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Say You'll Remember Me

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi Hajime was tired. He had just finished moving into his cramped Tokyo apartment, Hanamaki and Matsukawa harassing him the entire time they were helping him move his things in. They had promised to take him out to dinner tomorrow, as the two had taken up residence in Tokyo together immediately after graduating. Iwaizumi had waited until a week before his work began to move over.

He had managed to secure himself a medical rotation as a junior doctor at a prominent hospital in Tokyo by working his ass off and doing double time his entire undergrad. Half the time Iwaizumi wondered how he was able to get it all done and maintain his sanity.

It’s because that idiot Oikawa wasn’t pestering me nonstop and fraying my last nerve, Iwaizumi thought with a laugh before freezing.

It was easy for Iwaizumi to forget, especially when he was constantly swamped with things to do, and feeling nostalgic of times where he was happy and didn’t feel perpetually stressed, that his best friend was no longer by his side. It was especially difficult when said best friend had been with him for as long as he could remember, so the four years Oikawa had been missing seem so small in comparison. Iwaizumi had near constant slips where he would reminisce about Oikawa and their friendship as if he didn’t run away the summer they graduated high school.

Iwaizumi sighed. Now was not the time to ponder lost friendships. He was currently perusing aisles of the local grocery store, looking for dinner tonight and other groceries to last him at least two weeks.

“Mommy, buy this, buy this,” a young voice pleaded. Iwaizumi smiled to himself, it sounded like a little boy, probably with his exhausted mother after a long day. Iwaizumi could sniff out the toddler to be sure, but such actions were seen as rude and frowned upon, even from an alpha such as himself.

Iwaizumi’s suspicions were confirmed when he heard an indulgent chuckle. “No, Seiji,” the mother said, and Iwaizumi felt his heart stop. “We have cookies at home. We need to finish those before buying more, ok?”

Iwaizumi recognized that voice. How could he not, after hearing it consistently for over ten years, listening to the different pitches it could achieve through aging and circumstance. Even though he hadn't heard this voice for four years, he still could remember from memories, and phantom whispers late at night when he was alone and left to ponder where exactly his best friend vanished to. But this voice was a little softer, and more gentle than Iwaizumi could recall.

He snapped his head up from the package of miso he was inspecting, turning his head toward the origin of the voice, and gasped. Standing not twenty feet away was Oikawa Tooru in the flesh, who was holding the, presumably his, child in one arm while gently prying the package of cookies and placing them back on the shelf. He had his back to Iwaizumi, and had a cart full of groceries in front of him.

“O-Oikawa?” Iwaizumi’s mouth felt dry. Oikawa didn’t look much different, perhaps a bit taller, his hips a little wider. He was wearing a button down top with a cardigan and a belted skirt. Strappy sandals completed the ensemble. His outfit was fairly modest, the skirt a little more than half way down his thighs, but it still held that flirty flair that Oikawa always carried himself with.

Oikawa turned, a puzzled expression on his face before registering who addressed him. Realization dawned on his face in the widening of his eyes and stiffening of his stance. His free hand came up around the boy’s, Oikawa had called him Seiji, back, pulling Seiji closer to his person. On instinct, Seiji nuzzled his mother’s neck and gripped Oikawa’s shirt.

“Mommy…?” Seiji’s voice seemed to snap Oikawa out of the panicked stupor he was in.

“Iwa…izumi. How nice it is to see you again.” Oikawa had that crafted, perfected smile Iwaizumi had seen too many times in high school, the one he’d put on when greeting fans or dealing with Ushijima.

Iwaizumi frowned, furrowing his brows the way he always did around Oikawa whenever his antics infuriated him. Iwaizumi was about to call Oikawa out on his crap, when he became hyperaware of his son.

There was no denying the little boy, who looked around two or three years old, was Oikawa’s; Seiji was his mother’s spitting image. He looked so sweetly of Oikawa, from his large doe eyes, wavy hair, and childhood freckles, that Iwaizumi’s heart ached looking at him. He even had Oikawa’s ahoge. There were only minute differences as far as Iwaizumi could see; Seiji’s skin tone was a shade or two darker than Oikawa’s, his hair was so dark brown it looked black, and his eyes were not the deep chocolate brown of his mother’s but rather a swirling hazel. These features were vaguely familiar to Iwaizumi, but he couldn’t recall where had seen them before. Seiji had a worried frown on his face, and it wasn’t entirely Oikawa’s, yet Iwaizumi couldn’t remember where he had possibly viewed this expression. But these traits were obviously inherited from whoever the father was. And Iwaizumi had no idea who he could be.

“You’ll have to forgive me,” Oikawa’s voice cut into his thoughts. “But I’m in a hurry, so I don’t really have time to chat. Goodbye.” And before Iwaizumi could react, Oikawa whipped around, grabbing his cart and striding down the aisle. As he left, Seiji swiveled his head around, peering over Oikawa’s shoulder to stare at Iwaizumi with his unnerving hazel eyes.

Once Oikawa was gone, Iwaizumi was left in the grocery shop aisle, thunderstruck and still clutching a box of miso.

Chapter Text

Oikawa drove home mechanically, the only noise interrupting the loud thumping of his heart in his ears was the sound of his son playing “Kat Kong” in the backseat with the stuffed cat Uncle Kuroo gave him and the toy plane Uncle Akaashi got him.

Once he was parked, he took Seiji out of his car seat, hiking him on his hip, and picked up all the groceries. He took the stairs two at a time, glancing over his shoulder periodically to see if someone had followed them, until he reached the floor of their flat, where Seiji wiggled until Oikawa let him down to toddle towards their front door. Oikawa brandished his keys with his free hand while Seiji continued to fly his plane into the cat’s face.

When the door was open, Seiji raced inside, with Oikawa following, but he stopped in the threshold. He weakly called for Seiji to remove his shoes, but now that he was in the comfort of his home, he found all his strength gone, the adrenaline draining out and leaving his body shaking and unsteady. He leaned back against the door, sighing and scrubbing a hand across his face, groceries forgotten at his feet.

Why? Oikawa asked any passing deity. Why now, why did I have to see him, when my life finally felt put together, felt fine, felt like I could survive like this for the rest of my days, or at least until Seiji was all grown up and able to be on his own, did I have to see the one person I resolved never to see again?

Oikawa was visibly shaking, but he wasn’t sure what to do to stop it. He covered his eyes with the hand that was on his face. All he wanted to do was collapse and curl into the fetal position, willing the world to go away.

A small hand gripped his own. Oikawa peeked between his fingers to see Seiji holding his hand, shoes removed sloppily behind him, and a worried expression on his face that Oikawa had seen so many times before, years before Seiji was even born.

“Mommy?” And crap, Oikawa can’t do this, he can’t fall apart, not when he had Seiji, not when he resolved to stay strong for his son. “Mommy, are you cold? You’re shiv’ring.”

Oikawa took a deep breath before crouching down to be at eye level with his son. He cradled Seiji’s face in his hands.

“I’m ok, baby,” Oikawa said with a smile. “I just caught a chill. Now,” Oikawa said, getting up, “do you want to help me put the groceries away?”

Seiji beamed up at his mother, letting out an excited, “Yeah!”

***

Iwaizumi was chewing more than eating. He was vaguely aware that he was consuming beef… Or was it fish…? Chicken?

Matsukawa put his chopsticks down, snapping Iwaizumi out of his trance.

“Iwaizumi, you’ve been eating pickled plum for five minutes now.”

Iwaizumi choked, realization seeping in like the sour flavor in his mouth. Hanamaki snickered.

But Iwaizumi swallowed it down, refusing to spit it out like a child, like someone he knew… But those thoughts caused Iwaizumi to choke and cough all over again.

Matsukawa and Hanamaki looked at him with concern. “What has you so distracted?” Hanamaki asked while Matsukawa took a sip of his beer.

Iwaizumi sighed, he knew he couldn’t hide it, especially from Matsukawa and Hanamaki. “I went grocery shopping yesterday,” Iwaizumi began.

Matsukawa raised an eyebrow. “And? Did the grocery stores of Tokyo shock you so much?”

Iwaizumi growled, but it was light and non-threatening. Still, as a beta, Hanamaki tensed just a bit, while Matsukawa, a fellow alpha, furrowed his brows.

“I… I ran into Oikawa at the grocery store.” Iwaizumi watched shock spread over their features.

“Oikawa?” the two of them echoed.

“Yeah,” Iwaizumi affirmed, and couldn’t help the wry chuckle that followed. “He looks exactly the same, except he had…”

“Crutches?” Matsukawa broke in.

“A black eye?” Hanamaki offered.

“A child.”

The silence was deafening. Iwaizumi waited for them to respond.

“Babysitting?” Hanamaki asked, but the look in Iwaizumi’s eyes made his question come out feeble.

“He looked exactly like him.”

“Takeru’s little brother?” Matsukawa offered, but it was really just pleasantry, something Iwaizumi thought he offered to make Hanamaki feel better.

“The kid called Oikawa ‘Mommy.’”

Hanamaki’s jaw dropped while Matsukawa let out a whistle.

“I think I made a joke about Oikawa eloping when he ran off but I didn’t think it was true.” Iwaizumi remembered Matsukawa telling that joke, because he slugged him right after, and even Hanamaki gave him the cold shoulder, muttering ‘knothead’ whenever he came around asking forgiveness. Some jokes were just insensitive, especially concerning omegas.

“…So? How was the heart wrenching reunion?” Hanamaki asked.

“It was… hostile,” Iwaizumi settled with, after replaying yesterday’s confrontation in his head, the charged air between them.

“Really?” the two of them said in unison, shocked.

Iwaizumi nodded. “He was especially protective of his kid; Seiji’s his name by the way, or at least that’s what Oikawa called him.”

Matsukawa and Hanamaki made eye contact.

“Well, that makes sense…” Matsukawa began.

“A mother omega who feels threatened is said to be able to take down twenty alphas,” Hanamaki finished.

“I know,” Iwaizumi sighed. “My thing is, why did he feel threatened? He didn’t even call me ‘Iwa-chan.’”

“What did he call you?” Matsukawa asked.

“Iwaizumi. But it was really stiff and forced.”

“Well, aren’t you glad? You’ve been telling him to stop calling you that for years,” Hanamaki pointed out.

Iwaizumi knew that too, but when it came down to it, not being addressed as ‘Iwa-chan’ felt oddly hollow.

“Maybe the reason he feels so threatened has to do with the reason he left in the first place,” Matsukawa said sagely, with Hanamaki nodding in agreement before turning to flag the waitress down and get the check, ending the conversation and dinner.

***

Iwaizumi decided to run to get his mind off of it. Most days either Matsukawa or Hanamaki joined him, but today, they were both able to come.

Iwaizumi warmed up by walking to their house from his apartment. Then they all ran together from the house, past Iwaizumi’s apartment in the center of the city, to the other side of Tokyo.

After running for two hours, they decided to take a break at a small park. The swing sets and sandbox made Iwaizumi more nostalgic than he’d like to be.

Matsukawa and Hanamaki sat on a bench, exhausted, while Iwaizumi stood close by, wiping sweat off his brow with his shirt.

Looking around, Iwaizumi noticed a group of boys, surrounding something and talking excitedly. A little ways away was another group, primarily women who looked to be in their mid-twenties to early thirties, who were close enough to the boys to watch them, but away enough to carry on their own conversation. There were two petite women sitting and flanking someone in the middle of the bench, while two women stood behind the bench, leaning over the back, and two more women stood by either arm rest.

Iwaizumi’s eyes widened when he realized the person the women were surrounded was in fact, Oikawa.

Crap! Iwaizumi thought, grabbing the nearest person, which was Hanamaki, who instinctively grabbed Matsukawa, and he yanked them into a close thicket of trees, closer to both groups, but would give them more cover to hide.

“Wha-” Hanamaki began before Iwaizumi clamped a hand over his mouth.

“Sh! Oikawa is over there,” Iwaizumi said, jerking his head to the side.

Now that they were closer, Iwaizumi could make out the chattering more clearly.

“Tooru-chan, you really must let me introduce you to someone! I know several alphas who’d be quite interested you,” one of the petite women next to Oikawa said suggestively.

Iwaizumi felt a faint growl rumble in his chest. Then he blinked, and wondered why he could feel bile rising from his throat.

Oikawa let out a laugh, the fake laugh Iwaizumi hated. “Thank you Saki-san, but I’m not really interested in finding a boyfriend. If I were to look for a partner, he’d have to be worthy of being a father to my dear Seiji.”

Hanamaki shook his head. “Even after all these years, he’s still a lady-killer.”

Appearing as if he had been called, Seiji, who had apparently been in the center of the circle the boys had formed, broke through, yelling, “Mommy! Come over!”

Oikawa got up, he was wearing a pair of khaki shorts, short boots with small, wide heels, and a cable knit mint sweater with matching knee high socks.

“What is it Seiji?” Oikawa asked as Seiji tackled his legs. He ruffled Seiji’s hair.

“That’s his kid?” Matsukawa and Hanamiki whispered together. Iwaizumi nodded.

“I caught the biggeeeeeest beetle!” Seiji said proudly, puffing his chest.

“Good job baby, I’m very proud of you. Was it hard to catch?”

“Nuh uh, I just swung my net and bam! I got it,” Seiji said crossing his arms over his chest and nodding; an action, that was once again familiar but Iwaizumi couldn’t place.

Suddenly, one of the boys from the group came forward, he was taller than Seiji and looked a little older, and tugged on Oikawa’s sleeve.

“Um, I caught three beetles!” The boy’s cheeks were covered with a burning blush.

Oikawa smiled, sincere. “Really? That’s great, Ryo-kun.” Oikawa patted him on the head. ‘Ryo-kun’ looked ready to faint.

A chorus rang out from the rest of the boys, all of them exclaiming what they caught.

“Ok, ok,” Oikawa laughed, bright and genuine. “I’ll pat everyone’s head, one at a time…”

Seiji was inadvertently pushed to the side, pouting in a way Iwaizumi swore he saw before.

Hanamaki whispered something to Matsukawa. Matsukawa murmured back.

“…what?” Iwaizumi asked.

“Oh nothing,” Matsukawa said. “We were just talking about how Oikawa became a world-class milf.”

“Pfft,” Hanamaki let out with tears in his eyes.

Iwaizumi felt a vein in his forehead twitch. He was fairly sure that wasn’t what they were talking about. Before he could retort, he was interrupted by rustling in the bushes. They all turned to see Oikawa’s son emerge from the shrubbery. He looked up at them with those wide hazel eyes and a wider smile.

“You’re the guys in Mommy’s videos!” Seiji exclaimed excitedly.

Before they could say anything, Oikawa stepped over the bushes. “Seiji, are you here? It’s time to leave.”

Seiji turned around the same time Oikawa froze upon seeing his son’s company. “Mommy! The people from your videos are here!”

You could hear a pin drop, Iwaizumi was sure. Oikawa’s eyes darted from each of the faces and then down to Seiji. Every bit of him was tense. Suddenly, quick as a whip, Oikawa snatched Seiji up in his arms, cradling him close. Then he spun on his heel, and looked ready to strut away, just as he had in the grocery store before.

Iwaizumi couldn’t let that happen, so he reached out and took hold of Oikawa’s bicep. “Oikawa, wait-”

Oikawa’s reaction was immediate. He turned to glare straight into Iwaizumi’s eyes, his own a fierce omega gold. A snarl ripped out of his chest and past his lips, fangs elongated and bared. More growls followed the initial snarl.

Iwaizumi dropped Oikawa’s arm as if he had been electrocuted. Looking into those eyes, it really felt like he had been.

“Mommy?” came Seiji’s voice, frightened and confused.

“Now, now,” Matsukawa interrupted. He was holding his hands up in a placating manner. “Oikawa, we just wanna talk. It’s been a while, right?” He ended with his signature, easygoing grin.

“Matsukawa,” Oikawa said, growl still evident in his voice. “What are you doing here?”

“We live on the other side of town,” Matsukawa said, gesturing between himself and Hanamaki. “I assume you live around here?”

Oikawa gave a nod, still tense and holding Seiji protectively, but the gold was leaving his irises and his fangs had retracted.

“Ah, so Iwaizumi lives at the midpoint between us,” Matsukawa concluded. Oikawa’s eyes widened and looked over to Iwaizumi.

“Since when do you live here?!” Oikawa exclaimed.

“I, uh, got a rotation at the hospital in the middle of town. I had just moved when we ran into each other at the grocery store.” Iwaizumi’s voice was gruff, unused to speaking to Oikawa after all this time.

Iwaizumi heard Oikawa mumble something along the lines of “was hoping you were just here to visit.”

“But really, so cold Oikawa?” Hanamaki interjected. “It’s as if you don’t even know us. …Are you alright?” he asked more seriously.

“I’m fine,” Oikawa said, with a petulant pout. “…Makki.”

Hanamaki grinned, triumphant, and Matsukawa clapped his hands.

“Alright, now that introductions among old friends are settled, let’s move this somewhere else, shall we? If we stay here, it’ll look pretty bad,” Matsukawa pointed out. Two alphas and a beta around an agitated omega and his child did make for a bad scene.

Oikawa turned around and began walking. Iwaizumi resisted the urge to grab him again.

Oikawa paused and looked over his shoulder. “Well? I’m assuming you three ran here judging by the way you’re dressed,” Oikawa remarked, running his eyes over their workout clothes. “I drove, so we’ll take my car. You guys are hungry, right? I know a good place to eat, so let’s go.”

As Iwaizumi, Matsukawa, and Hanamaki followed Oikawa, Seiji wiggled in Oikawa’s grip, until Oikawa transferred him onto his hip, pressing a soothing kiss on Seiji’s forehead.

Seiji giggled and reached for his mother’s cheeks.

Iwaizumi felt his heart clench before willing the feeling away.

Chapter Text

Oikawa’s car was nice, Iwaizumi told himself. It looked like a fairly new model, sleek and black, but spacious on the inside with a leather interior. He knew he was really just trying to distract himself from the way Oikawa was bent over in the back seat, shifting Seiji’s car seat to the middle. He specially wasn’t looking at Oikawa’s long, slim legs, which led to his butt, full, perky, and well fitted in his shorts. Oikawa’s ass bounced with any movement he made, and after a particular jostle, the bottom of his sweater rode up just enough to reveal his back dimples and these aren’t the thoughts you should be having about your former best friend, Hajime, pull yourself together!

Hanamaki moved to stand behind Oikawa, giving Iwaizumi a sharp look over his shoulder before yanking Oikawa’s sweater down and poking him in the side. “Need some help back there?”

Oikawa emerged, cheeks a little pink from the exertion and puffed his hair, which had fallen, out of his face. “It’s fine Makki, I got it. Seiji, come here.”

Seiji, who had seated himself in the grass while playing with a plush cat, got up, waddling past Matsukawa. When Oikawa first set to the task of shifting the car seat, he had asked one of them to keep an eye on Seiji. When Iwaizumi offered, Oikawa visibly tensed, discomfort evident on his face. When Matsukawa said he could do it instead, Oikawa relaxed, if only fractionally.

Oikawa had already strapped Seiji in by the time Iwaizumi snapped out of his reverie. Matsukawa and Hanamaki were inside as well, taking the backseat and squirming as Seiji’s car seat dug into their respective sides. Which left only one spot for Iwaizumi.

Oikawa drove silently, eyes focused straight ahead. He occasionally glanced in the rearview mirror, but Iwaizumi suspected it was more to watch Seiji than to check traffic.

“What?” Iwaizumi nearly jumped at the sound of Oikawa’s voice. “You’ve been side-eying me for a while. What is it?”

Iwaizumi picked his words carefully, for fear of offending Oikawa again. “You haven’t really changed much. I don’t know, it’s been a while, but you’re the same as I remember you.”

To his surprise, Oikawa chuckled. “It’s only been four years. Besides, I don’t frown so much that I’d get forehead wrinkles like you.”

“I don’t have forehead wrinkles!” Iwaizumi glanced in the side mirror to make sure.

Oikawa laughed, genuine and as beautiful as Iwaizumi remembered. “Joking! I was just joking Iwa-chan!” Iwaizumi froze at the use of his old nickname and Oikawa paused, returning the majority of his attention to the road. He had a contemplative look as he did so. “…You haven’t changed much either.”

They continued in silence, but it was comfortable now.

Iwaizumi was right…to an extent. Physically, Oikawa hadn’t changed. But the way he carried himself did, his voice was softer, and he had a kid. Iwaizumi knew he was bound to find more little tweaks to the Oikawa he knew. He wasn’t sure how to react to them.

The car stopped at a ramen shop. It was fairly small and out of the way, nestled into a corner.

Everyone got out of the car, and headed to the small shop. Oikawa let Seiji walk, holding his hand as he entered.

“I’m back~” An older woman was sweeping the shop, the place empty, and she looked up at the sound of Oikawa’s voice.

“Tooru, it’s been so long! How have you been? And Sei-chan! Every time I see you, you grow bigger and bigger!”

Seiji puffed his chest out with pride while Oikawa laughed. “Sorry, Miko-san, I’ve been busy. Do you have a table for us? I brought some friends with me.”

Miko looked behind Oikawa and noticed the three men behind him. “Oh, forgive my manners, come in boys!”

Iwaizumi, Matsukawa, and Hanamaki ducked their heads coming in, a little embarrassed at being addressed as ‘boys.’

“What’s this,” a greying man said while emerging from the back, “Tooru come back for a visit?”

“Hatori-san, it’s been a while! Pardon my intrusion after so long.”

“Nonsense my boy, you and Seiji are always welcome.” Hatori patted Oikawa on the shoulder and ruffled Seiji’s hair. “It’s good to see you’ve been taking care of yourself.” Then he trailed down Oikawa’s outfit. “You should wear clothes that actually cover you, though…”

“Oh there you go, Hacchan,” Miko said, pushing at Hatori’s arm. “Tooru is young and fashion forward, he can wear what he likes! If he looks good and feels good, that’s all that matters!”

“Yeah, Mommy always looks good!” Seiji agreed, hugging Oikawa’s leg. “He’s the prettiest!”

Oikawa giggled, pleased and embarrassed, scratching the back of his head.

“The problem is that he looks too good…” Hatori mumbled under his breath.

Miko slapped his arm. “Speak clearly Hacchan! Thirty-five years married and I still need to tell you!”

Hatori grumbled in response, looking away from his wife, eyes landing on Iwaizumi, Matsukawa, and Hanamaki. “Who’s this lot?”

“Oh, this is Iwa-chan, Mattsun, and Makki, all friends from high school. We ran into each other, and I just learned that they had moved here too. So we decided to catch up over food.”

“Sure, sure, any friends of Tooru’s are friends of ours. Come on in and take a seat.” Hatori said while moving towards the back.

Miko led them to a table with four seats, where Matsukawa and Iwaizumi were seated across from Hanamaki and Oikawa respectively, Seiji sitting on his mother’s lap. Miko put a menu in front of each of them, except Oikawa, who got a piece of papers and assorted crayons. Seiji eagerly grabbed at them.

“The usual, Tooru?” she asked, running an affectionate hand over Seiji’s head.

“Yes, thank you Miko-san.”

“I’ll get some water for you boys then.” Miko walked away with a smile.

The only sound for a while was the skrt skrt of Seiji drawing on his paper as the adults contemplated what to order, minus Oikawa. Once their decisions were made, they put the menus down, waiting for the water.

Matsukawa broke the silence, “You have a usual, Oikawa? Did you come here very often?”

“I worked here during my undergrad,” Oikawa responded, playing with his son’s hair.

“Ah, that would explain why you know the owners so well,” Hanamaki said.

Oikawa nodded, and they were enveloped in silence again.

Iwaizumi figured it was his turn to break the tension. “Hey, Seiji,” Iwaizumi said, inwardly flinching at how awkward it felt. Oikawa’s son was still such a foreign concept to him, despite the boy sitting across from him in the flesh. “What are you drawing?”

Matsukawa and Hanamaki leaned towards the paper, curious as well. It look like an assortment of figures, standing and smiling together.

Seiji paused from his drawing, looked up, and he smiled at Iwaizumi. He pointed to the figures in the middle. “That’s Mommy and me!” There was a heart floating between their heads. He pointed to the couple to the right of his figure. “That’s Hatori-shan and Miko-shan.”

“Hmm, I see,” Hanamaki remarked. He pointed to the figure next to Oikawa’s figure. “Is that your Daddy?”

Iwaizumi’s breath caught in his throat, and it seemed like Oikawa had frozen in place, rigid and barely breathing.

Seiji blinked up at Hanamaki. “No, that’s Uncle Kuroo. He’s mated to Uncle Kenma,” Seiji pointed to the figure next to ‘Uncle Kuroo’ with two-tone hair. Seiji pointed to the last couple on the page, which had another figure with two tone hair, “This Uncle Bokuto and Uncle Akaashi. They’re mated too.”

“Do you not like your Daddy?” Matsukawa asked. “He isn’t in your drawing.”

Seiji stared at him before replying, “I don’ have a Daddy.”

Three sets of eyes immediately snapped to Oikawa, and he fidgeted under the gaze of his three closest friends.

Iwaizumi tried to swallow the lump in his throat. Single. Oikawa was single. Now that he knew, it was quite obvious: no ring, no claim bite, and his scent screamed fertile and unmated. His scent had an extra tinge of sweetness, which was something Iwaizumi knew every mother had; a sort of residue left over in their personal scents from the time they were pregnant and the hormones in their body made mothers smell like a confectionery. He still smelled like Oikawa, but the extra kick made him intoxicating, almost begging Iwaizumi to take him, claim him, and impregnate him again.

…Again? The realization of Oikawa’s situation slammed into Iwaizumi like a truck, dragging him out of the scent high he had been on. Iwaizumi knew of course, he wasn’t stupid; if Oikawa had a child, obviously all the steps to create one were implied, but they just weren’t in Iwaizumi’s focus until now. Now Iwaizumi could picture it: Oikawa having sex with some unknown alpha, presumably a one-night stand since the father seemed completely out of the equation, Oikawa pregnant, belly round and full, Oikawa holding an infant in his arms glowing. All of these were Oikawas Iwaizumi had never witnessed, and it made him want growl in frustration.

Sensing his mother’s discomfort, Seiji twisted to nuzzle Oikawa’s chest. “It’s ok, all I need is Mommy!”

Oikawa smiled, though brittle, and nuzzled Seiji’s head.

Before the three of them could possibly make the situation with Oikawa more awkward, Miko came back.

“Here’s your water. And Tooru, I brought your ramen so it could cool. Are you three ready to order?” Miko smiled pulling out a notepad and pen.

While Matsukawa and Hanamaki were placing their orders, Iwaizumi chugged his ice water as if his life depended on it.

“Sweetie, are you alright?” Miko asked Iwaizumi. “You don’t look so well.”

Iwaizumi cleared his throat. “I’m fine, thank you.” He smiled and gave her his order.

Miko collected the menus and was on her way again.

“Mommy, I’m thirsty,” Seiji said looking up at Oikawa.

Oikawa reached into his satchel and produced a sippy cup which he gave to Seiji.

Matsukawa and Hanamaki started up some small talk, which dissolved the tension, and soon the four of them were talking like normal again. Old inside jokes emerged, being used as if they hadn’t been unused for four years. Speaking to Oikawa like this was like learning to breathe easy again after an exhausting workout. It was calming, natural. They caught up between playful banter, and everyone learned each other’s professions. Iwaizumi, as he said before, was a junior doctor going through his medical rotation, Matsukawa worked for a law firm, Hanamaki was a high school instructor, and Oikawa worked in marketing for a big production label in Tokyo. He had even modeled a few times.

“They put Mommy is pretty clothes, and put stuff on his face, and took lots of photos of him! And I dressed up so I could take photos with him too,” Seiji exclaimed.

Oikawa blushed. As much as he loved to show off, when he was taken outside his comfort zone, he was very insecure. “That’s not what happened. They were short a male model, and they asked me to stand in. Seiji happened to be with me because I was supposed to be working a half day, so some of the designers took out the children’s clothes and played dress-up with him while I posed. But I wasn’t comfortable until Seiji broke away and joined me on set, and then they took all the usable photos. We were in a small ad. That’s it.”

Iwaizumi had an unidentifiable urge to find this ad. Before he could ask Oikawa what the ad was for, Miko came back with their food.

“Here you are, boys, sorry for the wait.”

They all thanked her as she left, and gave thanks for the food as well before digging in.

While eating, Iwaizumi’s eyes trailed to Oikawa and the sight he saw almost made him choke on his food.

Though his ramen had sufficiently cooled, Oikawa still blew on the spoonful of broth he had before bringing it up to Seiji’s lips, who slurped it down. Then Oikawa brought another spoonful of broth for himself. Then he picked up his chopsticks, plucking some noodles and feeding them to Seiji. He repeated the action to feed himself. Oikawa continued this pattern unbeknownst to Iwaizumi’s watching.

It was…adorable. That was the only word Iwaizumi could think of, it reminded him of a bird feeding its baby.

Once they finished, Miko picked up their bowls.

Iwaizumi felt something was missing. Before she could leave, he asked, “Ma’am, the bill?”

“Oh, don’t be silly,” Miko laughed. “Tooru and Sei-chan are practically family, and if you’re their friends, that makes you friends of the family. It’s on the house.”

“But Miko-san –” Oikawa interjected.

“Now hush Tooru, I won’t hear it. If you want to repay us then come by more often. I know you’re busy but don’t be a stranger,” Miko said, giving Oikawa an affectionate pinch on the cheek.

“Alright, Miko-san,” Oikawa conceded. “Tell Hatori-san his ramen was as great as ever.”

“It was yummy!” Seiji agreed.

Miko laughed and ruffled Seiji’s hair. “Oh, Sei-chan, what did you draw? It’s so lovely. Is that Hacchan and me? May I keep this picture? I’m going to put it up.”

“Ok!” Seiji said happily, handing over the drawing.

***

The drive back to Matsukawa and Hanamaki’s house was silent but peaceful. After a full meal, everyone was satisfied and content. Seiji had fallen asleep in his car seat, hugging his plush cat.

Oikawa was humming softly as he drove. Iwaizumi remembered that Oikawa would hum whenever he walked too. He wasn’t aware of how much he missed it until now.

Iwaizumi felt a strong craving gnawing at his insides, like an addict reintroduced to his drug. He had missed Oikawa, his best friend, and fooled himself into thinking he didn’t by burying himself in work the last four years. Every word, sound, and breath Oikawa made had Iwaizumi on tenterhooks, he wanted more, so much more.

But he was hesitant, one wrong move and Oikawa could pull back and out of his life again.

“Ah, turn here, and it’s the second house on your left,” Matsukawa said softly.

Oikawa chuckled. “It’s fine, you can speak normally. Seiji sleeps like a rock.”

“That’s weird, given how light of a sleeper you are Oikawa,” Hanamaki remarked.

Iwaizumi remembered that not only was it hard for Oikawa to stay asleep, but it was hard for him to fall asleep too. He'd always have to nag him to get rest. Oikawa in turn had always mocked Iwaizumi for being able to sleep like a log and snore like a wood chipper.

Oikawa hummed, “Hm, I guess.” He pulled up in front of Matsukawa’s and Hanamaki’s house. “Well, here we are. This is the house, right?”

“Yeah,” they said in unison. They clambered out and Iwaizumi moved to join them. To his surprise, so did Oikawa.

Oikawa scratched the back of his head while regarding the three of them. “About earlier… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean, it’s just, for a while now it’s been Seiji and me, plus a few friends I could trust here. So when I saw you guys I just…”

“Went into berserk mama-bear mode?” Hanamaki supplied.

“Don’t worry Oikawa, we get it. We’ll give you space and time. But don’t forget we’ll be here for you. Once a team, always a team.” Matsukawa assured him.

“Y-you guys,” Oikawa said, and Iwaizumi swore he saw his eyes well up with tears.

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi hedged. “Will you give me your contact information?”

“Ooh, he’s getting them digits!” Matsukawa and Hanamaki cheered.

Iwaizumi growled at them and Oikawa laughed, though it sounded a bit wet.

Oikawa rubbed his arm and looked away. “Um, I don’t know… Is, is your number still the same?”

It wasn’t, because Iwaizumi had thrown his phone against the wall with all his strength, effectively smashing it, when Oikawa wouldn’t pick up after he had run away.

“No, but here,” Iwaizumi said, pulling out a pen and scrap of paper. He always had some on hand in case of an emergency, even when simply running. “This is my number and email. Feel free to contact me when you’re ready.” He watched Oikawa take his note and pocket it.

Oikawa gave him a small smile. “Thanks.” Then he turned to Matsukawa and Hanamaki, “Bye, guys.”

They watched Oikawa climb in his car and drive away.

Iwaizumi’s heart felt lighter, he hoped Oikawa would contact him soon.

Chapter Text

Oikawa’s pocket felt heavy the entire drive home. He was overly conscious of the scrap of paper there, containing a mere phone number and email address.

He put the car in park and rested his forehead against the steering wheel.

Feel free to contact me when you’re ready.

The sentence buzzed in Oikawa’s head, made him feel dizzy and anxious. Oikawa chewed his lip and knitted his brows. When would he be ready? He had been ready to put his past behind and move on, move forward for the sake of Seiji, but with his old friends resurfacing, and Iwaizumi drawing close to him once more, did he have the confidence of not being pulled back?

