendship is truly remarkable,” Ushijima says, without a hint of sarcasm. It strikes Atsumu then that this is why Sakusa likes him so much; because he’s just as bluntly honest as Sakusa is. Whatever Ushijima says, he means earnestly. It’s comforting to Atsumu to know Sakusa at the very least has someone who understands him in that way. He can tell his eyes must be getting soft, because Sakusa’s hand lands against the back of his neck, circling curiously. Atsumu hums, and presses a kiss to the inside of Sakusa’s forearm to quiet him.

 

“Disgusting,” Hoshiumi announces, “get a room.”

 

“Couldn’t hear ya from all the way down there,” Atsumu says, and hooks his arm more firmly around Hoshiumi’s neck to stop him from being able to pull away and kick the living daylights out of him. Sakusa quirks a wry smile at him.

 

“Hoshiumi,” he says, “teach me how to dance.”

 

“Oh fuck yeah!” Hoshiumi wriggles free of Atsumu’s grip. “I’m gonna turn you into a master ass shaker, Sakusa. I dunno what you did to him, Atsumu, but this is the greatest day of my life.”

 

“Yer welcome,” Atsumu says, holding out his hand for Sakusa’s cup. Sakusa downs the last of his drink and tucks it into Atsumu’s hand.

 

“I would also like to learn how to dance,” Ushijima says. “I suspect Satori will want to do so when he comes back.”

 

“C’mon, Oikawa,” Iwaizumi says, “free opportunity to boss Ushijima around.”


“Hm,” Oikawa says, “sold.”

 

Confident there’ll be no deaths in his absence- or at the very least no fist-fights Atsumu won’t be a part of- he kisses Sakusa’s cheek and wades back through the crowd of people to get Sakusa another drink. He pauses, takes a second to breathe, and survey again. Tsukishima looks irritated- although Atsumu’s pretty sure that’s just his face- at Tendou’s interruption, but he and Yamaguchi are having a spirited conversation. Kageyama is trailing Yahaba around and ignoring Kyoutani’s baleful glares. The expression on Yahaba’s face indicates that Kageyama is probably doing his ‘ devouring as much information from other setters ’ bit that he always does.

 

It’s this that he loves about parties, really. In the crush of people, he spots his friends, catalogues all the ways he knows them. How he can tell Sakusa is focused because he holds his head just-so, how Oikawa is pretending to be annoyed but is secretly revelling in bullying Ushijima in his dancing instruction because of the way he moves his hands. How Tanaka and Yamamoto are curled up in each other, foreheads pressed together and laughing broadly with flushed faces, like they can’t get enough of each other. He loves it. Loves feeling surrounded by the joy and the revelry, loves the melting pot where so many different personalities bounce off of each other and create something new and special.

 

“It’s a party,” says a voice next to him, “you shouldn’t be thinking so much!”

 

“Saeko-nee-san!” He crows, and laughs as she wraps herself into his chest and squeezes him. He squeezes back. His high-school self would probably pass out if he could see him now, Atsumu thinks. The first time he’d seen Saeko, he’d thought she was ridiculously hot. The infatuation had been short lived, but exposure to her as Tanaka’s sister confirmed for him that he had great taste.

 

“How’s my favourite Miya twin?” She asks, slapping his back and reaching around him to steal a bottle of bourbon and pour a decent amount into her solo cup, and then top it up with Coke.

 

“Oh, y’know, pretty good. Half an edible and a couple of drinks down, my boyfriend’s been grindin’ on me and I’ve been kissed so all things considered? Hell of a party.”

 

“I heard about the boyfriend thing,” she says, squinting in the direction of the party, “where is he?”

 

Atsumu points. Saeko whistles.

 

“He’s even hotter in real life. Good job, Atsumu, that’s quite the catch.” She slaps his back again and he laughs, drapes his arm over her shoulder.

 

“Ain’t he? Y’know how Kiyoko-chan and Koushi-kun have those sexy moles? Well, Omi-kun’s got two of ‘em! Right above his eyebrow, perfect for kissin’. And y’know what? He just gets me so well. Loves it when I grab his ass.”

 

“You do like yourself a handful of ass,” Saeko muses. She’s been to enough parties with him to know. Atsumu thinks he should probably be embarrassed that his preferences have been so widely observed that it’s basically common knowledge at this point, but he can’t bring himself to be. It’s not like he’s ever regretted a hookup, and it’s not his fault if people pay extra attention to where he puts his hands while he’s sticking his tongue down someone’s throat.

 

“His ass is pretty great, too,” Atsumu says, tilting his head to watch as Sakusa moves, trying to imitate Hoshiumi’s exuberant dance move. Ushijima is watching him from the corner of his eye, looking half admiring and half like he’s being frog-marched toward his execution. Atsumu feels a little like that, watching the way Sakusa’s leg muscles shift under his tight jeans. He resolves to make himself drink water when he’s finished with his beer.

 

“It’s not just the ass though, is it?” Saeko asks, laughs her big laugh when Atsumu raises a brow at her. “Come on, Atsumu, you’ve been Ryuu’s friend for long enough for me to know what you look like when you like someone! I mean, it’s pretty obvious how much you feel for him, and I would hope you’d feel a lot for him or it wouldn’t be right to date him, you jerk!” She thwacks his arm, and Atsumu yelps, pouting and rubbing the spot.

 

“Well, yeah, ‘course I like him. We’re datin’, and ya know I don’t mess people around. That’s what’s good about Omi-kun. He just tells it like it is, y’know? Real clear about his boundaries and what he wants from people, so ya don’t have to guess. And I’ve known him for long enough to know if he didn’t like that I’m someone who says what I mean, he woulda and really coulda been long gone by now.”

 

“I’ve never seen him before,” Saeko says, “how long have you guys known each other?”

 

“First year of high school,” Atsumu says, “InterHigh Nationals we met for the first time, but we didn’t talk until we got selected for U-19 youth camp together. He just doesn’t go out much, that’s all.”

 

“But he’s here with you?”

 

“Yea. He felt bad that I was skippin’ shit ‘cause I didn’t wanna make him uncomfortable.”

 

“Then he’s a keeper, Atsumu. Don’t fuck it up.”

 

“Ya say that like you expect me to!”

 

No , I’m just reminding you that good relationships start on a solid foundation of friendship,” she cranes her head a little, and then stretches up to kiss his cheek. “Alisa’s here, I gotta go. Give your boyfriend a kiss from me!”

 

“I won’t!” Atsumu yells after her retreating form, shaking his head in amusement. He pours Sakusa another vodka cranberry with only a little bit of vodka, and then turns to watch the party again for a little bit. It’s nice, he thinks, to exist as a part of something alive and moving the way this party is. Tanaka and Nishinoya seem to understand that quality inherently; they breathe animation into every little thing that they do. Suga has rejoined Daichi, the pair of them in a tight circle with Asahi and Kiyoko, arms thrown around each other, jumping up and down and scream-singing along to the music. Bokuto and Suzumeda are holding hands and dancing together while Noya has accosted Yaku, the pair of them moving in easy sync. Hinata has disappeared, leaving Kenma curled into Kuroo’s chest and swaying in something that seems like a waltz.

 

Aran has resurfaced near Tanaka’s bedroom, chatting quite contentedly to Goshiki and Shirabu. Shirabu seems to be miming setting, which means they are, predictably, talking about volleyball. He loves his friends so much, the stupid, insufferable, volleyball-crazy morons. They’re just like him. He takes that thought with him, spinning around in his heart as he wades back toward Sakusa.

 

Ushijima is laughing in a manner that makes his chuckles sound more like whimpers as he shuffles awkwardly from foot to foot, trying to copy both Iwaizumi and Sakusa. Oikawa has apparently decided his quota of Ushijima-tolerance has been met and has danced himself away to be inserted directly between Bokuto and Kuroo while Hinata spins Kenma about in a facsimile of a waltz. Hoshiumi is still teaching Sakusa complicated dance moves, and less complicated ones that are probably from TikToks. Atsumu resolves to never tell Sakusa this and to let him figure it out on his own. He will be incandescent with rage.

 

Carefully balancing Sakusa’s solo cup in one hand and his beer bottle in the other, he moves in behind Sakusa and presses right up against his back. He can feel the way Sakusa jolts, full-body, from the base of his spine right up to his shoulders. He turns his head, lips brushing the slope of Atsumu’s nose, before he laughs, folds both hands behind Atsumu’s head like how Noya had held Asahi earlier.

 

“Booze delivery,” Atsumu says, presses a kiss behind Sakusa’s ear. Sakusa hums, takes the solo cup from Atsumu, which frees up one of his hands to wrap around Sakusa, settling it over his chest, thumb pressing to the dip between his pecs.

 

“I think I’m feeling it,” Sakusa says gravely, “the weed.”

 

“Maybe,” Atsumu agrees, “or yer just thinkin’ ya feel it ‘cause yer thinkin’ about it so hard.”

 

“Also a possibility.”


“Sakusa had weed?” Hoshiumi squawks. “How could you let me miss that?”

 

“He had one hit off a joint,” Atsumu snorts, “it wasn’t that big a deal.”

 

“You jerks are the worst fucking friends ever,” Hoshiumi wails, “I hate you. You fucking suck.” Atsumu and Sakusa both burst into laughter, and Hoshiumi’s animosity is short-lived, when he abandons Sakusa as his student and readily jumps in to help Iwaizumi with Ushijima. Iwaizumi could probably use the help, given that he’s laughing like he might bust a lung, and Ushijima is staring back at him with part horror and part amusement, still trying his very best to get the hang of the movements.

 

Sakusa has learned a lot in the few minutes that Atsumu has been away. He’s more sure of himself now, even incorporating his arms a little, exercising better control over his hips. Apparently Hoshiumi has taught him the power of having some kind of a pattern, or matching tempo or whatever, because Sakusa is grinding back into Atsumu’s lap like he was made to do it, and Atsumu has absolutely no complaints.

 

“Havin’ fun?” He asks, right next to Sakusa’s ear. He can feel him nod.

 

“I’m getting better,” Sakusa tells him, “I’m going to be better than you, soon.”

 

“Dream on, Omi-Omi,” Atsumu croons, “ya don’t even come close.”

 

“Big talk from someone who’s done nothing but grind on me,” Sakusa says, and Atsumu knows this is hypocritical because all Sakusa’s really done is grind on him , but like with every challenge Sakusa issues, Atsumu has to rise to it. Which means he slaps his drink into Sakusa’s hand, and rounds him to an empty space in front of him.

 

He points. He turns his fingers into a ‘v’ and flicks his tongue between them, and he winks, and then he doesn’t think. He just feels . It’s in this moment he realizes he’s probably moderately tipsy. The music washes over him like a wave, and he leans into it like he’s willing to let it drown him. He knows he’s a good dancer. He’s sure in his movements, and he’d always liked the challenge of picking up on popular dance trends, which means he’s got good weapons in his arsenal.

 

Sakusa’s gaze burns, and Atsumu thinks good . He wants Sakusa to watch. He wants Sakusa to look as he throws himself into the music the same way he does everything else; half reckless abandon, half smug confidence in himself. He cards his hands through his hair, grinds his hips obscenely, steps to and fro until his thighs ache with the burn of movement, until he can feel sweat pooling in the nape of his neck and the small of his back. Iwaizumi wolf-whistles himself into a full-body laugh as Atsumu puts his hands on his knees and drops almost to the floor, casts a half-lidded gaze at Sakusa with his legs spread wide toward him and his jeans hugging his thighs like something’s gotta give and it’s probably gonna be them.

 

He takes his time coming back up, bends himself almost entirely in half and wiggles his ass too and fro as he straightens. Oikawa is suddenly in front of him, throwing himself onto Atsumu and curling his hands up into his hair. This is fine with Atsumu too. He rests his chin on Oikawa’s shoulder, keeps his hands respectfully above the waist, and dances on Oikawa like his life depends on it. Oikawa is a great dance partner too, all life and vibrancy, never one to be outdone.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Ushijima staring intently, trying to figure out what the fuck they’re doing, but Atsumu thinks Ushijima can try as hard as he likes, but he’ll never come close to the natural grace Oikawa has, or the bombascity of Atsumu. He will never be able to replicate the sturdiness of Atsumu’s hand in the small of Oikawa’s back, the beauty of the arch of Oikawa’s spine, the way his hair falls just-so with his hands pressed into it, strong arms cording with muscle as he lets Atsumu sweep him in a semi-dip, before he shimmies himself upright again with the same instinctual knowledge of how to move himself. Oikawa’s arms are light when he drapes them over Atsumu’s shoulders, and drops a kiss on his forehead. Then he swings away, drops his ass directly into Iwaizumi’s hips and clamps both hands around the back of his neck. He makes direct eye contact with Ushijima, and he grinds . Ushijima looks at him like he just unhinged his jaw.

 

“Staring competition, Wakatoshi?” Tendou asks, appearing with drinks. He slaps something non-alcoholic into Ushijima’s hand and takes a sip of his own cider.

 

“Iwaizumi and Oikawa are teaching Wakatoshi-kun to dance,” Sakusa says. Oikawa is presently giving Ushijima the finger, and Iwaizumi seems reluctant to intervene, his hands prioritizing cupping Oikawa’s chest instead, thumbing over the soft material of his shirt. Tendou nods, considering the scene very seriously.

 

“Learning anything?”

 

“No,” Ushijima admits, “Atsumu-san is a good dancer though. If you would like to dance with a competent partner, I would suggest choosing him. Iwaizumi does not seem to plan to release Oikawa any time soon.” This is a good observation. Iwaizumi has tipped Oikawa’s head back and currently has his tongue in his mouth. Oikawa’s middle finger is still raised.

 

“C’mon, Ushiwaka,” Atsumu says, “ya gotta have picked up somethin ’.”

 

Ushijima stares at him blankly. Atsumu takes his beer back from Sakusa and lets him settle back against his chest, drops his hand on the inside of Sakusa’s thigh and grins as Sakusa presses into it, turning his face to nose against his temple.

 

“Thanks for the help, Atsumu-kun,” Tendou says with a chuckle, “but I think I’ve got him covered. Maybe somewhere where Oikawa is not.” Oikawa’s middle finger lowers, just a little.

 

“Is Eita-kun with Shouhei-kun?” Atsumu and Sakusa nod in perfect sync.

 

“If ya see my brother, tell him to be safe and use protection, ‘cause if he texts me about a brotherly STI check I’m gonna come up there and clock him one.” Ushijima looks concerned, Tendou cackles broadly, slaps his hand into Ushijima’s and slopes off without a word of confirmation. Atsumu’s not worried. It’s the exact kind of mortification that guys like Tendou revel in. Osamu will get his message.

 

“I need to pee,” Sakusa says, serious as death. Atsumu can’t help but laugh, pressing kisses along the slope of his neck as Sakusa wiggles back into him, scrunching his nose against the ticklish sensation. It is overwhelmingly cute of him. Atsumu feels his teeth rot just looking at him.

 

“C’mon then, squirmy,” he says, takes Sakusa’s solo cup from him and crooks his elbow to the other. For a moment, Sakusa smiles, a little private thing at something clearly floating around in his head, before he slips both hands around Atsumu’s bicep and lets himself be led away from the dancers with polite nods to Oikawa and Iwaizumi who have not at any point during this exchange indicated the need to come up for air.

 

Atsumu weaves them through the crowd, out to where the people thin out toward the hallway. Sakusa makes a face at the upcoming door handle, so Atsumu spreads his fingers to cup the base of the solo cup in his palm and squeeze his index and middle finger around the neck of his beer bottle, reaching out with his free hand to open the door.

 

Komori and Washio freeze. Atsumu also freezes, and Sakusa next to him seems like he’s suddenly a second away from passing out. Komori has been hoisted onto the sink, shirt up under his armpits, one leg hooked over Washio’s shoulder, the other squeezing tight around his waist. His face is going scarlet red, mouth still spit-slicked and pressed against Washio’s.

 

Atsumu doesn’t say anything. Sakusa doesn’t say anything. Komori seems, for once in his life, incapable of saying something without catalysing internal combustion.

 

“Christ,” Washio says, and then reaches out, and slams the door directly in their faces. Atsumu hears the lock click, pointedly, over the music.


“So,” he says, “other bathroom.”

 

“Do people often have sex in bathrooms at parties?”

 

“Nah, just yer cousin,” Atsumu lies. The withering glare Sakusa sends him is proof that he knows he’s lying. And if Sakusa takes just a little bit longer in the bathroom than Atsumu thinks is necessary, he doesn’t even complain about it. If Sakusa downs his drink in full immediately after returning to Atsumu, he doesn’t mention that either. He just dutifully fetches him water in his solo cup, and moves them on.

 

They corner Futakuchi in Tanaka’s bedroom, where he re-introduces the both of them to Seijoh’s libero- Watari, Atsumu reminds himself aggressively- and includes them in their very strange conversation about sharks. Sakusa, unsurprisingly, has opinions on this topic. Watari cooes over Atsumu’s phone case,  but that’s about all Atsumu has to contribute to the dialogue. This pitstop is mostly just an excuse for him to cuddle Sakusa into his side and make steady progress on his beer.

 

Futakuchi stays with them even after Yahaba accosts Watari and drags him to the dance floor, where Iwaizumi and Oikawa have mostly detached to dance properly with their juniors. Kenma pops up at Atsumu’s side, which Atsumu takes to mean that Akaashi, Kuroo and Hinata are all preoccupied. The four of them head out into the hallway and take over the pack of uno cards. There’s a lot of swearing. At one point, Atsumu ends up holding almost all the deck in his hands, and still manages to beat Sakusa, which he counts as a resounding victory.

 

“I like your nails,” Kenma says as he plays a card that makes Sakusa look like he’s sucking lemons. Futakuchi inspects one of his hands, nails painted baby pink, with a little shrug.

 

“Eita’s sister,” he explains, “she’s reached that phase of her life. I think my sister did a lot better on Eita, though.” Atsumu thinks back on Semi’s lime green sparkles and agrees, wholeheartedly, and then reminds himself that he never wants to meet Futakuchi’s little sister, because she somehow seems more evil than he is. Kenma seems satisfied with this, and he nods, eyes watching Atsumu as he makes his play and tries to sneak another look at Sakusa’s cards.

