They’re walking home from the convenience store after evening practice, meat buns in hand, when something flashes across the sky and Oikawa’s face lights up.
“Look, Iwa-chan, meteors!” he squeals, stilling in his tracks and pointing at the sky as two more flashes streak by. “I can’t believe it, this is incredible, there weren’t supposed to be any more showers for months—“
He grabs Hajime’s hand and pulls him off the road onto the grassy hill on one side, then shoves him down—“Ow, you ASSHOLE, you just slammed my knee into a rock, are you trying to kill me?”—and lays down beside him to stare avidly up at the sky.
The meteors fly thick and fast, lighting up the sky, easily seen even among the last greenish remnants of the sunset. Even Hajime, whose only knowledge of meteor showers is whatever he’s gleaned from Oikawa’s excited babbling when he’s dragged out to the lawn behind their houses in the middle of the night, can tell that this shower is special. Oikawa can’t take his eyes off it; Hajime can’t take his eyes off Oikawa, who seems almost luminescent against the dusk.
Oikawa, who’s been practically vibrating with excitement, suddenly stills. “Iwa-chan, do you know what this is?” he breathes in a voice verging on reverent.
Hajime rolls his eyes, suddenly knowing exactly what Oikawa thinks this is. “Aliens,” he chants in bored unison with Oikawa. “Seriously, you think it’s aliens every freaking time, and it’s never once been—“
“First off, you can’t prove that any of them WEREN’T aliens just because they didn’t do anything alien-y, and second, I only say they’re aliens when there’s no scientific explanation—“
“That you can come up with after three seconds of thinking from that tiny brain of yours—“
“—and there’s no good explanation for a surprise meteor shower. Scientists know about these things beforehand, Iwa-chan, and I pay attention to the scientists, and no one’s said anything about a meteor shower happening tonight. This doesn’t just happen. Aliens are clearly the only explanation,” he concludes stubbornly.
Hajime sees the hope in his gaze and can’t bring himself to argue for once. They’ve been having this argument on and off for ten years and he’s sure they’ll have it again, so he can let this one go. He wrenches his eyes away from Oikawa’s face in case the other boy catches him staring and looks back up at the sky.
“We should make a wish, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa says, breaking the spreading silence.
“Wishing? On aliens? That doesn’t even make sense, idiot,” Hajime scoffs. “Are aliens magic now?”
Oikawa shrugs, his cool hand shifting in Hajime’s as his shoulder moves. “I’m hedging my bets. It could be magic instead of aliens, or maybe the aliens can hear us. Are you really passing up the chance for a free wish? Come on, it’d be funnnnnnn…”
“Do you hear yourself right now, idiot? How old are you, five?”
“You are absolutely no fun, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa huffs. “Come on, what are you afraid of? Can big strong Iwaizumi Hajime-san’s masculinity not stand up to a little wishing on a star? Haven’t you heard that—“ to Hajime’s eternal horror, he suddenly bursts into ear-splittingly loud and off-key singing in heavily accented English—“when you wish upon a staaaaaaaaar—“
“FINE, you absolute child. I’ll make a stupid wish if you promise never to sing that song again.”
Oikawa giggles, which somehow manages to simultaneously be the most annoying sound in the world and make the dusk blaze with sunshine. The corners of Hajime’s lips turn up. “Hooray, Iwa-chan is rediscovering the magic of childhood!”
Hajime reacts by shoving their clasped hands into Oikawa’s side, hard.
“Okay, okay, ow—do you have your wish ready?”
Hajime grunts in assent.