“Mommy? Are we home?” Seiji’s sleep-soft voice startled him, but he quickly composed himself before his son could notice.

“We are baby, go back to sleep. Mommy will carry you to bed, ok?” Seiji’s eyelids easily closed after already being so heavy.

Oikawa decided he would put off thinking about Iwa-chan and his offer. Seiji was and forever will be his priority, so it wasn’t worth it to be wasting time pondering over a piece of paper when he could be caring for his son.

This is the right decision, Oikawa told himself while pulling Seiji out of his car seat. He hitched Seiji up onto his front, so his son’s legs loosely rested on his waist and his head was pillowed on his shoulder. Oikawa continued to affirm his thought while scaling the stairs and opened the door to enter his home.

But as soon as he entered, he became aware of an extra presence in his home. Oikawa’s nostrils flared, and he could smell the scent of an alpha male, seemingly in his kitchen.

Oikawa willed himself not to panic and think. What could he do? His son was asleep in his arms and he would have to pass the kitchen to get to Seiji’s bedroom. Oikawa would have to fight while protecting his cub, he supposed.

Shifting Seiji’s weight onto one arm, Oikawa used his free hand to pick up his biggest, heaviest combat boot. He carefully edged his way towards the kitchen, and once his target was in sight, he flung the boot with all his strength towards the man’s head. Oikawa hoped it would knock him out.

When the boot made contact, the perpetrator yelped. “Ow! What the hell?!”

Oikawa blinked, he recognized that tone. “Kuroo? What are you doing in my house?”

Kuroo turned around while rubbing the back of his head, gingerly picking up the boot Oikawa assaulted him with. “First of all, this is a flat. Second, I texted you that I was coming over, but you didn’t respond, so I let myself in.”

Oikawa managed to fish his cellphone out of his satchel and found three new text notifications all from Kuroo. “Sorry, I didn’t see them,” Oikawa responded and then huffed, “But even so, I gave you that key for emergencies, Kuroo. Not to come into my home and steal my food.”

“I wasn’t stealing,” Kuroo insisted. “I came over with the intention to borrow.”

Oikawa rolled his eyes, snatched his boot back from Kuroo, returning it to its pair, and then headed toward Seiji’s room to tuck him to bed. Kuroo trailed after him.

“Why’s the squirt asleep anyway? It’s barely afternoon.” Kuroo poked Seiji on his nose, watching Seiji scrunch his face in his sleep.

“Don’t harass my son. The reason he’s tired is because somehow all the kids at the daycare managed to band together and beg the teachers to let them skip naptime and play longer. And when I picked him up, he wanted to keep playing in the park with some of the older boys. I’m surprised he stayed awake through lunch,” Oikawa said, finishing wrapping Seiji in a blanket.

Kuroo shook his head. “Your kid is way too active.”

“You only think so because you’re around Kenma so much,” Oikawa pointed out.

Kuroo shrugged. “Touché.”

“Now what did you want to borrow, hm?” Oikawa asked while heading back to the kitchen. He’d rather procure the item himself than have Kuroo rip his kitchen apart trying to find it.

“Sugar.”

Oikawa paused, turning slowly to stare at Kuroo. “…Are you serious? You literally came all this way and broke into my home, for sugar?”

“Your place isn’t too far from ours. It’s only ten minutes away by car.”

“Kuroo there is literally a grocery store halfway between our homes, why didn’t you go there?”

“Why pay when I can get something for free?” Kuroo’s sleazy grin did not help Oikawa’s nerves.

“What do you even need sugar for?”

“Kenma wanted to bake, but we didn’t have enough sugar.”

“That’s it?” Oikawa sounded exasperated now.

“You know Kenma doesn’t like to do anything besides play video games and maybe eat. I had to indulge him the one time he had a whim.”

Oikawa couldn’t argue with that. “Fine, fine, take your sugar and leave,” Oikawa said, pulling out a box of sugar and pouring it into a container for Kuroo.

Once he put a sufficient amount of sugar for baking, Oikawa sealed the container and moved to put the sugar away. He kept the sugar high up in the cabinet so Seiji couldn’t reach and eat it.

While Oikawa was on his toes putting his sugar back on the highest shelf, Kuroo noticed something sticking out of Oikawa’s pocket. Before Oikawa could notice, he crept close and snatched what appeared to be a scrap of paper.

“Hmmm~ What’s this?” Kuroo grinned and waved the scrap around while Oikawa closed the cabinet.

Oikawa gave it one glance before his eyes widened and skin paled. His hand patted his pocket to find it empty. “Kuroo, give it back!”

“I had no idea you were on the market for a new man,” Kuroo purred. “Let me see who you nabbed.”

“Kuroo, I really mean it, give it back now,” Oikawa’s voice had an edge of panic to it.

Unfortunately, Kuroo was taller than Oikawa, and was able to hold the paper out of his reach yet within reading distance. Oikawa watched Kuroo’s eyes scan the scrap with increasing dread.

Once Kuroo read and comprehended the name, his grin faded, and his usually narrow eyes widened comically. He lowered his arm, and Oikawa pulled the paper from his grip.

“…Oikawa…” Kuroo still seemed like he was processing what he saw.

“It was a coincidence!” Oikawa blurted. “About a week ago I ran into him at the grocery store, and today I ran into him again at the park. He was with our other high school friends too, and they kinda cornered me…” Oikawa huffed a wry laugh. “So we went out for lunch together because they wanted to talk. I mean it’s been four years since we’ve seen each other, and even then they didn’t push or pressure me. It was kinda like old times, but I could tell they were making an effort to accommodate me.” Oikawa shrugged. “Also found out all three of them live in the city too,” Oikawa rubbed his neck nervously because Kuroo’s eyes widened in shock again. “Small world, eh?”

It was a while before Kuroo spoke up. “…What will you do?”

Oikawa’s eyes traced the words and numbers on the piece of paper, and then retraced them. “I haven’t decided yet.”

“Well,” Kuroo began, plucking the sugar-filled container from the counter. “I think the fact that you’ve kept the note says enough about the decision you’ve made.”

Oikawa spluttered as Kuroo walked past him, trying to come up with a retort but drawing a blank.

“But I feel the need to warn you,” Kuroo said with his eyes sharp and pointed like a cat’s. “You’re not the only one who will suffer from the fallout now.” Kuroo gave a deliberate look towards Seiji’s bedroom.

Oikawa knitted his brows and worried his lip again.

Kuroo sighed. “You know I’m not sayin’ this stuff to spite you. I care about you and I’m worried. I don’t want to see you be the way you were when –”

“I know,” Oikawa interrupted. “I won’t. I, I have to be strong for Seiji.” He looked up with what was supposed to be a reassuring smile, but with his quivering lip and watery eyes, it was hardly convincing.

Kuroo pulled him close and nuzzled his head in a soothing manner. “Yeah, but you don’t have to do it alone. You’ve got us, ok?”

Oikawa nodded, but stayed silent.

Kuroo stepped away and headed towards the door. “Take care, Tooru. Call Kenma and me anytime. And give a nuzzle to the squirt from me.”

Oikawa smiled and waved Kuroo off, keeping his façade up until he was out the door. When Kuroo was gone and the door shut, Oikawa let the grin crumble off his face.

***

Oikawa took three weeks to text Iwaizumi.

But it wasn’t as if Iwaizumi was waiting. He had already started his rotation and was swamped with work. Paperwork, patients, repeat; the life of a junior doctor. He had even met one of the previous team members of Karasuno, the guy Oikawa had dubbed ‘Mr. Refreshing.’

So it wasn’t as if he was waiting. He definitely wasn’t waiting in the small café by the hospital after his shift, drumming his fingers on the wooden table, sipping coffee he had let cool in his distracted state of mind.

And he was distracted because of the last patient he reviewed, a high school basketball player with a torn ACL, not because Oikawa was fourteen minutes late. And counting.

He sighed, rubbing his eyes. He glared at the clock on his phone as the minutes crawled up to fifteen. He lazily unlocked his phone, choosing his texts and hitting Oikawa’s thread.

Wanna meet up for coffee? And before you ask, I think you know who this is. ;)

Iwaizumi rolled his eyes; after all these years, Oikawa still had that flirty, coy way of texting people. He had answered the text three days ago when he received it, stating there was a coffee shop by the hospital where he worked, and he’d get off early today, and saved Oikawa’s number as a contact.

A ping from his phone helped him regain his focus. He looked to see that he had a new text from Bakawa.

I’m sorry I’m late!!!!! ;~;

Iwaizumi was about to text ‘It’s fine Trashkawa,’ when –

“Iwa-chaaaaan!~ We’re here!”

Iwaizumi looked over to see Oikawa and his son standing at the entrance of the shop, both enthusiastically waving to him with the hands that weren’t clasped together.

“Iwa-shan! We here, we here!” Seiji, as always, was bursting with energy. Iwaizumi found it a little odd since Oikawa was a pretty reserved and quiet kid when they first met, his only physical outlet being volleyball; his current self was a product of his blooming into obnoxiousness once he became popular with girls toward the end of elementary and beginning of middle school.

Iwaizumi gulped the last of his cold coffee, hoping the bitter taste would stave his nervous jitters. He went over to them while gruffly saying, “Pipe down and come over already, you’re making a scene.”

Oikawa simply laughed while Seiji giggled, following Iwaizumi back to his table. When seated, Iwaizumi ordered another black coffee, and Oikawa ordered oolong tea for himself and steamed milk for Seiji.

Seiji was seated on Oikawa’s lap once more, as the café didn’t have any booster seats. Seiji kicked his legs back and forth, lightly hitting Iwaizumi on his legs. Oikawa smiled apologetically over his son’s head, but Iwaizumi simply shrugged. It was a given, with the table space being so small under and over, and it hardly hurt, so he really didn’t mind. Besides, when Iwaizumi tried to move his legs, his feet would always bump into Oikawa’s, and that he did mind.

Oikawa smiled softly at Iwaizumi. “So, Iwa-chan, how have you been? What –”

“Mommy, I want a cookie!” Seiji announced banging his hands on the table.

Oikawa blinked, before regarding his son. “Seiji, I was talking to Iwa-chan. You know that it’s rude to interrupt. You have to wait your turn like a good boy. Haven’t I told you that before?”

Seiji pouted. “But I wanted to get a cookie before da milk.”

“Ok, we’ll get a cookie, but remember to wait patiently and ask politely next time ok? I raised you with manners, so I want you to show them. We’ll be right back, Iwa-chan.” Oikawa lifted Seiji off his lap and onto the floor, took his hand, and led him to the register where the pastries were kept.

As soon as they started walking, their and Iwaizumi’s drinks arrived. Iwaizumi watched Oikawa leave, taking a sip of scalding coffee as Oikawa’s maxi skirt swished with his hips. He was wearing jelly sandals and a crop top, and that thin strip of revealed skin made Iwaizumi’s skin itch. He took another sip, burning his throat.

Oikawa and Seiji returned with what had to be the biggest cookie Iwaizumi had seen. It was half of Seiji’s head, at least. Seiji held it with excitement clear on his face.

“Seiji, remember what I said,” Oikawa began while pulling Seiji into his lap. “I got you the biggest cookie, but you need to share it with me, ok? And dunk your pieces carefully, the milk is still hot.” Oikawa took the cookie from his son’s hands and began breaking it into chunks, giving the bigger pieces to Seiji.

After fussing over his son, Oikawa addressed Iwaizumi, “Ah, Iwa-chan, where were we?”

“You asked me how I was, and the answer is I’m fine. I’ve adjusted more or less to life in Tokyo, and I’ve started growing used to my medical rotation.”

“That’s good! Tokyo is a pretty fast-paced town, I was worried Iwa-chan and his small town ways would get swept up by the hustle and wouldn’t be able to keep up.” Oikawa had an innocent tone and sent a concerned expression over the rim of his cup before taking a measured sip.

“You listen here –” Iwaizumi had some choice words before he became hyper aware of Seiji looking up at him with big, wide, genuinely innocent eyes. His statement died in his throat, and he sighed through his nose, pinching the bridge of it. “Not everyone is as adaptable as you are, Oikawa.”

Oikawa hummed, “True, but I am glad you’re getting the hang of things.” Iwaizumi could tell that this time he meant his words. “If you ever have any problems, feel free to call me.”

Iwaizumi paused, surprised that Oikawa would make such an offer so soon in the rekindling of their friendship. But perhaps it slipped; it had always felt natural to rely on each other, ever since they were small.

Oikawa, realizing what he said, frantically amended, “But then again, Makki and Mattsun are here too, you could probably just call them, but then again, the option of calling me still exists, and um,” Oikawa's cheeks started to turn red.

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi interrupted his word vomit. “Thanks. I’ll take you up on it.” He finished with a grin to reassure him of his gratitude.

Oikawa gave a relieved smile. “No problem, Iwa-chan! How’s the rotation?”

“It’s good, but kids are too reckless with their bodies.”

Oikawa laughed. “Sounds familiar.”

Iwaizumi glared before asking, “How’s the, uh the, marketing thing?”

“I’m a fashion retail marketer, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa smirked. “And it’s going great, they’re going to give me my own spread, so I’m currently working on that, putting outfits together…”

Iwaizumi nodded along with Oikawa’s monologue, but his eyes slipped over to Seiji. He had finished his parts of the cookie, and was carefully sipping the warm milk. He really did look like Oikawa, except, for lack of a better term, darker. His eyes, though the same shape as his mother’s, were a lighter hazel, which complimented the boy nicely.

Another difference Iwaizumi noticed was Seiji’s personality. It wasn’t really much like Oikawa’s, barring the little nuances Seiji must have picked up from his mother.

It all seemed so familiar, yet Iwaizumi just couldn’t place all these traits into a person. But if he recognized them, did that mean Seiji’s father could be someone he knew…?

“Iwa-chan, are you listening?”

“What, uh, yes.” Iwaizumi realized he could have been a lot smoother.

“Hmph,” Oikawa glowered. “Obviously you’re not.”

“Hee hee, Iwa-shan caught!” Seiji giggled.

“You know Iwa-chan, I can take my conversation elsewhere, for someone who’d listen. There are plenty of people who want to talk to me, but I’ve made time for you.”

Iwaizumi resisted the urge to roll his eyes, about to say, ‘Yeah? Who?’, when he recalled the conversation he overheard Oikawa have at the park.

“Tooru-chan, you really must let me introduce you to someone! I know several alphas who’d be quite interested you.”

Iwaizumi’s mouth suddenly felt dry.

“Iwa-chan, are you ok? You don’t look so good.” Oikawa knit his brows in worry.

“Iwa-shan feel sick?” Seiji mimicked Oikawa’s face.

Iwaizumi took a quick swig of his coffee and said, “I’m alright. And I’m sorry for zoning out.”

Oikawa’s features softened before becoming haughty. “Well it’s fine as long as you understand!”

Iwaizumi did roll his eyes this time, but couldn’t fight his smile as he listened to Oikawa pick up where he left off.

Yet, as he sat with Oikawa just like old times, despite the addition of his son, Iwaizumi couldn’t help the seed of uneasiness growing in his gut; except continually swallow it down and hope it’ll eventually pass.

Chapter Text

“So, what you’re telling us, is that you have a date with Oikawa, right?”

Iwaizumi spluttered at Matsukawa’s comment while Hanamaki nodded in agreement.

The three of them had just come back from a run and were cooling down at Matsukawa and Hanamaki’s house.

“That’s the opposite of what I said! We’re just meeting up for a casual day in the park. I haven’t seen much of Tokyo aside from grocery stores and places to eat. So Oikawa offered to show me around in our free time.”

“So, a date,” Hanamaki concluded.

Iwaizumi wanted to tear his hair out. “It’s not a date,” he growled.

“What part of that description didn’t sound like a date?” Matsukawa pointed out.

Iwaizumi opened his mouth, but quickly shut it when he realized he had no foundation to argue with.

He and Oikawa had been meeting up whenever they had days off or half days when they weren’t too busy or tired. They got past all the small talk and awkwardness and were finally at a level that was almost like their friendship before Oikawa had disappeared for four years. Which was the only subject neither of them breached. And before Iwaizumi knew it, they had been meeting up at least once every week.

It sounded like courtship, if it wasn’t for one glaring addition:

“Oikawa always brings Seiji along.” Iwaizumi noticed that Oikawa used his son as a buffer of sorts whenever he was with him.

Both Matsukawa and Hanamaki raised their eyebrows.

Matsukawa patted him on the back while Hanamaki patted his hand soothingly.

“Well, hang in there Casanova. I’m sure he’ll come around,” Matsukawa encouraged.

“Oikawa seems like a minx, but he’s really like a bunny, sensitive and in constant need for attention. Keep it up, and he’ll be yours.” Hanamaki gave him a thumbs up.

Iwaizumi spluttered again. “I’m not, I’m not trying to woo Oikawa! I’m just trying to be friends again!”

Matsukawa and Hanamaki stared at him with an expression that said ‘Yeah, keep telling yourself that.’

Iwaizumi sighed harshly and chugged water from the bottle he carried. Hydrating himself was much more proactive than talking to those two; it was like talking to the wall.

***

The park was nice. Lush, green trees and foliage were everywhere, tasteful public art sparsely spread around. People were roaming around, but it wasn’t too crowed. The weather was perfect, and sky was blue, and the birds were singing. It was a near perfect day.

Near perfect, since Oikawa wasn’t anywhere to be found. Iwaizumi itched to go find him, but he realized he didn’t know the area, so he’d get lost, and it was more sensible to just wait at the meeting place, the large fountain in the center of the park.

A group of omegas passed by as he waited, pausing to look at him, whisper amongst themselves, and giggle. Iwaizumi felt his neck burn and he looked to the ground to stare at his shoes.

“Iwa-chan! Over here!”

He turned in time to see Oikawa running up from behind the group of omegas towards him.

“Parking was a little hectic, sorry!” he said, a little out of breath. Oikawa braced himself against Iwaizumi’s arm. Once Oikawa straightened, he turned his head towards the group, still keeping a hand on Iwaizumi’s bicep. The group collectively stiffened at whatever expression Oikawa gave them before awkwardly shuffling away.

Iwaizumi blinked before realizing there was a lack of presence.

“Oikawa, where’s Seiji?”

“Oh! One of my friends offered to watch him today! So it’s just you and me now~” Oikawa took this opportunity to cuddle Iwaizumi’s arm. He had a nauseating fake smile and batted his eyelashes up at Iwaizumi.

Iwaizumi rolled his eyes and shrugged Oikawa off him. “Well, where to?”

Oikawa perked up and his expression brightened, leading Iwaizumi down a path and chatting about the sights around. As they walked, their hands would occasionally brush, and it would make Iwaizumi’s stomach flutter. Every time he glanced Oikawa’s way, Oikawa would give him a smile so sweet it rivaled the sun’s rays. More flutters, more nervous swallows. Was he still in middle school?

“So, a date.”

Iwaizumi never hated Matsukawa and Hanamaki more for planting that stupid thought in his mind.

It’s not true, this isn’t a date, Iwaizumi reminded himself. Really, what they were doing was no different with how they normally spent free time together before the four years of lost communication. So why was Iwaizumi so conscious of it now?

Oikawa grabbed his arm, and the touch made Iwaizumi jolt. If Oikawa noticed, he didn’t show it.

“Iwa-chan, look, they’re selling crepes! Let’s get some!”

As Oikawa walked off, Iwaizumi tried to convince himself that the fast pace of his heart was from surprise and not something else.

When he caught up with Oikawa, he was already paying the vendor.

“Don’t worry Iwa-chan, I already bought you one!”

Iwaizumi glared at him. “What flavor?” He hoped Oikawa didn’t sabotage him while he wasn’t looking.

As Oikawa was about to answer, the vendor called out, “Cinnamon apple!”

Oikawa grabbed it, handing it to Iwaizumi, “This! It’s still your favorite, right?”

Iwaizumi took the crepe, filled with thinly sliced apple coated with cinnamon and topped with cream. It was his favorite, not too sweet, and the cream looked fresh. He was surprised Oikawa remembered. Speaking of Oikawa, Iwaizumi noticed him fidgeting, looking expectant.

“It is, thanks Oikawa,” he said, taking a bite to prove it. It really was good.

Oikawa’s face lit up, and Iwaizumi couldn’t help thinking that it was damn cute. Oikawa always had a pretty perky and excitable character.

It’s ok to think your best friend is cute, Iwaizumi thought.

“Chocolate strawberry,” the vendor called before Iwaizumi’s thoughts could spin any further.

Oikawa took it, immediately digging in. It was some unholy concoction of strawberry, cream, and tons of chocolate syrup. Just looking at it, Iwaizumi felt second-hand diabetes.

“How can you eat that?” Iwaizumi found himself asking. It was a wonder Oikawa’s teeth didn’t rot out of his skull.

“Ifs reawwy goom,” Oikawa replied with his mouth full. He had cream and chocolate sauce all around his mouth.

“It’s rude to talk with your mouth full, idiot. And you’re a mess,” Iwaizumi grumbled grabbing napkins from the counter of the vendor’s window. He began wiping the gunk off of Oikawa, but some chocolate and cream got on his thumb in the process. After he threw the soiled napkins away, he licked the leftover sweetness on his thumb. His nose wrinkled at the taste. “Way too sweet.”

Iwaizumi looked over to Oikawa to check if he had missed any spots. His face was clean, but his cheeks were burning red.

“N-no fair Iwa-chan! Let me ha-have some of yours too!” Before Iwaizumi could react, Oikawa seized his wrist and took a bite of his crepe.

“Hey!” Iwaizumi protested. “I didn’t even bite yours!”

Oikawa looked away, pouting as he chewed, cheeks still bright red.

“Aw, young love.” Iwaizumi and Oikawa both snapped their heads to the source of the voice, seeing the vendor leering at them.

Suddenly Oikawa’s cheeks weren’t alone in redness. “We-we aren’t!” they stuttered together, before blushing even more at how they were in sync.

The vendor laughed.

Iwaizumi grabbed Oikawa’s hand and pulled him along. “Let’s go,” he mumbled; Oikawa followed behind with surprised, doe wide eyes.

“Enjoy, lovebirds~” the vendor called after them.

They stopped at a somewhat secluded bench, plopping down and finishing their crepes in silence.

Once they were done, they continued to sit in silence, awkward from the vendor’s teasing jabs.

“I-Iwa-chan,” Oikawa said hesitantly.

Iwaizumi turned to find Oikawa slumped, hands fiddling in his lap, looking up at Iwaizumi through his thick lashes.

Iwaizumi swallowed at the tightness in his throat at the sight. “Yeah?” He felt nervous jitters all over his body.

“Um, well, you see,” Oikawa began, but wasn’t able to finish because the ringing of his cellphone interrupted his words and thoughts.

Oikawa pulled his cellphone out of his satchel and answered the call so fast Iwaizumi wondered if he checked the caller ID. “Hello?”

Oikawa stood up, and paced with his call while Iwaizumi watched from his seat on the bench, attempting to shake his nerves off.

“Oh, hey, what’s – what?” There was some muffled speaking on the other line, but from what Iwaizumi could make out, it sounded frantic.

Oikawa had stopped walking. In fact, all of him was stock still, so tense, that Iwaizumi felt a single touch would cause him to snap. His grip on his phone looked crushing.

“…Bokuto. Are you trying to tell me that Seiji, my son, the apple of my eye, the light of my life, the very person I hold the most dear, is missing? Because you. Took. Your. Eyes. Off. Him?” There was a lethal edge to Oikawa’s voice. The response Oikawa received was feeble, but it must have been an affirmative, because as soon as he heard it, a growl tore out Oikawa.

“You swear it was only for a second? A second, Bokuto? Seiji is three, how did he manage to escape you if you only looked away for a measly, goddamn second!”

The response was hurried, and Oikawa snarled at it. “Bokuto, when I find you, I will castrate you to prevent you from having any children. It’ll save you and Akaashi the trouble, because it’s obvious you can’t handle them!” Oikawa seethed, voice downright murderous.

The voice responded, panicked, but Oikawa spoke over it. “Enough of your bullshit excuses, Bokuto. Just tell me you are and where you last saw Seiji.” Oikawa’s voice was like venom, and it gave Iwaizumi chills.

After a rattled answer, Oikawa hung up the phone and breathed harshly through his nose, stance rigid.

Iwaizumi stood and placed a hand on Oikawa’s shoulder. “Oikawa, calm down. We’ll find him. He’s three, right? He couldn’t have gotten far. Don’t worry.”

Oikawa turned and looked at him with so much desperation in his eyes that Iwaizumi felt his heart crack.

***

It turns out Bokuto had taken Seiji to the same park in which Iwaizumi and Oikawa had their confrontation with Matsukawa and Hanamaki.

Oikawa parked his car and stalked out of it, Iwaizumi nearly tripping to catch up. Oikawa strode to a harried man with two-tone hair that seemed to defy gravity.

The man turned and saw them approaching. “Hey, Oikawa –”

Oikawa grabbed the collar of his shirt and yanked him to eye level. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t be wringing your neck right now.”

“B-because Seiji would miss his awesome Uncle Bokuto?”

“He has his Uncles Kuroo, Kenma, and Akaashi; he’ll live.”

Bokuto broke out into a visible sweat. “Hey, you!” he called to Iwaizumi. “Back me up here, will you?”

Iwaizumi raised a single, unimpressed brow. “You lost his son. His anger is justified.” To be honest, Iwaizumi was roiling with concealed rage. Who the hell loses a child, especially a sweet boy like Seiji, and tries to justify himself? If Oikawa was going to attack, Iwaizumi would help him.

“P-please, Oikawa! I really didn’t mean to!” Oikawa let out a feral growl and Bokuto shook in fear.

Iwaizumi sighed. He squeezed Oikawa’s shoulder, stating, “As warranted as your behavior is, we won’t find Seiji this way.”

Oikawa looked into Iwaizumi’s eyes, much like they had done before a match, an intense stare that would leave Iwaizumi breathless, before releasing Bokuto and standing down.

“Right. Iwa-chan, go that way, Bokuto check over there, and I’ll look over here.”

Iwaizumi nodded and headed off, but not before hearing:

“Iwa-chan? That sounds kinda familiar…”

“Bokuto, quit thinking about worthless things, when you could be thinking about where you lost my son.”

“Urk. Right.”

Iwaizumi headed into a thicket of trees, calling out Seiji’s name. After half an hour, Iwaizumi took a break by a tree, scratching his head and wondering where Seiji went off to. He checked his phone to see if Oikawa had texted him to tell if he or Bokuto had found Seiji, but no such luck.

Just as Iwaizumi was about to start walking off again to search, something fell and hit him on the head. Puzzled, he saw it was a child’s shoe. Iwaizumi blinked and then looked up into the boughs of the tree to see Seiji seated on a thick branch, swinging his legs freely. One of his feet was missing a shoe, and the shoe on the ground matched the one on his foot.

Realizing he’d been seen, Seiji giggled. “Iwa-shan found me!”

Iwaizumi’s jaw dropped. How had Seiji gotten up there? Iwaizumi himself hadn’t started climbing trees until he was eight, and Oikawa never climbed trees to begin with. Seiji was covered with cuts and scrapes, but judging from the beaming smile on his face, they didn’t bother him. If it was Oikawa, he’d be wailing.

“Hey Seiji. Good job getting up there! Do you wanna come down now? Your mom’s looking for you.”

“Mommy? I wanna see Mommy!” Seiji bounced on his perched.

“Come on down then.”

Seiji looked around. “How?”

Iwaizumi wanted to slap himself. Of course he’d find a way to get up there, but wouldn’t know how to get down. They’d have to call the fire department, especially if Seiji realized his predicament and started being scared. Unless…

“Seiji, I’ll catch you, so jump into my arms.” It was a long shot, Oikawa as a child would never do it. But if Seiji was gutsy enough to climb a tree, hopefully he was gutsy enough to jump from it.

Iwaizumi watched as Seiji rocked in his seat, before leaping off and laughing in the freefall. Iwaizumi quickly adjusted his footing and caught Seiji, holding him to his chest.

“Oof.”

“Hee, hee!”

Iwaizumi sighed, hitching Seiji on his waist and pulling out his cellphone to text Oikawa that he found him. Seiji nuzzled against Iwaizumi’s shoulder and Iwaizumi nuzzled his head without thinking.

Not two minutes later, Oikawa came tearing through the foliage with Bokuto close behind.

“Seiji!”

“Mommy!” Seiji reached his arms out for Oikawa and Iwaizumi handed him off.

Oikawa held Seiji close and began peppering his face with kisses while Seiji let out pleased giggles. “I was so worried…!”

“Geez, Seiji, why’d ya go off on your own like that? Your ma nearly killed me,” Bokuto whined.

“I’m still considering it,” Oikawa warned, but it held no bite as Oikawa continued to coddle his son.

Iwaizumi bent down to pick up the shoe that hit him while Oikawa said, “Look at all these cuts, my poor baby! When we get home, I’ll patch you up.” Oikawa finished his lament with an eskimo kiss to Seiji.

Iwaizumi went over to them, and slipped the shoe back on Seiji’s foot. When he looked up, He found Oikawa smiling at him.

“Thank you Iwa-chan.”

Oikawa’s face was so open and sincere, his tone so genuine and heartfelt, that Iwaizumi heard his heart thump louder and felt it beat quicker. But that didn’t mean anything. It was probably just the adrenaline from catching Seiji.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi plopped onto the uncomfortable plastic chair in the break room, letting out a groan. He tipped his head back and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose and closing his eyes.

Iwaizumi had read through so many medical briefs he lost count. He felt like his eyes were literally spinning. His head pounded in time with his heart.

A chuckle broke into his suffering. He cracked open an eye to see the face of Sugawara Koushi looming over his own.

Iwaizumi’s eyes snapped open, and with a sharp breath through his nose, he bolted upright in his seat. Sugawara moved back a bit, narrowly missing what would have been a painful collision.

“What,” Iwaizumi growled, “were you doing?”

Sugawara laughed, holding his hands up in a gesture of peace. “Sorry, sorry! I just thought I’d surprise you a little.”

Iwaizumi hunched forward, elbows on the table in front of him, and began massaging his temples. “That’s one way to put it.”

Sugawara laughed again before asking, “Coffee?”

“Yes, thank you Sugawara-san.” Iwaizumi would need the caffeine boost for the imposing stack of paperwork which still awaited him. He shuddered even thinking about it.

Sugawara hummed as he set to brewing the coffee. “Have you eaten Iwaizumi-san?”

“Iwaizumi is fine, and no.”

Sugawara tutted. “It isn’t a good idea to drink coffee on an empty stomach. It’ll just upset you.” Sugawara went to the shared fridge and pulled out a sandwich that was marked with his name. “And if you want me to drop the honorific, I insist you do the same,” Sugawara said with a wink, placing the sandwich in front of him.

“Alright Sugawara, but I can’t accept this. You need to eat too.” Iwaizumi was grateful nonetheless, and ignored the way his stomach growled for him to eat it anyway.

Sugawara waved his comment off. “It’s fine. Today my boyfriend came to visit and made me a bento, so I’m good.” As if to confirm his statement, Sugawara went back to the fridge and pulled out a bento box which was also marked as his, placing it on the opposite end of the table. “So please, Iwaizumi, eat. I’ll be offended if you don’t.”

Iwaizumi chuckled as he began unwrapping the sandwich. “Fine then, thank you for the food.”

“No problem,” Sugawara said as he brought the coffee over. He put a cup of black coffee before Iwaizumi, remarking with a grin, “I noticed you only drink black.”

They ate in companionable silence while they waited for their coffee to cool. Once this coffee no longer had the ability to give Iwaizumi third degree burns on his tongue, he took a sip and was determined to make conversation.

“That boyfriend you mentioned, is he that former captain of Karasno, Sawamura Daichi?” Iwaizumi had a hunch. He had seen Sawamura more than a few times in the reception asking for Sugawara. Sometimes he was accompanied by Azumane Asahi, that frail-hearted ace of theirs during the third year of high school.

Sugawara almost dropped his chopsticks in shock. “I – er, yes. We got together after high school. How did you know?”

Iwaizumi smirked, finally having the upper hand on Sugawara. “He comes around often. Always asks for you.” He heard Sugawara mutter a Geez, Daichi, before continuing. “Plus, you two seemed like a real couple during all our matches in high school. I would be surprised if he wasn’t your boyfriend.”

Sugawara took a sip of his own coffee and Iwaizumi noted with satisfaction that the drink was mostly an effort for Sugawara to recompose himself.

Clearing his throat, Sugawara said, “I’d say Daichi were no more a couple in high school than you and Oikawa Tooru. If anything, you two were the power couple of Aoba Josai.”

Iwaizumi flinched at the statement and immediately cursed himself for it, because it didn’t go unnoticed by Sugawara.

“I’m sorry, did I say something strange?”

Iwaizumi rubbed the back of his neck. He wasn’t sure if explaining would be too much information, but Sugawara seemed pretty understanding and sympathetic. “Oikawa and I aren’t a couple. In fact, it wasn’t until recently we began speaking again after a four year stint.”

Sugawara dropped his chopsticks this time. They clattered to the floor while he all but screeched “WHAT!”

“Uh, yeah, we kind of fell out of contact during college. But I ran into him here after moving, and we’ve starting talking and hanging out again.” Even after the clarification, Sugawara was still staring at Iwaizumi as if he had sprouted a second head.