 

“Stop that,” Sakusa says, shoves Atsumu with his shoulder. Atsumu grins, leans across and kisses him right on the mouth. Sakusa blinks a little, leans into him, and so Atsumu grabs his wrist and holds it steady for the three seconds before Sakusa regains himself enough to wrench his hand away.

 

“Change to yellow,” Atsumu announces, dropping a wild card. Sakusa seems seconds away from mauling him.

 

“If Sakusa murders you in your sleep, I will lie on the stand for him,” Kenma says, unimpressed.

 

“Same,” Futakuchi says, with a serious nod.

 

“Yer all haters,” Atsumu sniffs, “and besides. Omi likes me good enough. I give great head.”

 

“I hate it here,” Futakuchi says, airily, and slams down a pick up. Kenma adds one. Sakusa adds another. Atsumu cusses as loudly and violently as he can while the three of them laugh at the amount of cards being added to his hand.

 

Semi finds them first, beckons his boyfriend away to dance. Kenma gets bored of Uno when he realizes it’s just becoming a forum for Atsumu and Sakusa to try to slap as many pickups on each other as they can, and he demands Atsumu chaperone him back to Kuroo.

 

The party inside is still in full swing, not that Atsumu would expect any different from Noya and Tanaka. Ushijima has, in fact, been dragged into dancing with Tendou. Yaku has his head tipped back, laughing at something Lev has said, while Lev puts both hands on his hips and boastfully continues. Shibayama is next to them, looking amused. Across the room, Koganegawa has cornered Shirabu and Goshiki again, although the flush on Goshiki’s face suggests he might be too drunk to pretend to hate this. Kindaichi completely eclipses Kunimi, up against the wall closest to the entrance, with Kunimi’s arms tucked under the back of his jacket. Atsumu claps Kindaichi on the back as they pass. Kindaichi does not, for even a second, detach his lips from Kunimi.

 

Kuroo is out on the balcony, having taken up one of the plastic chairs with Yamamoto in another, Tanaka leaning against the railing next to him, and Akaashi curled into the last chair, the four of them talking loudly between each other. Atsumu slings an arm around Kenma and drops a kiss on the top of his head. Kenma pats his cheek perhaps a little more roughly than necessary, and then crosses to Kuroo and drops himself directly in his lap. Kuroo helps him curl up, cradles him with one arm, and gives Atsumu a thumbs up around his beer bottle. Kenma sufficiently delivered, Atsumu hooks his arm around Sakusa again and shepherds him back inside.

 

“Where to now?” He asks, smiling as he feels Sakusa’s arm settle over his shoulder, hand cupping the back of his neck. It feels good to have it there now, comforting and familiar, like the smell of his mother’s preferred brand of laundry powder.

 

“I’m going to go talk to Wakatoshi-kun,” Sakusa says, “do you mind getting me another drink?”

 

“Hm. Only ‘cause yer hot.” Atsumu says, grinning as Sakusa rolls his eyes. He takes the solo cup from him, and downs the last of his own beer. “Ya gonna be okay on yer own?”

 

“You don’t have to walk me over like a regency suitor,” Sakusa assures him, and then he’s off, breaking away from Atsumu with determined strides. For a moment, Atsumu allows his gaze to linger on Sakusa’s ass- which really does look good in those jeans, even if he was just being facetious the first time- before he turns and makes his way back toward the kitchen.

 

He separates his solo cup from around the base of Sakusa’s and rinses both of them for good measure, before he pours himself water and Sakusa another of his light-vodka-mostly-cranberry. Two strong arms land around his shoulders, and the weight of Bokuto against his back makes him stagger, even as he’s being crushed into a hug.

 

“Tsum-Tsum!” Bokuto hollers into his ear.

 

“Havin’ fun?”

 

“I’m so fucking hungry, dude,” Bokuto says seriously, “I’m wilting.”

 

“Food will prob’ly be here soon,” Atsumu tells him, even if he doesn’t know that for sure. That’s a yes on the edible.

 

“Yeah, Ryuu takes pretty good care of us.” Bokuto sniffles then, presses his cheek flush against Atsumu’s and squeezes him tighter. “I love you, y’know?”

 

“‘Cause of the food thing?”

 

“No, because you’re my friend!” Bokuto sounds affronted that Atsumu could believe anything else. “I know I probably annoyed you a lot when we first met, but I really, really love you, Tsum-Tsum. You’re always honest with me and I like playing volleyball with you. You’re a good friend to me, and you make Omi-Omi so happy.”

 

“I mean, I guess, but-”


“No man, don’t you know how much you make him smile? I’ve been watching,” he releases most of the pressure from Atsumu’s shoulders, leaving one arm flung over them as he points in Sakusa’s general direction, “all night, ‘cause he never comes to these things, but he’s been here, and he’s laughing and smiling and I never see him laugh or smile, and it’s so good, because he’s a great guy, you know? And so are you! You’re also a great guy, and I don’t always, like, get you- either of you, really, you’re both real fucking weird, you know that?- but I’m happy you get each other!”

 

“Bokkun,” Atsumu says slowly, “you just insulted me so much.”

 

“Wrong,” Bokuto declares, “I just worry about you two sometimes, you know, cause you’re my friends, but I think there are some friends who are better at helping with specific people, and I know I’m not the right kind of friend to help with either of you, because frankly you both scare the shit out of me, but like. I was really happy when I found out, like so happy, ‘cause I want you both to be happy, and you’re so- y’know you guys are really alike?”

 

“What?” Atsumu laughs. “Me and Omi-kun? No way, it’s way more of an opposites attract type situation.” Bokuto shakes his head resolutely.

 

“Nuh-uh. You guys are like, the same person. I’ve never met anyone meaner than you and Omi-Omi.” He pauses. “Maybe Oikawa. Maybe Akaashi when Kuroo’s needling him. But you and your man? You guys fit. Not… not completely, not like everything’s the same, but enough to make sense, you know? Like how Kuroo and Kenma don’t make sense to a lot of people from the outside, but when you know them, it makes perfect sense ‘cause you see all the ways their edges fit together, right?” It’s convulted, and Bokuto is fucked up, already rummaging around RTD cans to find something fruity and high alcohol percentage- Atsumu takes a look at the can and nearly passes out in horror at whatever the fuck a beer seltzer is- but somehow, he does know. He gets it.

 

“Never thought about it like that,” he says, casting his gaze over to Sakusa, who is smiling with Ushijima, dancing along with them, politely stepping away so that Semi can be twirled in a broader circle by Futakuchi. Shirabu has abandoned Goshiki to Koganegawa’s vibrant conversation in order to take refuge with his former teammates. Atsumu cannot blame him.

 

Sakusa looks radiant, in the dim light. His hair is black like nothing else, his eyes dark but twinkling, the shadows making his sharp features look even more elegant and defined as he twists his hips to the music and lets his stupid-long eyelashes close against the thrum of the music, that little smile curling up the corners of his lips.

 

“What can I say,” Bokuto boasts, “I am somewhat of a genius.”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu nods, presses a smacking, wet kiss to Bokuto’s cheek that has him yodelling in displeasure and belly-laughing as he wipes his face on the back of his hand, “now excuse me, I gotta return to my man.”

 

“Go get him, Tsum-Tsum!” Ever encouraging, Bokuto slaps his ass as he leaves. He seems to forget how strong he is, because it makes Atsumu jolt, and his ass absolutely aches even as he wades his way back toward Sakusa, puts his drink into his hand and takes a swig of his water.

 

“Thank you,” Sakusa says over the din, and then leans in to kiss him, draping his arms around Atsumu’s neck. He can’t find it in himself to complain about this, hooking one arm around his waist and swaying into him, letting Sakusa dance to his heart’s content.

 

“Food’s here!” He hears someone shout over the din, and Sakusa pulls back from him to see, resting their temples together. Tanaka, Noya, and Yamamoto return carrying frankly obscene amounts of food. Atsumu is truly horrified at the way Tanaka is cradling a stack of pizzas roughly the size of Noya, before he remembers Tanaka is actually semi-responsible and has a job doing pizza deliveries, which means he’s probably used to them. Bokuto is descending upon them with marked intent. Atsumu wishes them luck.

 

Shirabu darts away from them the second he spots Ennoshita, which has Semi rolling his eyes dramatically. Aran smoothly replaces him for a chat with Ushijima, clearly pleased to find someone capable of civil conversation, even when he’s half distracted by keeping up with Tendou’s dancing. Atsumu gives Aran his biggest, widest grin when he catches him giving him the ‘ proud father ’ look from the corner of his eye. He drops a kiss to the corner of Sakusa’s mouth and imagines he can see Aran start to tear up.

 

Atsumu lets Sakusa dance while he and Aran shoot the shit, offhand comments about news they’ve heard from home, and Atsumu demands every bit of information about Kita that he can get. Sakusa seems content to curl into him, swaying his hips and occasionally sipping his drink. About halfway through Sakusa’s cup of water, Futakuchi forces Semi to go and have something to eat, Tendou entrusts Ushijima to their care and scampers off to heckle Matsukawa.

 

Atsumu feels arms settle around his neck from behind, and Suna pushes his cheek up against Atsumu’s on the opposite side to Sakusa’s so that he’s sandwiched between the two of them. Neatly, Suna plucks Atsumu’s cup from his hand and takes a sip, before blinking slowly and lazily.

 

“This is water.”

 

“Yea.”

 

“I feel cheated.”

 

“Serves ya right,” Atsumu says, and takes his cup back. Suna sighs, but lets Atsumu twirl him with the arm not dedicated to cradling Sakusa’s waist and also holding his drink. He leans back into Atsumu’s side, swaying idly as he watches Osamu skate around the room and pile food up for them. It doesn’t surprise Atsumu at all that Osamu dotes like this. He’d always been more inclined to caring for other people than Atsumu had been, and he’s known both he and Suna for long enough to know the exact depths of his twin’s feelings.

 

“Sakusa,” Suna says, “do you want me to forward you all of my videos of Atsumu picking fights?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Why do ya still have those,” Atsumu groans, “c’mon, Rin, highschool was forever ago. Almost four years.”

 

“And they’re still comedy gold,” Suna sniffs, “plus, when you inevitably go pro, I’m going to leak the footage of you beating up some of the shittier kids. It’ll really help your public image.” Atsumu’s not a marketing major but communications is close enough, and that really doesn’t sound right. Even if he knows Suna has footage of the damage he did to the shithead who’d had some very not-kind things to say about Osamu.

 

“Sure,” Sakusa says with a shrug, “why the hell not.”

 

“It was our side-hustle in highschool,” Suna tells him, “your boyfriend’s a real entrepreneur. Even when I’d just started at Inarizaki, he and Osamu were famed for fighting at least twice a week, and once he beat the snot out of some idiots who wouldn’t leave me alone, we started a plot to dispense vigilante justice, and then I’d sell the tapes on Instagram and we’d split it 60/40.”


“Extra ten percent for any possible medical supplies,” Atsumu tells him. Sakusa stares.

 

“I am terrified of you right now,” he says, “what the fuck, Miya?”

 

“Small towns,” he says with a shrug. Suna hums his agreement, leaning his head against Atsumu’s.

 

“I really love your brother, you know that?” He says, and Atsumu squints at him suspiciously from the corner of his eye. “He’s being a big baby about not being the first to know about Sakusa, but he’s sorry neither of us told you. We just got kind of excited about it and sort of forgot to tell the people that mattered before cluing the whole world in.”

 

“Rin, y’know I can’t stay mad at ya,” Atsumu whines, “yer my partner in crime. Terrible workin’ relationship if we’re pissed at each other all the fuckin’ time.”

 

“I know, right? But like, I really do miss you, even if you are a moron.”

 

“So sweet to me,” Atsumu mock sniffles. “Take care of him, ‘kay? I worry, sometimes.”

 

“Promise.” Suna kisses his temple, squints at Sakusa. “And you . Take care of him .”

 

“I’ll try not to let him get into any fights that you’re not there to film.” Sakusa says, dead serious.

 

“Oh I like him. This is like, the one time you’ve had good taste, Atsumu.” Atsumu laughs, and Sakusa smiles too, indulging Suna as he leans across to put a friendly hand on his shoulder. Then he launches off of Atsumu and glides away to catch Osamu’s arm, steering him sharply toward the couches so they can sit and eat, since Osamu’s paper plate is already looking wildly unstable.

 

“You got into fights for profit?” Sakusa asks, amused. Atsumu crooks a grin at him.

 

“How else d’ya think I got to afford my expensive sneakers?” A pause. “And car maintenance. D’ya know how fuckin’ expensive cars are?” Sakusa is damingly quiet. Atsumu nods, sagely. Of course, his part-time job had done the majority of the financing for him. He just never let Osamu see how much was in his bank account, since he’d been vehemently opposed to Atsumu and Suna’s entrepreneurial scheme. It was dumb of him to think he could stop them. Still, he thinks it’s funnier if Sakusa thinks all the money he has saved up to spend comes from videos of him wailing on idiots from his highschool days, and not the significantly less glamorous supermarket cashier job he’s had since he turned 14.

 

“I am both shocked and also not at all surprised,” Sakusa sighs. “This is really upsetting. I’ve known you for far too long for this to not make sense.”

 

“Aw,” Atsumu cooes, “kiss it better?” Sakusa goes red up to the tips of his ears, and then nods, very shyly.

 

Atsumu kisses him, cradles him close against him with both arms now. Sakusa’s nails scratch bluntly through the hair at the nape of his neck, head tilted to fit their lips together in the way Atsumu has come to know that he likes. He prefers when they catch a little, when there’s a little bit of drag between the kisses so that Sakusa’s breath hitches in his throat. It strikes him then that he knows this about Sakusa, and Bokuto’s words start crawling down his spine.

 

“Hey,” he says into Sakusa’s mouth more than not, “are we fuckin’ up our friendship, doin’ this?”

 

“No?” Sakusa shakes his head a little, brushes their mouths together again. “You’ve kissed your other friends before. This isn’t any different, right?”

 

Because . Atsumu thinks. Because those were defined instances. Because they all had an expiry date. Because it made sense to kiss those people. Because Atsumu can’t remember caring so much about whether or not they were fucking up their friendship with any of the others.

 

“Yeah,” is what he says, grins, and kisses Sakusa again.

 

They kiss like that until Sakusa gives up on dancing altogether, and nearly tips his drink down Atsumu’s back. Crisis averted, he laughs himself stupid while Sakusa’s face burns and he smacks his chest in an attempt to make him stop.

 

“C’mon, let’s get some food in ya,” he says, and Sakusa looks overwhelmingly distressed at the prospect. Atsumu laces their fingers, brings his hand up to his mouth and kisses his knuckles. “Hey. Ya trust me, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then stop lookin’ like this is a death march. I know ya.”

 

Sakusa looks skeptical, but he lets Atsumu keep their hands tightly together as he tows him through the crowd, looking for a familiar head of hair. It’s harder to spot Yamamoto now that he’s experimenting with letting the blonde out of his hair- which Atsumu feels is a betrayal, given that now Kenma is thinking about letting his completely grow out again and re-dying Kenma’s hair is their bonding activity- but once Atsumu locks eyes on him, he beelines with intent.

 

“Toraaaa,” he drawls, slinging an arm over his shoulder, making him jump and turn away from the conversation he’s been having with Kyoutani and Tsukishima, both looking very unhappy to see him, “ya got any of those leftovers in yer fridge that you don’t mind sacrificing?”


For a moment, Yamamoto’s face crinkles up, almost incredulously, probably because whatever the pizzas and general takeout cost for this party, it likely wasn’t cheap, before his eyes land on Sakusa and he makes an understanding noise in the back of his throat.

 

“Oh sure help yourself,” he waves a hand, then freezes, “but uh, don’t touch the cupcakes. They’re…”

 

“Special.”


“Special,” Yamamoto agrees, claps his shoulder, and then turns back to the other two in order to continue his story. Atsumu gives Sakusa a smug little look as he leads them through the apartment, and carefully slips them into Yamamoto’s bedroom. Like he guessed, some of the furniture from the living room is tucked in here, along with stuff that he knows belongs to Tanaka that he clearly didn’t want to leave out in the open. Sakusa settles into one of the armchairs, watches as Atsumu winds his way around the cramped floorspace and rummages through the mini fridge.

 

“Ya sure this is fine? I don’t wanna dump ya here on yer own but we could always leave and go get some food and then come back.”

 

“I’m sure it’s alright,” Sakusa says, “Fukunaga-san is a culinary student, right? I’m sure anything he made was prepared with proper hygiene in consideration.”

 

“Yeah, Shouhei-kun’s pretty on to it,” Atsumu agrees, “ya gonna be okay if I go heat it up for you?”

 

“I’m pretty sure I won’t die while sitting in this armchair, yes,” Sakusa sighs, closes his eyes. “I should probably text Komori.”

 

“Good luck with that one,” Atsumu says, drops a kiss on his forehead as he passes with his chosen tupperware of what looks like fried noodles of some kind. Sakusa waves him away, and Atsumu slips back into the party, winds his way through people to reach the microwave. God bless whoever shelled out for microwave safe containers, Atsumu thinks, digging a pair of chopsticks out of a drawer and being careful not to touch the end that comes into contact with food, even though Sakusa will probably wipe them down anyway.

 

When he returns with the food, Sakusa is playing Tetris on his phone, Atsumu places the kitchen paper towel he’s pilfered into his lap, settles the container on top of it, and then extends the chopsticks to him. Sakusa puts the game on pause- Atsumu didn’t know you could pause Tetris- to take them and meticulously wipe them down with a wipe produced from the pocket of his jacket. Atsumu folds his arms next to Sakusa’s shoulder and leans his chin on them.

 

“You’re going to hurt your knees like that,” Sakusa says, funnelling food into his mouth. Atsumu shrugs.

 

“Kinda likin’ the way it stretches my back, actually.”

 

“Hm.” He falls quiet for a bit, and Atsumu closes his eyes, lets himself hum along the dulled music from outside the door. “Thanks. For looking out for me.”