“Wish on three, okay? On the brightest one in the sky. One- two-“
On three, the largest meteor yet streaks across the sky. This one is vivid yellow instead of white, and Hajime swears he can feel a faint crackle as it passes. He stares up at the stars like he’s trying to imprint their pattern on his retinas and wishes. He firmly shoves away the faint picture of Oikawa’s lips on his that’s the first thing that comes to mind when he hears the word “wish”, instead choosing the first non-romantic thing he can think of. Five more centimeters, please… Just let me be as tall as Oikawa, at least. It’s not like Hajime thinks of himself as particularly short; it’s just that he can’t stand the fact that he has to tilt his head back to look straight into that asshole’s eyes, and he feels like it diminishes the impact of his rants just a little. And five centimeters would be invaluable for volleyball; if he can blast through blockers at 180 cm (well, 179.3, but that’s close enough), imagine what he could do with 185 cm… He’s also tired of being the second-shortest member of his team, only ahead of Watari. It would be a nice change to look down on his kouhai instead of up for once. All in all, it’s a much more practical wish than kissing Shittykawa.
“Did you see that? That was AMAZING,” whispers Oikawa, seemingly stunned.
Hajime has to admit that it kind of was.
“What did you wish for?” he asks after a little while. He’s almost sure he already knows the answer—what does Oikawa want more than to beat Shiratorizawa and finally bring down Ushijima?—but he’s still curious. Even after more than ten years of friendship, although he’s usually able to read Oikawa like a book, there are still moments where the other boy will say something completely unexpected and Hajime’s perception of him will shift just a little. He doesn’t know why, but he gets the feeling that this is one of these times.
Oikawa sighs, faux-exasperated. “Have I never taught you anything, Iwa-chan? You can’t tell anyone else what your wish is or it will never come true!”
“Oh, in that case, I wished that you’d be able to keep a girlfriend for more than a week.”
“Iwa-chan, that’s rude and unfair. I went out with Hana for three weeks, not one!”
“Yeah, and? She dumped you because you forgot her birthday and then when she reminded you you said you couldn’t go out with her because you had practice.”
“It was still three weeks, and it wasn’t just practice, it was a practice match! I was completely justified!”
“You were a shitty boyfriend.” Hajime wonders to himself why he’d even want Oikawa for a boyfriend if this is how Oikawa treats his significant others, then remembers that his massive crush on his horrible best friend has never answered and will never answer to logic.
“At least I managed to get a girlfriend, unlike my poor brutish bachelor of a best friend.”
Hajime feels his face heat up as he protests. “Hey, I could have had a girlfriend if I wanted one. I’ve had confessions!”
Oikawa sighs dramatically and throws his free hand onto his forehead in a mock swoon. “My poor Iwa-chan, forever alone,” he proclaims. Hajime kicks him in the leg—making sure to avoid the knee. Even if his own success didn’t hinge on Oikawa’s healthy knee, he could never be that much of a monster.
“I’m not forever alone, I just actually recognize that I don’t have time for a girlfriend what with volleyball and exams and constantly babysitting my idiot captain.”
“Keep telling yourself that, Iwa-chan.”
“Shut up, Shittykawa. Just because you’ve kissed, like, two girls doesn’t mean you’re any better at this than I would be if I decided I wanted a girlfriend.”
Oikawa snorts. “Yeah, right. You would terrorize any poor girl who was charitable enough to want to go out with you.”
“I only terrorize you, and it’s because you’re an asshole who deserves it. If I went out with a girl, I’d be the perfect gentleman.”
“You’re not a gentleman, you’re a caveman. Face it, Iwa-chan, you could never treat a girl as delicately and kindly as she deserves.”
“At least I’d remember that she existed. When you were dating poor Sayuri-chan she couldn’t even get in one date because you thought it was more important to go see a horror movie with me, remember?”
“I invited her, too! Is it my fault that she thought it was too scary?”
“Oikawa, it made you cry. I think it was too scary for a date night.”
“Yeah, well.” Oikawa sighs, and something in the sigh makes Hajime turn his head to look at his best friend. To his surprise, Oikawa’s eyes are trained on his face too, rather than on the meteors still streaking above them. His brows are furrowed, like he’s thinking deeply, but the rest of his expression is unreadable. Then, suddenly, the clouds clear from his face and he grins. “If I tied myself down to one girlfriend, that would be a tragedy, really. I could never stand to disappoint my other fans. Maybe I’m better off single.”