“Well, I suppose that’s good news for all the omega nurses and doctors who’ve been glancing your way,” Sugawara murmured as he bent down to get his chopsticks.

“What was that?” Iwaizumi asked. He couldn’t hear what Sugawara had said, but he sounded oddly resigned.

“It was nothing,” Sugawara grinned with false cheer, getting up and rinsing his chopsticks off.

When he returned to the table, he began eating with more gusto than before. He seemed determined to not meet Iwaizumi’s eyes. “You should finish eating Iwaizumi, our break will be over soon.”

“Right…” Iwaizumi agreed, biting into his sandwich and wondering why Sugawara was suddenly so off-kilter.

***

Iwaizumi stumbled out of the hospital in a daze. He could easily take the train home, but he decided to walk the stiffness out of his body. His home wasn’t too far that it was an uncomfortable walking distance, and he had no plans that afternoon, anyway.

Iwaizumi wasn’t sure how long he wandered. It should have taken him about half an hour to get home, but it seemed as though he’d been walking longer, people and buildings blurring into obscurity as he continued along.

He didn’t snap out of it until he bumped shoulders with someone.

“Oh, I’m sorry–”

“No, it’s my bad–”

Iwaizumi and the stranger turned to face each other and both their eyes widened when they met.

Because the person Iwaizumi had bumped into wasn’t a stranger at all, it was Oikawa. He was wearing a knee-length pleated skirt and a knit top.

“What are you doing here?!” they asked at the same time.

They stared each other in the eyes for a few beats before Iwaizumi sighed broke eye contact.

“I was just walking home after my shift at the hospital.” Oikawa made an expression of utter disbelief, confusing Iwaizumi. “What? Did I say something odd?”

“…Iwa-chan. Your apartment is in the other direction.”

“WHAT?!” Iwaizumi began looking around, noticing that none of the buildings or landmarks around him were familiar.

Suddenly Oikawa burst into a fit of giggles. “Are you serious? Ha ha, I can’t,” Oikawa wheezed. “You came all this way from the hospital without realizing you were walking the wrong way?”

Iwaizumi felt a vein in his forehead twitch. “I was just tired, alright! The hospital has been working the junior doctors to the bone!”

Oikawa was still visibly shaking with laughter, but he was attempting to reign in his audible laughs. He looked up at Iwaizumi with a broad smile full of teeth and tears in his eyes.

“That’s no good Iwa-chan! What’s the use of a doctor if he’s the one who gets sick!”

“Idiot, I’m not sick. And it isn’t as if becoming a doctor makes you immune to illness.” Iwaizumi refused to acknowledge the fact he was pouting.

Oikawa giggled a little more before clearing his throat. He reached up, lightly brushing his thumb across Iwaizumi’s cheekbone, just under the dark circles Iwaizumi knew he had there.

“But even so, you still need to take care of yourself. It isn’t so convincing to be told how to manage yourself by someone who looks like he’s about to fall to shambles.”

I could have said the same for you during high school, middle school… Iwaizumi wonders if God was doing this role reversal as a joke, to spite him.

He lightly took Oikawa’s wrist and gently pulled his hand away from his face, because he could feel his cheek heat up under Oikawa’s ministrations.

“I’m fine… What are you doing here?”

Oikawa smiled blithely at him. “What does it look like I’m doing Iwa-chan?”

And for the first time, Iwaizumi noticed the group of women, with some men interspersed, standing nearby. They were waiting by the open gate of a fenced building.

As Iwaizumi was about to answer, the doors to the building opened and children spilled out into the courtyard. Parents moved to greet their respective offspring.

“MOMMY!”

Oikawa looked, and what he saw made his entire face light up. Seiji was running towards him at full speed and Oikawa turned, walking forward a little before kneeling. He caught Seiji in his arms, rocking a little from the force before standing and lifting Seiji up, extending his arms so Seiji looked like he was floating, limbs splayed out and face emitting pure joy. Oikawa simply glowed looking at his son.

Iwaizumi had thought this for a while, but now he could confirm it. Whenever he saw Oikawa interacting with Seiji, it was as if they were closed off. Almost like their own world, Iwaizumi saw them in a bubble. A beautiful, shining bubble which he could only look into, and not reach for fear of popping it.

Iwaizumi felt everything within him squeeze so sharply he winced in pain.

Oikawa was already walking back to him, Seiji secured in his arms. Seiji was nuzzling Oikawa’s neck contently.

“Ah, then I’ll just be on my way,” Iwaizumi said. He felt if he stayed any longer a fissure would open up within himself. He hoped he could sleep these feelings off.

“What are you talking about Iwa-chan? I’m driving you home; if you try to walk back on your own, you’re bound to collapse.”

Seiji reached out and grabbed his sleeve. “Iwa-shan, come home.” His wide smile eased Iwaizumi, if only a little. Uneasiness still stormed his heart.

“Not to our home, Seiji, we’re dropping him off at his.” And Iwaizumi felt the pit opening again, the aching hollow feelings he sometimes had when he was with Oikawa resurfacing from where he consistently buried them.

Oikawa didn’t give him much in way of a choice, walking ahead and leading Iwaizumi to where he parked. As Oikawa drove, Iwaizumi let Seiji’s babbling from the backseat of his day at the daycare soothe him.

***

Shifts were hell at the hospital. If he wasn’t doing insane amounts of paperwork, he was trailing doctors and reviewing patients. His shifts stretched to extremes and he found himself hardly eating. Upon Sugawara’s insistence (i.e., nagging) Iwaizumi went grocery shopping.

Iwaizumi was trying to figure what sort of food to buy that would give him the most nourishment without having to put too much effort into preparing it. He was thinking of buying a can of red beans.

He already had rice and miso, maybe some tofu?

Iwaizumi continued to ponder over the choice of legumes, when the sound of familiar humming made him turn.

Oikawa had just turned the aisle, shopping basket in hand and as he perused the other side. He was dressed in an ankle-length peasant skirt and a loose, wide-necked t shirt that was tied a little above his right hip. Unlike the time he wore a crop top at the café, there was only a peek of skin below where his shirt was knotted up.

Iwaizumi quickly turned back around. He scanned the cans nonchalantly, lightly sweating. He wasn’t sure why he was avoiding Oikawa, but after that run-in he had with him at Seiji’s daycare, he couldn’t seem to bring himself to contact Oikawa. He wasn’t entirely sure why.

Oikawa continued humming, plucking items from the shelves and dumping them in his basket.

Iwaizumi furtively glanced at him, wondering if he should go over or make his escape.

“Yo,” Iwaizumi overheard, glancing over his shoulder to see a tall, taller than Oikawa, man with the messiest hair Iwaizumi had ever seen, walk over to Oikawa, holding a bag of chips. “How’s this flavor?”

Oikawa murmured an affirmative while inspecting a package of soybeans, and the man placed the chips in the shopping basket. Then he took the basket from Oikawa.

“Hey!” Oikawa protested, reaching to take it back.

“Nope, you’re a frail omega, so I’ll carry it for you. Wouldn’t want you to break a nail after all.” He finished the statement with a grin that almost seemed patronizing.

In the man’s defense, the basket was getting pretty full, so it must have been pretty heavy. But Oikawa’s hackles raised, and he looked ready to start a fight.

Before Oikawa could verbally lash out, the man slung an arm around his shoulders. “Besides, I have something to tell you,” the man said, voice dropping an octave.

Oikawa raised a brow and looked skeptical, but stayed silent and waited for the man to continue.

“There was this granny with bright blue hair and she…” the man leaned close and whispered the rest of his sentence in Oikawa’s ear.

Iwaizumi couldn’t help but notice with a little scorn that this guy’s height perfectly complimented Oikawa’s; when they stood together, it wasn’t a question of who the alpha and who the omega was.

Oikawa’s eyes widened at what he heard before he burst out laughing. Iwaizumi gasped at the sight.

Because this laughter wasn’t the giggles, snickers, or laughs Oikawa had around him recently. That laughter was always at someone's expense, mostly Iwaizumi's.

No, Iwaizumi hadn’t heard Oikawa laugh like this, so carefree and unbridled, in four years.

In his shock, Iwaizumi let the can of red beans slip from his fingers. It clattered noisily to the floor.

Oikawa and the man turned towards the source of the noise, and Iwaizumi felt his soul leave his body as he willed himself to not move and keep acting nonchalant.

“Iwa-chan?” Iwaizumi turned a little to see Oikawa walking towards him with a puzzled expression. “That is you, Iwa-chan!”

“Uh, yeah. It’s me.” Iwaizumi could cringe at how awkward he sounded.

“What’s up? Are you shopping? Oh, that brand of tofu is good!” Oikawa said with a bright smile and no room for Iwaizumi to respond. Then his smile fluttered at the edges. “…I haven’t heard from you for a while, you know?”

Iwaizumi felt guilt pierce him like a rusty spear in the gut. “Oikawa –”

Oikawa plowed on. “You must have been busy, huh? Look at you, you look like you’ve lost weight! You have to listen to Oikawa-san when he gives you advice to take care of yourself.”

Iwaizumi chuckled weakly, trying to come up with a response when he noticed Oikawa’s companion slinking toward them.

Said man wrapped his arm around Oikawa’s waist, and introduced himself with the greasiest grin Iwaizumi had ever seen on a human being. “Kuroo Tetsurou, nice to meet you.”

“Iwaizumi Hajime, a pleasure,” Iwaizumi returned.

Kuroo’s face split with an even bigger grin, and his hand slid down to tease Oikawa’s exposed skin with his fingertips. Iwaizumi glared in response.

Iwaizumi wondered, this man was being oddly possessive of Oikawa, had fairly dark features, could he be Seiji’s…?

Oikawa swatted at Kuroo’s hand like it was a mosquito. “Tetsu-chan,” Oikawa said with warning thinly concealed in his voice. “Behave yourself, or I’ll call Kenma. Take you back and swap my baby for his.”

“Is that your Daddy?”

“No, that’s Uncle Kuroo. He’s mated to Uncle Kenma.”

And as soon as Iwaizumi’s thought came, it left.

“Oikawa, I’m impressed. How did you know Kenma and I indulged in daddy kink?”

“I’m going to gag. Especially considering that you play the baby.”

Kuroo waggled his eyebrows and Oikawa snorted.

Suddenly, Iwaizumi felt insecure. Oikawa still tiptoed around him. Yet with Kuroo he could laugh and joke as freely as they used to before their four years of separation.

With sickening realization, Iwaizumi knew why Oikawa was so familiar with Kuroo; he existed in a part of Oikawa’s life where Iwaizumi didn’t. To Iwaizumi, who had known Oikawa since they were brats, who considered Oikawa his best friend, a world where he didn’t know Oikawa was unthinkable.

But the evidence was there: through his friendship with Kuroo, through his son Seiji, and through the way he handled every interaction with Iwaizumi like glass.

Iwaizumi felt nauseous. He noisily cleared his throat to catch Oikawa and Kuroo’s attention.

“I should…go.” He really couldn’t stand being third wheel, even in a platonic setting.

“Wait, Iwa-chan!” Oikawa grabbed Iwaizumi’s hand and squeezed it. “You’ll…you’ll text me soon, right? Let’s hang out when you aren’t busy, ok?”

“Yeah,” Iwaizumi said while extracting his hand from Oikawa’s grip. How could he say no with Oikawa looking so earnestly at him? “I’ll text you when I get home.”

As Iwaizumi left, he looked back to see that Kuroo’s grin had been completely wiped off his face, leaving a small, disapproving frown in its place.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi still found himself immensely busy. Shifts at the hospital left him dead tired, to the point he would pass out as soon as he met any soft surface within his home. He would find Sugawara eyeing him with concern when he thought Iwaizumi wasn’t looking.

But he was taking better care of himself. He owed that to Oikawa; they had begun texting regularly again, and his incessant nags and tips reminded and helped Iwaizumi function like a decent human.

>> Iwa-chan, make yourself some hearty soup! It’s so easy, just chop a bunch of vegetables and cook them in some broth and you’re good for at least a week of dinner! And it’ll keep you full for a while. Plus, it’s healthy!

>> Iwa-chan, don’t drink so much caffeine! Apples are a good source of natural sugar which helps you stay awake and alert! Plus you know what they say~ “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Hehe. :3c At the very least, try to substitute some cups of coffee for tea, it’ll be better for you.

>> Iwa-chan, Seiji says hi!!! He wants to know when you’ll come over, but I already told him you were busy, so don’t worry~ Hospitals never get breaks huh? Remember to pack yourself some lunch because today’s your long shift! And convenience store bentos don’t count! X(

>> Iwa-chan, you are listening to my advice, aren’t you? If you aren’t, Oikawa-san will have to take matters into his own hands! >:)

The day after he received that text, Hanamaki visited him after he had come home from his shift.

“Yo, Iwaizumi. I have a delivery~”

“Go away,” Iwaizumi growled through the door. He had more paperwork to do, and he wanted to get it done by a semi-decent hour.

“It’ll take a second, and then I’ll get out of your hair, promise.”

Cautiously, Iwaizumi opened the door, only to be met with a pile of several cloth wrapped boxes in the arms of a person he assumed to be Hanamaki. But the stack was so large he could barely see the top of his head.

“The hell’s all that?”

“It’s yours,” Hanamaki announced, shouldering his way into Iwaizumi’s apartment and setting the stack on his sad excuse of a dining table.

There were six boxes total, each varying in size. Iwaizumi unwrapped a medium box to find it was a bento, packed with fifteen rice balls. A smaller box was another bento, the more traditional kind that high school students would have for lunch, with rice, rolled eggs, sausages shaped like octopi, hamburger, and an assortment of vegetables. A larger box was half with fried rice, and the other side with agedashi tofu. The other large box consisted entirely of curry. In total there were three small boxes which were standard, balanced bentos, one medium box of riceballs, and two large boxes which had curry, tofu, and fried rice.

Iwaizumi remained confused for a substantial amount of time before uttering, “…You cook?”

“No, Matsukawa does all the cooking at home.”

“Why did Matsukawa cook for me?”

“He didn’t.”

Iwaizumi remained silent, utterly bewildered as to where this food came from. It wasn’t store bought; burnt edges and the way they were packed and wrapped screamed of homemade cooking.

“Then where…?”

“Here,” Hanamaki said, offering Iwaizumi a note.

Iwa-chan! I told you I’d take matters into my own hands! Mattsun came over today to help me watch Seiji, so I had some extra free time. I decided to cook for you! Be grateful for Oikawa-sama’s kindness! I won’t make this a habit; you really need to learn to cook and fend for yourself, but I thought that I could help you out a little bit! Let me know how everything tastes, alright? Also, check out the back, there’s a little something for you from Seiji~

Iwaizumi turned the note over to find a crude drawing of what he thought might be a picture of himself. He was dressed up as a doctor, and there were a few scribbles which Iwaizumi thought might be words, but it was too messy for him to clearly make out. But the gesture itself touched him.

He must have been staring at the drawing for a long time, because Hanamaki started talking again.

“Matsukawa went to visit Oikawa and Seiji today. You know he’s always had a soft spot for kids, and even I have to admit Seiji is pretty damn adorable. Oikawa made all for this for you, and sent it back with Matsukawa. Then Matsukawa tells me to take it to your place, some crap about how since he brought it from Oikawa’s, it’s only fair I take it to yours.” Hanamaki rolled his eyes at the end of his statement.

“…Thanks,” is all Iwaizumi was capable of mustering. He was a little flabbergasted that Oikawa would do so much for him.

“Heh, don’t thank me, thank mommy-extraordinaire. Never thought I’d see the day your roles would get reversed.”

“What was that, Hanamaki?” Iwaizumi asked, though his tone proved he knew exactly what Hanamaki was saying.

“Nothing, nothing! I’ll leave now!” Hanamaki snickered as he went out the door.

>> Iwa-chan! You liked my food, huh? I’m glad you ate it all! You rationed it well if it lasted you two weeks! I can send you all my recipes later~ And don’t worry, everything is cost efficient! :D

>> Iwa-chan, where are you?? Makki and Mattsun are over, and they literally will not stop bothering me, talking about how cooking all that food only for you was favoritism! You need to come here and help me, I can’t fight them off by myself! And Seiji has betrayed me, laughing at their antics! How could he do this to his own mother?!? :’[

>> Iwa-chan, I just put Seiji to sleep. He literally would not calm down, I was ready to slip him a sedative! @_@ Thankfully he finally passed out a few minutes ago. It’s a good thing I don’t have work tomorrow. But you do, so get some rest! I know you’re still awake you workaholic! Can you really not get any time off? Seiji really misses you… And um, not only Seiji…

Iwaizumi blearily read his most recent text from Oikawa, rubbing sleep from his eyes. He had actually managed to get a day off, so maybe he’d give Oikawa a call and spend time with him and Seiji. He did miss the two of them, it had been almost a month since he’d seen either of them.

He had texted Matsukawa the night before about how he had miraculously gotten a day off when Matsukawa had asked him what he was up to.

His alarm clock said “7:52 a.m.” in bright, green digits, offending his eyes. He intended to sleep in, but his circadian rhythm had different plans. Just as Iwaizumi rolled over, intending to get a few extra hours of sleep, a loud car horn jolted him awake.

Immediately, his phone started ringing, and Iwaizumi picked it up without checking the caller ID.

“Iwaizumi! I know you’re in there! Come outside! Matsukawa told me you had the day off, so we’ve come to collect you!” Hanamaki’s voice boomed through the speaker of his phone.

“Fuck off,” Iwaizumi growled into the receiver. “It’s my day off and I’ll spend it as I choose to.”

“Aw, don’t be like that! Just answer your door.”

Iwaizumi let out a few more expletives before grumbling, “Fine.”

He got out of bed, yawning as he padded through his apartment, and scratched his stomach as he opened the door.

Iwaizumi was ready to tell Hanamaki off, only it wasn’t Hanamaki at his door; it was Oikawa.

Oikawa was wearing a pure white sundress, with thick straps that showed off his broad shoulders and a modest, tiered skirt which ended just above his knees. He had a pair of white strapped sandals, and topped his outfit with a straw sun hat that had a wide, pale blue ribbon wrapped just above the brim, the ends tied a large bow which mimicked the ones Iwaizumi had seen on the backs of girls’ formal dresses. Oikawa’s hat was tipped to the back of his head, so his face wasn’t obscured.

Iwaizumi felt all manner of coherent speech leave him at the sight.

Oikawa had been looking down at first, but when he realized the door had been opened, he looked up through his lashes, head still slightly tipped down. He had a smile on his face and said “Hi Iwa-” before his smile faltered, he shut his mouth in a thin, shocked line, and red slowly seeped into his cheeks.

Iwaizumi had never been so frustrated and embarrassed that he slept without a shirt on last night.

And the reason Oikawa was initially looking down made himself apparent with, “Iwa-shan naked!” Seiji pointed up at him from where he was standing at Oikawa’s feet.

Seiji was in front of his mother, wearing dark pink trunks with goldfish on them, which were obviously meant for swimming. He was also wearing a white tank top with blue squiggles that Iwaizumi recognized as waves and brown leather sandals that had buckled straps.

Oikawa gently grabbed Seiji’s outstretched hand, tucking his pointed finger away.

“Seiji, we don’t point at people, it’s rude.” Oikawa was resolutely looking at the top of his son’s head and nowhere else. “And Iwa-chan isn’t naked, he has pants on.”

Iwaizumi found himself blushing lightly. He hardly could count the worn-out, threadbare sweatpants he wore to bed as pants. He suddenly became acutely aware of how low they sat on his hips and how his happy trail was basically on display. He cleared his throat noisily.

At that moment, Hanamaki decided to peek out from behind the brim of Oikawa’s sunhat, smirking devilishly.

Iwaizumi had never wanted to punch the smugness off of Hanamaki’s face than he did at that instant.

“Good morning, Iwaizumi. You gonna stand there all day, or are you gonna let us in?”

Iwaizumi had a number of things he’d like to say to Hanamaki. But with Seiji here, the number of things he could say from that list was reduced to zero. So instead, he stood off to the side and gruffly said, “Come inside.”

Seiji bounced on his feet and raced inside just as Oikawa half-heartedly yelled “Seiji, no running,” after him.

Without his son to focus his attention on anymore, Oikawa decided to stare straight into Iwaizumi’s apartment. But his focus on the room ahead was so intent, that his foot caught on the doorsill, effectively tripping him. Oikawa lost his balance, throwing his arms out for purchase on something that could stabilize him. Unfortunately, the closest thing happened to be Iwaizumi’s torso, and Oikawa’s hand landed on his abs, sliding a little because of how sweaty his palms were.

Both of them froze upon the contact. Iwaizumi watched as Oikawa’s eyes grow comically wide, and his face exploded with heat, turning completely red even from the tips of his ears, all the down to his chest. His mouth had opened in horror and he started to waver on his feet, as if he might faint. Not wanting Oikawa to collapse to the floor, Iwaizumi swiftly wrapped his arm Oikawa’s waist, pulling him upright against him.

Oikawa now had his hand braced on Iwaizumi’s bare chest and felt his heart beating under his skin. Oikawa could feel Iwaizumi’s hip against his, Iwaizumi’s arm flexing to hold him, and his knees felt extremely weak. Their faces were very close, and he found Iwaizumi’s eyes boring into his own.

“Are you alright? You look like you’re going to pass out, Oikawa.”

“I-I, I’m fine, I just, it’s, it’s the heat, it’s um, really hot, and we uh, we’ve been outside for a while…” Oikawa’s face seemed to get even redder as he rambled on.

“Mommy? Iwa-shan?”

They turned to see that Seiji had come back and was standing before them with his head titled, as if he was trying to figure out what he was seeing.

Iwaizumi and Oikawa jumped apart quickly, as if they been electrocuted.

Behind them, Hanamaki let out a whistle. “You two done? Can I come through?”

Iwaizumi and Oikawa growled in time at him.

“Cute. You snarl together,” Hanamaki said as he walked past them. He patted Seiji on the head as he made his way to the couch.

Oikawa moved first from their awkward stalemate, scooping Seiji up and plopping down on the couch next to Hanamaki, who he ignored. His face was still faintly red.

Concerned, Iwaizumi went into the kitchen, getting a glass of water, and then going to the couch to hand it to Oikawa.

“You looked thirsty,” Iwaizumi stated.

“You bet he is,” Hanamaki snickered.

Oikawa shot Hanamaki the dirtiest glare which promised swift death.

Seiji swayed on his mother’s lap, singing a song he undoubtedly learned at his daycare.

Iwaizumi sat down on the armrest closest to Oikawa, and Oikawa choked on the water he had just taken a sip of. Iwaizumi looked at him in bewildered alarm, but Oikawa was looking into the bottom of the glass he was drinking, cheeks bleeding redder once more. Why he was so on edge was lost on Iwaizumi.

“So, are you gonna get ready?” Hanamaki asked.

“What exactly am I getting ready for?” Iwaizumi then noticed what Hanamaki was wearing: a striped t-shirt, green swim trunks, sandals, and he had a pair of sunglasses on his head. He had an inkling of what they were doing, but he wanted more clarification.

Before Hanamaki could answer, Seiji piped up, “Go to beat! Go to beat!”

Well, that wasn’t the answer Iwaizumi was expecting. Beat…?

“Beach, Seiji,” Oikawa corrected. “You need to pronounce the ‘ch’ sound.”

“Beat-ch?” Seiji asked, looking straight up to meet Oikawa’s eyes.

“No baby, there isn’t a ‘t’ sound in ‘beach.’ Try again.” Oikawa gave him a soft, encouraging smile.

“Bea-uch?”

“Well, that’s closer…”

“You get it right?” Hanamaki interrupted. “We’re going to the beach. So put on your swimsuit and one of your many tank tops, and let’s get going. We’re burning daylight.”

“Where’s Matsukawa?” Iwaizumi realized for the first time he wasn’t here.

“He’s waiting for us in the car. So hurry up already! Do you want him to die of heatstroke?” Hanamaki said in an accusing tone.

“Are you comparing your housemate to a dog?” Iwaizumi shot back.

“Are you going to remain shirtless in front of a child? I could call the police.”

Iwaizumi looked at Seiji to find him playing with Oikawa’s empty glass, peering through it like it was a telescope.

“Oh yes, I’m definitely corrupting him.”

“If you understand, then go get dressed.”

“Alright, alright,” Iwaizumi finally conceded.

As he got up, he gently pried the glass from Seiji’s grip, setting it in the kitchen sink. Iwaizumi dug to the furthest depths of his least-used drawer to find his swim trunks, navy blue with small boats that Oikawa had picked out for him during high school, throwing them on, as well as putting on a gray tank top he vaguely recalled Oikawa buying for him years ago which said “In training to beat Godzilla,” with a picture of Godzilla in the center. He stepped into his bathroom to brush his teeth and freshen up, then returned to the living room, where Oikawa and Hanamaki were talking about Hanamaki’s class and Seiji idly kicked his feet.

They broke the conversation upon Iwaizumi’s entrance. “You all ready?” With a nod from Iwaizumi, Hanamaki clapped his hands, “Great, let’s go.”

“Go, go!” Seiji cheered.

Oikawa gave a fond chuckle, pressing an affectionate kiss to his son’s head.

With that, everyone got up, strapped on their shoes, Iwaizumi picked out the first ones he could find, which looked like they belonged on a man fifty years his senior, and they were out the door.

They went down to the car, which was a jeep Matsukawa inherited from one of his uncles, and it was hardly used, so it spent more time in the garage than on the road. But it’s time had come; it was the perfect vehicle for the beach.

Matsukawa was leaning out the window of the driver’s seat, wearing a floral button down shirt, and his sunglasses were properly affixed to his face. He nodded in greeting when he saw them.

“Everyone get in, and let’s roll,” Hanamaki instructed, climbing into the shotgun seat.

Seiji’s car seat was already in the middle of the backseat, and Oikawa picked his son up and sat him on it. Iwaizumi climbed on the other side and helped to buckle Seiji in. Once everyone was seated and buckled in, Matsukawa began driving.

***

They all hopped out of the car once they arrived at the beach, stretching out stiff muscles. Now that Matsukawa was out of the car, his trunks were visible; they were an offending yellow color.

Oikawa didn’t stretch as long as the others, because he immediately ducked back into the car to release his son from the confines of his car seat.

When Oikawa set Seiji on the ground, it was obvious Seiji wanted to run across the golden sand to meet the glittering sea ahead of him; Iwaizumi could tell by the sparkle in his eye, so much like the sparkle Oikawa got when he had an idea or plan, but Oikawa was quick to grab hold of Seiji’s hand.

“Seiji, remember what I said; you have to stay with Mommy, ok?”

“Ok Mommy!”

“And if Mommy isn’t there?” Oikawa quizzed.

“Stay with Uncle Mattshun, Uncle Makki, or Iwa-shan!” Seiji answered.

“That’s right, baby.” Oikawa ruffled Seiji’s hair with his free hand.

Iwaizumi idly wondered why Matsukawa and Hanamaki were referred to as Uncle when he wasn’t, but when he thought about it, he wasn’t all too comfortable with the idea of Seiji calling him “Uncle Iwa.”

They began unloading the trunk, Matsukawa and Iwaizumi lifting the heavier items like the cooler and the beach umbrella, while Hanamaki and Oikawa rolled their eyes because the big bad alphas wouldn’t let them lift a finger and they were handed lighter items, like blankets and towels.

Iwaizumi came across a familiar bag while unpacking the remaining items from the back, While Matsukawa organized what had been taken out.

“Iwa-chan, I want that bag sooooooooooo bad!” Oikawa insisted on going shopping after practice.

“Trashkawa, do you even have money?”

“Nooooooooo,” Oikawa whined.

“Then don’t complain.”

“But Iwa-chan, that tote bag is perfect; it’s big, but not too big, and it even has a cute design! Do you know how rare that is?! I waaaaaaaaant iiiiiiiiiiiiiit!”

“Shut up, you don’t have money, so you can’t buy it.”

Oikawa sniffed. “Fine you big meanie, let’s just go home then.” Oikawa had sulked the entire way home and didn’t even bid Iwaizumi goodnight.

When they were walking together to practice next morning, Oikawa was still pouting and gave Iwaizumi a semi-cold shoulder.

Iwaizumi internally groaned. He couldn’t believe what he was going to do.

After school was over and they had ended practice, Iwaizumi told Oikawa he had something to take care of and to go on home without him.

Oikawa was still partially ignoring him, so he bit out a “Whatever,” and walked off by himself.

Iwaizumi swung by the shopping district, heading into the store that had the bag. When he couldn’t find it initially, Iwaizumi felt himself panic. He asked a worker about the bag, and she said she’d check the back.

“You’re very lucky young man,” she said as she returned. “This is our last bag!”

“I’ll take it, thanks.”

The next day, Oikawa was still dejected in the morning, but he was more receptive to Iwaizumi.

“Oi Trashkawa, here,” Iwaizumi said, shoving the bag he hid behind his back into Oikawa’s arms.

Oikawa’s eyes shined and he gasped so loud Iwaizumi thought he’d wake the neighbors. “IWA-CHAN YOU BOUGHT THE BAG FOR ME!”

“Quiet, you idiot!”

Oikawa threw arms over Iwaizumi’s shoulders, their chest knocking together. “Thank you Iwa-chan, I love it so much!”

“Heh, you better,” Iwaizumi said while returning the hug.

Iwaizumi lifted the bag up and out of the trunk, handing it to Oikawa. “You still have this?” Iwaizumi bought it for him five years ago.

Oikawa looked puzzled before realizing he was talking about the bag. “Of course Iwa-chan, this is a sturdy bag after all, and it’s my favorite too.” Oikawa had a light blush yet again. “Besides you still have the tank top I bought you for your birthday a while back.” Oikawa gestured to the tank top he was wearing.

“R-right,” Iwaizumi returned lamely.

“Mommy! Wanna go to da o-shun!” Seiji demanded.

“You heard the kid, let’s go,” Matsukawa announced.

Matsukawa carried the beach umbrella, Iwaizumi carried the cooler, Hanamaki carried the blanket and towels, and Oikawa carried his tote bag while holding Seiji’s hand.

The beach was pleasantly empty that day, and they were able to find a secluded spot which was a respectable distance from the shore to set up camp. Matsukawa anchored the umbrella in the sand and Hanamaki laid out the blanket.

“For you, Princess~” They both said, offering the shade of the umbrella to Oikawa.

Oikawa rolled his eyes but said, “Thanks.” He sat down, resting the tote bag against the base of the umbrella, and pulled Seiji along with him.

Seiji looked everywhere excitedly, like he didn’t know what to do first and just wanted to do everything at once.

Oikawa started pulling items from his bag. Iwaizumi recognized the bottle of sunscreen, but he couldn’t discern what the pieces of plastic were until they were inflated.

But Oikawa set them aside in favor of the sunscreen. He removed Seiji’s tank top, and began covering every visible inch of his son in the white lotion. Seiji scrunched his face, but Oikawa didn’t relent, going as far as removing Seiji’s sandals and coating his son’s feet as well.

“Hold still and let it absorb into your skin Seiji.” Seiji fidgeted a bit in place, but otherwise obeyed his mother.

Oikawa then began to apply sunscreen on himself, repeating the same process on the visible areas of his skin, even his feet.

Part of Iwaizumi felt he shouldn’t be watching this, especially as Oikawa ran his hands up and down his arms and legs, but as he looked over to Matsukawa and Hanamaki, they were doing the same. Iwaizumi floundered; he hadn’t brought sunscreen.

The only place Oikawa couldn’t reach was his back, at least not clearly, so he couldn’t apply the lotion evenly, so Iwaizumi wordlessly took the bottle from him and began to lightly massage the sunscreen into the exposed area of his back. Oikawa was oddly silent during this application, but Iwaizumi didn’t mind. It reminded him of old times; when they used to apply sunscreen on each other when they went to the beach together as kids. Once he was done, he handed the sunscreen back to Oikawa.

“Iwa-chan, what about you?” Oikawa was looking at him over his shoulder, and it looked like he was peeking coyly from around his hat, eyes half-lidded and cheeks tinged red.

Iwaizumi gulped. “I-it’s fine, I forgot to bring sunscreen.”

“You can use mine,” Oikawa retorted. “Skin cancer is no joke, you know.”

“If you insist,” Iwaizumi said, yanking his tank top off.

Oikawa stood and moved behind him, where he began to rub a generous coat of sunscreen into his back. Once he finished, he handed the bottle to Iwaizumi, mumbling about how Iwaizumi could take care of the rest. Then he went back to sit with his son.

While Iwaizumi covered the rest of himself with the sunscreen, he watched Oikawa inflate the pieces of plastic, to see that they were floaties. After fully inflated, Oikawa slid them onto Seiji’s arms. Seiji flailed his arms about, in an action Iwaizumi thought was to get used to the feeling of them, and he found the action incredibly endearing. Oikawa brought out a bigger piece of plastic, and began inflating it too.

When Iwaizumi finished and placed Oikawa’s sunscreen in his bag, he saw that Oikawa had inflated a beach ball.

Matsukawa and Hanamaki had finished shielding themselves from the sun as well, and they came closer to see the inflated beach ball and a still flailing Seiji. Oikawa lifted the ball up with a grin.

“Do you guys wanna play some volleyball?”

After they had coaxed Seiji to stop waving his arms about, they stood in a circle. There were no nets on this beach, and they hadn’t brought one to set up, plus, they had to be mindful of Seiji. Which was why they were using a light beach ball instead of an actual volleyball which could hurt him.