 

“Yer welcome, Omi, but yer gonna have to drink a lot more water before this night is up.”

 

“However will I survive?”

 

“Funny guy,” Atsumu snorts. “If ya wake up with a hangover it’s not my fault.”

 

“I’m positive I won’t have a hangover,” Sakusa rolls his eyes. “Honestly, you’re getting fussy.”

 

“Fussy?!” Atsumu squalls. “Christ, what a man gets for bein’ nice. Fine, I’ll go back to grindin’ on Oikkun and leave ya to yer own devices then. Sure the weed room would welcome ya.”

 

“I think,” Sakusa says evenly, “that Iwaizumi-san might murder you, so that’s not the smartest idea.” Atsumu considers this, and then hums his grave agreement. Iwaizumi harbors a lot more patience for how touchy both Oikawa and Atsumu are as people, but he’d seemed pretty intent on cramming his tongue down his boyfriend’s throat earlier, and Atsumu’s not totally sure Oikawa wouldn’t maul him for interrupting that.

 

“Dang,” Atsumu drawls slowly, “guess yer stuck with me.”


“Guess so.”

 

And Sakusa says it like it’s not even a problem, so it’s not. After a while, Atsumu’s knees do start to ache, so he sits criss-cross on the floor instead, and scrolls through his phone. He can feel the way Sakusa shifts in the armchair to watch him, and finds he doesn’t mind. Doesn’t mind as Sakusa watches him tap idly through Snapchat stories and post comments on Instagram posts of tonight that have already gone up.

 

“Hey, Miya?”

 

“Hmm?” Atsumu tilts his head back, blinks at Sakusa. Sakusa smiles, gently, but steady, and reaches down to gently brush his hair away from his forehead. Atsumu grins crookedly back at him.

 

“You asked me a while ago why I agreed,” Sakusa says, quiet, “and I’m glad I did. I’m glad it was you.”

 

“Obviously,” Atsumu says, turns his head to kiss the pulse in Sakusa’s wrist, “Shou-kun and Bokkun would make shit fake-boyfriends.”

 

“They make perfectly acceptable real boyfriends.”


“So do I, when I want to.”

 

“If you’re anything like you are as a fake-boyfriend,” Sakusa says, “I almost believe you.”

 

“Wow,” Atsumu laughs, “that’s fuckin’ cold, Omi-kun. Almost ?”

 

“You snore. And drool.”

 

“Well, yer a kicker, but ya don’t see me razzin’ ya for it, do ya?” Sakusa hums and goes back to his noodles, so Atsumu snorts and turns his attention back to his phone. Sakusa keeps a hand in his hair, just stroking through it as he finishes his food.

 

Atsumu’s the one who carries the empty container and the chopsticks back to the sink and dumps them there with a silent apology to whoever gets stuck on dishes duty during the cleanup. Sakusa trails him, hand laced loosely in his, long fingers spread out to hold both of their cups. Atsumu pours himself another water, and rinses Sakusa’s cup before pouring him water too. Sakusa pouts.

 

Honest-to-god pouts.

 

“Yer gonna thank me in the mornin’,” Atsumu tells him, leans in to kiss the corner of his mouth and entertains himself with a game wherein he lets Sakusa turn his head enough for a proper kiss and then pulls just out of reach every time. Sakusa snakes a hand around and pinches his ass, hard , to the point that the spot of impact burns.

 

Feeling significantly more wounded now, he allows Sakusa his kiss, just little, careful brushes of their mouths as Sakusa’s hand tucks into the back pocket of his jeans. So now the little shit is stealing his moves, but a part of him thinks it was inevitable, like everything with Atsumu is just a test drive to see how much he can get away with. The answer, Atsumu is disturbed to admit, is pretty much everything.

 

“I do have a question, though,” Sakusa murmurs into his mouth.

 

“Mm?”

 

Why are there so many road-work cones in this house?” Atsumu casts a glance over Sakusa’s shoulder where the neon orange of road-cones is honestly really hard to miss. Tanaka and Noya have at least ten, which is maybe an extra one since the last time Atsumu was here. They’ve stacked them in a weird pyramid shape.

 

“Have ya never stolen a cone on a night out?” Atsumu asks. Sakusa squints.

 

“I feel like that’s illegal.”

 

“Probably,” Atsumu shrugs, “just somethin’ we do though. Pretty sure Tanaka and Noya have my ones.”

 

“Ones, plural?”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu says, “ya need two. One for each arm. For jousting.” Sakusa is looking at him like he’s a bug. He cups Atsumu’s face in both hands, as best he can while still nursing his water.

 

“You are the strangest person I have ever met,” he says, and then he kisses him on the mouth again. Atsumu thinks, despite the little barb, that he’s perfectly fine with this.

 

Sakusa breaks away first, spotting someone over Atsumu’s shoulder. For a second, ice cold dread makes him feel decidedly sober, but when he checks, he finds that it’s Komori, who is glaring at Sakusa with a vengeance. Sakusa gives Atsumu a meaningful look. Atsumu releases him from his grasp, and watches him cross toward his cousin. Atsumu takes another sip of his water, and scans the crowd.

 

Suga and Yaku are shoulder to shoulder against one wall, laughing with Aran and Semi about something. Atsumu decides not to intrude there, mostly because without the Sakusa-barrier-of-politeness, he has a feeling Suga would destroy him. Yamaguchi and Tsukishima have linked up with Hinata, Kageyama and Yachi, the five of them dancing together. Tsukishima spins Yachi in a circle with a private little smile on his face. Tanaka is in the middle of sobbing, some distance away, with one arm around Kiyoko and the other around Kanoka.

 

Atsumu eventually decides on Ushijima, because when Sakusa comes back, he’ll probably be most comfortable around his friend. He’s a great fake-boyfriend, Atsumu thinks, weaving toward Ushijima and popping up by his shoulder, trying to discern his line of sight. He seems to be watching Tendou bounce conversation off of Futakuchi, Matsukawa and Hanamaki. All four of them look particularly gleeful, which probably means they’re all insulting each other in the fun way.

 

“Oikkun abandoned ya, huh?” Ushijima peers down at him. Ushijima should not really be tall enough to do this, given that there’s less than two inches between them, but something about Ushijima’s way of carrying himself could probably make him seem like he’s looking down on someone like Kuroo, who is notably taller than him.

 

“Yes,” he says finally, taking a sip of his drink; up close, Atsumu can see that it’s a simple can of peach flavoured juice. “Although, in all honesty, he held out longer than I thought he would.”

 

“It was pretty impressive he managed to stand there without launchin’ at ya,” Atsumu agrees, “what did it for him?”

 

“I think he became frustrated by me,” Ushijima’s brow crinkles, “he is a very good teacher. Iwaizumi told me that he coaches a children’s team at the local gym as a part-time job. I just don’t think I’m very good at dancing.”

“It ain’t for everyone,” Atsumu agrees, rocking back on his heels, “not a problem though, seems like Satori-kun didn’t mind that ya ain’t too good at it.”

 

“No,” Ushijima smiles then, a tiny little thing in the corner of his mouth. It reminds him of Sakusa, that smile, quiet and private, so small you could miss it if you weren’t really looking. “No, I suppose he didn’t mind at all.”

 

“How long ya been together now?”

 

“Four years,” Ushijima says, “he asked me out on the last day of high school. He said that way, if I rejected him, he could run away and he’d never have to see me again. Satori has always been dramatic.”

 

“Honestly, sounds like a pretty good plan,” Atsumu says, with no hint of sarcasm. Frankly, he thinks Tendou might be braver than him, because he’d have probably shit himself at the prospect of confessing to Ushijima, whose face tells him nothing about anything, ever.

 

“You don’t strike me as someone who is afraid of a lot of things,” Ushijima says, as if this is a perfectly normal thing to say to your slightly tipsy acquaintance at a party, “I honestly admire you for how you confessed to Kiyoomi-kun. I would like to think I have the confidence to do something like that, but in all honesty, I was afraid Satori would reject me .”

 

“Well,” Atsumu says, taking a long sip of his water and smacking his lips, “ya see. The thing is that I’m an idiot.”

 

“You are very smart, Atsumu-san,” Ushijima says, sounding offended, “I’ve seen you play. It’s scary how intelligent you are. It feels like you see right into the core of us and tear us all up.”

 

“That’s volleyball,” Atsumu laughs, claps him on the shoulder, “Aran and Samu, to some extent ‘cause he’s just as bad as me, have always said that I don’t really think about things before I jump into ‘em. And, like, I never saw the point in bottling shit up. I’m like yerself and Omi, y’know? I prefer honesty, even if it’s a tough thing to say, and when it comes to romance, I think it’s better to just say it and deal with the consequences later. Like, if I get rejected then at least I know, and I can have my pity-party and sob for a bit, and then move the fuck on. If ya let it fester, something’s gotta give sooner or later.”

 

“I see,” Ushijima blinks, and then puts a hand on his shoulder, in a semi-hug. “Thank you. For looking out for Kiyoomi-kun. I have not seen him smile this much in a long time.”

 

“Yea, well,” Atsumu shrugs, “don’t tell him I told ya, ‘cause he’ll hold it over my head forever, but he’s pretty cool.”

 

“I will not lie to Kiyoomi-kun.”

 

“Guess ya better not lead him into askin’ that particular question, then.” Atsumu winks, and Ushijima blinks at him, before he does that little smile again.

 

“Ah, you are joking.”

 

“I do that, sometimes.”

 

“Hm,” Ushijima smiles, raising his little can toward Tendou, who has turned to check on him. Satisfied, he turns back to his conversational companions. “You are different to how I thought you would be, Miya Atsumu.”

 

“You too, Ushijima Wakatoshi,” Ushijima seems confused by this for all of a second, before he does something with his face. It’s either a grimace or a wider smile.

 

“That’s right, you are Oikawa’s friend.”

 

“Yea, but we all know Oikkun is prone to dramatics,” Atsumu shrugs, “besides, I might be Omi-kun’s boyfriend, but I’m his friend too, y’know? That means I gotta take a more balanced stance on ya, ‘cause he cares about you a lot.”

 

“I care about him too,” Ushijima tells him, so earnest that Atsumu suddenly has the urge to squeeze him in a bear hug, even though Ushijima could probably snap his spine with the force of a reciprocal cuddle. “He has been a good friend to me.”

 

“Well, we might need to take a leaf outta his book in a second. He got cornered by Motoya-kun.”

 

“Is that not a good thing? I believed he and Komori were friendly?”

 

“Usually,” Atsumu says, “but we uh. We kinda walked in on Motoya-kun in a uh, compromisin ’ position.”

 

“Ah,” Ushijima says, after a beat of silence. And then he chuckles, a little rumbly sound that sounds like someone punched it out of his gut. And as Ushijima chuckles, Atsumu laughs. It feels almost surreal, standing in the middle of a party in a half-hug with Ushijima Wakatoshi of all people, laughing about Sakusa getting chewed out by his cousin.

 

“What did you do to him?” Sakusa’s voice is right in front of him.

 

“Nothin’!” He squawks, as Sakusa slips an arm around his waist and leans into his chest. “How’s yer cousin?”

 

“Well,” Sakusa sniffs, “there may have been some threats of physical violence should Suna-san find out about the incident, so do not tell him.”

 

“Omi,” Atsumu whines, “I tell Rin everythin’ . D’ya know how many sleepovers we had back in the day?”

 

“Atsumu,” Sakusa cups his face with his free hand, “my life is on the line here.”

 

“Is Komori really that scary?” Ushijima asks, genuinely concerned. Sakusa grunts.

 

“Ya don’t have siblings, do ya, Ushiwaka?” Ushijima pauses, and then shakes his head. Atsumu nods, knowingly. “One time I accidentally told Samu’s crush he liked her, and he got so furious with me that Aran had to physically pull him off me while Rin helped me escape.”

 

“How do you accidentally reveal someone’s crush?” Sakusa asks.

 

“Ya don’t realize they’re standin’ behind ya, is how.”

 

“Ah.” Ushijima says gravely. Sakusa nods his grim little nod.

 

“Y’know,” Atsumu says, gently removing his arm from around Ushijima, “ya don’t hafta stand around babysittin’ Satori-kun for the whole party. The whole point is to talk to people ya haven’t seen in a while!”

 

“Not everyone is as much of a social butterfly as you,” Sakusa gently fixes his hair, “and Wakatoshi-kun is speaking to us.”

 

“I am not very good at talking with people. Casually.” Ushijima says, rubbing the back of his neck. “But I would like to be better at it. I worry sometimes that I’m not making the same connections that other people are. You seem to know everyone, Atsumu-san.”

 

“Just Atsumu is fine,” he waves his cup, “I’m datin’ yer friend, after all, no need to be so formal. And anyways, I only know so many people ‘cause I don’t know enough shame to be worried ‘bout what they think of me.”

 

“You’re a lot nicer than he is,” Sakusa tells Ushijima, putting a hand over Atsumu’s mouth to stop him from refuting that. “If Atsumu can make friends, then so can you. Which people are going to be nicest about it?”

 

“Yer so cruel to me,” Atsumu whines, “usin’ me for my connections.”

 

He does a scan of the room; immediately discounts Suga and Yaku’s little group, because Suga talks like Oikawa and that would probably confuse the fuck out of Ushijima. Noya and Asahi are out by sheer virtue of Noya as a person, coupled with the fact that they are also currently engaged in a spirited debate with Terushima and Ennoshita, which is more than Ushijima could probably handle. His eyes land on Daichi, Kuroo and Bokuto, who have congregated together again, with Kenma curled companionably into Kuroo’s side while Daichi and Bokuto are engaging in a game of slapsies with laser focus.

 

“There,” he claps Ushijima on the back, “yer the same age, ya all captained volleyball teams, and even if Kuroo is a big menace he’s a hell of a lot more polite than people think he is, plus ya already know Daichi-kun a little and Bokkun can make friends with anybody.”

 

“And the little one?”


“Kenma says two words to ya, consider yerself lucky,” Atsumu tells him, patting him on the back again. “Go forth, conquer, Omi might even shed a tear for yer development.”

 

“I will not,” Sakusa assures him, and Ushijima nods, striding through the party toward the group. Kenma spots him first, tugs the back of Kuroo’s shirt, and then Kuroo is smiling, and a little bit of the tension is seeping out of Ushijima’s shoulders. A good choice then, he decides, as Daichi and Bokuto look up from their game to welcome him, and then push him into Daichi’s spot, clearly trying to explain the rules to him while Bokuto waits patiently with a borderline-manic grin.

 

“I’m so fuckin’ smart,” Atsumu says, gleeful, as Sakusa leans against his back and wraps both arms over his shoulders, nuzzling behind his ear.

 

“Mm,” he says, “can we sit down?”

 

“Feelin’ okay?”

 

“Mhm, just tired.”

 

“Aww, so yer one of them sleepy drunks. Cute, Omi-Omi.”


“I will bite you.”

 

“I think we both know by now that ain’t a problem for me.” He turns to steer Sakusa away, when Bokuto’s squawking yelp makes them both whip around again. Bokuto is shaking his hand rougly, grin stretched wider as he puts his palms together again and presses the tips of his fingers to Ushijima’s. Ah, so slapsies is about to get competitive.

 

“What are they doing?” Sakusa says, as Atsumu leads him toward the couches and settles them down, pulling Sakusa into his lap. Sakusa goes willingly, wraps both arms around his shoulders.

 

“Slapsies.”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“Want a round?” Sakusa squints at him and then sighs, balancing both of their cups between his thighs. Atsumu holds up his hands, and demonstrates putting them palm to palm. Sakusa copies him. Atsumu puts the tips of their middle fingers together.

 

“I’ll go first,” Atsumu says, “basically, ya gotta try and slap the other person’s hand. If I miss, we swap roles. If ya chicken out and pull your hands away when I don’t even swing, I get a free hit. Got it?”

 

“I think so?” Sakusa’s hands are already twitching. Atsumu twitches his own hands and watches as the muscles in Sakusa’s wrist tighten and then relax. And then he slaps his hand as lightning-quick as he can. Sakusa jolts, leaning back against the couch arm to try and escape him. His brows knit. His hands come back. Atsumu gets him twice more in quick succession from one side and then once from the other. Sakusa is staring at his hands balefully now.

 

“This is psychological warfare,” Sakusa mutters. Atsumu never takes pity on people, and he knows Sakusa likes this about him, so he slaps the outside of his hand again with a shit-eating grin. Sakusa glares, sticks his tongue into the pocket of his cheek in concentration.

 

This time, Atsumu swipes through thin air as Sakusa jerks his hands back so violently that he almost catches Atsumu’s jaw with his elbow. His grin is triumphant, and his hands re-settle. Atsumu exhales through his nose.

 

A lifetime of slapsies with Osamu means that he has this game on lock. It doesn’t surprise him that Sakusa doesn’t know what slapsies is, given that Atsumu’s been in Tokyo long enough now that he’s realized rich city kids don’t have the same propensity toward slightly-violent games that make you hurt the same way people from the country do. When Atsumu found out Kenma had never played knucklebones, he’d had to sit down for twenty minutes. Kenma had not enjoyed knucklebones when Atsumu had forced him to play, but that was a Kenma thing, he’s sure.

 

His hands are steady and calm. Sakusa’s are still shaking, vibrating with adrenaline most likely. He can see in Sakusa’s eyes that he’s thinking too much about the opportune time to strike, and the angle to go about it. He sees the exact second that Sakusa decides to go for it. Sakusa swings, and he misses.

 

“What?!”

 

“Ooh,” Atsumu jeers, “tough luck, Omi-Omi.”

 

“Cheater,” Sakusa tells him, but there’s a smile in his eyes, “I don’t know how, but you just cheated.”

 

“It’s called experience ,” Atsumu sniffs, settling his arms around Sakusa again and letting Sakusa burrow into him. He carefully picks up his own cup, and drains the last of his water, before Sakusa follows his lead and then drops his solo cup into Atsumu’s. He places both of them on the floor, by the arm of the couch, and then hums as Sakusa puts a hand on his jaw, tilts his face up, and kisses him.