Hajime instinctively echoes Maybe you’re better off with me in his head, stiffens, and kicks Oikawa again to cover it up. “Is it possible to be any more full of yourself, you dumbass?”
“I’m not full of myself, I’m realistic. Everyone loves me, it’s just a fact.”
“No one who’s actually talked to you for more than thirty seconds loves you…” Hajime mutters. That happens to be a total lie, but by all rights it should be true, so he doesn’t feel too guilty.
“You’re so cruel to me, Iwa-chan.” Oikawa lets out the fakest sob Hajime’s ever heard.
“Go find a fangirl to cry on.”
Oikawa laughs a little and turns his head back to the stars. The meteor shower is ending now, with long pauses between one flash of light and the next. Oikawa has started to shiver a little—it’s really not that cold just after sunset in early May, but Oikawa’s circulation must be insanely bad, because he claims to be freezing whenever the temperature dips below 16 or 17 degrees. “Let’s head home, Iwa-chan,” he says, pulling Hajime up.
Hajime lurches to his feet and stumbles for a few steps, trying to work the pins-and-needles feeling out of his legs. “Good idea. We have so much homework to do.”
Oikawa raises a finger and his eyebrows. “We could do homework. Or.”
“I happen to know that Channel 4 is showing a Godzilla movie marathon tonight.”
Oikawa doesn’t need to say any more. Hajime thinks that Godzilla movies are ridiculous, with nonsensical plots, horrible special effects, and enough cheese to feed Switzerland for a year. He absolutely loves them. “Fine,” he grumbles, “but if I fail that modern lit test it’s your fault. My house or yours?”
“My TV is bigger. More high-definition horrible Godzilla puppet action.”
“Sounds good to me. We’re doing homework while we watch, though.”
“Come on, Iwa-chan, aren’t kaiju movies way more important than schoolwork?”
“I have no idea how you would survive school if I weren’t here.”
“I would be perfectly fine, don’t overestimate yourself.”
Their hands are still joined, swinging between them as they stroll down the road. Hajime reflects that even though they’ll never be anything more than friends, he’s really lucky. He has the chance to be with Oikawa like this, and for now, that’ll have to be enough.
The next morning, Hajime wakes up in Oikawa’s bed, which isn’t unusual in and of itself. They sleep at each others’ houses once a week at minimum. By now, Oikawa’s room is almost as familiar as his own. What’s strange is that he wakes up in Oikawa’s bed without Oikawa clinging to him like some sort of heat-seeking leech. When they’d first begun sleeping over at each other’s houses ten years ago, the host had always set up a futon, but Hajime would invariably wake up in the middle of the night to find that Oikawa had migrated into his bed. He’d first reacted by trying to kick the intruder out, but it had turned out that Oikawa could whine loudly and prolifically enough about this subject to make it easier to just let the other boy sleep next to him. It does feel nice, he’ll admit, even though all of the body contact kind of makes him feel like he’s taking advantage of Oikawa’s obliviousness to Hajime’s feelings. And even though Oikawa clings, and kicks, and snores, and drools, and steals all the covers (“I can’t help it if I get cold at night, Iwa-chan! Do you want me to freeze to death? You can’t possibly need all of these blankets, you’re like a furnace!”), and is generally the most unattractive bed partner anyone could possibly have. Hajime has wondered numerous times if showing a video of sleeping Oikawa to the other boy’s unofficial fan club would be enough to drive them away for good.