“Ok guys, only bumps and sets, not jumps, serves, or spikes. Got it?” Oikawa finished with a wink.

“Yeah,” they chorused, Seiji’s voice being the most enthusiastic.

They began bumping the ball to each other, the adults careful of not using too much strength, or else the ball would fly too high or too far.

One bump flew a little too back over Seiji’s head, and Seiji didn’t have the coordination, especially in the sand, to move back and receive the ball. But before it could fly completely over, Seiji shifted into a stance Iwaizumi found all too familiar, and attempted to set the ball, but he only managed a brief touch before falling back on his butt from the momentum. Seiji blinked when he fell.

“SEIJI!” Oikawa nearly shrieked in excitement. Iwaizumi could see the shine in Oikawa’s eyes that he only got when he was blown away amazed at something. “YOU SET THE BALL!”

Oikawa pick Seiji up and lifted him high, bringing him close to press kisses on his cheeks as Seiji giggled.

“It seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” Matsukawa mused.

“Not true,” Oikawa pouted. “Seiji prefers spiking and he says he wants to be the ace when he joins a team.”

“Ace!” Seiji exclaimed, eyes shining the same way his mother’s had just moments ago. Oikawa snuggled his son despite his betrayal.

“Does Seiji take classes? His form is too good for him not too,” Hanamaki remarked.

“Yeah, there’s a youth athletic center fairly close to his daycare. I take him on the weekends, and I help teach the children, Seiji included.”

“Just like you did for Takeru?” Iwaizumi asked.

“Yep,” Oikawa answered with a smile.

Oikawa put Seiji down, but just as he did, Seiji tugged on the skirt of his dress. “Mommy, I’m hungry.”

“Hm, it is about time for lunch, yeah?” Oikawa asked, looking to the rest of them.

When all three gave an affirmative answer, the group went to sit under the umbrella and raid the cooler. Oikawa and Matsukawa made an assortment of sandwiches and rice balls for everyone to eat, and they had water and juice to drink from.

They sat in a crescent shape, facing the ocean as they munched on their food. Seiji sat between Oikawa and Iwaizumi, and the two would alternate between wiping crumbs from his face, depending on who noticed first.

When they were done, Seiji tugged on Oikawa’s dress again. “Dessert!”

“We didn’t pack dessert baby.”

“I think there’s a shack that sells shaved ice that way,” Hanamaki said pointing towards a little wooden building in the distance.

“Dessert!” Seiji cheered.

“Ok, ok, I’ll get us some shaved ice Seiji. Mattsun, Makki, do you guys want some?”

“Nah, we’re good,” Matsukawa replied.

“I think I just wanna lay for a while,” Hanamaki said, reclining and patting his stomach.

Oikawa laughed. “You both sound like old men.” Oikawa turned his attention to his son. “Alright Seiji, I’m going to get the ice, stay with Iwa-chan, ok?”

Oikawa turned and squinted at the shack. “I should be back in about twenty minutes tops.” Then Oikawa dug through his tote bag and pulled out his wallet. “I’ll be right back~”

Oikawa began his trek over. Matsukawa and Hanamaki were lying on the blanket lightly dozing. Iwaizumi and Seiji watched Oikawa retreat towards the shack, until he was about a third of the way there.

Seiji clambered onto Iwaizumi’s lap, and began swaying and singing like he did on Oikawa’s lap earlier at Iwaizumi’s apartment.

It was adorable, and Iwaizumi rubbed an affectionate hand on Seiji’s head. “Are you happy?” he asked.

“I’m happy Iwa-shan is here!” Seiji exclaimed, before swaying again.

Iwaizumi feels his heart swell at his words. “Do you like the beach?” Iwaizumi continued to stroke his hair.

“Ish my first time! I like it! I like coming with everyone! With Mommy and Iwa-shan!” Seiji grinned back at Iwaizumi.

Iwaizumi felt his heart flutter; how could this kid be so cute? With a smile, Iwaizumi skated his fingers down Seiji’s sides, tickling him.

Seiji squealed in delight, kicking his legs out and letting out peals of laughter. Iwaizumi laughed with him.

Iwaizumi stopped after a few minutes, and Seiji picked up his song again.

Iwaizumi checked to see that more than twenty minutes had passed.

Worried, Iwaizumi began to get up, picking Seiji off his lap and putting him down. He stood and offered his hand to Seiji. “Want to go find your mom?”

“Find Mommy!” Seiji said, taking Iwaizumi’s hand.

When they walked over to the shack, they found Oikawa. He was standing with his back to the vendor’s window, a cup of large shaved ice in one hand, and three spoons in the other. He looked like he was on his way back to their little campsite. However, he was flanked by two alphas.

“Hey baby, are you alone?” One of the alphas asked.

“Did you buy that so the three of us can share? You have three spoons there.” The other alpha joined in.

“I came with a group,” Oikawa responded, voice steely.

“They can come too, the more the merrier.”

“But I’m sure you’re the prettiest of the bunch.”

“I didn’t come with any omegas,” Oikawa admitted with a deadpan look.

“Oh,” one of the alphas said eloquently.

“Well, let’s just make this a threesome then, huh?” the other schmoozed.

“No, thank you,” Oikawa said with all the control he could muster.

“Come on, don’t be like that babe.”

Oikawa’s patience snapped, and he whirled on the alpha. “I’m not your babe!”

“Not yet,” the other replied, with a grin full of crooked teeth.

Iwaizumi knew Oikawa could handle himself, but enough was enough. “He said he’s not interested, so beat it already,” Iwaizumi all but growled at them.

“Iwa-chan!” Oikawa’s eyes were wide with surprise, but his face was pale.

“Who’s this?”

“Is he your man?”

The alphas moved a little toward him, sizing Iwaizumi up. But Iwaizumi wasn’t intimidated and his stance was strong.

“LEAVE MOMMY ALONE!” Seiji screamed, squeezing Iwaizumi’s hand tight. He looked afraid and angry at the same time.

Oikawa gasped in horror. “Seiji…”

“You have a kid?! You don’t have a claim bite!”

“You don’t even smell mated!”

Oikawa jutted his jaw defiantly. “That’s because I’m not.”

With that, he walked past the astonished alphas, handed the shaved ice and spoons to Iwaizumi, and picked Seiji up, rubbing soothing circles into his back as Seiji whimpered. Oikawa continued to walk off toward their campsite.

Iwaizumi was about to turn around and join Oikawa when he heard one of the alphas murmur, “Didn’t know we were dealing with a slut,” and the other agree.

Iwaizumi literally saw red, eyes turning to that color from primal alpha instincts, like the omega gold. He felt his fangs elongate, and he snarled viciously at them, a snarl that promised ripped out throats if they came too near.

The alphas shuddered and scampered away. Iwaizumi watched them run like cowards before relaxing himself, letting his fangs retract and the red drain from his eyes. He took a deep, calming breath before striding to meet Oikawa.

Thankfully they had been out of earshot, but judging by the glisten in Oikawa’s eyes and the tension in his jaw, it was clear he knew exactly what those alphas said about him.

And it made Iwaizumi furious. He wanted nothing more than to go back and tear those bastards limb from limb.

When they got back, Matsukawa and Hanamaki were still dozing. Oikawa sat under the shade of the umbrella, continuing to soothe Seiji, and Iwaizumi joined him with the shaved ice.

“Seiji, are you feeling alright? Do you want shaved ice?” Oikawa murmured to him.

“Yeah,” Seiji said, dislodging his face from Oikawa’s neck. Which one he was agreeing to was unknown, but it didn’t matter because either way Seiji would be cheered up.

Oikawa took a spoon from Iwaizumi and handed it to Seiji before grabbing another spoon for himself. The three of them began eating the dessert, and Iwaizumi could taste bursts of strawberry with every spoonful.

Once they finished the treat, Seiji was smiling again and Matsukawa and Hanamaki were waking up.

“Was the shaved ice good, Seiji?” Oikawa asked, pressing a kiss to the top of Seiji’s head.

“Yeah! Now I wanna build a sandcastle!” Seiji wiggled in excitement.

Hanamaki cracked his fingers. “Leave it to us, we’re sandcastle architects.”

Matsukawa began rolling his shoulder. “We’ll help you build a castle so grand it’ll but all the world’s monarchies to shame.”

Seiji giggled, and Oikawa rummaged through his bag to get a set of sandcastle and sea creature molds, shovels, and buckets. He handed them to Matsukawa as Hanamaki took Seiji’s hand.

They began constructing the castle closer to shore, but not so close that the waves would wash it away.

Iwaizumi watched Oikawa as he stared in the direction of his son. Though he had a small smile on his face, the pain was still evident in his eyes.

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi called to him.

Oikawa turned and looked at him with eyes so raw the Iwaizumi’s heart hiccupped. But before he could comment on it, the openness of Oikawa’s eyes closed off, and he plastered false cheer over his face.

“Well, Iwa-chan, what shall we do? Wanna go for a walk?” Oikawa stretched his arms while asking.

Iwaizumi wanted to talk to him. He had enough of running away from this issue, especially when he finally saw how much it really hurt Oikawa. If he was to repair their relationship, it needed to be the same as before; no secrets between them. But Oikawa might be more inclined to be honest when they were alone.

“Sure,” Iwaizumi said as he stood up, offering a hand to Oikawa to help hoist him to his feet.

Oikawa took his hand and stood with him. Before leaving the blanket, Oikawa picked up an extra plastic bucket, and they set off in the opposite direction of the shack.

***

This side of the beach was secluded and peaceful, the air smelled of salt, and the sand was warm under their feet. The ocean gently pushed back and forth against the shore, and the sun made the water sparkle. It was a beautiful sight.

Oikawa had taken to looking for shells as they walked, putting the ones he found he prettiest in his bucket. Iwaizumi kept up behind him.

The breeze was gentle, playfully pulling on Oikawa’s dress, ruffling his hair, and forcing him to keep a hand on his hat. But Oikawa laughed with the wind, basked in it, and when he turned to look back at Iwaizumi, his eyes were bright with the sun’s glow. That was a beautiful sight.

“Iwa-chan, you’re so slow! I want to get to those rocks over there!” Oikawa said, pointing ahead.

“You’ve been walking in zig-zags, finding all your shells. The only way I know where you’re going is if I’m behind you.” But nonetheless, Iwaizumi strode to meet him.

They walked together in comfortable silence, Oikawa occasionally dipping to pick up another shell or two. This close together, Iwaizumi could see the faint freckles Oikawa had; they had more or less gone away since his childhood, but they were always more visible in the sun. They dotted his cheeks, dusting down to litter as far as his shoulders and skim the top his back and chest. Iwaizumi wondered if Seiji’s freckles would fade like this too when he got older, only to be revealed in the harsh sunlight.

Something caught Oikawa’s eye, and he skipped ahead to unearth it from the sand. When he picked it up, he let out a pleased gasp and turned back to Iwaizumi with a huge smile.

“Iwa-chan, come quick!”

Iwaizumi lightly jogged over to see Oikawa fidgeting excitedly and hiding something in his fist.

“What is it?” If Oikawa threw a sand crab or piece of seaweed at him, Iwaizumi didn’t care; he’d tackle Oikawa to the ground like old times.

Oikawa shifted, holding the item up between his index finger and thumb, so it could glint in the sun.

“I found a piece of sea glass!”

The sea glass was a misshapen rectangle, smoothed soft by the ocean water and tinted a glazed sea green. The color reminded Iwaizumi of their Seijou uniforms. The sun brought a certain clarity to the sea glass, but Iwaizumi found that it was nothing compared to what the sun did to Oikawa.

The sun shined through his hair, dying the locks a deep russet color, while setting his eyes on fire like molten amber. The sun gave Oikawa’s complexion a gold undertone, which made his look otherworldly. Iwaizumi could hardly look at him without feeling short of breath.

“Here, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa said, walking toward him. He took Iwaizumi’s hand and pressed the sea glass into his palm. “You can have it; Seiji wouldn’t appreciate something like this.”

Oikawa’s touch lingered, fingers trailing the skin of his upturned hand. Oikawa’s hand was long, with slender fingers perfect for setting the ball and controlling where it would go. Iwaizumi’s hand was wider, with thick fingers that slammed spikes down in the court.

But they weren’t in high school anymore, and they no longer played volleyball together.

“You know, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa said, breaking the silence. “You haven’t changed much.” Oikawa glanced over him as he spoke. Then he looked out to the ocean, expression unreadable. “But I’ve changed quite a bit, huh?”

“Oikawa, if this is about what those assholes said about you, they’re wrong.” Iwazumi closed his fist around the sea glass, letting the weight of it ground him.

“It’s fine Iwa-chan,” Oikawa said, but still wouldn’t meet his eyes. “I’ve heard worse, and I’m more than used to it by now.”

“That isn’t something you should be getting used to!” Iwaizumi yelled.

Oikawa flinched, and Iwaizumi instantly felt guilty.

“What can I do, Iwa-chan? People will say whatever they like, regardless of how ignorant they are of a person. There’s nothing that can be done about it.” Oikawa brought his arms around himself and continued to stare at the sea.

“I didn’t mean it like that…I, I’m not angry at you. I’m angry at them. It’s unfair that you’re being treated this way.” Iwaizumi rubbed the back of his head.

Oikawa finally turned to him. His smile was frail, and his eyes were so full of emotion Iwaizumi couldn’t look away from them. “I know,” Oikawa said with a brittle laugh. “Iwa-chan has always protected me. Always my brave knight,” Oikawa cooed. “But I…I need to take care of myself, I need to be strong on my own, so I can protect Seiji.”

This felt like déjà vu, and Iwaizumi reminded him, “You’re wrong Oikawa; you’re the same as before. Haven’t I always told you that six are stronger than one? You don’t have to face the world alone.”

“This isn’t the same, Iwa-chan. We’re no longer on a team now.” Oikawa had closed himself off again.

“But aren’t we friends? Won’t you let me help you?” Iwaizumi pressed.

“I…”

“Oikawa please, if we’re going to make this work, you can’t keep hiding things from me.”

Oikawa stayed silent for a while, watching the waves toss sand at the shore. When Iwaizumi was ready to throw out an olive branch of “you don’t have to tell me now,” Oikawa spoke up.

“There are some things you’re better off not knowing, Iwa-chan.” Oikawa’s eyes stormed with an emotion Iwaizumi couldn’t identify. “And there are some secrets I’ve always had, even when we were side by side.”

Iwaizumi gaped, unable to respond to such statements. Fortunately, he didn’t have to.

“But isn’t this enough? Can’t we rebuild our friendship this way? Is there something you want more?” Oikawa’s eyes were earnest and raw again, begging Iwaizumi for answers.

Iwaizumi paused. Such questions never occurred to him. When he thought of himself and Oikawa, he remembered days of chasing each other, catching bugs, reading books, watching movies, and playing volleyball as children. He remembered these activities progressing into middle school, but volleyball had taken such a significant chunk of their time, their lives, at that point, and it was becoming destructive for Oikawa. He remembered pulling Oikawa from the brink, pulling him back together, and pulling him forward into high school. He remembered three invincible years on the best team he could imagine, despite their losses, he wouldn’t trade it for the world. All he remembered was Oikawa, a constant, his best friend, basically his other half.

But he also remembered four years of near isolation, with no company besides his textbooks and dusty finds that were buried in the library. He remembered concerned calls from Hanamaki and Matsukawa. He remembered peers who tried to get him to go out, whom he declined. He remembered a few faceless betas and omegas who expressed interest in getting to know him better, but he rejected them all. He remembered papers, reports, labs, and work, work, work, which didn’t end until he held a diploma in his hands. He remembered being a shell rather than a person more often than not. Most of all, he remembered whispers in the night which would wake him in cold sweat, glances of strangers with familiar brown curls, the sound of mocking laughter following him when caffeine was low in his system, and he let his mind wander, wonder where his closest friend was, why he left. Why he didn’t tell Iwaizumi he was leaving.

Now that they were reunited, Iwaizumi was working towards reestablishing the friendship they had before those four years occurred; but Oikawa was right, things weren’t the same. Oikawa had become a mother during the four years he vanished from Iwaizumi’s side. Oikawa had his own history, one he kept under extreme lock and key, one he wouldn’t divulge even to Iwaizumi.

So Iwaizumi considered how they were now. He thought about his stolen glances at his best friend. Oikawa’s blushing cheeks, his laughs, his giggles, his smiles. Bright eyes, expressing his emotions. Oikawa’s eyes lit with joy, adoration, and love; eyes glinted with mirth and smug cajoling; eyes weighed down with sadness and pain. He thought about the itch under his skin whenever he saw Oikawa, the warmth that spread through his whole body just at the sight of him.

He thought about Seiji. Cute, sweet Seiji, who he associated Oikawa with now. He no longer could think of Oikawa alone, Seiji always had to be with him. And Seiji was such a good boy; well-behaved, mild-mannered, and pretty much angelic. Iwaizumi adored him.

Iwaizumi recalled the emptiness he felt when they left him, recalled, the loneliness he felt when he realized that there were parts of Oikawa he didn’t know, especially concerning Seiji’s origins. Iwaizumi felt incomplete without them around him. Iwaizumi felt like a broken man during those four years, but the return of Oikawa and the addition of Seiji healed him. He knew his answer.

This wasn’t enough. He wanted more.

Yet Iwaizumi hesitated. If he pushed Oikawa too much, undoubtedly, Oikawa would run out of his life again, and Iwaizumi wouldn’t be able to bear it. He didn’t want to lose Seiji either.

There was also a glaring issue Iwaizumi needed to address: He knew he wanted more from his relationship with Oikawa, but what he wanted exactly was something he needed to figure out. So, for now,

“Yes,” Iwaizumi answered. “This is enough. Let’s continue as we are.”

With the tension bleeding out of Oikawa’s shoulders, and the sigh of relief Oikawa exhaled, Iwaizumi knew he gave the right answer.

They gave each other uneasy smiles before walking back to camp.

***

Upon returning, they found Seiji and Hanamaki sculpting the finishing touches of the castle while Matsukawa dug a moat around it. Oikawa knelt beside Seiji, giving him the bucket of seashells he collected. Seiji clapped his hands excitedly, and began to pluck shells and press them into the walls of the castle. As Seiji continued to decorate his castle, Oikawa ran his hand through his hair.

Iwaizumi laid down on the blanket, staring at the underside of the umbrella until he wasn’t sure how much time had elapsed. He had zoned off at some point and didn’t move until he felt a presence beside him.

Iwaizumi turned to see that both Matsukawa and Hanamaki had sat beside him.

“The sun’s beginning to set,” Matsukawa informed him.

“We were thinking of leaving soon, before it gets too late,” Hanamaki added.

“Where’s Oikawa and Seiji?” Iwaizumi mumbled, voice slightly drowsy.

“By the shore,” they answered together.

Iwaizumi sat up to see Oikawa’s profile; he was standing ankle-deep in the water, lifting Seiji and down with the waves, dipping his feet in and out of the water. Iwaizumi could hear their giggles and squeals from his seat. He smiled at his view of them.

“I… I want to be closer to Oikawa and Seiji,” Iwaizumi admitted to them.

Matsukawa slapped him on the back while Hanamaki flashed him a thumbs up.

“But, I’m not sure how close. I know I want to be closer than we ever were before. I know I never want to lose him again. I know I want Seiji in my life too. But to what extent…?” What was closer than childhood best friends?

“You don’t have to figure all that out right now,” Matsukawa interjected.

“Just focus on achieving that closeness, and you can figure out what it means when you get there,” Hanamaki said with a grin.

Iwaizumi watched the setting sun bathe Oikawa and Seiji in soft light, and said, “Yeah, that sounds good.”

Chapter Text

“Tha’ way! Go tha’ way!!!”

With a couple of flicking fingertips over the controller, the hero on screen pressed forward, only to run into five skeleton grunts.

“’Mash ‘em!!!!” Seiji yelled, pumping his fist into the air and narrowly missing Kenma’s jaw.

“Alright,” Kenma said, hands moving quickly to pull off Seiji’s favorite, flashy combo.

Seiji clapped his hands gleefully as he watched it.

Kenma was sitting criss-cross on the floor in front of the TV, a little hunched over, and eyes glued to the screen. Seiji sat in his lap, wiggling with excitement over the action happening in the game. Oikawa watched over his shoulder with growing uneasiness.

“Is it ok to expose Seiji to violence like that…?”

“It’s alright, Oikawa-san,” Akaashi interjected from the other side of the kitchen. “I’ve read many scholarly psychological reports which prove that video games are beneficial to a child’s mental health and in no way detrimental or correlated with violence.”

“Yeah, Kenma’s been playing these games his entire life, and he turned out just fine.” Kuroo grinned around his palm; he was seated at the dining table nearby with his elbow on the tabletop. Bokuto sat across from Kuroo, nodding in agreement with his arms crossed over his chest.

“I just don’t want this to awaken something in him… Seiji is so mild-mannered, it’s really surprising given who his-” Oikawa cut his thought short. “Nevermind.”

No one there pressed him; they knew better not to.

Kenma paused the game, despite Seiji’s wail of protest. “I can stop if you want me to, Tooru.”

“It’s ok Kenma-chan. I’m probably being paranoid. I always overthink things. I just can’t help but worry over my baby,” Oikawa assured him with a laugh.

Kenma gave him a small smile. “That kind of thing is natural.” He then un-paused the game, and Seiji perked up in his lap to watch again.

Bokuto got up, and went into the kitchen to sling an arm over Oikawa’s shoulders. “You always worry so much! You need to relax! Seiji’s growing up just fine! You’re a great mother!”

Oikawa let out a pleased smile, eyes skirting to the side. Then with a huff, he shrugged Bokuto’s arm off his shoulders.

“Compliment me all you want, but this food won’t get cooked if you stay in the kitchen,” Oikawa said, brandishing his knife and Bokuto’s nose, making Bokuto go cross-eyed. “Sit back down with Kuroo.”

“Akaashi, do you see this?! I tell him nice things, and he points a knife at me! In what world is this fair?” Bokuto sent a pleading glance to Akaashi.

Akaashi turned from the stove to look at him. “Frankly Bokuto-san, I agree with him. Please go sit back at the table.”

Bokuto’s jaw dropped, and Oikawa began humming as he continued to chop vegetables.

“I’ve been betrayed,” Bokuto sobbed as he made his way back to the table. Kuroo patted his back as Bokuto passed him.

“Oikawa-san, I’ve finished marinating the hamburger steak, would you like me to grill it?”

“Hamburger!” Seiji screamed, throwing both his arms up. Kenma leaned back to avoid being smacked.

“It’s not ready yet, Seiji. Keep playing with Uncle Kenma, ok? And yes, Akaashi, thank you.”

Seiji sang out an “Ok~” while Akaashi nodded to Oikawa and brought the meat over to the stove.

Oikawa and Akaashi continued cooking to the soundtrack of Kenma’s videogame along with Kuroo and Bokuto’s conversation. Once they finished, Oikawa and Akaashi began placing plates in the middle of the table. Seiji clambered out of Kenma’s lap and raced to the table, while Kenma looked for a save point in the game.

Seiji was seated in Oikawa’s lap again, as the table was a little too high for him to reach. Conversation picked up as they ate.

“Akaashi, Kenma-chan, how is your final year going? Are you doing ok in your classes?” Oikawa asked as he fed a piece of hamburger to Seiji.

Kenma paled, muttering, “I have a project due in two days and I haven’t started…”

Kuroo tsked. “I told you not to wait ‘til the last minute. Did you listen to me? No, you kept playing BL games all night.”

Kenma glared weakly at his not-so-better half.

“I’m doing fine,” Akaashi piped up “I’m generally consistent in doing my work and getting things done, so I’m on top of all my assignments. I should be fine.”

Bokuto puffed up his chest. “That’s my Akaashi!”

“Bokuto-san, please wipe the sauce off your face. Seiji is cleaner than you,” Akaashi sighed.

“What about you?” Kuroo asked with a smile sharp enough to cut glass. “How’s our favorite omega?”

“Yeah, yeah!” Bokuto added. “We haven’t seen you in a while! Date night has been lonely without you.”

“First off, the only reason either of you can call me ‘your favorite omega’ is because you’re both mated to betas,” Oikawa pointed out with narrow eyes. “Second, I don’t consider these date nights, because I’m single and I refuse to be a spare tire to you four.”

Bokuto raised his brows. “You’re single? I thought you were seeing that Iwaizumi guy? The one that nearly tried to kill me.”

“You deserved such treatment Bokuto-san,” Akaashi said coldly. “I still can’t believe you lost Seiji.”

“I didn’t even lose him for long! And Seiji’s always running around, it’s hard to keep track of him! He’s such an adventurous little rascal,” Bokuto lightly pinched Seiji’s cheek after his last statement and Seiji giggled in response.

Then Bokuto looked up to see Oikawa’s face had burst into a dark pink blush. He pulled back in surprise.

“W-we-we’re not dating! Iwa-chan and I are just friends!” Oikawa aggressively cut into his food and Seiji looked up at his stuttering mother in wonder.

“Bokuto just got confused ‘cause you’ve been spending more time with him than you have with us lately,” Kuroo defended.

“I’m just, we were best friends, I mean we still are, but we’ve been apart for four years, not that four years holds a candle to how long we’ve been together in total, but a lot’s changed over the four years…”

“Tooru, ignore them. They’re being asses, prying into your private life,” Kenma cut in, with a sharp look to Kuroo and Bokuto, who visibly stiffened.

“How you choose to spend your time is up to you,” Akaashi added with a gentle smile. “We only hope you choose to spend a little more with us because we miss you and Seiji.”

Oikawa ducked his head, blushing again, but for a different reason. He almost forgot how great his friends were.

“That’s totally what we meant,” Bokuto said, trying to save himself from the couch that night.

“Hmm, I guess,” Kuroo mused.

“Hey, but you should bring Iwaizumi to date night! That way you won’t be alone,” Bokuto enthused.

Oikawa squawked indignantly. Did everything he said go over Bokuto’s head?

“Not as a date or anything,” Kuroo placated. “Just like a friendly plus one. Besides, it’s high time you introduced him to us, even if your relationship is strictly platonic.”

“You and Bokuto have met him already!” Oikawa argued.

“We both met him by chance, not because you brought him to see us,” Kuroo argued back. “Akaashi and Kenma haven’t met him, and he hasn’t seen us as a group. Don’t you want your best friend to meet your closest friends from college?”

“Yeah,” Bokuto nodded. He turned to Akaashi and Kenma. “Don’t you two wanna meet him?”

Oikawa looked at them and waited for their answer.

“Well, I mean, it would be nice to actually see him and get to know what he’s like,” Kenma began.

“But of course we won’t force you. Whatever you’re comfortable with. We just want to meet the man who’s made you so happy lately and who Seiji keeps raving about,” Akaashi finished.

Oikawa spluttered, and Seiji reached up to bang his hands on the table.

“Iwa-shan is rweally cool!” Seiji announced with a sparkle in his eye.

Oikawa ran a soothing hand over Seiji's head with a deep blush over his cheeks. “Seiji don’t bang your hands on the table. But you’re r-right.”

Before any of his friends could comment on the blood just boiling below his skin, Oikawa’s phone began to ring. He jolted, pulling it out of his pocket and checking the caller ID.

“It’s Iwa-chan,” he whispered.

“Answer it,” Kuroo and Bokuto said at the same time, one swarmy, the other bouncy.

Oikawa looked around anxiously for some sort of escape, but he was somewhat pinned with his son on his lap at the table. Even Akaashi and Kenma looked eager for him to answer it.

With resignation, Oikawa swiped the call button and prayed his voice would hold steady.

“Hello? Ah, h-hey Iwa-chan, what’s up?” There was a brief lull in which Iwaizumi answered. “That’s good, tell Makki and Mattsun I say hi. Me? I’m just having dinner at a friend’s place. Mhm. Oh, no, you’re not interrupting. Hm? Yeah, it’s Kuroo’s house. Bokuto is here too, do you remember him? Haha, yeah, but he didn’t mean it. What? Ah, no, it’s not just us! Their mates are here too. We’re all friends from college. Yup, Seiji’s here too. Uh huh. Iwa-chan, what did you want to call about? Just wanted to talk? You could have texted me!” Oikawa said with a laugh. There was silence on the line before a low reply came through. Oikawa’s eyes widened and his face went through progressive pinks and reds, before settling on a deep maroon tone. “Y-you just wanted to hear my voice?” he squeaked.

Kuroo waved his hand to grab Oikawa’s attention. He mouthed “Ask him about date night.”

Bokuto grabbed his shoulder and squeezed, throwing him a thumbs up.

“Um, uh, Iwa-chan? Are, are you free next week? Ah, it’s just, my friends and I always have dinner once a week this day. I-I-I was just wondering if you wanted to come along? You’ll get to meet more people who live in Tokyo so you won’t have to spend all your time with just Makki and Mattsun! Hahaha… Yes? You’ll come? O-ok, I’ll give you the details later. Good-” A tug on Oikawa’s shirt interrupted him.

“Mommy! I want talk to Iwa-shan! Pwease?”

“Ah, Iwa-chan? Are you still there? Seiji wants to talk to you.” Oikawa handed the phone down to his son and fanned his face with his hand, trying to alleviate the redness in his skin.

“Iwa-shan, hi! Ya know, today, today, I found a rweally pretty rock! So, so, I gave it to Mommy! An, and, I’m going to look for an-other pretty rock, soes I can give it to you!” Seiji beamed when he finished and waited for a reply.

“Seiji’s going to give Iwaizumi a rock? Seiji’s never given me a rock…” Bokuto mumbled dejectedly.

Kuroo patted his shoulder consolingly. “I know bro, I never got a rock either. Seiji must think us inadequate, now that he’s met a real alpha male.”

Oikawa sent them a pointed glare, which shut their banter up immediately.

“Seiji always picks flowers for me, and he always asks to tuck one behind my ear,” Kenma mentioned.

Akaashi nodded. “Seiji made me a flower crown out of clover flowers as well.”

Kuroo clutched his heart and Bokuto mimed wiping tears from his eyes.

Oikawa rolled his eyes.

“You’re welcome!” Seiji piped up. “I can’t wait to see you next week! Bye-bye!”

Seiji hung up the phone with a fumbling hand, and gave the phone back to his mother. Oikawa pocketed it.

“Well, well, looks like next week is going to be interesting,” Kuroo smirked.

“WOOOOOOOOOOO DATE NIGHT IS ON!” Bokuto yelled, standing up so fast he knocked his chair to the ground.

“Bokuto-san please, this is an apartment, you’ll disturb the neighbors.” Akaashi attempted to calm him.

“Kuroo, you better not try to start anything or I won’t let you within an inch of me for a week,” Kenma threatened.

Seiji giggled. “This ish fun, Mommy!”

Oikawa smiled weakly. He really hoped everything would go without a hitch next week.

***

Iwaizumi fussed over his tie for the umpteenth time. He wasn’t even sure the orange and navy polka dot tie went with his light blue dress shirt, but he wanted to keep a casual, yet well-dressed air. He had the shirt tucked into black jeans, but he wasn’t sure what shoes to wear. Oikawa had told him that “date night” consisted of alternating dinner at each other’s houses and one night out at a restaurant each month. Last week had been at Kuroo and Kenma’s apartment, and this week it was at Bokuto and Akaashi’s flat.

A knock at his door alerted him that Oikawa and Seiji had arrived.

Loosening his tie to decrease the chances of himself choking when he saw Oikawa, Iwaizumi answered his door.

Oikawa was wearing a loose, black t-shirt dress; it looked a little oversized. He had red flats and a matching red bow clipped onto his hair. A tan purse was slung over his shoulder.

Seiji stood next to him, holding his hand. His shirt had a black cat on it.

Iwaizumi felt that there was a vague reference occurring, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

“Iwa-shan!” Seiji exclaimed, jumping up towards him. Iwaizumi easily caught him and lifted him up onto his hip. Seiji reflexively wrapped his arms around Iwaizumi’s neck.

“Hi Iwa-chan, are you rea…?” Oikawa trailed off, looking at his chest. Or, at least half of it, since the other half was obscured by Seiji’s body.

Iwaizumi lifted an eyebrow. “Oikawa?”

“What is that.” Oikawa continued to stare at his chest, phrasing his question like a sentence. He looked mildly horrified.

Iwaizumi flushed in embarrassment. But he had his pride, so he angrily started, “I don’t-”

Oikawa held up a hand to silence him. He looked sharply into Iwaizumi’s eyes, a miffed expression on his face.

“You insult me,” Oikawa said, coming in and shutting the door behind himself. He then plucked Seiji from Iwaizumi’s grasp, and with a quick kiss to Seiji’s cheek, Oikawa set him on the floor. Seiji started wandering towards Iwaizumi’s couch.

Oikawa grabbed Iwaizumi’s tie, pulling him toward his bedroom. “You, come with me.” Before they entered the hall, Oikawa called over his shoulder, “Seiji, behave yourself out here. Mommy will be back in a minute.”

“’Kay!” Seiji called back, starting to climb onto Iwaizumi’s couch.

Oikawa yanked a spluttering Iwaizumi into the bedroom, and then released him.

Iwaizumi growled at him, “Oikawa, what-!”