 

It’s a little messy, because Sakusa is probably well on his way to being drunk, but Atsumu doesn’t mind in the slightest. He’s had his fair share of sloppy drunk make-out sessions, and honestly, kissing Sakusa is never bad. Sakusa’s hands are pulling him in close, his body is arching into Atsumu, and he doesn’t care about the hand grabbing a handful of his ass.

 

Momentarily, he’s glad that he didn’t see where Suna disappeared off to, because his ribbing earlier definitely would have been grounds for Suna to get on his case about this, since that’s just how they are, and Atsumu really doesn’t want to be interrupted. Only he is, because as Sakusa is busy trying to curve his tongue into the roof of Atsumu’s mouth, he starts getting the prickly being-watched feeling crawling down the back of his neck.

 

“Shit,” he mumbles into Sakusa’s neck as he draws away and presses kisses there, “guess who, dead ahead.”

 

“Fuck off ,” Sakusa groans into his hair, and then; “grope me.”

 

“Fuckin’ pardon ?”

 

“I don’t want him coming over here,” Sakusa says, skirts his fingers up through the back of his hair, “so I want you to make it look like we are seconds away from moving this somewhere else.”

 

“And ya call me strange,” Atsumu mutters against his skin, scrapes his teeth over the column of his throat. “I don’t need to like, grab yer ass for that.”

 

“Front,” Sakusa says, and Atsumu’s pretty sure his brain short-circuits, because there is no universe where Sakusa Kiyoomi asks him to grab his dick in the middle of a party. Only, except, there is, because it’s happening in this universe, because Sakusa is gripping his hair so tightly that his scalp burns too painfully for it to be a dream.

 

“Yer gonna be the death of me, Omi,” Atsumu tells him, and Sakusa has the audacity to laugh, before he slides his hand down and strokes over the back of his neck, crams his other hand up and under Atsumu’s shirt. Atsumu shakes his head, grinning to himself, flattening his hand in the small of Sakusa’s back to keep him steady as Sakusa’s lips land on his skin.

 

He’s kissing open-mouthed and hot, and every brush of contact feels like it’s scalding Atsumu’s skin, but he knows what he’s doing. Sakusa is a person who’s clear about what he wants, and Chihaya is glaring like he’s trying to burn a hole in Atsumu’s head, probably still not over Oikawa gutting him. Atsumu can vaguely make out the broad planes of Iwaizumi’s back near the far wall, Oikawa’s hands in his hair. He won’t be bailing them out this time. It’s all up to Atsumu now.

 

Which is to say, he slips his lazy smirk onto his features, tilts his head a little so that Sakusa has more room to kiss at his neck. He feels Sakusa sink his teeth in, rolling the flesh there until it’ll bruise. Atsumu puts his hand on Sakusa’s knee, locks eyes with Chihaya. Then, as if he has all the time in the world, he trails his hand higher, brushing the tips of his fingers over the inside-seam of Sakusa’s jeans, until he can fit his hand right between his legs and squeeze.

 

Sakusa’s whole body arches into the touch, hips jumping into the contact, and Atsumu can hear the breathy little noise Sakusa makes right into his ear. He keeps his eyes on Chihaya as he turns his head, brushes his lips over Sakusa’s temple, slides his hand back to rest possessively on the inside of Sakusa’s upper thigh.

 

Chihaya turns, and storms away through the party, and Atsumu lets out a breath.

 

“Fuck,” he says, and Sakusa makes a garbled little sound into his throat, “he really does not like me.”

 

“He’s gone, though, right?”

 

“Yep,” Atsumu nods, rubs Sakusa’s back soothingly and retreats his hand to the safety of Sakusa’s knee, “turned tail and gapped as soon as it happened, like ya said.”

 

“Watch out, Miya,” Sakusa says, draping both arms around his neck again, “I’m going to get better than you at reading people.”

 

“In yer dreams, Omi-kun,” he presses a kiss to each of Sakusa’s forehead moles in quick succession, “ya doin’ okay though?”

 

“Yes,” Sakusa lightly headbutts him, “you worry too much. I know my limits.”

 

“Sorry for caring, jackass.” Sakusa laughs, leans in closer until his nose settles against the slope of Atsumu’s own, curled into him. Atsumu hitches him higher on his lap so he’s less liable to slip right off his knees and onto the floor. “Ya can take a nap here, if ya want, or I can see if Aran’s ready to bounce.”

 

“No, we can stay,” Sakusa yawns, huffs his breath right over the lower half of Atsumu’s face, “I’m just gonna rest here a moment.”

 

“Alright, Omi-Omi,” Atsumu nods a little, so Sakusa can feel the movement, “yer alright, I gotcha.”

 

“I know you do,” Sakusa says, low and gentle in the base of his throat.

 

Sakusa does fall asleep, curled like that in Atsumu’s embrace. It’s endearing to know this fact about Sakusa, to know this is the kind of person he is when he’s been drinking. Akaashi and Tanaka both come to check on them, and Atsumu shushes them gently and continues rubbing Sakusa’s back, asks Akaashi to give them twenty minutes before he wakes him.

 

Sakusa seems fine when those twenty minutes are up, but Atsumu gets them both fresh cups of water, and then they dance with Akaashi, who seems more than content to be spun between the two of them, laughing as one of the other Fukurodani alums slots in and waltzes him around the floor, dipping him low and then spinning him as Akaashi’s laughter becomes so violent that tears form in the corners of his eyes.

 

When Bokuto slides in to ask for a dance, Sakusa and Atsumu take their leave. Atsumu leaves Sakusa with Tendou, Goshiki and Shirabu as he ducks to use the bathroom, and when he returns, they’re shouting down a face-time call to Oohira and Yamagata who have taken advantage of the rest of Oohira’s roommates being out to have date night alone in his apartment. Atsumu leans directly in front of the camera and loudly announces how much he likes Oohira’s hoodie to declare his return. Oohira laughs so violently that his poor boyfriend starts to look concerned.

 

“It was nice to see you again, Yamagata-san!” Sakusa hollers, dragging Atsumu away.

 

They spin across the dance floor, bumping into acquaintances and friends. Matsukawa and Hanamaki ping-pong Atsumu between them while the other one interrogates Sakusa, who looks like he has no clue what to make of either of them, and also looks worried that Atsumu’s attempts to claw them are genuine.

 

When they find Hoshiumi again, he has Hinata and Kageyama with him, and they spare a few dances, shouting memories of the All-Japan training camps until Hinata starts trying to kick both Atsumu and Kageyama in raging jealousy. Atsumu picks him up and spins him in apology, but keeps it brief because Kageyama never drinks, so the flush on his face is definitely from rage.

 

They kiss a lot. Sakusa really likes to kiss, Atsumu is learning. Likes to cradle Atsumu’s face, likes to run his fingers through Atsumu’s hair and then loudly marvel about how soft it is right into his ear. Atsumu hums, fixes Sakusa’s curls where they’re starting to fall out of his hair clips. Sakusa kisses him again in thanks, leaning against him so hard that Atsumu stumbles two steps before he catches himself and leans back into it.

 

Aran finds them first, looking a little sleepy from the way the corner of his mouth can barely curl into a smile in a way that looks convincing. Together, the three of them do their rounds. Atsumu gives Osamu a hug that he hopes he feels for days afterwards, physical evidence of how much he loves his twin, pain in the ass as he is. Suna loops his arms over Atsumu’s shoulders and leans into him contently, before telling him to get home safe.

 

Sakusa hugs Kuroo again, when they find him, and Atsumu crushes Kenma in a full-body cuddle that has Kenma curling into his chest and tucking his face against his shoulder with an exasperated little sigh. Atsumu says he’ll text when he gets home, and reminds both Kenma, Kuroo and Akaashi to text him when they get back to Kuroo’s, sure that between the three of them one of them will be responsible enough to remember. Aran thanks Kenma for giving up his bed for the night. Kenma waves him away, embarrassed.

 

The drive back is a lot quieter than the one on the way there. Luckily, in the middle of the night, the campus car parks are empty, which means Aran can park wherever the hell he likes, which is as close to the dorm building as possible. Atsumu slings one arm around Sakusa and the other around Aran as they trudge back to the dorm.

 

“Thanks for bein’ sober D,” he says, and Aran reaches up to ruffle his hair.

 

“No problem,” Aran says, “better than leavin’ ya to yer own devices. Who knows what trouble ya would get up to.”

 

“Hey!” He huffs, tries to kick Aran, but mostly just stumbles into him and threatens to take them all down like dominoes.

 

Aran disappears to Kenma’s room almost immediately to change and brush his teeth, although Sakusa looks distressed by the idea of him not showering before bed. Atsumu distracts him by forcing him to have another two glasses of water, and then shepherding him to Atsumu’s bedroom so that he can wipe down his hair clips and tuck them back into their designated little protective pouch. He seems calmer after that, so Atsumu sits on the floor with his phone, offering him the shower first.

 

“Atsumu?”

 

“Yea?”

 

“Come with me,” he blinks up at Sakusa, watches him pluck at the hem of his shirt, mouth twitching a little in a nervous line, “I don’t think I can wash my hair on my own.”

 

“Okay,” Atsumu says, without even thinking about it. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he thinks he should probably be a little more concerned about his willingness to do whatever Sakusa asks of him. Atsumu’s not the kind of person who can be yanked about on a leash like this, at least, he’s never thought of himself that way. Even Kita’s advice fell on deaf ears if Atsumu was feeling in a particularly stroppy mood and didn’t want to admit that Kita’s advice only ever had his best intentions in mind.

 

Still, when he’s standing under a stream of warm water with Sakusa, watching the way his eyes flutter closed in quiet bliss, Atsumu’s finger massaging shampoo into his scalp and then gently rinsing to make way for conditioner, he thinks perhaps it’s a little alright that he’s being pulled along so easily. People don’t touch Sakusa. He makes sure enough of that, but Atsumu’s allowed to touch him, allowed to scrape his fingers through his hair and carefully work out as many knots as he can while rubbing conditioner into silky curls, allowed to brush their chests together by forced proximity without Sakusa so much as batting an eye.

 

He can tell it’s a special thing he’s being afforded, the ability to see Sakusa like this, quiet and pliant under his hands. He soaps him down too, and Sakusa mumbles instructions every now and again, but mostly leaves him to his work. Atsumu scrubs himself down, lets Sakusa curl into his back to keep himself standing, even though he feels like he should be holding onto him, because the hot water has made Sakusa even sleepier.

 

“Thanks,” Sakusa says into his shoulder blade.

 

“Huh?”

 

“For tonight. I never thought I’d have fun at a party, but I did.”

 

“Huh. Even with Motoya-kun’s death threat?”

 

“Yes,” Sakusa chuckles, brushes his lips over Atsumu’s skin, “you’re good to me.”

 

“Just doin’ my job, sugar tits.” Sakusa fists a hand and thumps him weakly on the back, the pair of them breaking into laughter. Sakusa still has enough energy to towel himself off and dress carefully, before he shuffles back toward the bedroom, Atsumu trailing him. Sakusa’s already wiping down both of their phones and the nightstand when he gets there, so he flicks off the lights and accepts the sanitizer for his hands once he’s dumped their clothes into his laundry basket.

 

Sakusa lets him crawl in first, and Atsumu presses his back right up against the wall as Sakusa curls into the curve of his body and nestles his nose against Atsumu’s neck. They’ve perfected this, over many weeks, figured out the way that Sakusa likes to sleep in Atsumu’s arms the best. Figured out the most comfortable position for Atsumu to sleep, head angled slightly up so he doesn’t inhale Sakusa’s hair in his sleep, one arm outstretched under Sakusa’s head, the other wrapped around his middle, Sakusa’s fingers clutched in his shirt.

 

Sakusa is out almost instantly. Atsumu brushes kisses to his moles again, and closes his eyes, lets sleep drag him under in the middle of contemplating whether or not he’s too attached to this.

Chapter Text

Finals always hit Atsumu like a freight train. He’s never been particularly good at school. His love has always been for volleyball and little else, except for the rare years where he’d have a teacher in a certain subject who loved it so much that Atsumu couldn’t help but love it too. He does better in classes where he actually cares about the content, but college courses are overwhelming, and exams freak him out. Kenma says that stress fucks up your memory, but it’s hard to remember to breathe when the concept of failing an exam is ringing over his head like a bell tolling.

 

“I’m going to die here,” Futakuchi says, banging his forehead lightly on the table, while Semi rubs high between his shoulder blades and Oikawa lets out a whimpering little noise of agreement. Sakusa and Iwaizumi are lost to them today, having decided instead to study with Kuroo, Shirabu and Ennoshita, who have far more ideas about the content of their exams than their odd jumble. Instead, they’ve gained Bokuto and Hinata, both of whom don’t look much better.

 

“How’re you going, Atsumu-san?” Hinata asks, always trying to increase morale. Atsumu glares at him over his laptop the same way he used to glare at people who were too loud during his serves. Hinata instantly looks back at his paper and doesn’t ask him again.

 

Frankly, finals creeping up are exhausting, especially when they get let out of courses for study leave, so he doesn’t even have the routine of class to keep him occupied. He goes running a lot more, bumps his gym visits up from three to five days a week and crams every night.

 

At least Chihaya has been leaving Sakusa alone, which is a small mercy, given that neither of them manage to get much studying done if Sakusa is staying over, and it’s a pain for him to have to transfer all his study materials there and back. Atsumu brings him tea for after volleyball practice instead, but Hinata has, multiple times, accused him of moping for not being able to hang around his boyfriend so much.

 

In fact, Sakusa only comes over to study with Kuroo, who at this point has just forgotten he has a whole apartment that he pays rent for and ends up crashed on Kenma and Atsumu’s couch more often than not, too tired to make it all the way to the bedroom. Atsumu feels for him, he really does. He looks like death walking, and not even Oikawa, who shares Kuroo’s general penchant for mischief and lacks Bokuto’s inherent need to be parented, can cheer him up. In fact, Kuroo takes one look at Oikawa, brandishing Kuroo’s favourite bubble tea order in one hand and his own in the other, managing to look like a model even though Atsumu knows for a fact that he’s been awake until at least 3am for the past four consecutive nights- Oikawa forgets he uses social media apps that have timestamps- and says;

 

“Get out of my face.”

 

Of course, this is grounds for Oikawa to drape himself across Kuroo and kiss his cheeks until Kuroo stops being grumpy and accepts the bubble tea and Oikawa’s surprisingly quiet company as a study-buddy at Atsumu’s dining table, the three of them sitting in silence interrupted only by the scratch of pens on paper and the tapping of laptop keys.

 

Most of Atsumu’s classes have final essays, which is a blessing and a curse because it means he has a lot more time to do them, but they are all due within days of each other. He has one class with an exam, in the afternoon the same day one of his final essays is due at 8am - and really, what ungodly kind of person makes an essay due at 8am, and not midnight like someone who loves and cares for their students- with a physical hand-in on top of a digital submit.

 

He sets his alarm for a 20 minute power nap, showers, eats mopey fruit loops in the lawn chair and makes himself a cup of coffee so strong that proximity to the fumes make him feel like he’s on a caffeine high. He probably shouldn’t drink the whole cup, he thinks, but does anyway because his eyelids keep drooping and he’s so fucking tired, but once this day is over he has one hundred words left on one essay and then he’s done . He’s free. At least it doesn’t make him jittery, not like one time before midterms in his second year of Inarizaki when he saw Suna drink two 750mL cans of energy drink in under an hour and then he had to be escorted out of their English exam for shaking too violently to be able to hold a pen.

 

Granted, he had done well on that exam because he was more concerned about how fast he could go check on Suna than whether or not his answers were right.

 

Kenma’s hand lands on the top of his head. Atsumu tilts his head back and blinks at Kenma. Over the years this has become a signal: okay? And yeah, Atsumu’s okay. He gives Kenma a sleepy smile, and Kenma nods. At least Kenma is faring pretty well. He looks about as tired as he usually does, but the bags under his eyes aren’t as violently purple as they can be, and his hair looks freshly washed even if it is tied back into a messy half-bun at the back of his head with another one of the scrunchies Kuroo bought for his birthday. This one is white with little black cats on it.

 

“Got an exam,” he tells Kenma, who hums, “I’m kinda shittin’ myself.”

 

“You’ll be okay,” Kenma says, “you studied lots.” And Kenma, for all he is quiet, is a person a lot like Atsumu. Kenma is honest, if he says something like that, it’s not an empty platitude, it’s because Kenma genuinely believes it. Atsumu reaches up to tug at the little flyaway-strand of hair that curls around Kenma’s left ear, too short to fit into his bun because Kenma nervous-fiddles with it and stunts its growth. Kenma smacks his hand and rolls his eyes, but there’s a fond twitch to his smile as he pats Atsumu’s head and disappears back into his bedroom.

 

It only occurs to Atsumu as he’s doing his last-minute revision for his exam that it is way too early to be awake, which means that Kuroo probably made it all the way to Kenma’s room after his study group last night, and probably accidentally woke him up on his way out the door, and that Kenma might be sleeping a lot less than Atsumu thought. He takes a quick thirty second break from his very intense studying to set a reminder to make Kenma a little care package. Just because he doesn’t vocally complain about his degree like the rest of them do doesn’t mean he’s not suffering.

 

By the end of Atsumu’s exam, he doesn’t even remember anything he wrote, but there’s no little leaden leapfrog bouncing around his stomach, so he supposes whatever he was doing in there was working for him. It’s over, it’s done, there’s no going back, so Atsumu departs to the nearest convenience store in his very appropriate attire of maroon sweatpants, flip flops and his custom hoodie from the U-19 team, hood flipped up and drawstrings pulled taut to disguise the fact that his hair is in desperate need of a wash.

 

He prowls the shelves to moderate suspicion from the cashier, who immediately softens with sympathy when she gets a look at him up close, which leads Atsumu to believe she is also a college student, probably simmering in anxiety over working during the exam period, and so he cracks open his bag of teddy-shaped marshmallows- chocolate flavoured- and lets her grab a handful in solidarity.