But one of Oikawa’s horrible sleeping habits is his refusal to get up until Hajime drags him out of bed. It’s not surprising, since he stays up hours later than he should watching game tape or crappy alien documentaries. But Hajime can count on one hand the number of times Oikawa has woken up before him, and on all of these occasions Oikawa decides that if he’s awake it’s time for the rest of the world to be awake and drags Hajime out of bed (“Come on, Iwa-chan, you could never get enough beauty sleep to make you beautiful, so you might as well get up!”). The bed isn’t even warm next to him, Hajime notes, so Oikawa probably hasn’t just gone to the bathroom or something. Come to think of it, Hajime’s back is against the wall, and Oikawa never lets him take the wall position. Something is wrong here.
He’s definitely in Oikawa’s room, though. He can tell with his eyes closed—the room smells like Oikawa’s fancy cologne and coconut hair gel as well as sweat and laundry detergent, and the alarm is blaring some irritating pop song instead of Hajime’s default beeps. He opens his eyes blearily to confirm, and yes, there are Oikawa’s posters of volleyball idols on the wall opposite him. He lurches to prop himself up on his elbow and reaches across Oikawa’s alien-patterned sheets to slam the power button on the alarm clock.
Wait a second. Something is even more wrong than he thought. He freezes and stares at the hand that still rests on top of the clock, with its long, elegant fingers. He knows it like the back of his hand. Unfortunately, it’s not the back of his hand.
It’s Oikawa’s hand.
“What. The. Fuck.” Hajime says, and hears the words echo back to his ears in Oikawa’s tenor voice, shrill with shock. This can’t be happening. There is no way that at some point when he was sleeping he wandered into some horrible 1980s American movie. He pinches the back of his hand in the vain hope that he’s dreaming, feeling the terror mount. It hurts. “Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.”
Hajime levers himself out of the bed. The angles are subtly different than he’s used to. Oikawa’s arms are longer than his, so he has to push himself farther away from the bed to get the room to stand up fully. When his feet meet the cold hardwood floor and he stands, everything seems slightly lower than usual. Five centimeters makes a visible difference, apparently. He looks down at himself in a hopeless confirmation that nothing has changed in the past thirty seconds. But no, that’s still Oikawa’s chest, lean and pale but still impeccably muscled, with a trail of fine hair leading down into his volleyball-patterned boxers…
Hajime thanks his wave of incredulous amusement at the fact that Oikawa seriously still wears volleyball boxers for distracting his train of thought from falling off that dangerous little cliff. He has better things to think about right now than how hot his best friend’s naked chest is considering that he’s currently inhabiting that friend’s naked chest, somehow.
He feels panic rushing up through said chest again. Hajime is usually good at going with the flow and adapting to the situation, but this is a situation that he could never have possibly pictured. His brain isn’t really forming full sentences and thoughts anymore, lapsing back into fragmentary what-the-hells and how-the-fucks and what-will-Is, his mind spinning until he can’t think.
He’s pacing and he can’t stop. This body seems to have an excess of nervous energy, or maybe that’s just the terror talking. Without realizing it, he ends up in the bathroom, staring at his own reflection in the mirror. He’s seen Oikawa’s face in a lot of expressions, but he’s never seen his eyes this wide or his face this pale. His hair, unmanageable as it usually is in the mornings, stands out like a dark cloud framing the face sallow with shock.
Hajime rakes his hands through the mop a few more times, making flyaway pieces stick out even more. The slight pain in his scalp as he tugs too hard grounds him in reality, making him feel a little more connected to this body. The panic fades a little; in its place is left a familiar and somehow comforting overwhelming rage. Hajime has no idea how this could possibly have happened, or even if this is real or a vivid dream; what he does know is that there’s only one person whose fault this could be. And he’s going to find him and make him pay.
“SHITTYKAWA!” he shouts at the top of his lungs.
From the next house over, he can faintly hear an answering terrified shriek at a volume and pitch much higher than his lungs were ever meant to create. “IWA-CHAAAAAAN!”
Well, that answers one question. Whatever happened, happened to both of them. Hajime squares his shoulders and marches out of the bathroom. He’s going to find Oikawa, and when he does, there will be hell to pay.