“Shush,” Oikawa stated, moving to stand just before him. Iwaizumi found they were very close; if he leaned forward, he could bump his nose with Oikawa’s. Suddenly, he felt hot under the collar.

Oikawa grabbed the tie again, only to undo the knot and remove it. “First of all, this needs to go. I suggest burning it,” Oikawa said, tossing Iwaizumi’s tie to the ground as if its existence was an offense to him.

“Next,” Oikawa murmured, smoothing his hands over the space below Iwaizumi’s collar bones, fixing the creases of his rumpled shirt. Oikawa’s gaze remained fixed at the hollow of his throat, and Iwaizumi felt his heart fighting to break out of his ribcage. “This looks too stiff…you need to loosen up.”

With deft flicks of his wrist, Oikawa popped the first three buttons of Iwaizumi’s shirt. Oikawa began to adjust Iwaizumi’s collar, but as he did so, Oikawa’s fingertips would occasionally brush the sides of his neck. Iwaizumi let out a little shiver as his heart repeatedly rammed his sternum.

Finally, Oikawa folded the sides of the opening, creating a tasteful “V” at the front of Iwaizumi’s shirt. Oikawa patted Iwaizumi’s chest with both hands.

“Done! You look decent now,” Oikawa announced, but judging by the cheeky grin he had, he wasn’t serious with his jab.

Iwaizumi looked down at his newly exposed skin. “Isn’t this too-”

“No,” Oikawa interrupted primly, walking out of his room and back out to the living room.

Iwaizumi followed him, and saw that Seiji was attempting somersaults over his couch cushions.

“Baby, we’re leaving now,” Oikawa called to him, walking toward the entryway.

Seiji finished his somersault, rolling off the couch. “Coming, Mommy!”

Iwaizumi trailed behind them. He found Oikawa scanning his shoe rack by the door, and watched as Oikawa picked up a pair of his shoes. They were black and casually dressy.

“Wear these,” Oikawa instructed, handing them to Iwaizumi. He then turned to Seiji, questioning his son over his well-being, with Seiji always chirping an affirmative back.

Once Iwaizumi slipped on his shoes, they went out and over to Oikawa’s car. Seiji was strapped in his seat through the combined effort of his mother and Iwaizumi, and the two of them slipped into the driver’s and front seat respectively. Iwaizumi tried to calm his nerves as they began to drive off to the destination of “date night.”

When they arrived, Iwaizumi quelled his jitters with a swallow of his throat as he stepped out of the car. Before he realized it, Oikawa had unbuckled Seiji and was holding him as he stood by Iwaizumi’s side.

“Ready to head in?” Oikawa asked, offering a supportive smile.

When Iwaizumi nodded, they walked towards the complex and up the stairs. Iwaizumi stopped when Oikawa paused at one door and knocked on it. The door opened about thirty seconds later.

A man about Iwaizumi’s height answered the door. He had short, black, wavy hair, and black almond-shaped eyes with ridiculous eyelashes.

“Oikawa-san, Seiji,” he greeted. His eyes met Iwaizumi’s. “And you must be Iwaizumi-san. Welcome.” He had a gentle smile that was incredibly calming.

“Uncle ‘Kaashi!” Seiji said, holding his arms out for the man to take him from his mother’s hold.

Iwaizumi remembered Bokuto’s mate being named Akaashi, so he assumed this man was him. Akaashi took Seiji into him arms and turned towards the inside of the house.

“Please, come in.”

They followed Akaashi in, Iwaizumi behind Oikawa. Reaching the living room area, Iwaizumi saw a small man curled up on the farther end of the couch in the room, playing a video game on a handheld console. Next to him was Kuroo Tetsurou, who he met at the grocery store. Iwaizumi guessed that the rolled up figure was his mate then. On the other side of the room the man Iwaizumi knew as Bokuto was setting the table.

“They’re here,” Akaashi announced the room. Kuroo looked over to them and smirked, his mate didn’t move, and Bokuto turned around.

“Hey, hey, how are you? Oikawa! You’re looking cute!” Bokuto said with a grin.

Oikawa preened. “Don’t I always?”

Bokuto laughed. “That’s true.” He set his eyes on Iwaizumi. “Ah! Hey… We met before, but I guess we started on the wrong foot, huh? Let’s start over! The name’s Bokuto Koutarou, nice to meet’cha!” He thrust his hand out towards Iwiazumi.

Iwaizumi took it and gave it a firm shake. “Iwaizumi Hajime. It’s nice to meet you as well.”

Akaashi moved next to Bokuto and placed a hand on his arm. “I’m Akaashi Keiji, Bokuto-san’s mate. It’s a pleasure to meet you Iwaizumi-san.”

“Likewise,” Iwaizumi agreed with a pleasant smile.

“Uncle Bokuto!” Seiji said, squirming in Akaashi’s grasp.

“Oh? How’s my favorite little man?” Bokuto took Seiji from Akaashi and lightly threw him up in the air. Seiji laughed going up, and giggled when Bokuto caught him.

Oikawa stiffened beside Iwaizumi. “Bokuto, be careful! Your ceiling isn’t that high, don’t break my son!”

Bokuto chuckled, but didn’t throw Seiji again. “You worry way too much!”

Oikawa huffed, taking Seiji back into his arms. Seiji let out a happy sound and hugged his mother.

Iwaizumi heard some shuffling and looked over to see Kuroo had hauled his mate off the couch and was bringing the sullen man over. Iwaizumi still found his grin unsettling.

“Yo, we’ve also met, but for formality’s sake, Kuroo Tetsurou. Nice to see you again.”

Iwaizumi nodded. “Iwaizumi Hajime. I hope you’ve been well.”

Kuroo grinned wider and nudged the man beside him. Said man gave Kuroo a weak glare before looking up at Iwaizumi.

“…I’m Kozume Kenma, it’s nice to meet you.”

“Iwaizumi Hajime, nice to meet you Kozume.”

“You can call me Kenma, I don’t mind…” as he said this, his gaze slipped off to the side.

“Alright!” Bokuto cheered. “Now that everybody’s been introduced, let’s eat!”

“Bokuto-san, the food isn’t finished yet. I need ten more minutes,” Akaashi pointed out.

Bokuto faltered and Kuroo snickered. Kenma had gone back to the couch and played his video game again. Akaashi headed into the kitchen.

“Do you want me to help, Akaashi?” Oikawa asked.

“I’m fine Oikawa-san. I’ve mostly completed everything. Please, make yourself at home. You as well, Iwaizumi-san.”

Kuroo had went back to sit next to Kenma, and Oikawa led Iwaizumi to a pair of chairs. Oikawa placed Seiji on the ground, and Seiji began to wander around the room.

Seiji walked over to the couch and smacked Kuroo’s knees to get his attention. “Uncle Kuwroo!”

Kuroo picked Seiji up and placed him on his lap, face to face. “What’s up squirt?”

Kuroo had leaned in when he asked Seiji, so Seiji reached up and started playing with his hair.

“Oi, did you come to make fun of me?” But Kuroo’s smile was much gentler than Iwaizumi had ever seen it, and his tone was playful.

Still, Seiji gave a sheepish expression. “No…”

“Well? Out with it then. Or do you want a visit from Mr. Raspberry?” To make his point Kuroo stuck out his tongue.

Seiji pushed at his face and let out a shrieking laugh. “No! No!” Then he began chattering to Kuroo about a TV show he had been watching.

Iwaizumi and Oikawa fell into conversation about a recent scandal on the news, but every so often, Iwaizumi could feel Kuroo’s gaze on him when he wasn’t preoccupied with listening to Seiji.

“Guys, the food is ready!” Bokuto called. “Come over and sit down!”

Everyone got up, Kenma finally pocketing his game, Kuroo putting Seiji on the ground so he could go over and take his mother’s hand, and Iwaizumi sticking close to Oikawa as Oikawa led both himself and Seiji to the table.

The seating arrangement ended up being Oikawa with Seiji on his lap next to Iwaizumi on one side, Bokuto and Akaashi on the other side, Kenma at one end of the table, and Kuroo on the opposite end.

On the table, there were various assortments of sushi, miso soup, and rice.

“Did you make all of this?” Iwaizumi couldn’t help but ask.

“Yes,” Akaashi said shyly. “If there is anything not to your liking, please tell me, and I’ll try to improve it.”

“No, no, everything looks amazing!” Iwaizumi assured him.

Akaashi flushed prettily. “Th-thank you.”

Bokuto puffed out his chest. “Akaashi is talented in a thousand ways!”

“Bokuto-san, please, you’re exaggerating.”

“Oi, Kenma, don’t start eating already without giving thanks for the food!” Kuroo cut in.

“Mommy, I wanna eat too!”

“Hold on Seiji, we need to say ‘thank you for the food.’”

With that, everyone began to dig in. Occasionally, Oikawa or Iwaizumi would wipe stray crumbs from Seiji’s face. After a few more bites, the silence was broken.

“So, Iwaizumi. What do you do?” Kuroo asked. The sly grin was back on his face.

“I’m a junior doctor at the hospital. I specialize in athletic injuries. What’s your profession Kuroo?” Iwaizumi returned.

“I’m an editor at the publishing house.”

“Really?” Iwaizumi asked with raised brows.

“What? Thought I’d have a flashier job?”

“Um, I didn’t mean to assume-”

“Ha ha, it’s fine,” Kuroo chuckled, waving Iwaizumi’s answer away. “I just found that I was used to dealing with the type most authors tend to be,” he said, gaze shifting to Kenma. “Besides, it’s an interesting enough job.”

“Hey, if you’re a physician, you should come by with me to talk to the team!” Bokuto said.

“Huh?” Iwaizumi blinked at him, trying to make sense of his words.

“Ah, sorry, I’m an assistant coach at our collegiate alma mater! So you should come and lecture the team about proper care and health!”

“Oh, sure, we can schedule something…”

“YES!” Bokuto cheered, pumping a fist in the air.

“Bokuto-san please, you’ll disturb the neighbors again.”

“Last time the neighbors complained was half your fault, Akaashi,” Bokuto said smugly. Akaashi’s eyes widened, and his cheeks started turning pink.

Oikawa cleared his throat. “Might I remind you Bokuto, that my son is here?” Oikawa’s tone was laced with ice.

Bokuto flinched. “M-my bad.”

Seiji, however, was unaffected; attempting to stuff an entire piece of sushi into his mouth while his mother was distracted.

“I’ve been wondering something,” Iwaizumi interrupted. All eyes immediately turned to him. “Why don’t you guys refer to your partners by first name? Besides Ko- I mean, Kenma, the rest of you go by your family names. You’re mated, right?” Most mated couples referred to each other by their given names.

“O-oh,” Akaashi stuttered. “Well, we got mated relatively early… Not that I regret it; don’t get dejected Bokuto-san!”

Kenma nodded, speaking up for the first time since he sat at the table. “We each mated under different circumstances, but they more or less were in ‘heat of the moment’ situations. Bokuto and Akaashi got mated during Akaashi’s second year in college, Kuroo and I during my third, and Akaashi and I are still finishing up our last year. We’re mated, but we haven’t gotten married yet. We’re planning our respective weddings after we’re done with school. I suppose we’ll go by given names then. It just seems a little too intimate now. And I’m just used to being called by my given name, so I prefer it.”

Iwaizumi took it all in, and nodded in understanding. “That makes sense. Thanks,” he said to Kenma. Iwaizumi turned to Akaashi. “Sorry if I touched a nerve. It was a little impersonal of me to ask.”

“No, no, I’m sorry, I overreacted, it wasn’t a big deal at all,” Akaashi stumbled his words back.

Oikawa laughed. “Keiji-chan, you look like you’re overheating!”

Akaashi pouted, but it was very slight. “Oikawa-san, please don’t make fun of me.”

“You’re so cute,” Bokuto said, nuzzling his cheek.

“So, what do the two of you study?” Iwaizumi asked, to spare Akaashi any more embarrassment.

“I’m a psychology major. At first, I took psychology classes because of Bokuto-san and his mood swings, but then I found the classes increasingly interesting and made it my major.” Akaashi and Bokuto were somehow staring into each other’s eyes by the end of Akaashi’s sentence.

“I’m a computer science major. I…want to make video games.” Kenma had mumbled the second part of the sentence.

“Speak clearly, Kenma,” Kuroo called from the other end of the table. Kenma rolled his eyes.

“It must be interesting to have lived with your mate throughout college,” Iwaizumi commented.

“There wasn’t really much choice for me. Bokuto-san had been living on his own before I came to attend the same college, and I would constantly be worrying about his well-being if I hadn’t moved in with him,” Akaashi sighed.

“It turned out for the best though, didn’t it!?” Bokuto asked, wrapping an arm around Akaashi’s shoulders.

“Yes, it did.” Akaashi and Bokuto faced each other again, and then moved close for an eskimo kiss.

“That wasn’t exactly our case,” Kuroo spoke up. “Kenma lived in the dorms for two years, so we didn’t start living together until his third year. And we weren’t alone, because Oikawa and I lived together all four years. Plus Seiji.”

Iwaizumi paused in surprise. He turned to Oikawa. “You two lived together? With Seiji as well?” Iwaizumi had always assumed Oikawa lived alone.

Before Oikawa could answer, Kuroo did. “Yep. I was with him through it all.” Kuroo’s sentence was short, but his eyes spoke volumes of the story he withheld. And there was something else; something that looked like a challenge.

It unsettled Iwaizumi. But he supposed the air of intimacy he witnessed between the two of them at the grocery store finally made sense.

“I moved out when we graduated,” Oikawa added, shooting Kuroo a disgruntled look. “I was given a job offer right out of school, so I moved to be closer to my workplace and a daycare for Seiji.”

“Cold, isn’t he?” Kuroo teased. “We were one big, happy family in our apartment. Don’t you miss living with Uncle Kuroo and Uncle Kenma, Seiji?”

“No,” Seiji said with a smile on his face, before taking a bite of his rice cracker.

“Ouch,” Kuroo chuckled.

“He had to Kuroo. Our home was no place to properly raise a son, and Tooru has no need to be by our university anymore, unlike the rest of us.” Kenma said in Oikawa’s defense, tone laced with warning toward his mate, eyes narrowed.

“I suppose so,” Kuroo relented.

Oikawa was about to say something, but the sound of a rice cracker breaking on the ground distracted him. He looked in his lap to find Seiji drooping, eyelids heavy. Looking at the clock, he gasped.

“It’s already this late! I need to put Seiji to bed! Iwa-chan, let’s go,” Oikawa said as he got up, frantically trying to gather his things without jostling his son too much.

Iwaizumi moved to join him. “Oikawa, give Seiji to me.”

Oikawa turned back to him, allowing Iwaizumi to take Seiji into his arms. Seiji snuffled, and then curled against Iwaizumi in his arms, resting his head against Iwaizumi’s chest and breathing deep.

Once Oikawa collected his things in his purse, they went towards the door to find Bokuto and Akaashi waiting there. Iwaizumi glanced back at the table to see Kuroo still sitting, but Kenma was standing by him. Kuroo had an arm wrapped around Kenma’s waist, and they were speaking in hushed tones. From their body language, Kenma seemed to be chastising Kuroo while Kuroo defended himself calmly.

At the door, Akaashi and Bokuto bade them farewell.

“Thank you for coming again, Iwaizumi-san.”

“Yeah! Consider yourself welcome every week! That way, Oikawa won’t be lonely.”

“I am not lonely! Iwa-chan, let’s go,” Oikawa pouted, hand curling around Iwaizumi’s bicep and tugging him out the door.

“Thanks for having me. Dinner was great,” Iwaizumi called over his shoulder to a waving Akaashi and Bokuto standing in the open doorway.

As they walked back to the car, Iwaizumi couldn’t get Kuroo’s last words or expression out of his head. But he let Seiji’s weight in his arms and steady breathing ground him.

Chapter Text

Over the next few weeks, Iwaizumi found himself in Oikawa and Seiji’s company more often than not.

They would meet up during their lunch breaks to eat, pick up Seiji from daycare together when Iwaizumi had an early shift, spend their days off together, and take Seiji to the park on free weekends.

Iwaizumi had attended every “date night” afterwards, despite his initial misgivings with Kuroo. Bokuto and Akaashi were ecstatic, Kenma warmed up to him, and Kuroo cooled off on the jabs. Seiji was extremely happy, and even Iwaizumi could tell Oikawa was beaming more than ever.

When they weren’t physically together, they would text each other in every free moment they had and would talk on the phone for hours after Seiji had been put to bed.

Today, Iwaizumi had long shifts from morning until evening, so he figured he would call Oikawa and Seiji to check up on them and schedule their next meeting when he got home from work.

Iwaizumi had just left a patient's room after running diagnostics on them when he saw Sugawara coming towards him.

“Iwaizumi! Are you on break right now?”

“Not right now; I had a break about half an hour ago. Why?”

“You left your phone in the break room. It’s been going off for some time now, but I thought it would be rude to pick up.” Sugawara handed him his phone.

“Thanks,” Iwaizumi said, scanning his phone, only to jump in shock at the sheer volume of calls and messages.

His phone had received 29 messages and 15 missed calls in the half hour he had left it alone. The most jarring aspect was the fact that they were all from Oikawa.

Iwaizumi’s mind went into overdrive. It was a Saturday, so Oikawa had the day off and Seiji didn’t have daycare. Normally on days like these they would play at the park.

Oikawa knew he had work. Usually he would send a text or two talking about his day or wishing Iwaizumi a good one, but otherwise wouldn’t bother Iwaizumi at work. Much less call him.

So why had Oikawa been so desperately trying to reach Iwaizumi? Iwaizumi’s stomach began filling with dread. The abnormality of this situation didn’t sit well with him.

Iwaizumi lurched forward, walking towards the nearest exit, which was the entrance to the ER.

“I-I need to make a phone call.” Iwaizumi didn’t bother checking the messages for fear of jumping to the wrong conclusion. He’d rather hear the story from Oikawa’s voice.

Sugawara followed him. “Wait; Iwaizumi you don’t look good, sit down for a second-”

Just as they reached within twenty feet of the door, Oikawa stumbled through it. He was pale, eyes wide, and he sweating profusely. Tears clung at the corners of his eyes, and his mouth quivered in a large gaping frown. It was the most scared and horrified Iwaizumi had ever seen Oikawa.

As Oikawa came closer, more things became apparent. His shirt and hands were covered in blood, and he was cradling a weakly whimpering Seiji in his arms. Seiji had a handkerchief on his left temple, soaked with blood and tied in place with what looked like a long sock. Glancing down, Iwaizumi could see that Oikawa was indeed missing a sock.

Processing all of this while trying to remain calm took all of Iwaizumi’s focus, so Oikawa was standing in front of him before he realized it.

“Iwa-chan,” Oikawa called, voice high and borderline hysteric. “Iwa-chan, please, I know you’re working, but please, you need to help, I don’t know what to do. We were, I took Seiji to the park, and he, he wanted to climb the tree, and he always climbs trees, you know? S-so I let him, but Seiji slipped and he hit a branch on his way down, and there was so much blood, Iwa-chan, please, I don’t know what to do.”

Iwaizumi’s tongue felt thick and useless in his mouth. He couldn’t make sense of the sight in front of him. Seiji, hurt? Can angels even sustain injuries? If he went outside, would Iwaizumi see pigs flying…?

Fortunately, Sugawara watched this all transpire and heard the story, rounding up nurses and directing them

“Listen, we have a toddler, looks around three or four years of age, who has what appears to be a large gash over his left temple, possible head trauma. It will need stitches, and he’s lost a significant amount of blood, so prepare a blood transfusion just in case. Doctor Fujisaki should be available for this patient, one of you please go call him.” A nurse broke from their group and strutted purposefully down the corridor. “The mother, an omega male, is visibly shaken; asking questions right now would not be the wisest action. Are we clear?” The group nodded in unison. “Good. Let’s get this boy patched up immediately.”

The nurses dispersed, the biggest nurse walking towards Iwaizumi and Oikawa. He seemed to be a beta male, not quite as tall as Oikawa, but definitely stockier. He all but ripped Seiji from Oikawa’s grasp, though he’s careful not to jostle Seiji, and took him away as two nurses rolled a gurney over. Seiji was deposited on the gurney and rolled away, out of sight.

Oikawa stared in shock before he was able to respond. “H-hey, wait! That’s my baby, where are you taking my baby?!” Oikawa moved to follow them, but a hand on his shoulder stops him.

He looked to see that it was Iwaizumi’s hand. “Iwa-chan, what are you doing?! I need to go! They took Seiji, I don’t know what’s happening, I need to go, I need to make sure my baby is ok, I have to find out what they’re doing to him!” Oikawa still sounded hysterical.

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi called to him.

“He’s my baby, he’s all I have, please let me go, let me be with him, Iwa-chan please.”

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi said again.

“I’ll have nothing if I lose him, he’s everything to me, you don’t understand-”

Iwaizumi cupped Oikawa’s face so he’d be forced to meet his eyes. “TOORU!”

Oikawa flinched, but couldn’t move away. His tears finally spilled over.

“Trust in us,” Iwaizumi began. “Trust that we’ll take care of Seiji, trust that we’ll fix up him up, trust that he’ll be ok. Can you do that for me?”

Oikawa stared into his eyes for what seemed like hours but what was likely only minutes. Then he said, “Ok, I trust you.”

“Good. You’ll need to wait here for the time being.” Iwaizumi removed his hands, but floundered over what to do next.

Sugawara stepped in. “Hi, Oikawa-san. Do you remember me? We used to play volleyball against each other.”

“Su…gawara-san, right? Ha ha, I used to call you Mr. Refreshing.” Oikawa’s laugh was hollow, but it was a start.

“Yes, I’m a junior doctor here with Iwaizumi. He’s still working, but I’m on break right now, and I can wait with you if you want. Do you have anyone you can call to come wait with you?”

“No… Everyone is working or busy right now.”

Sugawara gave his signature soothing smile. “Would you mind my company?”

“No, no, I’d really appreciate it. …Thank you.”

“Good, good! Well then, how about we get you cleaned up first? Iwaizumi will be able to keep you company on his next break. Right now, he really should be getting back to work!”

Iwaizumi could take a hint, and began to walk off as Sugawara led Oikawa away. He sighed, heading to his next patient’s room.

***

Iwaizumi tried to work a crick out of his neck. For the last hour before his break, he had been reading more case reports. He wondered if there would ever be an end to them.

Now that he was on break, he went to find Oikawa. Sugawara had texted Iwaizumi the room they were using to treat Seiji, and he said that he left Oikawa on the bench outside of it before returning to work.

Iwaizumi tracked the room down to find Oikawa in scrubs with his head in his hands. Beside him was a plastic bag that Iwaizumi assumed was his bloodied clothes.

Iwaizumi sat next him with no preamble.

“Hey,” he greeted.

“Hi,” Oikawa replied. His voice was soft and tired.

Iwaizumi bumped his shoulder softly against Oikawa’s. Oikawa sat up straight, only to lean over and squish his face against Iwaizumi’s shoulder, wrapping his arms around Iwaizumi’s arm.

“Thank you,” Oikawa simply said, voice quiet in the empty hallway. He wasn’t sure what Oikawa was thanking him for, but it didn’t matter. He accepted the gratitude nonetheless.

Both of them continued to stare at the door which Seiji was behind. Iwaizumi said nothing, simply rested his cheek against the top of Oikawa’s head and waited with him.

Finally, the door opened, and Doctor Fujisaki emerged. He was an elderly doctor in his late forties who mentored nearly all the junior doctors. He smiled over at them.

“Hello, you must be Seiji’s mother, and oh, Iwaizumi, you’re here too. On your break?”

Iwaizumi nodded. He opened his mouth to explain the somewhat inappropriate behavior Fujisaki walked in on, but Fujisaki shook his head. “Sugawara explained the situation and your relationship to me, so it’s fine, don’t worry.”

“Yes, my name is Oikawa Tooru, nice to meet you,” Oikawa introduced himself with a handshake.

“First of all, let me say that your son is fine.” Iwaizumi watched as Oikawa breathed a sigh of relief. “The reason he bled so much was because it was a forehead wound, and the cut wasn’t too deep. Seiji didn’t lose so much blood to warrant a transfusion, so he might feel anemic for a few days. I’ve prescribed some chewable iron tablets for him to help alleviate these symptoms. We cleaned the wound, removed all the splinters, and since the gash wasn’t deep, but a little messy, we used liquid stitches for it. Seiji is three years old, correct?” Oikawa gave a nod. “Then I have no worries that this will leave a scar! If anything it will be extremely light, but since Seiji is so young, there will probably be no trace of it. I've also prescribed an antibacterial ointment and care instructions to clean the area. You can pick all this up at the pharmacy. You’ll need to bring him back in three weeks for a checkup. I suggest keeping him indoors during this time, but light play outside is permissible. You may see Seiji now, but we’d like to keep him until evening to make sure everything’s alright before discharging him. Does that sound good to you?”

“Yes, thank you so much Doctor Fujisaki,” Oikawa said, before rushing into the room.

Iwaizumi lingered outside. “Doctor Fujisaki, if I may…?”

“Yes, Iwaizumi?”

“What did Sugawara tell you?”

“Oh, he just explained how Seiji got his wound and that you and Seiji’s mother were childhood friends.” After hearing that, Iwaizumi had the urge to buy Sugawara a fruit tart.

“Alright,” Iwaizumi said, moving into the room. He saw Seiji in bed with a large white bandage on his forehead, eating pudding. Oikawa was leaning over the edge of the bed, pressing soft kisses into Seiji’s hair on his uninjured right side. When Seiji saw Iwaizumi enter, he waved his spoon at him.

Iwaizumi pulled up a chair beside Seiji’s bed, on the side unoccupied by Oikawa.

“How are you feeling, Seiji?” he asked.

“Good! This pudding ish yummy, and the nurse said she bring ice cream!”

“That’s good,” Iwaizumi chuckled, rubbing a stray glob of pudding from Seiji’s cheek. “Seiji, you won’t be able to go outside while your forehead heals, ok?”

“Aw, why?” Seiji pouted.

“Your cut could get infected, and you have to let your body heal, ok? And definitely no climbing trees.”

“But I like climbing trees,” Seiji whined.

“Seiji, you need to understand. The reason you got hurt is because you climbed up a tree. And the time your Uncle Bokuto was watching you, you climbed a tree and he couldn’t find you. He thought you ran off and got lost. Both times, you really scared and worried your mother. You have to apologize and reflect on your actions. You’re a big boy, so I know you can do it.” Iwaizumi held Seiji’s eyes the entire time he spoke, and had a stern voice which wasn’t hostile, but held no grounds for leeway.

Seiji turned, regarding Oikawa. “Mommy worry? Mommy scwared?”

“Yeah,” Oikawa said with a sob in his voice. “Mommy was really scared. When I thought you were missing and when I saw you fall from the tree today… I worried so much-!” Oikawa’s voice cut off with a choking sob and he nuzzled Seiji’s hair to hide his teary eyes.

Seiji understood, if his immediate frown was anything to go by. “I made Mommy sad. I sowwy, Mommy.”

“It’s ok,” Oikawa answered, but it was thick, and muffled by Seiji’s hair.

“Will you climb trees, Seiji?” Iwaizumi pressed.

“No…” Seiji replied, a little sullen.

Iwaizumi tipped Seiji’s face up with a gentle hand to meet his eyes again. “Do you promise?”

“Pinky pwomise,” Seiji answered, bringing his hand up and sticking out his smallest finger.

Iwaizumi linked his pinky with Seiji’s, careful about the way his finger engulfed Seiji’s, and said the chant with him. Then he smiled at Seiji.

Iwaizumi looked over Seiji’s head to see Oikawa peeking at them, still teary eyed, but he had the first smile Iwaizumi saw on him today, small genuine, and beautiful.

Oikawa mouthed ‘thank you’ to him. Iwaizumi’s face heated up, though he knew he shouldn’t be blushing.

At that moment, a nurse came in with a small bowl of ice cream. “Here you are sweetie,” she said, placing it on the tray before Seiji and taking away the empty pudding cup. She nodded to Iwaizumi and then turned to Oikawa. “Are you Seiji-kun’s mother?”

“Yes,” Oikawa replied, rubbing at his eyes and standing upright.

The nurse smiled kindly at him. “I’ll need you to fill out some paperwork. Could you come with me?”

“Um…”

“It’s fine, Oikawa, I’ll watch him,” Iwaizumi said.

“Ok then,” Oikawa said, getting up and following the nurse out.

Seiji dug into his ice cream, and Iwaizumi wiped Seiji’s face when it got messy. Halfway through the bowl, Seiji paused. He had a spoonful, but he extended it toward Iwaizumi.

Iwaizumi took the spoon, but he turned the spoon around, and fed the ice cream to Seiji. Iwaizumi continued spooning the ice cream and feeding it to Seiji until it was gone.

“Iwa-shan, when I get better, will we pway together?”

“Yes, so be a good boy and get all better ok? Listen to your mom and stay inside.”

“Read books? Watch movies?”

“Yeah. You and your mom can come over and I’ll read you some books. We can watch movies together too.”

Seiji gasped excitedly.

“Yahoo~” Oikawa said as he eased the door open. “I’m back baby, were you good for Iwa-chan?”

“YES!” Seiji yelled, slamming his hands on the tray and rattling the empty bowl of ice cream.

“Seiji, I told you not to slam your hands, I know you’re excited.” Even so, Oikawa gave an indulgent chuckle.

Iwaizumi noticed that while Oikawa had been out to fill out paperwork regarding Seiji, he also picked up Seiji’s prescription.

“Did you get everything?” Iwaizumi asked, gesturing to the prescription bag.

“Yeah, I did. Double-checked too,” Oikawa said with a wink.

Iwaizumi glanced at the clock. “My break is almost over. I have two and a half more hours. Do you want to go home together?”

Oikawa smiled, and it was like the sun had come out after a cloudy, dreary day. “Sure.”

Iwaizumi went back to work with renewed vigor. Before he knew it, his last shift of the day passed, and he was walking back to Seiji’s room. Once there, he saw that two nurses were finishing running diagnostics on Seiji.

“Alright, Mr. Oikawa, Seiji is in great condition and ready for you to take home.”

“Thank you,” Oikawa smiled at both the nurses, and Iwaizumi watched them blush. “Seiji, do you have something to say to the nice, pretty nurses?”

“Thanks you!!!” Seiji said loudly, with a big smile on his face.

The nurses looked like they were about to melt.

Iwaizumi stepped in. “Thank you ladies, but I need a word with Oikawa and Seiji.”

The nurses turned in surprise, blushing again, but this time Iwaizumi wasn’t sure why. “Y-yes, of course, Iwaizumi,” the nurses said, shuffling out of the room.

Iwaizumi looked over to Oikawa, who was picking Seiji up out of the hospital bed. Oikawa placed Seiji on the floor and held his hand out for Seiji to take. Once Oikawa had his purse and Seiji in hand, he met Iwaizumi by the door.

“Are you sure you got everything? Where are your clothes and Seiji’s medicine?”

“All in here!” Oikawa brought up his purse up and slung it over his shoulder.

“Then let’s get going,” Iwaizumi said, leading them out of the hospital.

On the way, they ran into Sugawara, just as he got off work as well.

“Hey, you guys,” he greeted. “Glad everything worked out!”

“Thank you again, Sugawara-san. About your scrubs…”

“It’s fine, just send them back with Iwaizumi, no problem.” Sugawara grinned at him and Oikawa smiled in response.

“Thanks for all the help, Sugawara. We really appreciate it,” Iwaizumi mentioned.

Sugawara rose an eyebrow and gave him a skeptic look before grinning again and patting Iwaizumi on the back.

“Sure, sure, what are friends for?” Iwaizumi looked down, embarrassed, and found Seiji staring at Sugawara.

Sugawara followed his line of sight, spotting Seiji, and then crouching to be at eye level.

“Hey there, Seiji! Feelin’ better?”

Seiji all but jolted in place, letting go of Oikawa’s hand to run behind him and hide behind his legs.

“Seiji…?” Oikawa called uncertainly. Even Iwaizumi was shocked. He’d never seen Seiji act anything but sweet to people.

Sugawara leaned around to peek at Seiji with a “Hm?”, and Seiji jumped, dashing over and hiding behind Iwaizumi’s legs.

“Seiji, what’s wrong?” Iwaizumi asked, turning around. Oikawa had turned towards them, head tilted in bewilderment.

Sugawara got up, walking around Iwaizumi and bending down to look at him. “Ha ha, you must be feeling better if you can move around so quickly! Here,” Sugawara said, pulling out a lollipop from his pocket.

Seiji stared at the red confection with a conflicted expression on his face. Finally he took it from Sugawara’s grasp.

“Seiji,” Oikawa said with mild warning in his voice. “What do we say when people give us nice things?”

“…Tanks,” Seiji mumbled, then ripped off the wrapper and stuck the lollipop in his mouth.

Oikawa sighed, gently taking Seiji’s hand back into his grasp, which put him right beside Iwaizumi. “I’m sorry Sugawara-san, I don’t know why he’s acting like this.”

“It’s fine, I’m not hurt or anything!” Sugawara laughed. “The important thing is that your son is ok!”

“Are you heading out, Sugawara?” Iwaizumi asked.

“Ah, I’m waiting for Daichi to pick me up! Are you three heading home together?”

“Yes,” Iwaizumi replied.

“Don’t let me keep you! And Seiji make sure you rest up!” But Seiji didn’t seem to be paying attention to him.