 

He leaves the convenience store with her number scrawled on a post-it note, somewhat thoughtlessly crumpled in the large pouch at the front of his hoodie. It makes him feel a little less like death, the knowledge that he looks like he just crawled out of a particularly nasty dumpster and he still has enough going for him that random people on the street see him looking like a sick dog and still think they might want to jump his bones or stare wistfully at him over a cup of coffee.

 

When he enters the apartment just shy of six, Kuroo is back, stretched out along the couch with Kenma perched in the cradle of his hips, leaning back into his knees a little bit with his feet nestled against the dip of Kuroo’s underarms. Because they are infuriatingly in love and they fit together like puzzle pieces, one of Kuroo’s hands is laced with Kenma’s- which it dwarfs- cupped over one knee, while his other one is tracing circles around Kenma’s ankle. Kenma is fiddling with the little curling fly-away hair.

 

“Yer both gross,” Atsumu tells them as he kicks off his flip flops and nudges them into order, padding across to drop a kiss on top of Kenma’s head, and then a slightly more smacking one on Kuroo’s forehead.

 

“I’m allowed,” Kuroo says, “I’m passing away.”

 

“Felt.” Atsumu grunts, digs in one of his grocery bags and drops the half-empty marshmallows on Kuroo’s chest. “All yours, boys, I’m gonna shower and pass out. I feel like dog shit.”

 

Kuroo holds out a hand for a low hi-five and, magnanimous with the mutual suffering that finals bring, Atsumu slaps it, before he heads to his room to separate his groceries into ‘victory snacks’- packaging wiped down and dumped onto his bed- and ‘Kenma snacks’- left in the bag for some other time. He dumps his phone for wiping-down later, takes his inside clothes and goes for a shower.

 

The water does little to ease his exhaustion, but it does help with the knot forming at the apex of his spine that he hadn’t even noticed until his shoulders slump over the heat. He spends longer than he needs to kneading it out, spends even longer indulging in scritching at his own scalp as he moves through his haircare routine, and the kicker is just slipping into his victory clothes that he’d laid out in the morning after his first shower.

 

The victory clothes are the most comfortable clothes he owns, and in the similar vein to his best underwear that make his dick look twice as big, they only make an appearance when he needs a pick-me-up. The shorts, tiny and baby pink with little palm trees printed on them, are from a two-piece pyjama set that matches with Kenma’s, when some department store had been having a two-for-one sale and Atsumu had bought them as a half-gag gift in first year and ended up obsessed. The sweater is mottled black and grey knit, and both fit loosely around him, smell like his detergent, and are soft against his skin. He is so comfortable.

 

He feels more like a person now, tugging his sweater on over his head, tucking his discarded clothes back into the plastic bag and then washing his hands for good measure. The Sakusa Influence, he thinks dryly, even though he’d have heard from Sakusa if he was coming by, by now, even though Sakusa hasn’t stayed the night in a good, long while.

 

Still, his outdoor clothes get dumped in the laundry, his main lights get flicked off in favour of the LEDs so he doesn’t have to get out of bed for them later, and his nightstand and everything on it gets wiped down, his hands get sanitized one last time, and then he crawls into bed, sets up his laptop to play some magical girl show that is bright and peppy and doesn’t require too much brainpower to consume, and chows into his snacks.

 

He knows Sakusa doesn’t really approve of snacks in bed, but Sakusa isn’t here, and Atsumu has spent the entire day feeling like the scene in that one American cartoon movie Suna made him watch once where a cartoon sea-sponge dried up and died- maybe? It was very unclear- on a beach. So frankly, Sakusa can deal with snacks in bed, and Atsumu will still change the sheets before Sakusa gets anywhere near them if he so much as breathes the intention of staying over.

 

Sigh. It’s so hard being a doting fake-boyfriend.

 

That immediately sours his mood even further, and Atsumu sinks into the collar of his sweater, chewing furiously and tense-jawed around a mouthful of seaweed flavoured chips. Thinking about the Sakusa-boyfriend situation makes him feel antsy, because the school year will be over soon, and surely not even Chihaya can carry a crush through several months away, and Sakusa won’t be in the same dorm room next year anyway unless sheer stroke of fate has him randomly assigned to the exact same number on the exact same floor, and Atsumu hadn’t realized how much he’d meant the offer for Sakusa to come home with him, and Sakusa hasn’t said anything about it and now his mother is asking about plans and Atsumu’s getting irritated because as impulsive as he tends to be, he likes plans.

 

Osamu just does shit. Decides where he’s going with the next step of his foot. Asks Atsumu if he wants to get coffee and then turns off his phone for four hours just to leave Atsumu ready to break into his apartment and smother him with a pillow. Atsumu has it planned out. Doesn’t matter if there’s detours on the way, the goals are the same: top college level player, top pro player, national team. Maybe a dog and a house in there somewhere. Coaching, when he retires. Sports commentary, hence the degree. These plans make him feel calm.

 

And then he remembers he needs to organize Kuroo’s car to move his shit out of the dorm to Kenma’s house so he doesn’t have to lug it all the way back to Hyogo, and then he has to organize with Osamu- who will not be any help- train tickets back home, and now potentially Sakusa too. He grabs one of his pillows and muffles a groan into it, bangs his head against it.

 

Part of him knows it’s not just the plans, either. Part of it is the uncertainty of where he stands with Sakusa, when this is all over. When the handshake comes out and the gag is up and they’ve had a good run of it and Osamu pummels him for lying to him for several months. Sakusa is his friend, but it had been so easy to not realize that before all this. What happens when they don’t spend almost every waking moment attached at the hip? What happens when they don’t have anyone to act happy for, or any real reason to hang out? Will Sakusa still come around to play video games with Kenma and Kuroo while Hinata and Atsumu spectate? Will Atsumu get invited back to wine and cheese night? What parts of their friendship get untangled from their fake-dating when all is said and done?

 

“Are you trying to suffocate yourself?” Atsumu almost jumps out of his skin, whipping his pillow off to see Sakusa standing shyly in the doorway, shoulders hunched in, hair clipped back with the blue star on a gold snap-clip.

 

“Maybe,” Atsumu says, tucks the pillow behind his head, “everything okay?”

 

“Yeah. Yes.” Sakusa clears his throat, gently drops an overnight bag on the ground and holds up a paper bag with moisture at the bottom, like something hot is steaming through it.

 

“Watcha got there, Omi-Omi?”

 

“I brought dinner,” Sakusa says, “Kenma messaged me, said it was your last exam today so- I mean- I have a break between my exams so I thought that we could just hang out? Celebrate and all. If that’s- I can go-”

 

“No!” Atsumu laughs, scooches over, gently pushes his laptop up against the wall, “nah, that’s fine, c’mon, what kinda boyfriend would I be to boot ya out on yer ass after ya bought me food?”

 

“A terrible one,” Sakusa agrees, carefully crossing the room and setting the food in Atsumu’s lap, before he crinkles the bag and bins it. “I’ll have to shower and everything-”

 

“I mean, I already had food in the bed, so we should change the-”


“We can do it in the morning,” Sakusa gives him another twitchy, shy smile, scratches a thumb under the hinge of his jaw in a way that Atsumu feels suddenly endlessly fascinated by. “Snacks in the bed is a minor offense so long as the sheets don’t stay that way and attract bugs.”

 

“Right,” Atsumu says with a nod, “of course.”

 

“Yes.” Sakusa says with a nod, and then he takes his inside-clothes out of the overnight bag- inside their own protective bag like always- and disappears off to the shower. Atsumu was raised with at least three manners, so he doesn’t touch the food, just kind of piles his snacks to the side and tries to make more room for Sakusa on the bed, which is still entirely too fucking small.

 

Sakusa returns, hair damp, clothes neatly tucked back into his bag, and hands sanitized. They’re jammed shoulder to shoulder on this bed- they always are- and eating is going to be a pain in the ass, he can already tell. Still, they mumble their thanks and prayers and tuck in. Atsumu brings his knees up and leans forward a little while Sakusa slouches back, Atsumu’s show still blasting bright, synthy backing-tracks into his room from the foot of his bed, bracketed by the metal railing there.

 

“This is a children’s show,” Sakusa says, and Atsumu sticks his tongue out at him. “Ah. I forgot. You are a child.”

 

“Well I’m sorry if I didn’t feel like watchin’ something intellectual when my brain feels like it’s ‘bout to slide out my ears.” Sakusa makes a face, but doesn’t comment, which Atsumu counts as a win. Sakusa just shifts his leg a little closer, so that his knee brushes Atsumu’s ankle. “How’s yer stuff going?”

 

“Good,” Sakusa says, “it’s always stressful, and writing for so long is really hurting my wrists, and being in amongst so many other people doesn’t exactly do wonders for my nerves, but I’ve left every exam thus far feeling decent about it, so that’s about as much as I can hope for.”

 

“Yer really smart, ya big nerd, so I’m sure you’re doin’ fine,” Atsumu tells him, yelps as Sakusa leans across and snatches a bit of prawn out of Atsumu’s dinner and pops it into his mouth. In retaliation, Atsumu leans across and snatches a bit of chicken, despite Sakusa’s best efforts to keep his food out of Atsumu’s reach.

 

“Terrible,” Sakusa tuts, and Atsumu gasps, offended.

 

“Well now, maybe I will rescind my offer of lettin’ ya come home with me for the holidays,” Sakusa stills, chopsticks hovering over his food uncertainly. “Omi?”

 

“I,” Sakusa says, swallows, “I know you said you meant it, the… liking being around me, but I still thought the coming home with you thing was kind of a joke.”

 

“Oh,” Atsumu says, “well, it’s not. Ya don’t have to pretend to be my boyfriend or anythin’ while we’re there, but if ya got nothin’ better to do then ya might as well go some place yer gonna get home cooked meals every night. Plus, you’ll get to watch Samu beat me up when he finds out ‘bout all this.”

 

“If you’re cooking, I think I’ll pass. Hazardous,” Sakusa says, giving him a little smirk from the corner of his mouth as Atsumu brings a fist down on the meat of his thigh.

 

“Don’t be a bitch , I’ve cooked for ya plenty and yer very clearly not dead.” Sakusa laughs, his breathy little chuckle, as he curls in closer to Atsumu and tucks more food into his mouth. Atsumu lets him, and he presses his chin to the top of his head for a brief moment before he goes back to eating his own food.

 

Sakusa- angel, perfect human being that he is- takes their empty bowls back to the kitchen, washes his hands there and then just dusts them off with a wet-wipe when he comes back, dumping it primly in the trash can next to Atsumu’s desk.

 

He’s sprawled out on the bed in the meantime; shut his laptop off and put it back on the nightstand so it’s out of the way, and tucked his snacks into the drawer. Sakusa looks at him, peers down, picks at the stitching of his t-shirt.

 

“Atsumu?”

 

“Yea?”

 

“I do want to. To go to Hyogo, with you.” Sakusa says, colour rising in his cheeks. “Sorry to impose.”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu pats the bed for him, “I’m tellin’ ya, my ma will have an absolute fuckin’ field day feedin’ ya. She always used to get so excited when Rin and Aran came home with one of us. The more the merrier, plus I think she thinks she can force people to stay friends with us if she bribes them with cooking.”

 

“Smart woman.”

 

“Watch yer mouth, Omi-Omi.”

 

“Or?” Sakusa says, at the same moment that Atsumu yanks the side of his shirt and unbalances him right on top of him. He swings his legs up, clamps his thighs hard around Sakusa’s waist, and kisses him soundly on the mouth.

 

Sakusa sinks into him easily, braces one hand on his bare thigh, fingers skimming where his loose shorts have ridden pretty much all the way up, the other one curled around his waist, clutching the fabric of his sweater. Atsumu pushes his hands through his hair, tilts his head a little to fit his mouth to Sakusa’s in a slow, lazy pattern.

 

This, Atsumu will always maintain, is the best kind of stress relief.

 

Sakusa kisses like he missed him, leaning into him with his whole body so that the base of his spine starts to ache for how he’s being folded in half by the bulk of Sakusa’s body. Sakusa’s tongue is in his mouth, and he’s making his little breathy noises right up against Atsumu’s cheek, and it’s making him laugh because he’s been categorizing these sounds without knowing, has kissed Sakusa enough to understand what each little hitch and sigh means.

 

“Stop laughing at me,” Sakusa mumbles, directly against his lips. Atsumu slides his against Sakusa’s, more of a brush than a kiss, just to smear spit across them until Sakusa is trying to tug loose from his hold. “You’re the one who unbalanced me.”

 

“I wasn’t laughin’ cause of that. I was laughin’ cause I know ya.”

 

“How does that surprise you? I’ve known you a long time, Atsumu.”

 

“I know,” he smiles, smooths Sakusa’s curls behind his ear now that the hair clip has been taken out, “I guess it’s my own dumbass fault for thinkin’ I didn’t, but it’s still kinda weird t’me, to realize that I do actually know things about ya that I probably shouldn’t.”

 

“Like what?” Sakusa asks, stealing slow kisses from the corner of Atsumu’s mouth as he talks.

 

“You have a mole on yer ass. Right here.” He pinches, and Sakusa falls down on top of him with a muffled curse as Atsumu laughs, straightens his legs out and ruffles Sakusa’s hair before smoothing down his back. “Not somethin’ I know about a whole lotta my friends.”

 

“Well,” Sakusa says, even if his face is fully red. He links his hands, leans them on top of Atsumu’s chest, and then props his chin on his knuckles. “Not all of my friends are trusted enough to be allowed to shower with me. I suppose some of your stupidity has rubbed off on me.”

 

“Good,” Atsumu says with a crooked grin, “easier to get ya into dumb shit that way.”

 

“You’re much more tolerable when you’re being kissed.”

 

“Go for it then, Omi-kun.” 

 

And Sakusa does. He stretches up, presses their lips together, gently tugs Atsumu’s sweater until he’s rolled on top of Sakusa instead, so Sakusa can trace the shape of his face with the tips of his fingers, so Atsumu can do all the heavy lifting of bracing arms either side of his head, leaning into the kiss compliantly. He kisses him slowly, savours the pull of lips against lip in a way that he knows will make them swell just a little. He dips his tongue into Sakusa’s mouth, traces the shape of Sakusa’s tongue, rocks his own up behind his teeth with an artful flick, until Sakusa is clutching at him, holding him close.

 

They kiss, and they kiss and they kiss, and by the time the rest of the day and the early start catch up to Atsumu, his mouth feels bruised and he’s pretty sure he’s swapped so much spit with Sakusa that whatever he’s pulling out of his mouth with every pass of his tongue is actually something that came from him in the first place, and it’s good and he very much does not care that it’s gross. He parts from Sakusa reluctantly, but Sakusa smiles, thumbs the corner of his eye where it must be drooping from the need to sleep.

 

Atsumu brushes his teeth first so that he can climb back into bed before Sakusa, back to the wall. Sakusa follows a few minutes later, flicks off the LEDs and crawls in next to Atsumu. He doesn’t face him this time, simply fits the curve of his back against Atsumu’s chest, drags his arms around him and laces their fingers together, holds Atsumu’s hands close over his heart. Atsumu nestles his nose into the nape of his neck and exhales slowly, relishes in the smell of Sakusa that lulls him to sleep.

 

Sakusa is, in a shocking turn of events, gone by the time Atsumu wakes up, with a neat note telling him he had to run to make an appointment with one of his lecturers who is apparently organizing a study session for her students. Atsumu is less impressed with the lecturer and her apparent care for her students than he is with himself for sleeping through an alarm for the first time in forever. He rolls over, nuzzles his face into his pillow, and falls back into a half-sleep for a good two hours, before Kenma peeks through his door to make sure he’s not dead.

 

He does the last 100 words on his last essay over his seriously delayed breakfast, checks over it twice, and then decides it’s good enough to pass and he can be okay with that, and sends it off. Kuroo is studying at the table with him, so he waits until he’s back in his room to put his headphones in and blast his current favourite song and give himself a victory dance party. Then he ducks into Kenma’s room and lounges around all over him like an oversized cat while he works on his final project for his programming course.

 

He doesn’t see Sakusa for quite a few days after that, because according to his texts, he’s busy bouncing from revision groups to careers counsellors to his older sister coming back from her job in an overseas department and a lunch that he texts him through almost constantly. Atsumu- of Osamu and no one else siblingage- can not imagine not being close enough to your siblings to be wholly intrigued by their conversation. He expresses this sentiment by asking Sakusa if his sister is hot. Sakusa tells him she’s too old for him and also way out of his league. Atsumu supposes that’s fair, but he still acts heartbroken for the fun of it.

 

He manages to wheedle the details of Sakusa’s last exam- date, time, location- from him, which probably makes him a little suspicious, but his face still lights up in a grin when he sees Atsumu waiting for him outside the lecture theatre doubling as a makeshift exam room. Well, as much of a grin as he can have when half of his face is covered by a mask. Atsumu knows the sparkle in his eye well enough to tell.

 

Sakusa takes his exams in jeans, a neat button-up and a soft looking pullover, like he has to be the hottest, most well-put-together person in the entire exam room. Atsumu, waiting for him, is wearing his old U-19 soft-shell tracksuit pants and a paint-stained navy blue puma pullover, because the semester is over for him and he does not have to be a functioning human being anymore.

 

“For my boyfriend,” he tells Sakusa, brandishing a singular plastic sunflower. Sakusa grins, because he clearly recognizes them as the type to be individually plastic-covered, which removes the possibility of people breathing on it to smell the flower. He takes it, shaking his head in amusement as Atsumu offers him the crook of his arm, just like the first night.

 

Unlike the first night, Sakusa slips his hand into place over Atsumu’s bicep without complaint, and falls into step beside him as they walk across campus to Sakusa’s dorm.

 

“So, Kuroo’s cool to move yer stuff on the same day as mine,” Atsumu tells him, “move it all back to yers or whatever, we just gotta chip in for gas, and I’m makin’ a list of instructions ‘cause Samu’s gonna need an itinerary to be even close to on time, so I’ll send it to ya. Oh, and Rin’s coming too.”

 

“You could have just text me,” Sakusa says, with a laugh.

 

“Sure,” Atsumu shrugs, “but then it wouldn’t have been as fun to personally invite ya to come hang out with me and Kuroo and Kenma tonight, ‘cause Kuroo has his last exam this afternoon so we’re celebratin’. Wouldn’t be right without ya.”

 

“I wouldn’t want to intrude,” Sakusa says, going furiously red. Atsumu hip-checks him.

 

“Yer not intrudin’ if I’m inviting you, dumbass.”

 

“Fine. Then yes. Is this also an invitation to spend the night?”

 

“Ya gonna drink?”

 

“Depends on if you don’t buy cheap booze.”

 

“Snob.”

 

“I’m starting to own it,” Sakusa chuckles.

 

“Yea, ya can stay over. Ain’t like Kuroo and Kenma are gonna mind, I’m startin’ to accept the fact they like ya better than me,” he sniffs like he’s put out, and Sakusa kisses his temple as a consolation prize. They’re outside Sakusa’s door, on their way in, when Chihaya exits his room down the hall.

 

Sakusa immediately tenses, and Atsumu’s hand protectively settles over Sakusa’s high on his bicep, squeezes to let him know he’s got him. But Chihaya just gives them a shy smile, nods his head tightly, and vanishes down the stair-well before Atsumu can even say ‘huh’ out loud.

 

“Weird,” he says, when the door bangs shut.

 

“I think he’s afraid of you,” Sakusa says, unlocking his door and toeing his shoes off in the genkan, “he must have found those videos of you beating up the poor kids at your high school.”

 

“Hey, I only beat up the ones who deserved it,” Atsumu snorts, “Rin send ya the videos?”

 

“He did not.”

 

“I’ll remind him to show ya when we get back to Hyogo.”

 

“I’m sure your mother will be so proud.”

 

“Well, she wasn’t the one of my parents who said violence is sometimes the answer- that’s more my dad- but she always figured so long as we were standin’ up for the right things, it was fine,” he shrugs. “Besides, I learned to drive, cook, and clean up after myself so as long as I do that, don’t get anyone pregnant and neglect my duties as a father, I am a perfect son in her eyes.”

 

“I can’t wait to become your mother’s favourite child,” Sakusa says, tucking his clothes into a protective bag.

 

“Well,” Atsumu says with a shrug, “can’t blame her, my ma has great taste, and who wouldn’t like ya?” Atsumu grins, very pointedly, at the way a flush crawls all the way up the back of Sakusa’s neck to the tips of his ears.

 

“Shut up,” he says, with a disdainful sniff, then; “tea?”

 

They indulge in a cup of tea on Sakusa’s couch, with Sakusa’s feet tucked up under Atsumu’s thighs while he leans back into the armrest, wriggling around and trying to crack something low in his back. Atsumu watches him struggle with absolutely no sympathy. Maybe a little bit of sympathy. If Atsumu needed that part of his back cracked he would just submit to one of Bokuto’s hugs where he physically hoists him off the ground and squeezes like he’s trying to snap him in half like a glowstick.

 

He can’t stop himself from silent wheeze-chuckling, the force of his shaking his shoulders. Sakusa gives him a look like he’s finally completed his descent into madness, but it’s very hard to explain that the image of Sakusa letting Bokuto lift him off the ground and squeeze him until his life flashes before his eyes is the source of his current glee.

 

Atsumu washes their mugs for them once the tea is finished, and then slips his hand into Sakusa’s as they depart for his dorm. There’s not really any reason to do it, but the school year is officially over in a week, when the dorms close and out they go, and that spells the end for this thing between them. Who knows if Sakusa holds hands with his friends, or drops kisses on their foreheads and cuddles with them like Atsumu does when he’s not fake-dating them? So far, all these affordances have been because of the ruse to keep up, and Atsumu likes to push limits and toe lines, which means he wants as much mileage as they can get, before Atsumu plans to break the news to Osamu on the train, where he will be less likely to get killed due to the public nature of the transport.

 

“You look lost in thought,” Sakusa says, blinking at Atsumu.

 

“Yea,” Atsumu shrugs, “thinkin’ about the best way to avoid death at the hands of my twin. Fratricide’s tragic, dontcha know.”

 

“You seem very sure Osamu-san will be angry with you.”

 

“Well, we did kinda con him into thinkin’ we were in love for a couple months, and I don’t ever lie to Samu ‘bout anything important, so,” he shrugs. Sakusa’s looking at him, thoughtful and fond.

 

“Love, huh?”

 

“Guess so,” Atsumu says, turning his face up and letting the sun bounce off the planes of his face. “We were friends first, we had the dramatic confession, and we’ve been quote-unquote datin’ for a hot minute now. We’ve probably said ‘I love ya’ by now, right?”

 

“Right,” Sakusa says, “I don’t know if there’s an acceptable amount of time that has to pass before you say it, you know? It’s different for everyone. Maybe we even said it that first night you confessed.”

 

“Maybe we did,” Atsumu laughs, talking about these little lies they’ve constructed as if they’re realities, hypothesizing on their own lives as if they’re not living them in vivid technicolour, skies grey overhead, but Sakusa’s cheeks rosy and mask-free, hand clasped tightly in Atsumu’s.

 

When he and Sakusa step into the apartment proper after kicking their shoes off in the genkan, Kenma and Kuroo are sitting on the floor in front of the couch. Kuroo has his textbooks open, sleeves of his dress shirt pushed up to his elbows, caffeine patches littering his forearms as he gnaws on the end of a pen and furrows his brows at a worksheet, flicking his eyes between it and a lecture slide. Kenma sits between his legs, leaning back into his chest, tapping away on his computer, hair half-up and half-down in today’s scrunchie of choice; soft velvety looking maroon.

 

“How we goin’, team?” Atsumu asks, as Sakusa breaks off to dump his bag in Atsumu’s room.

 

“I am fifteen seconds away from a nervous breakdown,” Kuroo says, exhaling roughly through his nose and scrolling back through lecture slides, making a pained noise in the back of his throat, “remind me who let me do this? Who let me think this was a good idea? Why didn’t anyone try to stop me from trying to do a conjoint degree?”

 

“I did try to stop you,” Kenma says, without looking up, “I told you that you should have just stayed with me.”

 

“Well, yes, darling,” Kuroo says, “but that was because you didn’t want to sacrifice being kissed good morning, not because you thought it was a stupid idea to do a BSci and a BA.”

 

“It was a stupid idea to do two degrees,” Kenma says flatly, mouth twitching mischeivously.

 

“Thank you, Ken,” is Kuroo’s fondly sarcastic reply, as he gently brushes aside Kenma’s hair and drops a kiss to the spot behind his ear that Atsumu knows Kuroo knows Kenma likes, and like clockwork, Kenma’s hand comes up to settle at the base of his hair and scritch there like he would scritch behind the ear of a cat. Atsumu knows this little routine by heart, has seen it many times over the last three years, knows it’s a gesture as familiar to them as breathing, something grounding and familiar, like Sakusa’s hand on the back of Atsumu’s neck, thumb slowly circling.

 

Atsumu’s mother always told him that she never realized she was in love with his father in an instant. To her, it was a slow crawl, like watching shadows stretch out on the pavement with every movement of the sun. To Atsumu, it’s monumental. He feels his world shift in an instant, the point-of-no-return where he can feel his world knocked off its axis, can feel his paradigm change, just like that.

 

Kuroo and Kenma, unfailingly in love, so confidently sure of each other and so themselves have never reminded Atsumu of anyone else. Not anyone else he knows in love. Not Iwaizumi and Oikawa. Not Aran and Kita. Not Tanaka and Yamamoto. Kuroo and Kenma have always been just that: Kuroo and Kenma. But just now, they were not. Just now, they were Sakusa and Atsumu.

 

I’m in love with Sakusa , the truth hits him with enough force to make him feel winded, and he physically exhales a gush of air, takes a step back, I’m in love with Sakusa the way Kenma is in love with  Kuroo. It squeezes up around his heart and chokes the breath out of his lungs and makes him want to run and hide and also simultaneously scream it from the rooftops.

 

Instead, he throws himself to the floor and scrambles across the floor toward Kenma like he’s desperate, weaving around his laptop and smashing his face into his stomach hard enough that Kenma ‘oofs’ while Atsumu wraps his arms around him and squeezes him tight.

 

“I love ya,” Atsumu says, “I love ya so much. Y’know that, right?”

 

“Christ, Tsum,” Kuroo says, “what’s gotten into you?”

 

“Nothin’,” Atsumu lies, “I just wanted to tell ya, in case I haven’t said it enough recently.” Kenma’s hand lands on top of his head. Okay ? Atsumu squeezes him tighter. Yeah, he’s okay. He’s more than okay. He feels like he’s radiating sunlight, especially when he hears Sakusa’s bemused and confused laugh from the direction of his doorway, and he hides his widening grin in the fabric of Kenma’s hoodie; which doesn’t smell very much like Kenma and smells suspiciously like Kuroo.

 

“Ah,” Kenma says, low and knowing. Atsumu laughs, feels it bubbling out of his throat before he can control it. Kenma bends almost in half, gently kisses his temple. “You’re ruining my programming project.”

 

“Alright, alright,” Atsumu pushes himself up, drops a kiss on Kenma’s head, and then another one on Kuroo’s forehead, “and don’t worry, I love ya too, even if yer a cunnin’ son of a bitch.”

“That’s me,” Kuroo agrees, “although I don’t think I’ll have much cunning in me for the next millenia. Sakusa? Would you mind doing some flashcards with me?”

 

“I think I can manage that,” Sakusa says, settling himself into the crook of the couch arm, taking the flashcards passed to him with distinct care. Atsumu sits against the foot of the couch, leans back so that he can hook one arm under Sakusa’s semi-raised legs and wrap his hand around his ankle, smoothing his thumb over the bump of the bones there.

 

He tilts his head back and watches as Sakusa reads off definitions and Kuroo stumbles through the names with increasing confidence. He’s beautiful. Sakusa Kiyoomi is beautiful and not-untouchable and has spent the past three months kissing Miya Atsumu like he wants it, touching Miya Atsumu like he wants him, letting Miya Atsumu into his life and wrapping Miya Atsumu up in so much of him that it’s finally driven him completely bonkers, completely nutso, completely crazy, completely in love with him, and now that he knows, he never wants to stop.

 

He’s backlit by the light from the window, hazy grey clouds in the Spring noon creating the weakest halo against his beautiful, jet-black hair, casting a sharp shadow against the angular cut of his face. His mouth forms around words precisely but with such delicate care, and Atsumu is glad he chose to sit here, because at face height he would have pressed his thumb to Sakusa’s lip and marveled at how gently it would have worked against the pad of it. His lashes are so long they cast minute little shadows on his cheeks. His eyes are black, black like the void, black like the galaxy when he casts a tiny little smile down at Atsumu, catches him watching, and all Atsumu can do is grin at him like a dope, big and foolish, and so, so despicably smitten.

 

He plays the last thirteen weeks over in his mind, casts things in a new light. Do I have jeans that make my ass look good ? It had seemed like such a simple text at the time. He’d cared. Had he wanted Atsumu to be looking? The dancing, Sakusa saying show me and then not stopping, clutching Atsumu to him like a lifeline. I wouldn’t be attracted to someone if they weren’t clean enough for me. I want to practice touching you . The weight of Sakusa’s thumb in his mouth, tucked behind his teeth. Do you love all your teammates ? Yes, he wants to say now, fills his eyes with every ounce of affection he has and casts them upon Sakusa, hopes he feels it burn into his skin. Yes. I love them. I love you , most of all.

 

He thinks about Sakusa dragging Atsumu’s hand to his ass of his own free will, no reason to do it. He thinks about how perfectly his hand fit there, the same kind of belonging as a volleyball brushing the pads of his fingers. I guess I just thought of how I’d want you to confess . Did he think about it often? Did it swirl in his mind? Was he waiting? Had he been waiting all this time? He remembers every touch, every kiss, Sakusa taking more and more and Atsumu giving it willingly. Had he been doing the same, all this time? Getting as much as he could before he had no excuse?

 

“What?” Sakusa asks, sounding amused. “You’re staring at me like you’re trying to figure out a particularly hard toss.”

 

“Big words are hurtin’ my brain,” Atsumu lies, but it makes Sakusa laugh his deep, indulgent chuckle and Kuroo snorts, which makes Kenma smile too, so he thinks that lie might be a little okay.

 

Sakusa keeps helping Kuroo, right up until Kuroo scratches the caffeine patches off his arms, straightens his shirt and goes to the bathroom to splash water on his face and brush his teeth in mental preparation for his exam. Atsumu doesn’t mind, gets to watch Sakusa and think, and think, and think.

 

He helps Kenma collect Kuroo’s things. Takes his laptop while Kenma fusses over the order of Kuroo’s notes to get them in the exact sequence that he likes them. Atsumu carries everything back to Kenma’s dorm room while Kenma wraps his arms around Kuroo’s middle in the genkan, and stretches on the tips of his toes to press soft little kisses to his lips.

 

“See ya on the other side,” Atsumu says as Kuroo does his last pocket-pat-down.

 

“If I live.”

 

“You’re not allowed to die,” Kenma says, squeezes his hand.

 

“Alright, then,” Kuroo tells him, brings Kenma’s hand to his mouth and brushes his lips over his knuckles, “I’ll come home to you. Atsumu too I guess.” His grin is broad as Atsumu shouts at his retreating back, Kenma curling his knuckles against his own lips to chase the phantom of Kuroo’s kiss.

 

“I’m going to work on my programming project,” Kenma tells him, stooping to pick up his laptop, “I only have a bit more to do before I can submit, and then I’m done.”

 

“Well then, Omi-kun,” Atsumu croons, “looks like it’s just us for a bit.”

 

Then, he all but shoves Sakusa into his room, cups his hands around his face and kisses him for all he’s worth. Sakusa makes a startled little noise in the back of his throat, hands scrambling to grab at Atsumu’s sweater, before he laughs into his mouth and presses back into him. It’s open-mouthed, it’s messy, it’s good, Atsumu pulling Sakusa into him and marching him back to cram him up against the desk so he’s got nowhere to go but into Atsumu, and Sakusa hauls him in close, hitches a leg around his hip and tongues his mouth with such an intensity that Atsumu’s swallowing between kisses just so he doesn’t drool down the side of Sakusa’s face.

 

He leans forward even further, slides his hands down to tuck behind Sakusa’s thighs and heft him onto the desk. Sakusa leans back, fabric scraping against the burlap-like pinboard and the rustle of assorted papers Atsumu has pinned there. His back jingles Atsumu’s keys, the necklaces he has strung up on a pin to stop them from tangling for lack of a jewelry stand.

 

Sakusa pulls at his sweater, hauls him in, squeezes both legs around his waist and hooks his ankles together over Atsumu’s ass as he makes a little whining noise through his nose and puts a hand into Atsumu’s hair, curls his fingers reverently. Atsumu kisses him like he’s trying to commit the taste of him to memory, trying to imprint the shape of his mouth into his own so that his lips buzz with it even when he falls asleep. He never wants to stop kissing Sakusa. I love you , he thinks, spells it out across his tongue.

 

“What,” Sakusa pants with a laugh as Atsumu finally draws back to suck in a breath and press his lips under Sakusa’s jaw, “what’s gotten into you?”

 

“I’m just,” Atsumu mumbles, scrapes his teeth over the corded muscle and laughs as he hears Sakusa’s head thud back against the pinboard, “I’m just happy .”

 

“Me too,” Sakusa says with a sigh, strokes his fingers through Atsumu’s hair, “I’m so relieved to be done. Just one more year, right?”

 

“Just the one,” Atsumu exhales, feels some of the fire slide out of his gut now that Sakusa’s brought school back around, “ya think any of us are gonna be as bad as Kuroo next year?”

 

“I don’t think so,” Sakusa shakes his head, “most of us aren’t foolish enough to try doing a conjoint degree in four years instead of the recommended five.”

 

“Fuckin’ over-achievers,” Atsumu says.

 

“Pot, meet kettle,” Sakusa snipes back, “you’re just as bad when it comes to volleyball.”

 

“Yea,” Atsumu agrees, “but so are ya.”

 

And Sakusa can’t really argue with that, Atsumu thinks, because he does that angry-blush thing he does with the little, annoyed pout, and then he leans into kiss Atsumu again, holds him close against him as he scoots closer to the edge of the desk so they’re chest to chest too, Atsumu’s palms braced on the wood as he kisses him.

 

It’s slower this time, more languid. Atsumu can be fine with this, the lazy kissing like they never have to stop. It feels nicer, more secure than the urgent kissing like they’re running on borrowed time. That’s the reality, really, Atsumu thinks, that these are those last frantic seconds before they don’t have cause to do it again. Atsumu knows he’ll tell Sakusa. He’s never been capable of not doing that. Even with Kita, in his second year of high school. He’d handed him the confession letter, said what he needed to say, and took his rejection with his chin held high. He’d skipped two practices in favour of wailing about his heartbreak, and then he’d sucked it up and moved on, because part of loving people is wanting them to be happy, even if that happiness doesn’t involve you the way you wanted it to. Atsumu’s pretty sure Sakusa won’t reject him. He’s been turning this whole thing over in his head, letting it settle into his bones until every stroke of Sakusa’s tongue seems like an assurance. I’m here. I want this too . Still, for all Atsumu is good at reading people, it’s not a science that’s foolproof.

 

So he basks in it, basks in the pliant way Sakusa’s lips part under his to make way for his tongue, the way that there’s a dull ache in his jaw for keeping it open for so long, the way that Sakusa’s mouth curves with a smile when Atsumu flicks their tongues tip-to-tip like they’re playing a game of chicken, the way his hands tighten in Atsumu’s hair to force him closer when he gets sick of it. 

 

“Okay,” Sakusa says, pulling back with a slick noise that makes Atsumu shudder, “that’s enough, if we’re doing celebratory make-outs, I’m showering so we can make out in bed . My ass hurts.”

 

“That’s ‘cause ya ain’t got anything to pad it with.”