“I’ll see you later Sugawara, say hi to Sawamura-san for me,” Iwaizumi said as they left.

“Will do!” Sugawara said, waving them off.

The ride home was peaceful compared to their meeting today, so Iwaizumi leaned back and basked in the relaxed air around them.

***

Over the three weeks of Seiji’s healing, Oikawa brought Seiji over to Iwaizumi’s house whenever he became stir-crazy from staying indoors, which was nearly every other day. Granted, he was still inside, but at least it was a change of pace. Oikawa, in gratitude, would cook dinner for the three of them whenever they came over. Iwaizumi was on cloud nine; he got to spend time with Oikawa and Seiji, plus he got to eat Oikawa’s home-cooked food for dinner with them. Iwaizumi couldn’t remember being this happy in over four years.

The best part of Oikawa’s cooking was that any leftovers became his lunch. Iwaizumi and Sugawara had a break together, and he pulled out a bento comprised of food Oikawa had made.

“Eating Oikawa’s bentos again?” Sugawara asked.

“How did you know?”

“His cooking isn’t nearly as charred as yours.”

“Hey,” Iwaizumi growled. Suddenly, his phone vibrated.

>> Iwa-chan, I think I’m going to take Seiji for his checkup today! He insists that he wants to see you, will you be free sometime today?

Iwaizumi swallowed his food before replying.

>> I get off in a few hours.

Oikawa’s reply was immediate.

>> YAY! :D I’ll get Seiji ready, and we’ll be there in about an hour or two? Then we can leave together, get some early dinner!

Iwaizumi took another bite as he answered.

>> Sounds good. If you guys finish before I do, take a stroll in the park nearby.

Iwaizumi read Oikawa’s last text before pocketing his phone again.

>> Ok~ :)

“Was that Oikawa you were texting?”

Iwaizumi almost jumped, forgetting Sugawara was seated across from him.

“Alright, how did you know this time?” It was impossible for Sugawara to have seen Iwaizumi’s texts from where he was sitting.

“Easy,” Sugawara said with a lofty smile that Iwaizumi didn’t like at all. “You always get this goofy, I mean charming, smile on your face when you text him.”

“Whatever,” Iwaizumi grumbled, stuffing more food into his mouth.

“You aren’t denying it~” Sugawara sing-songed. Iwaizumi felt his cheeks warming and growled softly in response. Sugawara laughed before speaking. “Listen, would you, Oikawa, and Seiji like to meet Daichi and me for a casual day off? I can invite Asahi and his mate as well. I mean, we aren’t on opposing teams anymore and I consider us pretty good friends so…”

Iwaizumi considered this. Oikawa had introduced him to the friends he made in Tokyo, it would be fair for Iwaizumi to do the same, right? “Sure, that sounds great.”

“Awesome! I’ll let Daichi and Asahi know and I’ll get back to you on date, time, and location!”

Iwaizumi nodded as he chewed, finishing his lunch as their break came to an end.

After he finished work, Iwaizumi met Oikawa and Seiji by the main entrance to the hospital.

“Sorry, did you wait long?”

Oikawa shook his head. “Maybe ten minutes?”

“How was Seiji’s appointment?”

“It was perfect, Seiji is the picture of health! I’m so glad.”

“Me too,” Iwaizumi agreed.

Oikawa blushed a little and smiled, tucking a tuft of hair behind his ear. They began to walk out together.

“Have any ideas for a place to eat?” Iwaizumi asked.

“Ah, I always choose the places, so how about you choose?”

Iwaizumi hummed. “I heard there’s a good udon shop nearby.”

“Let’s go,” Oikawa said.

When they were seated and had already ordered, Iwaizumi brought up the plans he had made with Sugawara. “What do you think? Want to go?”

“Sure, it sounds fun. Relay the details to me, ‘kay?”

Iwaizumi affirmed, just as their food was brought over.

It was decided that they would meet in a week, when everyone had the same day off miraculously. They met at the park close to the hospital.

When Iwaizumi arrived, Sugawara, Daichi, and Asahi were already there, along with Asahi’s mate, who was a surprisingly familiar face.

“Weren’t you…Karasuno’s libero?”

“Yes! And you were Seijou’s Ace! A pleasure to make your reacquaintance, I’m Nishinoya Yuu!”

“Iwaizumi Hajime, the pleasure’s all mine…” What was perhaps the most alarming to Iwaizumi was the fact that Nishinoya was indeed an alpha, and his large mate was a beta.

“Iwaizumi-san, where’s Oikawa-san?” Sawamura asked. He was a fellow alpha, but that wasn’t too shocking.

“Just Iwaizumi is fine, and I’ll text him now.”

“Well,” Sawamura began, only to be cut off by Nishinoya.

“Daichi-san! I already know you’re going to give some sort of polite sentence implying that if the honorifics is dropped one way, it needs to be dropped both ways, so let’s skip that and just drop the honorifics altogether.”

“Hey, Noya, that was kind of rude just now…” Asahi mumbled.

But before Nishinoya could be chided further, Iwaizumi agreed with him.

They began chatting amiably, when footsteps were heard approaching them. They turned to see Oikawa, holding Seiji and panting hard, a little hunched over.

“S-sorry…I’m…late,” he wheezed. Once he caught his breath he continued. “Seiji just didn’t want to get dressed,” he said with a laugh.

Iwaizumi turned his attention to Seiji, who was staring at the group before him as if he was evaluating them.

“Is this everyone?” Oikawa asked.

“Yup,” Sugawara answered, “And don’t worry, we didn’t wait that long for you.”

“I tried to invite Ryuu,” Nishinoya added. “But he already had a date planned with Chikara.”

Once Oikawa stood upright, Iwaizumi was able to appreciate his outfit. He was wearing a high-waist ruffle skirt, which showed off his thighs and the curve of his behind, and a denim button down top tucked into it, the sleeves rolled to three-quarters. He had on a pair of ankle boots, with two inch high, thick heels.

Iwaizumi swallowed his spit before he could start drooling.

Oikawa smiled and them. “Nice to meet you all again, I’m Oikawa Tooru and this is my son Seiji.”

“Hi…” Seiji said somewhat shyly, still gawking at everyone. Iwaizumi noticed that he hadn’t smiled once since he came.

“I’m Sawamura Daichi, great to make your acquaintance again.”

“I-I’m Azumane Asahi, nice to see you’re doing well.”

“Hey! We’ve already met, but I’m Sugawara Koushi.”

“I’m Nishinoya Yuu! Your serves were amazing!”

“Ah, you were Karasuno’s libero! Your receives were also amazing!”

Nishinoya grinned. “Your kid is pretty big! How old is he?”

“He’s three years old, right?” Sugawara answered, looking to Oikawa for confirmation. Oikawa nodded.

“Hey,” Iwaizumi cut in to get Oikawa’s attention. Oikawa turned to him with an amiable smile. “We decided to drop honorifics before you got here. We’re all around the same age anyway.”

“Oh, alright then~”

“Hmmmm,” Nishinoya said with a contemplative look. “If you’re the same age as Daichi-san, Suga-san, and Asahi-san, doesn’t that mean you got pregnant when you were eighteen? Since Seiji is three?”

Iwaizumi was dumbfounded, Sugawara’s jaw dropped, Sawamura popped several veins, and Asahi looked horrified. Oikawa looked like a deer in headlights, caught completely off-guard.

“N-N-NOYA! You can’t just ask someone that!” Asahi yelled.

“Nooooooyaaaa,” Sawamura growled, looking ready to club Nishinoya over the head.

Sugawara jumped once he realized his boyfriend’s intentions. He latched onto Sawamura’s arm. “Now, now, there’s no helping that it’s already been said! But Noya, you should know better, and be more sensitive.”

“I-it’s fine!” Oikawa said, finally finding his voice and saving Nishinoya from impending doom. “I mean, that’s what happened, so there’s no point in denying it or sugar-coating it. Besides, I’m not ashamed of it, so it’s alright to ask.”

“So then, was it a one-night stand?” Nishinoya pressed.

“NOYA!” all three former third years of Karasuno screamed at once.

Even Oikawa looked taken aback, despite his previous statement. “S-something like that I guess, maybe…” Oikawa mumbled in response.

“Huh?” Nishinoya asked. But before he could ask for clarification, Iwaizumi stepped forward to stand between Nishinoya and Oikawa, partially shielding Oikawa.

“That’s enough,” Iwaizumi said with his signature frown, glare boring down into Nishinoya’s eyes. Despite them both being alphas, Nishinoya shrank back and retreated, going to stand beside his mate.

A gentle hand on his arm instantly calmed Iwaizumi. “Thank you, Iwa-chan, but I’m ok,” Oikawa said with a reassuring smile.

“If you say so…” Iwaizumi grumbled.

“Well then,” Oikawa said with his best smile, “shall we get moving?”

With that, the tension in the air was dispelled and they started walking through the park. While they were walking, Iwaizumi found out that Nishinoya was studying to be an engineer, Asahi was a preschool teacher, and Sawamura was an assistant coach at his own collegiate alma mater. He wondered if he and Bokuto had a rivalry going on between the teams they coached.

Sugawara sidled up to Oikawa and smiled at Seiji who remained remarkably impassive.

“Hi Seiji! I’m glad you’re all better, ready to have some fun today?”

Seiji said nothing, opting to turn and hide his face in Oikawa’s neck instead.

“Huh? Seiji?” Oikawa tried to move Seiji away, only to have Seiji burrow closer to him.

“Ha ha, your son’s really shy, isn’t he?” Sugawara chuckled.

“Normally he’s not…” Oikawa said with a frown.

Iwaizumi walked up to them, ruffling Seiji’s hair. “What’s the matter Seiji? Not feeling well?”

Seiji peeked at Iwaizumi, before moving to latch onto him, forcing Oikawa to hand Seiji off to Iwaizumi. Once Seiji was situated in Iwaizumi’s arms, he hid his face in Iwaizumi’s neck as well. Iwaizumi looked over Seiji’s head to Oikawa, both of them at a loss. Neither had ever seen Seiji act like this.

“Baby,” Oikawa said, rubbing Seiji’s back. “Are you ok?”

“Leave this to me,” Nishinoya announced. “Set Seiji down, and I’ll cheer him up!”

Iwaizumi pried Seiji from himself, placing his feet solidly on the ground before letting go of him. Still, Seiji moved to Iwaizumi’s side, clung to his pants leg, and pouted.

“Watch this Seiji!” Nishinoya said with a grin “ROOOOOOLLLLIIIIING THUUUNDER!” Nishinoya yelled, performing the move.

Seiji watched the move before snubbing it with a “Hmph!”

“Oi, this kid is rude,” Nishinoya growled.

Sawamura placed a placating hand on Nishinoya's shoulder. “You need to approach this from a different angle,” he said, pulling a rubber ball from his pocket. “Here, Seiji, do you want to play catch?”

But Seiji ignored the gesture, letting go of Iwaizumi’s leg to walk over to his mother. “Mommy, I’m thirsty.”

Oikawa pulled a juice box from his bag and handed it to Seiji.

Seiji slurped at the drink, pensively frowning at the ground.

“Ah, his frown reminds me of someone,” Sugawara said.

“How funny, me too,” Sawamura agreed.

“Who?” Iwaizumi asked.

They looked at each other before answering. “Er, I don’t think you’d know,” they said together.

Asahi had noticed Seiji finished his juice box, so he went over to him and held out his hand. “I can take that if you-”

Seiji’s reaction was near immediate. “NO!” he screeched, slapping Asahi’s hand away. Asahi recoiled and everyone stared in shock.

Iwaizumi heard Oikawa grind his teeth, and he looked over to see him with an absolutely livid expression.

“Seiji that is it. All day I have watched you act rude and moody and I won’t tolerate it anymore. I did not raise you to be a stubborn brat. We do not hit people. We do not ignore people. We do not scoff at people. You will apologize. Now.”

“No!” Seiji yelled back, and Iwaizumi watched Oikawa’s shoulders shake with rage. Quickly, he placed his hands on Oikawa’s shoulders and rubbed his thumbs in soothing circles on Oikawa’s upper back.

“Calm down,” Iwaizumi whispered. “Let me handle this.”

Iwaizumi knelt down, finding Seiji fighting his tears as they rolled down his face and clutching the bottom of his shirt. “Seiji,” he called.

“No, no,” Seiji whimpered.

Iwaizumi patted his head. “I’m not going to ask you to apologize. Because I know you’re a good boy, and that you wouldn’t act this way without a reason. Your mom isn’t mad at you. He’s confused, because he doesn’t know why you’re acting out. I’m not sure why you are either. Will you tell us?”

“‘Cause,” Seiji sniffled, wiping at his tears. “‘Cause they’wre the bad guys!”

Iwaizumi blinked. That wasn’t the answer he was expecting. “What do you mean?”

“On Mommy’s DVDs! They beat you and Mommy’s team in the lastest game, and they made ev’one sad and they made you crwy. They is bad! I no like them!”

“Oikawa, have you been showing Seiji old recordings of volleyball games?” Iwaizumi asked with a critical eye.

“He likes them!” Oikawa defended. Then he sighed, going over to Seiji. “Seiji, look at me.”

Seiji looked up, eyes watery and cheeks coated in tear tracts.

“You like to play games with the other kids, right?”

“Y-yeah…”

“And someone always wins at the end of the game, right?”

“Yeah.”

“You always try your hardest to win, every game, right?”

“Uh huh.”

“But do you always win?”

“No…”

“Do you think that when someone else wins, that person is bad?”

“Nuh uh.”

Oikawa smiled. “It’s the same here, Seiji. Volleyball is a game, and though we tried our hardest, after that particular game we weren’t able to win, and Karasuno won instead. That doesn’t make Karasuno or these guys bad, does it?”

“I guwess not.”

“Good. And losing isn’t bad. Whenever you lose, you should think, ‘I just need to work harder, so I can win the next time.’ Ok?”

“Ok.”

“Yosh,” Oikawa said, hefting Seiji into his arms and pressing a kiss into his wet cheek. “I’m sorry for raising my voice, but you know how to behave better Seiji. And if something is bothering you, you have to tell Mommy, alright? That way, I can try and make it better.”

Seiji nodded, hugging himself close to his mother.

Oikawa rubbed Seiji’s back. “Let’s go clean you up, and then we can go play,” Oikawa told him, walking towards public restroom.

Seiji placed his chin over Oikawa’s shoulder staring back at the group with a red nose and tear stained face. Asahi offered a small wave to him. Seiji raised his hand, only to use it to pull down his cheek and stick his tongue out at them.

“He…really hates us, doesn’t he?” Sugawara asked.

“Yeah,” Sawamura affirmed.

“He’ll be better once he warms up to you guys,” Iwaizumi said. Hopefully, he added as an afterthought.

“You know, Oikawa is pretty loving towards his son, isn’t he?” Nishinoya asked, looking at their retreating figures.

“Of course he is, it’s his son, Noya,” Asahi pointed out.

“Yeah, but you’d think he’d be more firm… I don’t know, it just makes me think. He really treasures his son. But what if he’s projecting feelings he couldn’t express onto his son as well? Do you think Oikawa was in love with Seiji’s dad?”

The sentence was brought up innocently and with only wonder lacing the tone, yet it hit Iwaizumi like a hard punch to the gut. It was the exact question he wouldn’t let himself voice.

“I wonder if Oikawa was in love with Seiji’s father too…” Iwaizumi murmured.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi was jolted awake by a phone call at around six a.m. in the morning. He groaned, unwilling to pick it up. It was his day off, and he wasn’t on call for the hospital either, so no one should be calling him. He swore that if this was Hanamaki or Matsukawa calling him in the early hours of the day just to bother him again, he would personally tear them each a new one.

He scrubbed a hand down his face and answered the phone without looking at the screen, knowing full well it would blind him and he wouldn’t be able to read the caller ID anyway.

“Hello?” Iwaizumi asked with a sleep thick voice, sitting up in bed and scratching his stomach through his shirt with his free hand.

The line was silent for a few beats before he heard some shuddering breaths. The heavy breathing continued for about a minute.

Iwaizumi furrowed his brow. “Hey, if this is a prank-” but his sentence was interrupted by a feeble voice.

“I-Iwa-chan?”

Iwaizumi’s eyes widened. “Oikawa? Are you ok?”

“I’m, I, uh, I’m fine. I just…” Oikawa seemed utterly distracted.

“Oikawa, tell me what’s wrong.” Iwaizumi was ready to rush over to Oikawa’s home regardless of the fact that he had never been invited over.

“Nothing’s wrong! It’s perfectly natural, ha ha ha…” Oikawa trailed off with an awkward laugh. Then his voice took a more serious tone. “I need a favor Iwa-chan, please.”

“First you need to tell me what’s going on before I start granting you any favors.” Iwaizumi cared deeply about Oikawa, but he was getting sick of Oikawa talking in circles to avoid questions Iwaizumi asked him.

Iwaizumi was sick of all Oikawa’s secrets, the gap of four years that he knew nothing about,

“My heat came early.”

The statement was like a bucket of cold water on Iwaizumi, despite his whole body burning at the image of Oikawa twisting in sheets, insatiable.

Iwaizumi quickly shook himself out of that line of thought as Oikawa continued. “I already informed my work and got excused for the week, but the people who I normally ask to look after Seiji during this time are all busy. My heat wasn’t due for another week, and it’s a little disorienting when your own body clock isn’t on schedule. It’s so frustrating.”

Iwaizumi recognized that voice. He had heard it throughout the end of middle school and all of high school when they were all alone and Oikawa would let himself be open and voice all his frustrations about being an omega while Iwaizumi tried to comfort him.

“Idiot, you can’t control something like that. Besides, it’s natural for heats to fluctuate at times.”

Oikawa chuckled. “Listen to you, Mr. Doctor.” Iwaizumi blushed a little. “Anyway, my point is, could you watch Seiji for the week? Please? I know I’m just dropping this on you and it’s unfair, but I’ve exhausted all my other options. I have no one else to turn to right now, Iwa-chan. I’m ok right now because I’m barely at the cusp of it, but in a couple of hours I’ll totally be in heat, and I need to make sure my baby is cared for.”

Iwaizumi nodded, though it was a useless gesture since they were on the phone. “I’ll do it.”

“Thank you so much Iwa-chan, I’ll bring Seiji over soon.” And the line clicked, ending the call.

***

Forty-five minutes later, after Iwaizumi frantically cleaned his entire apartment and prepared his extra room with a guest futon, a knock came at his door.

Iwaizumi opened the door to see Oikawa with a mask over his mouth and nose, and hat on his head, a scarf around his neck, wearing a loose sweater and jogger pants. He was practically covered head to toe, which was an unusual sight for Iwaizumi. Even if the summer had given way to the fall, it wasn’t that cool yet, and Oikawa loved to show himself off.

A groggy Seiji was in his arms, along with a duffle bag slung over his shoulder. Iwaizumi could see two more bags behind him.

Using his free hand to pull down the white mask to his chin, Oikawa gave him a lazy, somewhat dopey smile. His shin shined with a light layer of sweat. His eyes were a little unfocused, his pupils dilated, and his cheeks were flushed pink, as well as the tips of his ears and nose.

“Hi, Iwa-chan.”

Iwaizumi knew that these were all just physical effects of his heat, that Oikawa was wearing probably his least glamorous outfit, but Iwaizumi never found Oikawa more enticing than in that moment.

“Iwa-chan? Can you let me in?”

“U-uh, right.” Iwaizumi stood to the side as Oikawa came inside.

“Pick up the other bags for me?” Oikawa asked while passing him. Iwaizumi dutifully grabbed them and followed Oikawa.

“I prepared the spare room for Seiji,” he said as he caught up to Oikawa, only to have Oikawa stride towards the room. Iwaizumi scrambled to follow him again.

Once Iwaizumi got there, he saw Oikawa lay Seiji down on the futon, where Seiji immediately fell asleep. The bag Oikawa was carrying was set aside, and when Oikawa got up, he took the remaining two bags for Iwaizumi’s hands and put those bags with the other one. Then he exited the room.

Iwaizumi followed him out and closed the door softly behind himself so he didn’t disturb Seiji. Oikawa had paused in the hallway just before Iwaizumi, fussing over his scarf as it came loose. This close to him, Iwaizumi could see that the back of Oikawa’s neck was also flushed the same pretty pink. Iwaizumi wondered if it would turn red if he bit there…

And he immediately derailed that train of thought because the back of the neck is exactly where a claim bite would go, and omegas were most susceptible to claiming under heat.

Once Oikawa readjusted his scarf, Iwaizumi knew he had to get the hell out of there before he could have more dubious thoughts about his best friend. He purposefully walked around Oikawa in a manner that was only a little robotic, and went to the kitchen.

He poured two glasses of water, and chugged one of them. As Oikawa entered the kitchen, Iwaizumi handed the glass to him.

“You look hot – I mean, you um, um, seem kinda warm.” Iwaizumi quickly filled his glass back up and drank more water.

Oikawa drank the water slowly, occasionally looking over the rim of the glass to look at Iwaizumi. Those dark, hooded eyes would be the end of Iwaizumi; all he wanted to do was drown in them, but at the same time he didn’t want to get caught. Because if he let himself get drunk off Oikawa’s stare and pink skin, there was no telling what he would do.

How was Oikawa so alluring? His heat had barely begun, yet all Iwaizumi could think about was ways he could get Oikawa in his bedroom. Maybe if he brought out that navy and orange tie Oikawa hated so much…

No, no stop! Iwaizumi screamed at himself. Not a slave to instinct, will not take advantage of Oikawa just because he’s oozing pheromones. He’s vulnerable and needs help.

And Iwaizumi felt like scum for even letting his thoughts run wild like that. He sighed, bracing his hands on the edge of the kitchen sink, staring down the in-sink-erator as if it could swallow him and his shame whole.

“I’m sorry Iwa-chan,” Oikawa murmured. “I wouldn’t have come like this if I had any other choice. Still, childhood best friend or not, you’re an alpha… And doing this to you is cruel.”

It was true that this was a little overwhelming for Iwaizumi. He had never been around an omega in heat before. Despite being childhood best friends, Oikawa was extremely meticulous about his cycle and not letting anyone see him for a moment in weakness. Iwaizumi could only assume other omegas were the same, and even if slip ups occurred in public, most omegas carried heat suppressors and scent blockers to tide them over and neutralize the effect they could have on other people until they were alone. But even so…

“Oikawa, no. That’s like saying every time you came over, heat or not, you owed me something. You can’t blame your biology on this. It’s not your fault; nothing about this is in your control. We’re both rational adults, you asked me for help, and I agreed to help you. I knew full well what state you would be in when you came over. If anything, I’m the ass for not keeping a better reign on myself. I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok, I know it’s hard. Thanks for being a gentleman about it.”

“Gentleman? You mean a decent human being with common sense?”

“You’d be surprised how many alphas are on a completely different spectrum of thinking than you are, Iwa-chan.”

Iwaizumi growled in response, but almost immediately regretted it when Oikawa gave an involuntary shudder from it. No matter how strong the sensation of being around an omega beginning its heat was to Iwaizumi, it had nothing on the overstimulation an omega beginning its heat felt in an alpha’s presence. Which was what Oikawa must have been going through the second he stepped into Iwaizumi’s apartment.

“Maybe I should send you back,” Iwaizumi muttered. He didn’t want Oikawa having any unfortunate run-ins like he did at the beach, especially in his current state.

“It’s fine! I’ve covered up, so my scent shouldn’t spread as much, you can only really smell me if you get close, and I drove here, so I just need to get to my car and I’m home free. Plus it’s like, seven a.m., there will be no perverts lurking around in hopes of defiling me.”

“At least let me walk you to your car,” Iwaizumi bargained.

“Fine, ok – Ah! Wait! I need to tell you what’s in the bags! The duffle has enough clothes for the week, plus two sets of spares because kids are messy; especially my son. There’s also his toiletries in there. The other two bags are filled with Seiji’s favorite toys, books, and movies. There’s also a drawing pad and art supplies because Seiji likes to draw, but you already knew that. I already informed the daycare of my heat and that you would be caring for him, so you should be able to drop him off and pick him up with no problems. But I got Seiji excused for today, so take him tomorrow, and every day except the weekend, which you also already know. And the daycare is willing to let Seiji come in early or stay longer depending on your schedule, just let them know a day in advance. I left the daycare’s number plus a list of other contacts, just in case, in the duffle. I also included a recipe list of Seiji’s favorite foods. Oh, and I can reimburse you for all the money you spent feeding Seiji at the end of my heat when I pick him up.”

Iwaizumi rolled his eyes. “You don’t need to pay me, Oikawa.”

“But-” Oikawa protested, only to be cut off.

“First of all, I'm not a hired babysitter, I'm your friend who said he’d take care of your kid, and that includes feeding him. Second, just think of it as me repaying you for cooking so much for me.”

“Argh, alright! Well that’s it. I should go before things get…worse.” Oikawa’s gaze flitted away from Iwaizumi’s.

“Right, lead the way.”

They left Iwaizumi’s apartment and Iwaizumi locked the door because Seiji was still sleeping inside.

“Iwa-chan, Seiji should be up in an hour, I suggest you make breakfast because he’ll be hungry,” Oikawa commented as they walked.

They paused when they reached Oikawa’s car.

“Text me when you get home,” Iwaizumi said, breaking the silence.

Oikawa nodded. “Thank you again Iwa-chan. This…means a lot to me. Text me if you have any problems with Seiji and I’ll try to answer them as quickly and best I can. But then again, you always handle him so well.”

“Take care of yourself, ok? Heats are pretty taxing, especially if you’re alone.”

“I’ll be fine Iwa-chan. I’ve done it plenty of times before. And I can fully relax knowing Seiji is safe with you.” Oikawa smiled in a way that made Iwaizumi’s stomach flop like a fish out of water.

“You can count on me,” Iwaizumi responded lamely. He cringed at his own statement.

Oikawa laughed, before leaning in and pressing a warm, chaste kiss to Iwaizumi’s cheek.

Iwaizumi froze and his heart stopped. He tried to process the lingering warmth on his cheek as Oikawa pulled away.

Oikawa was still smiling before he saw Iwaizumi’s expression, then realization and shock overtook his.

“I didn’t mean to! I uh, I just, I’m not thinking so clearly, and,” Oikawa cut himself off, yanking his mask back up and running into his car. He started it up, gave Iwaizumi a stiff wave, and then drove off.

Iwaizumi gingerly touched his cheek, where he could still feel the impression of Oikawa’s lips. There was also this lingering, almost floral scent; strong, sweet, and soothing, that Iwaizumi swore was familiar, but couldn’t quite remember where it was from or when he had ever smelled it. He walked back home in a daze.

***

Iwaizumi heard the door of the guest room open as he continued cooking pancakes. He turned to see Seiji stumbling into the kitchen, rubbing sleep from his eyes.

“Mommy?”

“Morning Seiji,” Iwaizumi said as he flipped a pancake. “Did your mom tell you that you’d be staying with me for the week while he…recovers?”

Immediately, Seiji perked up, all drowsiness erased, and his eyes sparkled. “YES! Mommy woke me in duh morning an’ told me! Sleepover at Iwa-shan for whole week! So much fun!”

“Are you hungry?”

“Yeah!”

“The pancakes aren’t finished yet, but here, I cut an apple for you.” Iwaizumi handed Seiji a bowl of crudely cut apple slices.

Seiji sat down on the floor of the kitchen and placed the bowl in the gap between his legs. He proceeded to munch on apple slices, watching Iwaizumi cook.

Once Seiji finished the apple slices, he stood up, picked up the bowl, and held it over his head, walking over to Iwaizumi. Iwaizumi had just finished cooking the last pancake and added it to the stack when he noticed Seiji.

“Thank you,” Iwaizumi chuckled, and Seiji beamed. Iwaizumi took the bowl and placed it in the sink, and then he poured a glass of milk and gave it to Seiji to drink.

Seiji carefully sipped his milk as Iwaizumi separated the stack of pancakes into a portion for Seiji and a portion for himself. He got out whipped cream, honey, strawberries, blueberries, and a banana. He sliced the banana and strawberries and set them aside with the blueberries. He decorated Seiji’s top pancake with whipped cream, making a smiley face. Then he garnished it with the fruit, using the banana slices for eyes, the blueberries for the nose, and the strawberries for the mouth. He piled a bit of extra fruit on the side. All the excess fruit was thrown onto his own plate, and then he drizzled both shares with honey.

He took them to his table, stacking old biology texts on the chair meant for Seiji. Returning to the kitchen, Iwaizumi found Seiji just finishing the milk. Once Seiji emptied the glass, Iwaizumi took the glass from him and placed it in the sink. Iwaizumi turned on his coffee maker before he could forget, and took Seiji’s hand, leading him to the table. He picked Seiji up, and sat him atop the books. Iwaizumi seated himself across from Seiji and saw Seiji smiling at him, swinging his feet under the table.

“Say thanks?” Seiji asked.

“Ah, right,” Iwaizumi realized. Then they said ‘Thanks for the food’ together and began to eat.

Iwaizumi skimmed the news while they ate, and Seiji got cream all over his face as he ripped the pancakes apart. Iwaizumi wiped the cream off as best he could, but it was always quickly replaced after Seiji took another bite.

Iwaizumi gave up just as the coffee maker beeped, so he got up to pour himself some coffee. Returning to the table, he ruffled Seiji’s hair and sipped his coffee on the way back to his seat.

Iwaizumi wiped Seiji’s face when they were done, picking up the plates and dumping them in the sink, as well as his empty coffee mug.

He took stock of the things in his fridge and realized how lacking he was in food groups and overall food in general. So much for being a doctor.

“Seiji,” Iwaizumi said, turning to the little boy. “Want to do a little shopping with me?”

Seiji jumped up, excitement bursting from every pore. “YEAH!”

***

While Seiji brushed his teeth, Iwaizumi called Matsukawa.

“Hello?” he heard over the sound of a TV.

“Hey Matsukawa, it’s your day off right?” When Iwaizumi heard an affirmative he continued. “I’m watching Seiji for the week. What do you mean, ‘Why?’ What else would put Oikawa out for a week? Right. Anyway, I’m going shopping with Seiji, want to come along? Alright, come over in half an hour.”

Once the call ended, Iwaizumi picked out an outfit for Seiji to wear, helped him change into it, and got himself ready.

As soon as he was done, he got a text from Matsukawa stating that he was here.

“Ready to go Seiji?”

“I’m ready!”

Taking his hand, Iwaizumi led them out of his apartment and to Matsukawa’s car. Matsukawa rolled down the window as they approached.

“Do you have a car seat?” he asked Iwaizumi.

Iwaizumi froze; Oikawa hadn’t given him one. Granted Iwaizumi didn’t have a car so he wouldn’t have needed it, but now he wished he had the foresight to see this coming and take the car seat from Oikawa’s car before he left that morning.

“Uh-”

“It’s fine,” Matsukawa chuckled. “Oikawa forgot his spare car seat in my jeep from the beach trip, so I moved it to this car. I’ll leave it with you when we’re done so you can return it to him later.”

Iwaizumi breathed a sigh of relief. After buckling Seiji into his seat, he hopped into the front seat.

“Shopping district?” Matsukawa asked while starting the car.

“Yeah.”

The drive there was quick, and once parked, Iwaizumi got out to free Seiji from the confines of his car seat. Plucking Seiji out and continuing to carry him, Iwaizumi met Matsukawa on the sidewalk.

They walked through the alley of shops, browsing the various different stores. Iwaizumi was able to buy vegetables, fish, meat, and rice. He was able to carry all the groceries he bought in one hand while carrying Seiji with his other arm.

Matsukawa looked over at him and grinned. “I wish Oikawa was here. He would drool over how your arms are flexing right now.”

Iwaizumi glared at him. Sure, he was wearing one of his tighter v-neck shirts, and maybe they showed off his arms a little, but Matsukawa was being excessive.

“Shut up, you know he’s…busy.” Iwaizumi couldn’t say that sentence without at least a faint blush.

“If anything, it’d help him. Be some A+ fap material.” Iwaizumi blushed bright red at Matsukawa’s statement.

“OI,” Iwaizumi growled. “There are delicate ears here.”

“Please, he’s three, he won’t even remember any of things we say a couple of years down the line.”

“What about now, huh?”

“He’s not even listening, Iwaizumi.”

It was true; Seiji was busy munching on the taiyaki he got from the last shop they visited. The owner gave it to him for free because she couldn’t get over how adorable he was.

A shop caught Matsukawa’s eye. “Ah, Iwaizumi, wait. I need a new pair of pants and Taka- I mean, Hanamaki needs a shirt.”

Iwaizumi raised a brow. “On a first name basis now? And it only to you, how long have you been living together now, four years plus a few months?”

This time Matsukawa turned red. “Shut up, it’s not, only I…” he grumbled, striding into the store before he could finish the sentence.

Iwaizumi laughed, following him in, but didn’t press Matsukawa. He didn’t want to pressure him; Iwaizumi knew that Matsukawa would tell him if he and Hanamaki became anything more than friends.

It was a like a boutique shop, but it also had a small section for men’s clothes, as well as a section for children’s clothing.