 

“That’s a lie , Miya,” Sakusa grouses, trying to wriggle forward off the desk. Atsumu slides his hands up and squeezes Sakusa’s ass in his hands with a mock-gasp.

 

“Whaddya know? It’s actually pretty decent.”

 

“Ugh,” Sakusa groans, shoves at his shoulders with both hands, extending his arms completely to send Atsumu stumbling back, “you’re so embarrassing .”

 

“Ya love it,” Atsumu teases, feels his heart leap in excitement when Sakusa just rolls his eyes with that little smile. He avoids his overnight bag, moving instead for Atsumu’s closet to drag some clothes from the shelves.

 

“What the fuck are these?” Sakusa dangles a pair of running shorts from one finger. They’re a weird mix between navy blue and granite grey, and they have electric blue built-in compression sleeves.

 

“They’re runnin’ shorts?” Atsumu says like it’s obvious, because it is. “They’re comfy, don’t judge me.”

 

“They’re hideous,” Sakusa says, but he takes them anyway, along with one of Atsumu’s t-shirts, dumps his phone on the desk and leaves the room without any other preamble. Atsumu grins, puts his head in his hands and grins right into the meat of his palm as he lets out a delighted little giggle. He’s glad Kenma’s safely locked away, and there’s no one else to hear him, because he must sound delirious, but it’s fucking great to be in love.

 

This is the best kind, too. The kind he didn’t go looking for, the kind that was never going to complete him because he was already whole, but the kind who makes him better anyway, the kind that makes him happy because he stumbled across something precious and wonderful without knowing how perfectly it would fit into his life. How perfectly Sakusa fits into his life.

 

“Kiyoomi,” he says into his hands, and then laughs again, full and radiant, at the absurdity of it all.

 

Sakusa’s phone buzzes next to him, and Atsumu reverently traces over the little lemon sticker on the back of the case, before he picks up the phone to check the notification and promptly feels light-headed at the speed with which the air whooses out of his lungs.

 

The text notification is from Komori, but that’s not what makes Atsumu feel like he’s forgotten how to breathe. Sakusa’s lock screen is different. Sakusa’s lock-screen is familiar, and new at the same time, because he knows exactly where and when it was taken, but seeing it there, knowing how it came to be, it makes Atsumu ache something fierce.

 

He looks down upon himself, fast asleep, blonde hair askew on one side from where it’s been mussed into the pillow. His nose is tucked against the elegant curve of Sakusa’s neck, face golden in the warm glow of the morning sun. Sakusa is smiling, honest to god smiling , with little crinkles in the corners of his eyes and the gentlest curve to his mouth as he brings his hand, joined with Atsumu’s in the victory sweater, to his lips, knuckles just pressed against the swell of his lower lip. And he’d slept through it, slept through this moment that Sakusa had clearly wanted to remember.

 

Atsumu’s phone vibrates against his thigh, dragging him back to reality. Shaking his head, he puts the phone face-down again, as close to where Sakusa left it as possible. Instead, he hauls his own phone out and glances at the notification to see if it’s worth responding to, and instantly feels an ice bucket drop over him in fear.

 

From: kenji 💚💛 (2:17pm)

have u seen this??? looks like sakusa…

1 image attachment

 

He swipes across the notification and holds his thumb over the fingerprint reader without a second thought. The rest of the message expands.

 

From: kenji 💚💛 (2:17pm)

have u seen this??? looks like sakusa can rest easy now that shitbag #1 has moved on to somebody else lmao

 

Included is a screenshot of an Instagram post from an account that is undoubtedly Chihaya’s, featuring a picture of him pressing a kiss to a pretty girl’s cheek, her arm slung around his shoulders and a broad grin on her face. It’s captioned something sentimental about her being his sun or something, her username tagged, and her comment right at the top of the list, declaring him as the best boyfriend ever. Red heart. Angel emoji.

 

Atsumu’s still staring at it when Sakusa steps in front of him, avoids touching him as a definite outside-object not fit for the bed. He jolts, tilts his head up to see the curiosity in Sakusa’s gaze. He looks gorgeous in Atsumu’s clothes, he always does, and he can’t help a little laugh at the way his shorts hang loose off Sakusa’s thighs. Sakusa isn’t small, and there’s power in those legs, but it strikes him then just how broad and muscular his own are.

 

“Shut up,” Sakusa chides, lifts a hand to karate-chop the top of his head. “What’s going on?”

 

“Kenji-kun sent me a picture,” Atsumu says, “looks like Chihaya-kun got himself a girlfriend.” He turns the phone toward Sakusa, and watches as his eyes light up in delight, watches the way his shoulders slacken in relief as his mouth pulls into a smile. He’s happy, Atsumu realizes. He’s happy that it’s over.

 

“You’re kidding,” Sakusa says, and then sighs through his nose, “fucking finally .”

 

“Looks like yer off the hook, Omi-kun,” Atsumu says, gently pushes off the desk and sets his phone down, grabs his bag of inside clothes from the foot of the bed, “my turn for a shower.”

 

“Make it quick,” Sakusa says, “now we have even more to celebrate.”

 

“We sure do,” Atsumu says, keeps his grin on until after the bathroom door shuts behind him. He stands under the spray of water and stares at the wall through the fogging glass.

 

He misread. He miscalculated. He’d been so sure that Sakusa had felt the same, or at least close to the same, maybe not with the same violence and all-encompassing passion that Atsumu did, less prone to throwing himself into things, but close . But Sakusa had been happy to see it come to an end, happy to close this door.

 

He’ll still tell him, he knows enough about himself to know that no matter what, he’ll still tell him. Maybe not right now, not with the urgency dying out like the last dregs of sunlight fading beyond a horizon, but he’s known himself long enough and well enough to know that he’ll have to say it eventually, let it out of himself so he can begin to stitch up the hole that rejection leaves. He just needs time, now. Time to steel himself for it, time to know it won’t completely crush him when it comes.

 

Sakusa has curled up on his bed when he returns, and Atsumu goes to him instantly, crawls next to him and presses their lips together again. Sakusa wraps his arms over his shoulders and pulls him close, kisses him slowly. Atsumu dips his hand under the shirt Sakusa’s wearing and traces the shape of his hipbones with his thumb, touches as much of him as he’s allowed to and commits it to memory.

 

Kenma breaks out the champagne when Kuroo stumbles back in at half past five, and promptly passes out for 20 minutes face-down on the table. Bokuto and Akaashi make an appearance just after six, and Hinata shows up with Kageyama, Tsukishima, Yachi and Yamaguchi in tow around seven with dinner for all of them. Sakusa sticks close to Atsumu, runs his fingers through his hair, makes a toast of one glass to Chihaya’s girlfriend that has Atsumu downing his drink faster than strictly necessary.

 

With the group of Karasuno alums as well as Bokuto and Akaashi there, Atsumu has a reason to kiss Sakusa, to press his face into the crook of his neck and feel calmed by the smell of his own body wash on Sakusa’s skin. He eats more when the thought that Sakusa might never smell like Atsumu again hits him shortly afterward, but Sakusa doesn’t seem to notice, busy mediating an arm-wrestling match between Bokuto and Hinata, given that Tsukishima and Akaashi refuse to be involved and Kageyama cannot be trusted.

 

Kenma finds him when Hinata’s party playlist gets hooked up to as many Bluetooth speakers as they can provide between the lot of them and the dancing starts. He hooks his arms around Atsumu’s waist in the kitchen and rests his head on his shoulder. Atsumu puts one hand on the back of his head and holds him there, rests his nose in the part of his hair. Kenma tolerates it for ten seconds longer than he usually would, and then disentangles himself, and that’s how he knows Kenma is happy too.

 

He feels pleasantly drunk by midnight, at which point Bokuto reveals a bottle of top-shelf whiskey- the shit that’s been aged for years and years and smells like it’ll melt your tongue off that only rich people of the Bokuto-Sakusa-Akaashi echelon can afford- which ends with Kuroo and Bokuto goading both Tsukishima and Hinata into doing shots with them. Sakusa does exactly one and then drinks three consecutive cups of water and still looks displeased at the taste in his mouth. Kenma and Atsumu stick to champagne, playing Mario Kart on the couch. Atsumu tries to kick the controller out of Kenma’s hands, but Kenma is inexplicably his friend and his roommate of three years, and anticipates this with ease.

 

The Karasuno crew bow out first, at 2am. Tsukishima is leaning heavily on Yamaguchi and Kageyama has a hand permanently fisted into the back of Hinata’s shirt because anyone who has spent a night out on the town with Hinata knows that he’s a runner. Yachi kisses both Kuroo and Kenma on their cheeks and gives Atsumu a hug before she shepherds the boys out. Akaashi gets conned into a couple of shots, and just past 3 marks bedtime for the rest of them, with Akaashi and Bokuto crashing in a tangle of limbs on the couch.

 

He showers first and tucks himself into bed, facing the wall. Sakusa follows soon after, fumbling in the dark before dropping into the mattress and snuggling under the sheets. His forehead settles between Atsumu’s shoulder-blades, hand sneaking across his sides before finding the tight squeeze of his arm tucked against his side. Atsumu feels his fingers catch against the back of his shirt, clinging tight, as Sakusa sighs once, long and slow, and sleeps.

 

Bokuto, true to form, is perfectly fine the next morning and drags Atsumu out of bed for a run. By the time they get back, Atsumu feels dead all over again, both Akaashi and Sakusa trying to wake themselves up over coffee. He kisses the top of Sakusa’s head, washes his hands, and starts on breakfast.

 

Kenma and Kuroo stumble out somewhere around plating up, lured out by the promise of food. Kuroo has coffee, Kenma takes the cup of tea that Atsumu pushes toward him and headbutts the back of his shoulder in acknowledgement.

 

They eat in relative peace. Bokuto seems to realize he’s the only one with an infinite well of energy, but he still chatters away to Kuroo while playing idle footsie with Akaashi under the table at a volume that won’t split anyone’s head. Sakusa lifts his leg and tucks his knee on top of Atsumu’s thigh. He only needs one hand to operate his cutlery anyway, so he puts the other on Sakusa’s leg and rubs soft circles against the fabric of his sleep pants.

 

Kenma and Kuroo go back to bed, Sakusa leaves with Akaashi and Bokuto, kisses Atsumu on the cheek before he ducks out after them. Atsumu closes the door, and collapses on the couch with the heels of his palms pressed over his eyes until they start to feel fuzzy and overly warm.

 

“Did something happen?” Kenma asks from above him, arms folded along the back of the couch.

 

“We’re breakin’ up,” Atsumu says with a sigh, “Chihaya got a girlfriend.”

 

“Ah,” Kenma says, because he knows. Kenma picks this stuff up. “You should tell him.”

 

“Yea.”

 

“At this point you’ve got nothing to lose.”

 

“Well,” Atsumu says, “if he rejects me, will ya come to Hyogo with me since he probably won’t want his ticket anymore?”

 

“No,” Kenma says, smooths Atsumu’s hair away from his forehead, “Shouyou would probably like it though.”

 

“Ya never change.”

 

“Mm. Tell him.” Kenma flicks his forehead, disappears back into his bedroom.

 

Atsumu does not tell him. Not right away, at least. In the days immediately following his world-changing revelation and subsequent crushing fall, Atsumu proceeds to pack up his things, compartmentalize his life back into boxes and suitcases, ready to take over to Kenma’s house for the summer. The table is usually the last thing to go, but Atsumu thinks he and Kuroo ought to take it earlier while the both of them have ample time, given that Kenma isn’t prone to heavy lifting.

 

There is a special box, too. The box is full of Sakusa’s clothes, as he goes through his laundry and folds the ones he’s not yet washed, finds things accidentally mixed in with his over the past months that never made their way back to Sakusa’s dorm. With every item he puts into the Sakusa box, he pretends it’s a bit of his feelings. Chip a shard off, let it go like plucking a petal from a flower and letting it float away down the stream. As a teenager, he used to rip blades of grass from the riverbank behind his house and feed them to the current, watching them float away downstream. It had always made him calmer.

 

When there’s nothing left to pack up except the bare minimum he needs to live comfortably, he texts Sakusa.

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (10:41am)

yo

got a box of ur stuff over here

also btw dads driving my truck 2 the station so u can ride w me or my ma

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (10:50am)

Okay, cool.

Do I have to decide now?

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (10:51am)

nah lol just keeping u updated on plans

do u want me to drop ur stuff off?

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (10:55am)

No, I’ll come get it

Ugh, this feels weird

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (10:56am)

almost like… a break up 😳😳

lol

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (11:05am)

Yeah

We’re still friends, right?

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (11:07am)

duh, omi, or u wouldn’t be comin 2 my house

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (11:10am)

I just needed to check

No matter what, I really like having you in my life

And I kind of miss you

I think somewhere in there you might have become my best friend

Embarrassing I know

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (11:21am)

nah

don’t tell samu but i think somewhere in there u bcame mine 2

 

From: omi-kun 😷🖤 (11:25am)

Miya, you sap

I can be there in 20 minutes?

 

To: omi-kun 😷🖤 (11:25am)

yeah

sounds good 2 me

see u then

Read 11:26am

 

Twenty minutes is not good. Twenty minutes is twenty minutes of stewing, sitting on his floor with his arms folded across his chest and glaring at The Sakusa Box like it might give him the answers to the universe. The answers to the game of he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not Atsumu has been playing since his feelings went and smacked him upside the head with such violence. The box, given that it is a box, reveals exactly nothing.

 

Sakusa is exactly on time, twenty minutes on the dot, not that Atsumu was counting. Maybe he was counting a little. Maybe killing time on his phone was not doing so much of the killing as it was making him aware of the time. Atsumu hauls himself off the floor and shuffles to the door.

 

Sakusa looks unfairly good, even in a hoodie that’s a size too big and sweatpants. He kicks off his sandals in the genkan and mutters an apology for his intrusion, brushing a hand through his hair as he straightens. Atsumu knows all this, because he just stares at him, like a lovesick idiot.

 

“Are Kuroo and Kenma here?”

 

“Nah,” Atsumu shakes his head, “they’re at Kuroo’s place. All the old Nekoma and Karasuno alums from Kuroo’s year are hangin’ out, and, well. Y’know how Kenma is, doesn’t like to be without ‘im.”

 

“Right,” Sakusa rubs his hand over the back of neck, “so, um, you break anything yet? You know, since you’ve got… the run of the place…”

 

“No more lawn chairs are gonna be needed,” it’s a weak joke, but Sakusa smiles-slash-grimaces anyway. Atsumu smiles back, because fuck it, Sakusa could rip open his ribcage and tear his heart out and Atsumu would still think it’s endearing. The bastard.

 

“Ah, I suppose I should um, take these too?” Sakusa gestures at the slippers and the duct-tape sandals. Atsumu nods.

 

“Yea, well- yea. Guess they’re yers by right so… I’ll get the box.” Sakusa nods, stoops to pick up the pairs of shoes as Atsumu trails back toward his bedroom. He picks up the box, and stares into it for a moment, making sure that his own festival merch shirt that Sakusa likes is hidden from view by Sakusa’s actual clothes, and then turns and steps back out into the living space.

 

Sakusa has followed him a little, and Atsumu holds the box steady for Sakusa as he tucks the shoes sole-up into the box, and gently takes it from Atsumu. Their fingers brush in the change over, and Sakusa sucks in a breath as he cradles the box to his chest.

 

“Well,” he says.

 

“Yea,” Atsumu says back, starting to feel like a broken record.

 

“I suppose I’ll see you. For the train.”

 

“Guess so.”

 

“Thank you, Atsumu. For everything. I… meant what I said about being your friend.”

 

“I know, Omi-kun, ya never say anythin’ ya don’t mean,” Sakusa smiles at him, small and private, and struck by a sense of lasts , Atsumu reaches out, tucks a strand of his hair away from his face. “No hair-clips again. It’s gettin’ in the way.”

 

“Ha. I was thinking of a haircut. Maybe that’s what I’ll do before the trip.”

 

“Maybe ya oughta,” Atsumu says, drops his hands back to his pockets, “hey, Omi?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“For what it’s worth? Ya were a great fake-boyfriend.”

 

“Really? I thought I was quite high-maintenance.”

 

“Now yer just fishin’,” he clicks his tongue like he’s upset, and Sakusa ducks his head with a shy smile. “But nah, nah. It’s just the things that make ya happy, right? And anyone who can’t understand that doesn’t deserve ya anyway.”

 

“You’re still a terrible flatterer,” Sakusa says, flush spreading out from the bridge of his nose, “I’ll be seeing you, Atsumu.”

 

“Better. I know where ya live, if ya don’t text me to tell me yer up I’ll come there and rip ya out of bed myself.” Sakusa laughs, shaking his head as he turns away. Atsumu immediately feels his heart jump up into his throat with such force he ducks his head to stare at his sock-covered feet to try and force himself not to cry.

 

“Goodbye, Atsumu.”

 

“Bye, Omi.”

 

Sakusa takes two steps. Then three. Then he pauses. Atsumu hears the rustle of his clothes stop, and then the thud of the box being dropped directly to the floor as Sakusa mutters something that sounds suspiciously like ‘fuck it’ and turns back to him.

 

And then he’s being kissed. Sakusa’s hands are on his face and Atsumu is grabbing at his hoodie like he can’t get enough of him and Sakusa is pressing their lips together so forcefully it’s like he’s trying to sink through his skin, and it’s the best kiss that Atsumu’s ever had. He tilts his head, presses into it and Sakusa whimpers into his mouth, drags him in by his hair and wraps both arms around his head to keep him close as Atsumu cradles him by the waist.

 

“Atsumu,” Sakusa breathes into his mouth, “Atsumu, I can’t- I don’t want this to be the end. I’m sorry, but I don’t want it to stop, me and you. I want it for real. I want all of you, because I’ve liked you forever and this was a stupid, stupid plan because I thought I could handle it but somewhere along the way you made me go and fall in love with you, you stupid, charming, blonde pain in my ass.” Atsumu grins, so wide it hurts his face, and when he kisses Sakusa again their teeth knock and their mouths won’t fit because of the way Atsumu’s lips are pulled back around his smile, but it’s perfect. It’s everything he wants.