Iwaizumi set Seiji down as Seiji took his last bite of the taiyaki, but kept hold of Seiji’s hand. While Matsukawa perused the men’s section for his pants and Hanamaki’s shirt, Iwaizumi and Seiji browsed around the shop. A lot of the clothes in the shop were skirts, blouses, and dresses, of which Iwaizumi could picture Oikawa in all of them. Iwaizumi thought to remember the store, so he, Seiji, and Oikawa could come again together another time.

As they entered and kid’s section, an article of clothing caught Seiji’s eye, and he let go of Iwaizumi’s hand to dash over to it. Iwaizumi saw Seiji pick something up from a lower rack as he walked to catch up to him.

“What have you got there Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked.

Seiji turned, lifting up a purple tutu. Glitter was lightly dusted along the tulle of the skirt.

“Pretty! I like it! Pretty like stuff Mommy wears!”

Iwaizumi watched the way Seiji giggled as he held the tutu, smiling big and happy.

“Do you want it, Seiji? If you do, I can buy it for you.”

“RWEALLY?!” Seiji gasped. But then he looked down and frowned a little. “Mommy said not to trwouble you…”

Iwaizumi ran his hand through Seiji’s hair soothingly. “You aren’t troubling me. You didn’t ask me to buy it for you, I offered to buy it for you. See the difference?”

“Yeah. Is ok?” Seiji asked. Iwaizumi nodded. “Yay!” Seiji cheered, hugging the tutu to himself.

“What’s up?” Matsukawa asked, coming over with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt slung over his arm.

“I’m gonna get this!” Seiji said, lifting up the tutu to show Matsukawa.

Matsukawa shook his head. “You can’t get that.”

Seiji looked crestfallen and Iwaizumi was about to punch Matsukawa in the mouth if he didn’t take it back.

“…Without a cute hair accessory to go with it,” Matsukawa finished with a thumbs up. “Let Uncle Mattsun buy you one.”

Seiji instantly brightened with a sparkle in his eye. Matsukawa led Seiji over to a rack with hair clips and told him to pick whichever he liked best.

“Geez, Iwaizumi, did you really think I would tear a kid down like that?”

“Huh?” Iwaizumi asked.

“You looked like you were about to kill me.”

“I would have, if you meant it.”

Before Matsukawa could answer, Seiji turned around.

“Dis!” Seiji said, handing the hair accessory to Matsukawa.

It looked like a bear at first, but closer inspection proved it to be a tanuki. The clip was shaped like head of a tanuki, round and chibi-esque, with a simple face that consisted of two large dots for eyes, its mask, and a triangle shaped nose.

Seiji started jumping in place. “It a tan’ki!”

“You…like it, Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked. He was honestly expecting a bow, flower, or anything but this. It was certainly cute…but also a little strange. Iwaizumi didn’t even know tanuki hair clips were a commodity.

“Yeah!”

“Well, if he likes it…” Matsukawa said, heading to the counter.

Iwaizumi took Seiji’s hand and led him to the counter as well. When they got there, Matsukawa finished his purchase, so he took to clip out of the packaging and clipped it into Seiji’s hair. The light brown of the tanuki’s face stood out from Seiji’s dark hair.

“Thank you Uncle Mattsun!”

Matsukawa smiled at him. “You're welcome.”

Matsukawa held the groceries for Iwaizumi while he paid for the tutu.

“Here you go, sir.”

“Could you cut the tag?” Iwaizumi asked. “So he can wear it now.”

The cashier peeked over the register to see Seiji, and smiled down at him. But then frowned.

“Is there a problem?” If this girl said anything about a boy not being able to wear a tutu…

“Ah, it’s just, that tanuki clip. It’s meant to be worn as a brooch. It does also have a fastener clip made for hair, but that’s more to use as a costume piece on wigs. I’m afraid it’s too heavy for your son’s hair, even his hair is really thick. It’ll give him a headache in an hour or less, and you might even pull hair out removing it, so I wouldn’t recommend wearing it like that. I’m sorry.”

“Oh,” Iwaizumi said.

Iwaizumi knew nothing about clips, or clothes in general, apart from ‘it fits and it’s comfy,’ so the error was unavoidable.

If Oikawa were here, this mistake wouldn’t have happened, Iwaizumi thought with a sigh.

He also realized that the cashier called Seiji his son, but he decided not to correct her, given that she couldn’t know their circumstance and they’d probably never see her again.

“My bad,” Matsukawa added.

“Can’t wear?” Seiji asked with a pout and puppy eyes.

Iwaizumi found himself in a difficult situation. On one hand he could tell Seiji he couldn’t and upset him, which would lead to a possible tantrum. On the second hand, he could let Seiji wear it, but Seiji would end up getting hurt, which Oikawa would kill him for, not to mention Iwaizumi would kill himself for letting Seiji get hurt. He wracked his brain for a solution.

Suddenly, one came to him. “You can’t wear it in your hair Seiji, it’ll end up hurting you.” Seiji frowned. “But we can pin it onto the strap of your schoolbag, and you can show it off to all of your friends tomorrow at the daycare.”

Seiji gasped, awestruck and excited. “YES!”

“Alright we’ll do it when we go home. For now, I’ll hold onto the clip,” Iwaizumi said, carefully removing the clip from Seiji’s hair and pocketing it.

Matsukawa mouthed ‘Nice save’ to Iwaizumi.

“Ah, sir? I’ve cut the tag, so your son can wear the tutu,” the cashier said with a smile.

Iwaizumi started a little at Seiji being called his son again. But for some reason his chest felt really warm.

“Thanks,” Iwaizumi told her as he took the tutu, kneeling down and stretching the elastic waistband.

“Step into the tutu, Seiji,” Iwaizumi instructed. Seiji braced his hands on Iwaizumi’s shoulder as he took two big steps to get into the tutu, and Iwaizumi placed the waistband of the tutu over the waistband of Seiji’s shorts.

Seiji giggled in it, twirling around happily. “Thank you!” he exclaimed, tackling and hugging Iwaizumi’s legs.

Iwaizumi ruffled his hair and smiled. “Anything for you,” he whispered.

“Your son is very cute,” the cashier piped up. “I’m guessing he looks like his mother?”

“A-ah, yeah…” Iwaizumi trailed off. It wasn’t exactly a lie, Seiji did look almost exactly like Oikawa…

“You’re very lucky! Must be a beauty,” the cashier commented.

“He really is,” Iwaizumi said with a wistful smile. But he’s not mine.

Before the conversation could continue, Matsukawa interjected.

“Hanamaki got off work, his school had a half day today. He’s hungry, want to meet him for lunch?”

“Sure. Does that sound good to you Seiji?”

“Ok!”

“Let’s go then,” Matsukawa said.

Iwaizumi took his groceries back from Matsukawa and took Seiji’s hand in his.

As they left Seiji waved to the cashier. “Bye-bye!”

The cashier giggled, waving back. “Bye-bye!”

They drove to meet Hanamaki at a family restaurant, where he was already seated and loosening his tie.

“Yo, Hanamaki, how was work?” Matsukawa asked, taking a seat.

“First, I want to say that Seiji, you are rocking that purple tutu.” Seiji giggled as Iwaizumi sat him in the booth. “Second, kids these days are awful.”

“You should have gone for a tamer age than high school students, you only have yourself to blame,” Matsukawa replied.

“Fu-” He received a sharp look from Iwaizumi. “…screw you. I’m not even a full-time teacher and they make me want to tear my hair out,” Hanamaki pouted.

Matsukawa laughed into his hand.

Hanamaki decided to ignore him. “So, Iwaizumi, Matsukawa told me that you’ve been chosen to watch Oikawa’s bundle of joy while he’s indisposed for the week.”

“Yeah,” Iwaizumi told him, perusing the menu.

“I’m offended; he didn’t even call us.”

“He told me I was the only person he could turn to because everyone else was busy.”

“Now I’m even more offended,” Matsukawa said.

“Hanamaki, you work every day, Matsukawa you work long hours. Oikawa probably knew you two would be an awful choice for watching Seiji for a week.”

“Oh. That’s true,” they said together. “But what about you, Iwaizumi?”

“I had the day off today, obviously, and tomorrow I have a short shift. I’ll tell my superiors about the situation and see if they can let me take short shifts all week, and I can pick up the slack next week.”

Matsukawa nodded while Hanamaki said “Sounds good.”

A waitress came by and took their orders, starting them off with a round of water.

“You know, I’ve been thinking…” Matsukawa murmured.

“What?” Hanamaki responded.

“Aren’t Seiji’s clothes a little plain?”

“Huh?” Iwaizumi asked.

“Given Oikawa is his mother, you’d think he’d have more stylish clothes,” Matsukawa amended.

“I agree,” Hanamaki said.

“Well, now that you mention it…” Iwaizumi was surprised that Seiji didn’t already have a tutu or two.

“Why don’t we ask?” Hanamaki suggested.

“What!? Oikawa is…” Iwaizumi started.

“Please, heats and ruts are overdramatized. Just shoot him a quick text. If he really is busy, he won’t respond. And if you don’t text him, I will,” Hanamaki said.

“Fine,” Iwaizumi grumbled.

During this time, Seiji was busy blowing bubbles into his water through his straw.

To Bakawa
Hey, how do you buy Seiji’s clothes?

Iwaizumi set his phone down when the text sent, but was surprised by a sudden ping.

From Bakawa
Most of Seiji’s clothes are hand-me-downs from Takeru… Nee-chan always gives me a box of clothes Takeru has outgrown and not ruined. I’ve gotten…three boxes so far? The first was all his baby clothes because Seiji had just been born. She collects them for Seiji and drops by whenever she fills up an entire box. Occasionally I’ll buy him a new shirt or pair of shorts, but otherwise I don’t really buy Seiji clothes. Why?

Iwaizumi was surprised Oikawa’s older sister knew about Seiji, but if he thought about it, it wasn’t all too surprising. Oikawa looked up to his sister and his sister adored him. The two of them were inseparable; Iwaizumi remembered being jealous when they were younger and Oikawa blew off playing with him to hang out with his sister. She supported him with volleyball and came to almost every game before she got too busy starting a family. One of the reasons Oikawa was so close to Takeru was because of his closeness with his older sister.

To Bakawa
Just wondering is all. Does Takeru play with Seiji? And are you ok to be texting right now?

From Bakawa
I’m fine Iwa-chan, it’s only the first day. I don’t think I’ll be able to talk tomorrow though, and the next day will be iffy. I’ll try and call you in two days’ time. How is Seiji? I miss him already. :( And yeah, whenever Nee-chan comes over, she brings Takeru too. They get along really well, it’s so cute! Seiji calls him Take-nii, just ask him about Takeru and you’ll see.

To Bakawa
I’ll ask him. And Seiji is fine, we went shopping with Matsukawa, and now we’re getting lunch with Hanamaki as well. Your son charmed a shop owner into giving him free taiyaki.

From Bakawa
My baby makes me so proud. <3 Ugh, my heat is flaring up, so I need to go. Tell Mattsun and Makki I said hi. And tell Seiji I love him. Thank you again for watching him this week Iwa-chan.

To Bakawa
It’s fine idiot, just remember to take care of yourself.

From Bakawa
;)

Iwaizumi set his phone aside, surprised to find food in front of him.

“When did this get here?”

“Ten minutes ago while you were still sexting Oikawa,” Hanamaki told him.

“HEY! Seiji is literally right here,” Iwaizumi growled.

“One, he won’t remember this when it matters, two, he’s not even listening right now,” Hanamaki informed him.

“That’s what I told him earlier,” Matsukawa remarked.

“Well, it’s true,” Hanamaki shot back.

Iwaizumi turned to see Seiji messily shoving spoonful after spoonful of omurice into his mouth. From what he could read, the kanji written in ketchup had said ‘Cutie pie.’ Iwaizumi laid a napkin on Seiji’s lap before he could ruin his new tutu, and started wiping his face clean.

“Slow down, Seiji. The food isn’t going anywhere,” Iwaizumi told him.

Seiji started taking smaller, slower bites, and Iwaizumi began eating his own food.

“Oh yeah, Oikawa says hi. He says his sister gives him Takeru’s old clothes for Seiji to wear. And he wanted me to tell you that he loves you Seiji.”

“I love Mommy too!”

“Why didn’t Oikawa say he loves us?” Matsukawa asked with a falsely hurt voice.

Hanamaki patted him on the shoulder consolingly.

Iwaizumi rolled his eyes, electing to ignore them.

“Seiji, how is Takeru?” Iwaizumi asked.

Seiji dropped his spoon and turned to Iwaizumi. He started waving his fists up and down excitedly.

“Take-nii!!! Is rweally cool! He plays volleyball too! He plays with me!” Seiji proceeded to rant about the last time Takeru had come over.

Iwaizumi should have expected this. He continued to eat as he listened. He would occasionally spoon feed Seiji while Seiji continued to talk about Takeru.

Once they were done and split the bill three ways, Hanamaki drove home and Matsukawa drove Iwaizumi and Seiji back.

Iwaizumi took the car seat with him, and put the groceries away. When he was done he turned to find Seiji waiting and holding his schoolbag.

Iwaizumi had almost forgot. He pulled the tanuki pin out of his pocket and attached it to the strap of the bag.

Seiji ran his hand over the pin on his bag now and giggled. Iwaizumi smiled and ran a hand through Seiji’s hair.

***

The next day was easy. They stayed indoors that day after Iwaizumi picked him up from daycare. Seiji set to drawing as soon as they got back, watched TV, and after dinner he practiced reading with Iwaizumi until he fell asleep.

Iwaizumi was thankfully able to get time off to be able to take care of Seiji. He was surprised how lenient his bosses were about it.

“Yo, Iwaizumi!” Sugawara clapped him on the back at work. It was the third day of looking after Seiji.

“Hey, Sugawara.”

“I heard you got half shifts all week? Finally giving up being a workaholic?”

“No, I’m watching Seiji for Oikawa this week, it’s his heat-week, so I need time off to pick him up from the daycare and look after him.”

“Ooh, how interesting. I have a half shift today too, mind if I tag along and come over to your house?”

“Doesn’t Sawamura usually pick you up?”

“He’s…not going to pick me up today.”

There was something about the look in his eyes that Iwaizumi couldn’t ignore.

“Alright, you can come over today.”

“Really!? Thanks!” Sugawara immediately brightened.

“Seiji might ignore you though.”

Sugawara pouted.

When they got off of work, they walked to Seiji’s daycare together. Going inside, Iwaizumi filled out some paperwork to show that he picked Seiji up and one of the daycare workers called to the group of remaining kids playing in the toy area.

“Seiji, Iwaizumi-san is here to pick you up.”

Iwaizumi could see Seiji kneeling on the carpet stacking blocks up, tutu puffing out from around his waist. He was wearing the tutu today as well, just as he insisted he wear it yesterday. Iwaizumi was pretty sure Seiji wanted to wear the tutu all week. Iwaizumi found the contrast between his boyish shirt and shorts with the tutu really cute.

Seiji got up as soon as he saw Iwaizumi, knocking all the blocks down. He ran over, yelling “Iwa-shan!”

Iwaizumi caught him, and lifted him into his arms. Seiji wrapped his arms around Iwaizumi’s neck and rubbed his cheek against Iwaizumi’s.

One of the daycare workers chuckled. “I’ve never seen Seiji so excited for anyone to pick him up, other than his mother.”

“Really?” Iwaizumi thought he’d at least get his excited for Kuroo and Kenma, or Bokuto and Akaashi.

The daycare worker nodded, and Sugawara decided to make his presence known.

“Hey, Seiji! How are you? I’m visiting today!”

Seiji ducked his head a little, but at Iwaizumi’s stern look, he gave a polite “Hello.”

“I like your tutu, it looks very cute on you,” Sugawara complimented.

Seiji smiled and blushed a little.

“We should get going,” Iwaizumi said, picking up Seiji’s bag and walking out with Sugawara. Once they left the daycare grounds, Iwaizumi set Seiji on the ground to walk while holding his hand.

As they walked to Iwaizumi’s apartment, Iwaizumi and Sugawara talked about the recent influx of depression patients and any possible reasons for it.

Once they reached his apartment, they all went inside.

“Nice place Iwaizumi,” Sugawara whistled.

“Sorry this place ain’t the ritz or anything.”

“No, I mean it! It’s cozy!”

“Thanks,” Iwaizumi told him with a smile. “Seiji, what do you want to do?”

“Draw!”

“Alright, make sure not to make a mess, ok?”

“Kay!” Seiji said, pulling paper and crayons from his bag and setting them on Iwaizumi’s hard floor.

“So,” Iwaizumi said, sitting on the couch where he could keep an eye on Seiji and patting the space next to him. “Wanna tell me why you’re avoiding Sawamura?”

“I’m not avoiding Daichi!” Sugawara huffed, sitting next to him. “He’s the one who said he couldn’t pick me up today,” Sugawara mumbled next.

“And? He doesn’t pick you up every day.”

“I know. I just…feel weird lately.”

Iwaizumi raised a brow. “Weird how?”

“Like…inadequate.” Sugawara said, shoulders slumping.

For a while now, Iwaizumi had been thinking that Sugawara was a lot like Oikawa. Maybe it was because they were both setters, maybe it was something about them both being outdone by Kageyama, but Iwaizumi felt a familiar vibe with Sugawara that he recognized around Oikawa.

“Why do you feel inadequate?” Iwaizumi asked.

“It’s just, Daichi and I have been together for a long time. Since the beginning of our third year in high school. Five years, and we’re still just boyfriends. Asahi and Noya have already mated, and they might get married soon. Even Tanaka and Ennoshita are talking about bonding, and maybe mating. I’m…starting to think that Daichi’s grown tired of me. Maybe a beta isn’t enough for him.”

“To be honest,” Iwaizumi admitted, “I was surprised you weren’t an omega.”

“Really? I thought I really had that soothing beta vibe going for me,” Sugawara laughed.

“Well, now that I know you’re a beta I can see it, but I honestly thought you were an omega when we met.”

“Sometimes I wish I had been an omega, just for Daichi. I know it’s a pretty silly thought. There are tons of great alpha-beta relationships, some of which I know personally, and insensitive given how much male omegas struggle, but you know, I kind of wanted to be the omega to his alpha. I was so surprised when he confessed to me…”

“The odds are against you though, male omegas are extremely rare. I think the chances are one in one thousand?”

“I know; it’s a wonder we had one on our team. Remember Hinata Shoyou?”

“The little redhead who did that freak-quick with Kageyama?”

“Yeah, he’s an omega. He and Kageyama are dating too. He fits the bill, though, physically at least. I was surprised to learn Oikawa is an omega. Everything about him screams alpha.”

“That’s because he carried himself that way. He refused to let his designation allow people to control him. Oikawa had always been independently minded and goal oriented; he never let anyone get in his way. Certainly not any alphas who thought they were better purely because of how they presented. It was a wonder he listened to me.”

“Isn’t that because he respects and trusts you more than anyone?” Sugawara suggested with a gentle smile.

“I suppose,” Iwaizumi conceded. But Oikawa didn’t trust him enough to tell him about the past four years they had been apart.

“Still, it must have been difficult having a baby at eighteen. While attending college! I don’t know how he did it. The physical strain must have been torture, not to mention the emotional and psychological strain. He’s done such a good job as a mother too. Oikawa is really amazing.”

“He’s always been amazing…” Iwaizumi sighed.

But their conversation was interrupted by a sharp knock at his door.

Iwaizumi was confused, he shouldn’t have any guests, but got up to answer the door anyway. When he opened the door, Sawamura was standing just outside, sweating profusely and holding a brown paper bag.

“Sawamura?” Iwaizumi asked in shock. Then he turned back to Sugawara for an explanation.

Sugawara had the decency to give him a guilty look and push the tips of his forefingers together.

“I…may have texted Daichi saying that I was going to your place and given him your address to see what he’d do…”

Before Iwaizumi could react to that statement, Sawamura pushed past him and went over to Sugawara.

“Suga, what the hell? You text me saying you’re going to an alpha’s house, what am I supposed to think!”

“I-I just…” Sugawara stuttered.

“What do you have to say for yourself!?”

A sob broke the argument. Turning toward the source of the noise, the three of them saw Seiji, who had been laying on the floor drawing, fighting back tears and looking up at the quarreling couple.

Iwaizumi rushed over to Seiji and took him into his arms. Rubbing circles in Seiji’s back, he glared at Sawamura and Sugawara.

“Sugawara, we’re friends, and I’ll always lend you an ear to listen, but please refrain from dragging me into your fights with your boyfriend.”

Sugawara bowed his head in shame. “Sorry…”

“Sawamura, what were you thinking, yelling in the presence of a young child?”

Sawamura flinched with guilt. “I didn’t see him on the floor…”

Iwaizumi sighed. “Go into the kitchen and sort this out while I calm Seiji down.”

The two of them shuffled off, and Iwaizumi sat down on the couch, holding Seiji and continuing to rub his back as Seiji clung to him.

After about ten minutes, Sawamura and Sugawara meekly came back into the room. Iwaizumi looked over at them sharply.

“Did you sort it out? Or do I need to kick you out?”

“We’ve made up,” Sugawara answered, a little abashed.

“We’re sorry for troubling you Iwaizumi,” Sawamura added, rubbing the back of his neck.

Seiji lifted his head, looking at them with teary eyes. “Mad?” he asked in a small voice.

“No, no, I’m not mad anymore!” Sawamura said frantically.

Seiji sniffled and rubbed at his eyes.

“Um, I have some meat buns,” Sawamura said, lifting up the brown bag he brought with him. “Shall we eat them together?”

“Sure,” Iwaizumi smiled, nodding for them to sit on the couch with him and Seiji.

The arrangement ended up being Iwaizumi sitting on one end of the couch with Seiji on his lap, Sawamura on the other end, and Sugawara sitting in the middle. They passed meat buns around until everyone had one and began eating.

Not surprisingly, the adults finished their portion first and idly chatting while Seiji continued munching on his bun.

When Seiji finished, Iwaizumi cleaned up his face.

“Seiji, what did you draw?” He asked, rubbing the last bit of food off of Seiji’s face with his handkerchief.

Seiji perked up, jumping off Iwaizumi’s lap to go to the spot where he was drawing, picking up one of the drawings he made. He came back with it and placed it on Sugawara’s lap.

It was a drawing of Sugawara and Sawamura, along with Asahi and Nishinoya. There were a bunch of trees around them, so Iwaizumi guessed the drawing was based on the time they all went to the park together.

Sugawara gasped. “Oh my goodness, I love it! Daichi, look! It’s us and Asahi and Noya! Isn’t it great?”

“It’s really great,” Sawamura said with a smile.

“Let’s put it up on our fridge!” Sugawara said excitedly.

“Alright,” Sawamura agreed, laughing a little at Sugawara’s expression.

“Thank you,” Sugawara told Seiji, with the biggest smile Iwaizumi had ever seen him make.

Seiji smiled back. “You're welcome! I’m glad you like it!”

The two of them got up and Iwaizumi got up to join them.

“We should go,” Sawamura said.

“I think we’ve overstayed our welcome,” Sugawara added with a laugh.

Iwaizumi gave them a tired smile. “It’s fine, just give me some warning next time,” Iwaizumi said while showing them out.

“Bye!” Seiji called around Iwaizumi’s leg.

Sugawara and Sawamura waved at him and then walked off.

Iwaizumi shut the door with an exhausted sigh and decided that it would be a good time to put Seiji to bed.

***

The next day passed uneventfully, normally, and Iwaizumi was glad for the reprieve after the fiasco Sugawara had pulled the day before. As his head hit his pillow, he thought about Oikawa and how he promised to call tomorrow as he went to bed for the night.

A few hours later, Iwaizumi woke up to the feeling of weight pressing down on his torso. He cracked open his eyes to find Seiji laying belly down on top of him, head on his chest, and ear right over his heart. Seiji was also lightly sucking on the tip of his thumb. Iwaizumi smiled, running a hand through Seiji’s hair and over his back, before wrapping an arm around Seiji. He let Seiji’s steady breathing lull him back to sleep.

***

On the fourth day, Iwaizumi took Seiji to the park to play after picking him up from the daycare. They ended up getting pretty dirty playing around outside, so after a quick meal because they were famished, Iwaizumi took Seiji to take a bath with him.

After Iwaizumi properly washed all the grime from their skin, they soaked in the bath.

Iwaizumi let the hot water relax him as he massaged shampoo into Seiji’s hair. Seiji was seated on his lap in the tub so he wouldn’t sink, playing with a toy boat in the water.

“Seiji, close your eyes,” Iwaizumi told him, grabbing a small basin by the side of the tub.

Seiji did as instructed and Iwaizumi filled the basin with water, pouring it over Seiji’s head to wash all the shampoo out.

“You can open your eyes now,” Iwaizumi said as he set the basin down and brushed Seiji’s wet hair away from his eyes.

Seiji opened his eyes and started playing with the boat again, beginning to hum.

Iwaizumi leaned back watched Seiji push the boat in the water.

“Do you like baths, Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked him.

“Yeah! I take baths with Mommy all the time!” Seiji said innocently.

Suddenly, the image of Oikawa, wet and sudsy, laughing as he bathed Seiji rooted itself in his mind and Iwaizumi’s cheeks flared up. He felt himself overheating, so he picked Seiji up and out of the water, putting him down outside of the tub. He exited a moment after, and drained the tub of water. Then Iwaizumi wrapped a towel around his waist.

He grabbed the hooded towel that Oikawa packed with Seiji’s things which was shaped like a duckling, and wrapped Seiji in it. With the hood drawn up, Seiji looked extremely adorable; so Iwaizumi picked him up, grabbed his phone, set Seiji down in the guest room, and took a picture of Seiji dressed in the duckling towel.

When he finished taking the picture and saving it, where he may or may not have made the photo his wallpaper, his phone began to buzz with a call. Iwaizumi jolted, checking the caller ID to find Oikawa calling him.

“Hello?”

“Ah, Iwa-chan? Hey, I’m feeling a little better, and my heat has died down for a bit, so I was wondering if I could talk to Seiji?”

“Oh, sure,” Iwaizumi answered, giving the phone to Seiji.

“Hi, Mommy!” Seiji happily greeted into the phone. He began chattering to his mother about the week so far and responding to Oikawa’s questions, so Iwaizumi left to his own room to get dressed.

When he came back dressed in his pajamas, Seiji was listening to Oikawa over the phone and nodding, occasionally saying, “Uh huh” or “Ok Mommy.”

Once Oikawa finished, Seiji took the phone from his ear and lifted it for Iwaizumi to take.

“Hello?”

“Iwa-chan? Hi, thanks for giving the phone to Seiji! I always miss him during my heats. How are you doing? Seiji driving you up the wall yet?”

“No, he’s been pretty well-behaved,” Iwaizumi said.

“Seiji is a fairly calm child, but I’m surprised he’s being so obedient with you. Even Kuroo, Kenma, Bokuto, and Akaashi have trouble watching him during my heats. He tends to stop listening to them around the fourth day about things like bedtime and picking up after himself.”

“Really?” Seiji had been nothing but agreeable with Iwaizumi, only sometimes combatting bedtime with asking to watch an extra episode or having another story read.

“Yeah…” Oikawa trailed off, sounding like he wasn’t sure what was going on. “Oh well, it doesn’t matter as long as Seiji is ok and being good!”

“Mmhm,” Iwaizumi agreed.

“I’ll go now Iwa-chan, before my heat gets intense again. I’ll call or text you later, let me know if Seiji starts misbehaving~”

“Right,” Iwaizumi said and the call ended with a click.

Iwaizumi pocketed his phone, and began drying the lingering moisture from Seiji’s skin and hair. Once he was done, he hung the towel up and dressed Seiji for bed. Because Seiji tired himself out at the park, Seiji fell asleep as soon as he was tucked into the futon.

Iwaizumi, finding himself exhausted as well, placed his phone on the floor by the futon and crawled in, curling protectively around Seiji as sleep pulled him from consciousness.

***

The fifth day passed with Seiji wanting to marathon all the movies his mother packed for him when they came home until he fell asleep on the couch.

The sixth day was Iwaizumi’s day off and the beginning of the weekend, so Seiji didn’t need to go to his daycare. Iwaizumi got himself and Seiji ready after breakfast for what he planned to be a leisurely day, when someone knocked at the door.

Iwaizumi finished pulling a shirt over Seiji’s head before going over to answer it. He opened the door to find Kuroo and Kenma waiting.

“Hey,” Kuroo grinned. “We came to see if you’ve survived.”

“I hope you don’t mind us dropping by,” Kenma said. He lifted his arms to show the box in his hands. “We brought some donuts.”

“Thanks,” Iwaizumi said, taking the box. He assumed Oikawa gave them his address. Iwaizumi let them inside, setting the donuts on the table.

Just as they came in, Seiji walked out of the guest room. He had managed to slip on his tutu again. Seiji managed to wear it all week and not get it dirty, even when they went to the park. How he did it was a mystery to Iwaizumi.

“Uncle Kurwoo! Uncle Kenma!”

“Hey squirt, nice skirt,” Kuroo said, picking Seiji up.

Seiji puffed his cheeks. “Not a skirt! A tutu!”

“My bad, my bad. But you still look good. I’d say better than your mom.”

Seiji yanked Kuroo’s hair. “No! Mommy’s the prwettiest!”

“Ouch, ouch, I was trying to compliment you!” Kuroo protested.

“’Posed to say I’m as prweety as Mommy!”

“Ok, ok, just don’t pull out my hair; I don’t want a bald spot.”

While Kuroo and Seiji continued bantering, Kenma turned to Iwaizumi.

“I really am sorry we dropped by unannounced. Kuroo just really wanted to check up on Seiji.”

“I see.” Iwaizumi tried to not be offended.

“It’s not that Kuroo doesn’t trust you. I swear he doesn’t hate you. You make two of his favorite people happy, so how could he? He’s just really protective of his friends. I should know. Kuroo’s been by my side for as long as I can remember.” Kenma finished with a small, gentle smile.

Iwaizumi remembered Oikawa mentioning that Kuroo and Kenma were childhood friends just like they were.

“He just…wants to make sure,” Kenma continued. “You see, Kuroo found Tooru when he first came to Tokyo, and at the time Tooru was already pregnant and really shaken up. So Kuroo wanted to help him as much as he could. Kuroo is genuinely a nice guy, despite how he seems. Since Tooru didn’t have a place to stay and Kuroo had some extra room at his apartment, he offered to let him stay. Then they found out they were going to the same university and were both there as volleyball players, and everything just fell into place. My point is, Kuroo was by Tooru’s side through his whole pregnancy. I dropped by every so often, but I was still in high school, so I wasn’t able to be there much. Not to mention, Tooru lived with Kuroo, and eventually me as well when I moved in, for all four years, so Kuroo helped him more or less raise Seiji too. He’s been with Tooru through the good and the bad. And trust me, there’s been some pretty bad times. Kuroo sees Tooru like a brother, so he’s especially protective of him, and Seiji who he views as his nephew. Kuroo wants to make sure you won’t hurt Tooru like he’s seen Tooru be hurt before. Plus Seiji at an age where he can get attached to people, and he’s obviously very attached to you, so he can get hurt as well.”

Iwaizumi was speechless. How was he supposed to respond to that overload of information? He was only just beginning to process it.

“Ah, don’t tell Tooru I told you all that. Or even Kuroo for that matter. They aren’t so keen on people knowing their secrets. But I know I can trust you Iwaizumi. I think you’re the person who’ll give Tooru and Seiji happiness.”

“I understand,” Iwaizumi heard himself say, but he was still going over everything Kenma had said in his head, trying to make sense of it.

***

The last day of Oikawa’s heat passed without a hitch. On that day, Iwaizumi took Seiji to a nearby pond to feed ducks and walk around. Oikawa had called him later that day to announce that his heat was over, and that he’d pick Seiji up the next morning.

Oikawa arrived bright and early to pick up Seiji and get out of Iwaizumi’s hair before his shift. Iwaizumi had already set the packed bags aside, along with the car seat Matsukawa passed along to him.

A sleep-mussed Iwaizumi let Oikawa in, and Oikawa silently took the bags and went back out to pack them into his car. He returned, and repeated the process with the extra car seat.

When he came back, he gave Iwaizumi an apologetic smile, but Iwaizumi waved him off. Then Oikawa headed into the guest room and took a still sleeping Seiji from the futon and into his arms. He went back to the door, where Iwaizumi had been waiting.

“Thanks again, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa whispered.

They were nearly side by side with how close they were, and Iwaizumi could smell the ghost of that sweet, flowery scent that he experienced on the first day of heat clinging to Oikawa. Iwaizumi wondered where it was from. It smelled so, so familiar even as faint as it was now.

But his head was addled from slumber and the only thing Iwaizumi could focus on was seeing Oikawa out.

“Was no problem,” Iwaizumi mumbled, stifling a yawn.

Oikawa laughed, heading out the door. “I’ll see you later when you’re more awake, sleepy-Iwa.”

Iwaizumi watched Oikawa leave, and told himself that he would text Oikawa later to make sure he got home alright before lumbering back to his room to get an extra hour of sleep before his shift.

Chapter Text

The breeze was refreshing as Iwaizumi and Oikawa sat at the top of a hill on a large blanket. It had been raining for several days, but now that the weather had finally cleared up, Oikawa and Seiji insisted on a picnic. Everything was lush and green, as if nature had been reborn in the rain. A small brook was close to where they set up their picnic, the water flowing strong and steady from all the rainfall it received. Iwaizumi drank it all in as he let the lunch he had just eaten settle in his stomach.