 

“Omi,” he pants against Sakusa’s lips, “ Omi , I swear, I swear ya just made me the happiest idiot on this planet but ya gotta- ya gotta trust me ‘cause I need ya to go back to yer dorm. Right now.”

 

“What?” Sakusa pulls back from him, so Atsumu grabs his wrist, tilts his palm to his mouth and presses a kiss there, slow and soft as he looks up at Sakusa from under his lashes.

 

Kiyoomi ,” Sakusa’s breath hitches harshly, “d’ya trust me?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Go back to yer dorm. Ten minutes. Trust me.”

 

He looks skeptical, but Atsumu leans in, kisses him again and he melts into it, nodding. When Atsumu releases him after one- five- ten more indulgent kisses, his lips are red and slick with spit, and he looks slightly dazed as he picks up his box, shuffles his shoes on and casts Atsumu one last confused look over his shoulder, before the door closes behind him.

 

Atsumu waits for the sound of the elevator’s ding to signal that the doors are closing, before he allows himself to celebrate. He laughs out loud like it’s been punched out of him, fists both hands and crouches, screams his joy into the empty apartment, bangs on the door and on the walls around the genkan as he jumps in place, stupid, joyous smile on his face. He’s in love with Sakusa Kiyoomi. And Sakusa Kiyoomi loves him back. He wrestles his phone out of his pocket and sets a timer for ten minutes. Wrestles on his running shoes. He texts Kenma. He screams into his knees and it trails off into hiccuping laughter of glee.

 

He rushes himself through stretches, bounces from foot to foot on the balls of his running shoes, feeling the way his muscles flex pleasantly from the warm up. The timer rings. Atsumu tucks his phone and his keys into his zip-up pocket and smooths his hair, makes sure everything is secured, and exits his apartment.

 

And then he runs.

 

He runs for his life, runs as hard as he can once he’s down the stairs and out the door of his dorm, sprinting across campus like whatever the fuck killed the people in Pompeii is chasing him. He runs, and his lungs burn, and his face aches with the force of his smile and people give him weird stares, but he doesn’t care, because he knows where he’s going. He knows where he’s going, and what waits for him there. He knows what his future holds, in beautiful, spindly hands with freckles dotting the delicate bones and callouses roughening the palms.

 

He takes the stairs two at a time to Sakusa’s dorm room, even though it winds him and his thighs scream. He stumbles through the fire door and right to Sakusa’s doorstep, pounds on it with all he’s worth as his breath huffs out. Sakusa answers after ten seconds.

 

“Kiyoomi,” Atsumu says, breathless, hair stuck to his forehead with sweat, “Sakusa Kiyoomi, ya are by far the strangest person I’ve ever met, and it has been my delight to get to know ya more and more after every year we’ve had together. Yer my favourite puzzle to work out, Omi, and fuck , ya do keep me up at night. I can’t stop thinkin’ about ya, about yer hands and yer laugh and how I wanna hear it again and again.”

 

Sakusa seems to realize where this is going. He has one hand over his mouth, eyes wide, the other one reaching out to slide through Atsumu’s hair. Atsumu reaches out with both hands, fists them in Sakusa’s hoodie and locks his elbows to keep him at arm’s length.

 

“I shoulda realized it sooner, why I was thinkin’ about ya so much, why kissin’ ya made me feel on cloud fuckin’ nine, how I wanted ya ‘round all the time and how pleased I was ya fit into my life like ya were made for it, and shit , Omi, maybe ya were! Maybe ya were made for me ‘cause high-maintenance my ass, I like ya, an’ doin’ all this stuff for ya feels as natural as breathin’ and frankly I dunno how to stop and I don’t want to. If I’m bein’ completely honest, I love ya, too. I love ya so fuckin’ bad, Omi, it eats me up inside and god- stop fuckin’ trying to kiss me, I’m trying to confess here.”

 

He laughs as Sakusa pushes against him, roughly shoves one of his arms away to crash into him, wrapping both arms over his shoulders and hugging him tight. Atsumu tucks his face into the crook of his neck, hooks his arms around his waist and squeezes . Sakusa laughs, breathy and delighted, right into his ear.

 

“I love ya,” he tells him again, “I love ya, and I want it all too, so don’t ya ever apologize to me for it again, okay? I want this, us, Kiyoomi and Atsumu, no more contracts or schemes or anythin’, I want the real deal. I want ya to be my real boyfriend. I want ya to come over whenever ya want and I wanna stay over at yer dorm and drink yer tea and make ya watch the rugby games and kiss ya after practice and take ya home to meet my ma as my boyfriend. So say yes. Say that yer gonna be my boyfriend.”

 

“Yes,” Sakusa chokes, “you’re so fucking dramatic. I hate you.”

 

“No, ya don’t,” Atsumu laughs, presses their lips together as Sakusa draws back, keeps it short and sweet and chaste, “ya love me.”

 

“I really, really do,” Sakusa agrees, and then he kisses him again, pulls him in close, and drags him into the dorm room in a tangle of limbs. Atsumu gets one hand on the edge of the door, and pulls it shut behind him.

 

Later, when both of them are sweaty and worn out, and Atsumu’s whole, naked body is pressed against Sakusa’s whole, equally naked body with just a sheet between them, Sakusa runs his fingers through Atsumu’s hair and asks;

 

“So, are we still going to tell Osamu-san?”

 

“Oh yeah,” Atsumu says, “he’s gonna fuckin’ shit himself. Rin’s gonna have a field day, I hope ya know.”

 

“Suna can’t be any worse than Motoya,” Sakusa says, with a sigh, “he’s going to be insufferable about this.”

 

“Dunno, maybe ya do deserve a lil’ teasin’,” Atsumu says, earning him a smack to the back of the head. “Maybe we should rip the band-aid off, post it on social media or somethin’.”

 

“I’m starting to think you have a death wish. I hate to think what Oikawa-san would do to you if that’s how he found out.”

 

“Ah, who the fuck cares,” Atsumu says, grabs Sakusa’s hand and kisses each individual knuckle, then each individual fingertip, “as long as I got ya, I think I can deal with anythin’.”

 

“Christ, you can’t just say that,” Sakusa gripes, flush spreading all the way across his face to the tips of his ears, and down his neck to his chest as he puts both hands on his face and rolls away from Atsumu, “you’re so embarrassing.”

 

“Aw, Omi,” Atsumu croons, shuffles after him and drops kisses along his shoulders, down the slope of his spine, up to the nape of his neck as he winds an arm around him and pries a hand away from his face, to smile at him, warm and adoring. “Yer so cute when yer embarrassed.”

 

“You’re going to be even worse now, aren’t you?”

 

“I for sure am,” Atsumu tells him, gently kisses his eyelid when it flutters shut in anticipation, “and yer gonna love every minute of it.”

 

“Yes,” Sakusa says with a put-out sigh, “I am.” And then he rolls over, shoves Atsumu into the mattress, and kisses him again.

Chapter Text

January mornings are not as warm or bright as Miya Atsumu likes them. He prefers the haze of summer, when he wakes up lethargic and slow, bathed in persistent sun pushing past his blinds. As it stands, the sun is weaker, dulled probably by clouds outside. Atsumu never bothers to check the weather reports, just looks outside to see if it’s still snowing. Kiyoomi would know.

 

Kiyoomi is, however, currently asleep, curled into Atsumu’s side with one arm wedged between their bodies and the other gently resting over Atsumu’s heart. He’s been tracing the shape of his wrist for the past eternity, watching the peaceful slack of his face during sleep, curled close to Atsumu to leech his heat.

 

Atsumu is grateful for this bed. He’d bought a queen over the summer break, had moved it into his and Kenma’s dorm and shoved the college-regulation single out into the living room. It still sits there now, covered by one of Atsumu’s sheets to protect it from its new role as improvised chaise-longue. What administration doesn't know won’t hurt them, and what Atsumu gains from more space in bed far outweighs whatever consequences this could have.

 

He’s still living with a roommate he likes. Kiyoomi is still in love with him. Osamu is happy, college is slow to restart after winter break, their last months as collegiate volleyball players are here and there is nothing at all wrong with Atsumu’s life. It’s a good feeling.

 

“Mmgh,” Kiyoomi says, buries into his neck.

 

“G’morning,” Atsumu whispers it against the crown of his head, peppers a few more kisses as his other hand traces the shape of Kiyoomi’s spine. Kiyoomi shudders, curls in closer to Atsumu and slings his leg more forcibly over his hip, like he thinks Atsumu might choose now of all times to spring out of bed for a morning run. It endears him that Kiyoomi knows well enough by now that if he wakes up and Atsumu is still in bed, he’s not planning on leaving it any time soon, but he’s so insistent on him staying nonetheless.

 

Then again, that might be because it’s winter, Kiyoomi is fully naked, and Atsumu runs warm.

 

“It’s too early,” Kiyoomi grumbles, reaches a hand up and smacks it onto Atsumu’s face, tries to pinch his mouth shut, “shhh.”

 

Atsumu kisses his fingers, gently encircles his wrist and pulls the hand down, settles it over his chest again. Kiyoomi splays his fingers out with a content little sigh into the meat of his shoulder where it connects to his neck. Atsumu thumbs over the bones, traces the delicate ones in his hand and zigzags between the freckles dotting his skin. Kiyoomi arches his fingers, so Atsumu stops being annoying and laces his own fingers through Kiyoomi’s, palm pressed reverently to the back of his hand, and holds both of them against his chest.

 

He dozes off like that again, because his boyfriend is not a morning person. His mother and his father had both made fun of Kiyoomi for this when he’d come home with Atsumu over summer break, and again over winter break. Still, Atsumu likes the mornings; doesn’t mind being trapped by the bulk of Kiyoomi’s body, watching his peaceful sleep. Sleeping Kiyoomi is his second favourite Kiyoomi, right next to laughing Kiyoomi.

 

So Kiyoomi dozes, Atsumu watches. It’s like this often. He wouldn’t trade it for anything.

 

It could be twenty minutes before he wakes, it could be two hours. Atsumu can guess the time is somewhere in the realm of ‘early’, because Kuroo leaving is what woke him up, and Kuroo’s days always start early now. Kiyoomi’s lips press gentle kisses to his chest, to whatever patch of skin is convenient.

 

“Hey,” Atsumu says. Kiyoomi hums.

 

“Good morning.”

 

“How ya feelin’, sugar tits?” Kiyoomi fists his hand and thumps Atsumu solidly in his solar-plex. It has him wheezing around laughter as he presses an apologetic kiss to Kiyoomi’s forehead moles. It’s an old joke between them now, and Kiyoomi has grown no more accustomed to it, but Atsumu never misses the fond little pinch of his mouth whenever Atsumu deigns to use it.

 

“My ass aches,” Kiyoomi says, “and my back. And my legs.”

 

“Good,” Atsumu hums, “means ya might finally give my dick a break.”

 

“My mouth is fine, though,” Kiyoomi says, curves his grin into the column of Atsumu’s throat as Atsumu pretends to groan.

 

“Well, yer still shit outta luck, babe, the condoms are over by the desk.”

 

“Ugh. Why do you keep them so far away?”

 

“Hmm, maybe ‘cause yer fuckin’ insatiable and the rate we’re going I’m gonna pull something again.” That had not been fun to explain to his coach. Kiyoomi had, predictably, been very little help in coming up with an alternative excuse as to how Atsumu had managed to pull a muscle in his leg. Atsumu’s excuse wasn’t particularly convincing and it got him an earful, but at least it saved him from having to tell his coach that he was out of commission because of marathon sex with his boyfriend-slash-teammate.

 

“Hmm,” Kiyoomi hums, rolling out of Atsumu’s arms and pretending to climb toward the edge of the bed.

 

“Oh- no, no ya don’t,” Atsumu grabs him around the waist, and with a grunt of effort, hauls him back. The crush of Kiyoomi’s body on top of him knocks all the air from his lungs and makes his stomach hurt with the force of Kiyoomi’s ass landing on it, but it punches one of Kiyoomi’s laughs from his mouth, and it’s a prime position to pepper kisses along the strong, broad expanse of his shoulders, so Atsumu rolls with it. He keeps his hands clutched around his own forearms to trap Kiyoomi as he rolls them again, turning their faces toward the wall, Atsumu’s chest bracing Kiyoomi’s back.

 

“You’re so warm, Tsum,” Kiyoomi says around a yawn, snuggles back into him and tucks the blankets right up to his nose. The nickname is a habit he’s picked up from Kuroo, who gets lazy with his name sometimes, and it makes Atsumu want to bar it from Kuroo’s use since it sounds far better from Kiyoomi’s mouth. The tucking of blankets is just because Kiyoomi is extremely susceptible to the cold, pampered city-boy that he is.

 

“I see,” he muses, “ya only want me for my body.”

 

“Oh yes. Just those thighs and the fact that you function as a space heater.”

 

“No mention for the ass?” Kiyoomi hums, reaches an arm around behind Atsumu and grabs a handful of said ass, in the process crushing Atsumu tighter against him at the hips. Atsumu gives him a kiss on a particularly pretty mole on the slope of his shoulder.

 

“No, you're right, the ass deserves a mention.”

 

“It’s a great ass.”

 

“It is.” Kiyoomi tilts his head, and Atsumu presses a chaste kiss to his lips, smiling into it as Kiyoomi’s hand comes to rest on his bicep, fingers idly trailing over the shape of the muscle, before settling and pulling Atsumu’s arms tighter around him.

 

“How ya feelin’ ‘bout sittin’ yer license?” Kiyoomi groans, rolls over and pushes his face into the pillows. Atsumu chases him, drapes his chest over his back and kisses the nape of his neck. Kiyoomi is, naturally, complaining about this too. He’d started driving lessons with Atsumu back in Hyogo over summer, and then continued with Kuroo and his grandparents when they’d come back, but Kuroo had reclaimed the car for work purposes, now that he was being paid enough to comfortably afford a parking space in his building’s garage. There had been a lot of crying on the day his first paycheck came through.

 

Now, with Kiyoomi fresh off driving Atsumu’s truck again over winter break, the plan was to head back down for a weekend, have Kiyoomi sit the exam, and then alternate driving Atsumu’s truck back to the city. Kiyoomi drives like he does everything else: methodically, efficiently and perfectly. The anxiety of it lessens as soon as he gets behind the wheel, but Atsumu knows the concept of it still stresses him out. He nuzzles into his back, as Kiyoomi sulks into the pillow, dropping kisses down his spine.

 

“Omi, c’mon, ya got this.”

 

“If I crash your car you’re going to kill me.”

 

“Don’t crash my car then?”

 

“Easier said than done.”

 

“Aw, don’t tell me yer admittin’ defeat?” Kiyoomi glares at him from the corner of his eye. Atsumu presses another kiss to his spine, eyes sparkling. “ I’ve had my car for five years, and I’ve never crashed it.”

 

“Maybe I feel a little better about it. Just a little.”

 

“Mhm, mhm,” Atsumu says, nodding very seriously, and letting himself be nudged onto his back as Kiyoomi swings into his lap and pushes him into the mattress. He settles his hands on Kiyoomi’s thighs, smooths along the skin there and grins up at him, beautiful as he is in the dim light of a January morning.

 

“Hey, babe?”

 

“Yeah?” Kiyoomi says, gently brushing Atsumu’s hair from his forehead.

 

“Happy one year.” Kiyoomi’s brow knits in confusion.

 

“Atsumu, our anniversary isn’t until May.”

 

“Mm, I dunno, Omi. It’s about two weeks before Yuuji-kun had his party, right?” It’s silent for a beat, as Kiyoomi processes Atsumu’s words. He loves watching Kiyoomi think, loves seeing the little cogs turning in his head and the scrunch in his brow and the way he purses his lips into a flat little line. And then the meaning hits him, and his eyes roll back as he flops off of Atsumu with a groan and puts both hands over his face.

 

“I should have kept the money.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Your money. I should have kept it.”

 

“Omi, babe, I’m not followin’.”

 

“Uuuugh,” Kiyoomi groans, folds his arms over his chest crossly, with a particularly pouty scowl. “That first night, when you slept on the couch? I messaged Kuroo and told him to keep it, because I never wanted it in the first place. I’d have done it if he offered me nothing.”

 

“Babe,” Atsumu says, starting to feel the Kenma-serenity come on, “are ya tellin’ me Kuroo got ten thousand yen from me for free?”

 

“If it helps, he tells me he took Kenma out on a really nice arcade date.”

 

“Does not help at all ya little shit,” Atsumu grouses, rolling over and digging his fingers into Kiyoomi’s side, making him scrunch up on himself as a shocked laugh is punched out of him, trying to wriggle free of Atsumu’s vice grip. In retaliation, he blows the biggest, wettest raspberry that he can against his neck. Kiyoomi tries to pull him off with hands in his hair, so Atsumu bites his shoulder.

 

“Oh, so we’re fighting dirty, are we Miya?” Kiyoomi manages around wheezes, pulling at his hair as he jams a knee between his legs and tries to pry him away, elbows tucked close to his chest. Atsumu rolls him onto his front and drops his whole weight on top of him. There’s not a whole lot of difference, not really, but Kiyoomi is Kiyoomi, and Atsumu is Atsumu, which means he’s still mastered the art of being twice as heavy through sheer willpower alone. The power of siblings.

 

“Only way to fight,” he croons, pressing kisses to the shells of Kiyoomi’s ears as he tries to wriggle away. “Wanna know a secret?”

 

“No, I want you to get off me, Christ what are you eating that I don’t see?”

 

“The secret is ,” Atsumu announces, rolling off of him and onto his back. Kiyoomi crawls into his space anyway, laces his hands together and cups them over Atsumu’s heart, props his chin on them and blinks at him with those unfairly long lashes. 

 

“The secret is,” he repeats, quieter now, brushing Kiyoomi’s hair back from his face, “that I don’t actually care, ‘cause what I got out of it was far more precious.”

 

“Atsumu,” Kiyoomi sighs, “you’re such a sap.”

 

“Ya love me.”

 

“Yeah,” Kiyoomi says, already leaning in for a kiss, “I really, really do.”