Oikawa was wearing a floral print skirt, with a black and white striped wide-necked top. He had a false flower clipped into his hair that matched his skirt. He was packing up bento boxes and the thermos he brought as Seiji roamed around gathering small white flowers which grew among the grass.

“What?” Oikawa chuckled.

“Hm?” Iwaizumi asked.

“You keep glancing at me out of the corner of your eye, peeking when you think I’m not looking. You’re not being as subtle as you think,” Oikawa informed him. He had a smile on his face as he told Iwaizumi this, but it wasn’t smug or mocking. The best way to describe it was coy, and it made every bit of Iwaizumi’s skin heat up.

Iwaizumi turned away, trying to get his thoughts in order. It was one of the things Iwaizumi loved and hated about Oikawa; he could always see right through him. Fortunately, Seiji saved him from having to formulate a coherent response.

“Mommy!” Seiji called as he ran over with a sizeable amount of little flowers piled in his arms. When he reached Oikawa, Seiji threw his arms in the air, showering his mother with the white flowers. Most landed in his lap, but some stuck to Oikawa’s curls.

“For you, Mommy!”

Oikawa giggled as the flowers fell on him. “Thank you baby,” he told Seiji, giving his son a kiss on the cheek.

Seiji beamed and ran off again.

Oikawa brushed stray petals from his face with a soft smile on his face. When he looked up, his smile morphed from soft to sultry.

“You’re just blatantly staring at me now, Iwa-chan.”

Iwaizumi felt his heart stutter before his words could.

“I – you have flowers all over you,” he said stupidly.

“I’m well aware,” Oikawa replied. “I was present just a moment ago when Seiji dumped them on me.”

“Well, I was just saying, like in case you didn’t realize or somethin’,” Iwaizumi muttered.

“You’re very articulate today,” Oikawa cooed. “Too bad you don’t have a volleyball that can do the talking for you like the old days, huh?”

Iwaizumi spluttered angrily in response.

Seiji returned, hiding something behind his back. “Mommy, I have a surprwise for you!”

Iwaizumi found Seiji’s grin far more impish than innocent.

“What is it, sweetHEART–!” Seiji deposited the item he had coveted onto Oikawa’s lap, where it plopped among the flowers. Oikawa looked down at it towards the end of his question and gawked at it in horror.

“OH MY GOD THAT’S A FROG!!!” Oikawa quickly scrambled to his feet, only to barrel straight into a still seated Iwaizumi.

Iwaizumi felt the wind get knocked out of him upon impact, and the force made him careen back, slamming into the ground with Oikawa sprawled on top of him.

“Oikawa, what – !” Iwaizumi growled, trying to sit up with Oikawa’s weight crushing him.

“Get it off, get it off, get it off!!!” Oikawa shrieked. He clung to the front of Iwaizumi’s shirt with both hands and tucked his face into the side of Iwaizumi’s neck, slightly shaking.

Iwaizumi became hyperaware of Oikawa’s hair brushing the underside of his jaw and his whimpers of “please” puffing against his neck, raising goosebumps on Iwaizumi’s skin. All of a sudden, the cool day felt much too warm.

Despite their awkward position, Iwaizumi managed to prop himself up on his elbows while Oikawa continued to stick to him. He was able to see the frog lying helpless on its back at the spot Oikawa had vacated, with a few flowers scattered around it.

“Oikawa, relax,” Iwaizumi murmured, turning more towards Oikawa and inadvertently brushing his lips against Oikawa’s hair. The feathery sensation made Iwaizumi’s stomach flutter, which he resolutely ignored. “The frog isn’t on you anymore.”

Seiji pouted and plucked the frog up from its pitiful position. “Aw, Mommy, you drwopped da frwoggie.”

Oikawa whipped his head around so fast Iwaizumi was surprised he didn’t hear Oikawa’s neck snap. He glared over his shoulder at his son intensely.

“Seiji,” Oikawa said in a shockingly measured voice. “Take that thing back to where you found it. Now.”

“But-”

Oikawa narrowed his eyes, and Iwaizumi swore he felt the temperature drop a few degrees. “Right. Now.”

Seiji stiffened before scampering off to return the frog.

Oikawa sighed, sliding his hands onto Iwaizumi’s shoulders and using them to lift himself up, until he was slightly leaning over Iwaizumi, their foreheads almost close enough to touch.

Flowers tumbled out of Oikawa’s hair and onto Iwaizumi, and one landed directly on the tip of his nose.

The sun filtered down through Oikawa’s hair and made him look radiant. Oikawa giggled again, and this time his smile was composed of pure adoration as he looked down at Iwaizumi.

Iwaizumi felt his heart bloom with a feeling he knew the name for, as it played endlessly on a loop in his head whenever Oikawa was in his presence and in his thoughts, but he dared not speak it aloud for fear of what it would sound like outside the confines of his mind.

***

Iwaizumi idly munched on a sandwich in the break room. Since he was alone, he decided to check his phone.

“Is that Seiji in a hooded duckling towel as your phone background?”

Iwaizumi nearly jumped out of his skin and choked on his sandwich. He turned and glowered at Sugawara.

“Thanks for that,” he managed to say around some coughs.

“No problem!” Sugawara laughed, giving Iwaizumi a hearty slap on the back and pulling up a seat.

Iwaizumi rolled his eyes and continued to eat, but a crinkling noise distracted him. He glanced up to see a cupcake wrapped up in clear cellophane. Sugawara sheepishly scratched his cheek.

“About the time I came over with Daichi…I really am sorry. It was totally out of line for me to do that.”

“It’s fine,” Iwaizumi assured him. “You weren’t exactly emotionally stable, and no harm done. I meant it when I said I’d always be there for you to lend an ear. More importantly, are you and Sawamura good?”

“Yeah, we seriously sat down and had a talk about my insecurities and our future together. I figured out that it doesn’t matter whether I’m Daichi’s boyfriend, mate, or husband. As long as I can stay by his side and make him smile, that’s what really matters to me.”

Iwaizumi nodded, reaching for the cupcake now that he finished his sandwich. “That’s good, though I wanted to ask you something.”

“Sure, what is it?”

“You told me that you and Daichi had been together five years back at my house, but when I first asked you about him, you said you go together after high school, which would only be four years, right?” Iwaizumi asked and then took a bite of the cupcake. He was happy to find it wasn’t too sweet.

“Ah, sorry, I always slip up like that! Let me clarify. Daichi and I were official boyfriends in a relationship when we graduated high school. But at the beginning of our last year of high school was when he asked me out, but I was kind of unsure of how a relationship between us would turn out, so we were going out on dates, but not officially dating. Like you and Oikawa are right now.”

Iwaizumi nearly spat out his cupcake. “W-what? Oikawa and I are not going out on dates!”

Sugawara simply arched an eyebrow at him. “Really? You expect me to believe that? You don’t even sound half convinced yourself.”

“I-I just, it’s…complicated,” Iwaizumi settled on.

Sugawara laid his hand over Iwaizumi’s on the table and smiled at him kindly.

“Well, if you ever want to talk about it, I’ll always be here to lend you an ear.”

***

After work, Iwaizumi got dinner with Matsukawa and Hanamaki at their house. He told them what Sugawara implied between himself and Oikawa during his lunch break earlier.

“Frankly, I agree with him,” Matsukawa said around a pork cutlet.

“Yeah,” Hanamaki chimed in. “I know I told you to take your time, but you should probably think about making a move soon.”

Iwaizumi stared at his food as if it held the answers to his feelings and how he should act upon them. But he soon shook his head, because that was stupid.

“I…know how I feel. But Oikawa is a different matter. He’s keeping himself locked up and guarded from me. There are so many boundaries he’s set, and I’m…I’m scared to test his limits. Because he’s left me before, and he could do it again.” Iwaizumi felt his stomach churn with uncertainty.

“Are you really Iwaizumi?” Matsukawa asked.

“What do you mean?” Iwaizumi asked, furrowing his brows.

“Well,” Matsukawa continued. “The Iwaizumi I know doesn’t care about boundaries or limits. He blasted through any walls that kept him from what he wanted without delay. You seem so meek in comparison,” Matsukawa ended with a smirk.

Hanamaki nodded. “I have to say, I’ve never seen you so spineless.”

“Shut up! This is different than a damn volleyball match! And yeah, maybe if it was just Oikawa, I’d force him to open up like I have before, but things are more complicated now! You know why I need to be careful; I have to be mindful of Seiji. And not just Seiji, but the implications that surround him too,” Iwaizumi countered.

Matsukawa and Hanamaki were silent for a record three minutes.

“I think the beauty of human ingenuity is that we’re able to take complex things and make them simple,” Hanamaki said, as if he was talking to one of his students.

“What the hell are you blabbering about?” Iwaizumi had no patience for dumb proverbs.

“He means that everything is complicated,” Matsukawa told Iwaizumi. “But you shouldn’t let that stop you. Find a way to simplify the situation and make your feelings known that way. It’s not as hard as you think.”

“Yeah, so stop making excuses,” Hanamaki chided, stuffing rice into his mouth.

Iwaizumi growled under his breath, but let their comments slide as they continued to eat.

***

It was the weekend, and Oikawa had invited Iwaizumi to watch him teach Seiji and the other kids volleyball at the youth athletic center he volunteered at. Iwaizumi was a little self-conscious of how his feet squeaked on the floor; it had been a couple of years since he stepped foot into a gym. He was able to find comfort in the fact that even after all this time and despite being in a new place, the smell of salon pas still hung in the air.

All the kids were in good form under Oikawa’s instruction, but it was obvious Seiji excelled more than anyone his age, and he even outshined some of the older kids as well. Seiji, in terms of talent, was head and shoulders above the rest, but such was to be expected of Oikawa’s son.

Iwaizumi wondered how Seiji was so good at volleyball; he had never seen Oikawa giving Seiji extra lessons, but then again Seiji was pretty athletic already and Oikawa did let him watch recordings of old volleyball matches.

Before Iwaizumi knew it, the lesson was over, and parents were spilling onto the court to collect their children. Every single kid stopped to thank Oikawa and bid him goodbye or ‘until next time, sensei.’

One of the older boys came up to Oikawa and fidgeted in place.

“Hm? Is something wrong Inori-kun?” Oikawa asked, turning to him with Seiji sticking close beside Oikawa. If Iwaizumi wasn’t mistaken, there was some menacing aura oozing off of Seiji towards the boy who addressed his mother.

“You look beautiful as always, Oikawa-san!” the boy said with a beet red face.

Oikawa was wearing a pair of shorts which barely covered his butt, bright socks, and a tank top. Iwaizumi was a little concerned about his attire not the weather was cooling down, but Oikawa assured him that he had a hoodie and some sweats in case it got too cold.

Oikawa laughed and ruffled his hair. “Thank you, Inori-kun. Take care on your way home, ok?”

“Yes! Goodbye, Oikawa-san!” the boy said as he walked away, still looking back at Oikawa and enthusiastically waving. He collided into one of his classmates on the way out.

When the gym was empty except for the three of them, Iwaizumi stood from the bench and walked over to Oikawa and Seiji who were still on the court.

He made it over just in time to see Seiji lift a child sized volleyball over his head.

“Mommy, Mommy, practice spike!”

“You want to practice spikes for a little bit?” Oikawa asked him and took the ball from his hands. The class had gone over proper form and receive drills.

“Yeah!”

“Ok, but not for too long or you’ll tire yourself out. Do you mind, Iwa-chan?”

“It’s fine,” Iwaizumi said, and Seiji looked up at him like he’d just given him the universe. It made Iwaizumi smile fondly at him.

Oikawa squatted near Seiji and lightly threw the ball up so Seiji could spike it down. Iwaizumi became in charge of getting the ball after Seiji hit it and bringing it back to Oikawa. Oikawa smiled at him every time he brought the ball to him, and Iwaizumi’s heart beat louder with every passing smile.

After a few more spikes, one underhand toss flew over Seiji’s head.

“Oops, sorry Seiji,” Oikawa said.

“Is ok Mommy, I go get it!” Seiji said as he ran off after the ball.

Oikawa remained squatted and watched Seiji with another smile tugging at his lips.

Looking down at him now, Iwaizumi noticed that sometime during his class earlier when Iwaizumi must not have been paying attention, Oikawa had tied his hair up in a small half-ponytail. He had pulled the shorter layers which normally curled around his cheeks and framed his face back, but his bangs still covered most of his forehead and his longest layer of hair still made waves along the nape and sides of his neck.

Iwaizumi tucked a loose piece of hair behind Oikawa’s ear. “Your hair is getting pretty long, isn’t it?” The bottommost layer skimmed the tops of his shoulders.

“Is it?” Oikawa asked him, brushing his hair with his fingers. “I guess it slipped my mind. Maybe I should get a haircut and take Seiji for one too…”

The conversation was broken by the patter of Seiji’s feet as he ran toward them with the ball in his hands.

Just as Seiji handed the ball to his mother, the door to the gym opened behind them. All the children from class had been picked up, so it couldn’t be a straggling parent. They turned to see who had come in, and Iwaizumi felt his heart stop at what he saw. This feeling was punctuated by the sound of a ball dropping to the floor and bouncing away, undoubtedly Seiji’s ball slipping for Oikawa’s fingers.

Ushijima Wakatoshi stood at the threshold of the gym, looking every bit the same alpha male he was four years ago, albeit a little taller and brawnier. He still had that sharp gaze that always irked Iwaizumi, the one he almost always delivered down his nose.

Ushijima scanned the expanse of the gym and stopped once his eyes fell on them.

“Oikawa,” he offered in way of greeting, striding over with a determined gait.

Iwaizumi turned to look over at Oikawa and saw that all of his muscles seemed to have tensed and he looked as if he was hardly breathing. Eyes slipping lower, Iwaizumi saw that Seiji looked petrified.

Oikawa’s mouth was pressed in a thin line, but he spoke once Ushijima was standing before them.

“Ushiwaka-chan. To what do I owe this unpleasant surprise?”

“I came into town today for a visit. I called and texted you, but it wouldn’t go through. But I knew that you would be here,” Ushijima said with confidence that annoyed Iwaizumi.

“Ah, that’s probably because I blocked your number,” Oikawa said with a cutting smirk.

Ushijima’s vision shifted momentarily, and his eyes landed on Iwaizumi. Ushijima squinted at him, as if his very person was hard to make out.

Suddenly, recognition flashed in his eyes. “Iwaizumi Hajime. Former Vice Captain and Ace of Aoba Jousai. I wasn’t aware you and Oikawa were still on speaking terms.” Ushijima’s gaze slid back to Oikawa.

“Well, we are now.” Iwaizumi struggled to keep the growl bubbling in his chest out of his voice.

Ushijima nodded, but he kept looking at Oikawa. “I see.”

Oikawa sighed, glaring straight at Ushijima. “What do you want?”

“I want to talk to you.”

“I refuse.”

Ushijima stared at Oikawa for an unnerving amount of time before saying, “Why?”

“Obviously because I don’t want to talk to you, or even look at you!”

“I want us to talk,” Ushijima pressed.

“And I said I don’t!” Oikawa hissed through clenched teeth.

“I came here to see you and speak with you.”

“Like I care! Leave!”

“I refuse.”

Oikawa ground his teeth together in frustration.

Iwaizumi was about to interject when Seiji started wailing.

All eyes snapped to him and saw fat tears running down his face as he sniffled and sobbed loudly.

Ushijima returned his attention to Oikawa. “Silence him.”

Oikawa gave him a look that had the same piercing power as a thousand knives. “Are you seriously telling me to shut up my son, Ushiwaka? What makes you think you have the right?”

Ushijima sighed. “We won’t be able to talk like this.”

“Like I give a damn!” Oikawa growled.

At the sound of his mother’s agitation, Seiji started crying louder.

“…Alright,” Oikawa finally conceded. “Iwa-chan, can you please take Seiji outside and try to calm him down. I’ll join you soon.”

Iwaizumi scooped a screaming Seiji up, walking out of the gym and into the hallway. He paced up and down the hall, rubbing soothing circles into Seiji’s back. After Iwaizumi had been up and down the hall about eight times, Seiji’s breathing eased. Iwaizumi checked to see Seiji had fallen asleep on his shoulder, sucking his thumb. His eyelids looked puffy, his nose was red, and his cheeks were soaked with tears. Iwaizumi sighed, pressing a light kiss into his hair.

Iwaizumi walked by the doors of the gym and peeked through the windows. He could see Oikawa and Ushijima still talking, Oikawa’s arms crossed over his chest and Ushijima leaning into Oikawa’s space.

Heated words seemed to be exchanged, but Iwaizumi couldn’t hear anything. The need to know what they were talking about niggled at the back of Iwaizumi’s mind. He tried to take a deep breath.

Relax, he told himself. It looks like they have some kind of history, but it’s obvious Oikawa still vehemently hates him. Besides, you’re the one who Oikawa is with.

Except, a treacherous voice which sounded startlingly like Hanamaki piped up, you two aren’t actually together, and you only have yourself to blame for not making a move sooner. Now Oikawa will get swept up by Ushiwaka.

The thought of Oikawa and Ushijima together made Iwaizumi’s insides roil and composure fracture. Jealousy spread and seeped to his core; dug deep into him, opening a pit in his stomach.

The longer Iwaizumi stared at the two of them isolated in the gym, the more his eyes burned. Red edged his vision, and he tried to reign in a potential alpha outburst. He felt a fissure rip his heart, making it beat crooked and bleed with every painful pump.

Stop! Control yourself! Seiji is in your arms! You can’t wake him up and upset him further! Stop thinking about it! Stop… Stop talking to him, Oikawa! Stop talking to him, stop it and come over to me, dammit! What the hell is more important than Seiji and me that you have to keep talking to him!?

Soon enough, Oikawa broke away from Ushijima and started walking toward the door. But Ushijima reached out and grabbed Oikawa’s wrist before he could get too far.

Oikawa reeled on Ushijima and this time Iwaizumi could hear muffled yells through the door. Oikawa wrenched his wrist from Ushijima’s grip and marched straight to the door, nearly throwing it open.

Oikawa was met with Iwaizumi face to face, and both their eyes widened. Then Oikawa’s gaze dropped to Seiji in Iwaizumi’s arms, and the stiffness of his stance softened, just a little. Oikawa took Seiji from Iwaizumi, nuzzling his son once he was settled in his arms.

“Iwa-chan, let’s go.” Oikawa didn’t leave any time for Iwaizumi to respond as he began walking off.

Iwaizumi followed Oikawa out, giving one last glance to the gym to see Ushijima standing there and staring at him.

Once they were outside, Iwaizumi found his voice.

“What was that about?” he asked Oikawa.

“Just Ushiwaka being an ass as usual,” Oikawa grumbled, clearly irritated. “Talking about rekindling an old flame that didn’t even spark in the first place, really…”

Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm –

“Why did you have his number?”

“Huh?”

Iwaizumi licked his lips. They suddenly felt dry. “You said you blocked his number. That means you had it in the first place.”

“It’s nothing, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa assured him. But it sounded like he was assuring himself.

Iwaizumi wasn’t having it. “It can’t have been nothing if it upset you this much.”

“We…we just talked a little during my third year of university,” Oikawa admitted.

Stop now. Stop now. Stop now. Stop now. Stop now. Stop now. Stop now. Stop now. Stop –

“How did that come about?” Iwaizumi’s voice sounded foreign to his own ears.

“He um, well…” Oikawa paused. “Ushiwaka wanted to court me.” Their steps slowed to a halt and they stood outside Oikawa’s car.

Iwaizumi didn’t think he could breathe properly, especially with how quickly his throat closed up, as if it was trying to choke him. He stood stock still, images flitting through his mind of what Ushijima courting Oikawa could be like. Iwaizumi wanted to tear every single one of those mental pictures apart.

“But I rejected all his advances!” Oikawa continued, shifting Seiji’s weight in his arms in a meager attempt to cover up his fidgeting.

You’ll regret this. You’ll regret this. You’ll regret this. You’ll regret this. You’ll regret –

“That so? And that was it?” This voice definitely wasn’t Iwaizumi’s. But then, whose was it?

Oikawa bit his lip and chewed on it a bit. “I agreed to one date… Only because he was so persistent! I swear he was borderline stalking me! He’s so dense and never gets a hint. It was a hassle, so I thought he’d leave me alone if I humored him.”

Then Oikawa turned around, unlocked his car, and set to strapping a still sleeping Seiji into his car seat.

Something akin to white noise roared in Iwaizumi’s ears and his mind was blank; all the chaos that ravaged his thoughts drained away and left emptiness in his head. He could hardly think to fill the space, nor did he want to.

Oikawa emerged from the backseat after strapping Seiji in. Seiji was still dozing.

“What happened?” Iwaizumi couldn’t even hear himself.

“We just went out to dinner, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa said in a carefree tone, trying to play this whole mess off. “It was astounding, Ushiwaka managed to insult me within ten minutes of the date,” Oikawa added with a chuckle.

“Anything else?” Iwaizumi felt his own voice strangling him.

“No,” Oikawa said, turning to regard Iwaizumi with clear eyes. “I even left early because I could barely tolerate him for a full evening.”

Iwaizumi could see his reflection in Oikawa’s eyes, and he looked warped. Like a twisted version of himself, ugly.

“Are you sure that’s all?” And this was it; Iwaizumi knew. This was the noose around his neck. All that was left was for Oikawa to pull the support from under him.

Oikawa frowned and knitted his brows. “What’s with you, Iwa-chan? You keep asking questions. It’s almost as if you’re trying to confirm something…”

Iwaizumi could see it, the moment Oikawa’s eyes took on a new clarity and stared at Iwaizumi as if he had laid all of himself bare. It was one of the things Iwaizumi loved and hated about Oikawa; he could always see right through him.

“Iwa-chan… You don’t think I slept with Ushiwaka, do you?” Oikawa’s voice sounded brittle around its edges.

Iwaizumi didn’t know what to think. His mind was still an expanse of emptiness rattling in his head.

“Are you serious?” Oikawa laughed, but it was hollow and nearly sounded like a sob. “All I did was hold his hand from his parked car to the restaurant entrance! I didn’t even kiss him.”

Iwaizumi wanted to chop off Ushijima’s hand and burn it.

“Iwa-chan, come on, say something.”

Oikawa’s eyes were so vulnerable, his expression so distraught, but Iwaizumi felt like cotton had been stuffed in his mouth.

“Do you…honestly think I’m some sort of cheap slut who would spread my legs for a man after just one date? Just because he showed a little interest in me?”

“I –” It was no use, Iwaizumi’s tongue felt thick and lame in his mouth and he hesitated to even speak.

Oikawa read that hesitation with pain filling his eyes.

“Tch,” Oikawa clicked his tongue harshly. He turned away from Iwaizumi. “Whatever. I’m going home.” Oikawa’s voice hitched at the end, and he stalked over to the driver’s seat, yanking the car door open.

“Oika-” Iwaizumi called, but it was drowned out by Oikawa slamming the car door shut.

Iwaizumi saw Oikawa swipe his eyes with the back of his hand before he drove away.

***

Iwaizumi called Oikawa about twenty times that night and twenty more the next morning. He left so many voicemails he felt like a parrot repeating itself. He texted Oikawa thirty messages with no response.

At a loss, Iwaizumi went to Matsukawa and Hanamaki’s house. They let him in and he sat on the couch as Matsukawa made tea and Hanamaki pulled up a chair, sitting on it backwards. Iwaizumi recounted what happened the previous day after Oikawa’s volleyball class ended.

When he finished, Hanamaki wordlessly got up from his seat to stand in front of Iwaizumi. He was eerily silent, and from Iwaizumi’s spot on the couch, a shadow obscured his eyes.

As the kettle began to shriek, Hanamaki raised a hand and brought it down hard on Iwaizumi’s cheek.

“Shit!” Matsukawa cursed, scrambling to shut the stove off and rush over to them.

Iwaizumi gaped in shock before the pain set in, moving to stand and snarl at Hanamaki.

“What the fuck was that for, Hanamaki?” Iwaizumi asked him with a vicious edge to his tone.

Hanamaki glared down at him, jaw set stiffly. “Retaliate any way you like, but you deserved that slap Iwaizumi. And you know it.” Iwaizumi could detect the simmering rage just under his words.

“Oh really? Care to enlighten me?”

“Maybe another slap to the other side will clear things up for you?”

Matsukawa made his way over and grabbed Hanamaki to prevent him from assaulting Iwaizumi again.

Hanamaki growled at him. “Let go of me right now, Matsu, Matsukawa! Damn it Issei, I said let go!”

“That’s enough, Takahiro,” Matsukawa told him. “I won’t let you go until you cool off.”

“Don’t tell me you’re going to let this slide!? Because if you are, so help me – !” Hanamaki struggled in his grip.

“No, I agree with you. But I don’t think slapping Iwaizumi across the face is the best method to solving this.”

“What are you two going on about?” Iwaizumi asked around his stinging cheek.

“How dare you,” Hanamaki seethed. “How dare you say you have feelings for Oikawa when you hold no consideration for his own! Just imagine, how many times he’s heard the word slut when his pregnancy became noticeable. How many rumors were spread about him. And even after he had Seiji and got his physique back, he’d always be branded as that one whore who forgot to pack a rubber! And you’re seriously asking me why I’m so furious!?”

Iwaizumi felt horror wash over him like a cold bucket of water. He had been so wrapped up in his jealousy and insecurity that he completely overlooked Oikawa and how he might feel after divulging that experience with Iwaizumi. Fuck.

Iwaizumi collapsed back onto the couch and buried his face in his hands. He was lower than the grimiest scum on the earth. Did he even deserve to be at Oikawa’s side? Could he even protect Seiji?

“I have to apologize,” Iwaizumi groaned into his hands.

Matsukawa let go of Hanamaki and let him fume off to the side as he approached Iwaizumi. Matsukawa placed a hand on Iwaizumi’s shoulder, and Iwaizumi looked up.

“Listen, you messed up,” Matsukawa began and then paused. “No, I’m not gonna sugarcoat this. You fucked up really badly. Like, this is truly the worst thing you could have done to Oikawa, and you did it. I’m going to make us all some tea to calm our nerves, and once the tea is gone, you’re going figure out a way to make this up to Oikawa. Sound good?”

Iwaizumi nodded, and Matsukawa gave him a strong pat on the shoulder before heading back to the kitchen.

***

Iwaizumi paced nervously outside of Oikawa’s apartment complex. Partly because it was a lot nicer than his, but mostly because he wasn’t sure what to do. He had never been invited over before; he only knew where it was because sometimes Oikawa would forget something while they were together and drive home to pick it up, with Iwaizumi waiting in the car. Should he just go up there? Knock on the door so many times that Oikawa would have to let him in? Iwaizumi had no alternative; Oikawa refused to pick up his phone or answer his texts. He needed to apologize and get his feelings across.

Iwaizumi resolved to go up the steps, but when he got there, a couple was descending the stairs. Iwaizumi tried to act nonchalant to calm his nerves. He’d head up when the couple left.

“Hajime-chan, is that you?”

Iwaizumi’s eyes snapped open in surprise and he turned to the couple standing across from him. In the low evening light he couldn’t see them clearly, but he knew that voice ever since he was a child.

“Oba-chan?” Iwaizumi asked in shock.

“Ah, I knew it~” she said in the same lilting way Oikawa did, so there was no doubt in Hajime’s mind now. “Your mother told me you had moved to Tokyo. Darling, look, it’s Hajime-chan!”

“Hajime-kun, have you been well?” her husband asked him.

“I’ve been well, oji-chan,” Iwaizumi answered.

Iwaizumi sheepishly smiled at Oikawa’s parents, whom he considered to be a second set of parents to himself. They smiled back at him warmly.

“Hm~” Oikawa’s mother approached him and took hold of his arm. Iwaizumi looked down at her to see familiar brown eyes and curls and the same knowing smile, but on a smaller frame. Though Oikawa’s mother was by no means a small woman, being only about five centimeters shorter than Iwaizumi. “I think I want Hajime-chan to walk me to the station.”

Oikawa’s father gave Iwaizumi a comforting pat on the head before walking over to his wife’s side.

“You’ll make me feel lonely, my love, clinging to another man like that,” Oikawa’s father told her bending down and twisting one of her curls around his finger.

Whereas Oikawa got his looks from his mother, he inherited his father’s height and suave charm.

“Oh darling, stop it!” Oikawa’s mother said, giving her husband a playful smack on the arm. “You know you’ll always be the one for me!”

Iwaizumi was astounded by how they managed to remain like newlyweds despite being in their late fifties. His parents were obviously also in love, but they were far more reserved.

“Oba-chan, I’d love to walk you to the station, but I really need to go,” Iwaizumi said, hoping to make his escape.

“You’re trying to visit Tooru, aren’t you?”

Iwaizumi flinched. “Er…”

“Well, I can tell you right now he’s not in the most hospitable mood. Even though he’s the one who asked us to come over! Isn’t our son ridiculous?”

“Mm, he gets it from you, love.”

Oikawa’s mother pouted just as her son would. “Well, it’s fine, at least I got to see my cute grandson.”

“One of them, my dear, don’t forget about Takeru,” Oikawa’s father reminded her.

“Y-you guys have met Seiji?” As far as Iwaizumi was concerned, they knew as much as he did before he moved to Tokyo.

Oikawa’s mother and father shared a glance before turning back to Iwaizumi.

Oikawa’s mother took his arm again. “Come with us to the station, Hajime-chan. We’ll talk more on the way there.”

As they stepped together, Oikawa’s mother pulled out her phone.

“Hajime-chan, look, look. Here are some pictures.”

They were photos from what appeared to be last Christmas. The pictures featured Seiji in a little reindeer onesie. There was a photo of Oikawa’s mother holding him, Oikawa's father holding him, a picture of Seiji seated on Oikawa’s older sister’s lap, and even a picture of Oikawa’s brother-in-law holding him up. The last picture was the cutest; into the foreground of the picture was Seiji posing with Takeru who was dressed as an elf. In the background of the photo was Oikawa, not paying attention to the camera, dressed in a Santa themed dress.

“When did he tell you about Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked.

“It was the summer before his second year of college,” Oikawa’s father answered. “We thought he was finally going to show us where he had gone after his disappearing act the year before, but what he really wanted to show us was what had happened during the year he vanished.”

“I nearly fainted when he left the living room and brought back a baby,” Oikawa’s mother sighed.

“You two handled his running away really calmly. I always wondered how you could stay so composed and not go after him,” Iwaizumi added.

“At first, we wanted to go after him. Tooru is my baby, he’s an omega, and he just ran off to Tokyo on his own? I mean, we all knew he was going there anyway because of school, but we thought we’d take him there and be able to visit him,” Oikawa’s mother said.

“We were ready to look all over Tokyo for him. But we got a call from Himari, you remember nee-chan, right Hajime-kun?” Iwaizumi gave a nod. “Himari called us and told us not to worry and that she would be watching over Tooru. She told us that Tooru was healthy and safe, but didn’t want to be around anyone and needed some space,” Oikawa’s father said.

“You know those two; despite their age difference, they’re thicker than thieves,” Oikawa’s mother chuckled. “I was worried that since he was so close to his sister, he wouldn’t be able to make friends his own age. But then you came along Hajime-chan!”

Iwaizumi blushed a little. Absorbing all that information, a glaring issue stood out to him.

“He told you after his first year… I came home every break and visited you guys. I asked about Oikawa’s status, and you said you still didn’t know.” Iwaizumi’s tone wasn’t accusatory, but it was close.

Oikawa’s mother and father shared another look. Finally, Oikawa’s father spoke.

“He told us not to tell you. Begged us, really.”

Iwaizumi felt those words like a knife in his side. “Oh,” was all he could manage.

“But that was probably because he wasn’t ready!” Oikawa’s mother cut in. “What matters is that the two of you are on speaking terms now!”

“I guess,” Iwaizumi mumbled. He could see the station up ahead. Then, he figured he might as well ask something that’s been bothering him too. “Do you happen to know who Seiji’s father is?”

The air hung heavy and silent for a while.

“We don’t,” They answered together. Then Oikawa’s mother added, “We didn’t want to pry, and we were afraid that if we asked, Tooru would run off again.

“Besides,” Oikawa’s father said. “Tooru is an adult and a mother now. He’s capable of making mature and responsible decisions. When he wants to tell us, he will, and if he never tells us, that’s fine too. It doesn’t change that he’s our son, or that Seiji is our grandson.” His wife nodded beside him.

They had reached the station just as their train was being called. Iwaizumi didn’t know what to make of all this.

Suddenly, he felt soft hands cradle his face and pull him down. Oikawa’s mother gave him a kiss on the forehead when he was within reach.

“Don’t fret Hajime-chan. Things will patch up between you and Tooru.”

Oikawa’s father pulled him in for a hug. “I know it’s been four years, but we’ll have to ask you to watch over our silly son again.”

Iwaizumi nodded, exchanged goodbyes, and saw them off as they rode away on the train.

He decided to head home for the night, collect himself, and confront Oikawa another time soon.

Chapter Text

The number you are trying to reach is currently unavailable.

After a murmured expletive and a few taps on the touch screen of the cellphone, the number was dialed again.

The number you are trying to reach –

The hang up button was hastily punched and a frustrated growl followed the action.

The number –

Another hang up.

– currently unavailable.

Iwaizumi snarled and resisted the urge to throw his phone and let it smash against the nearest surface it collided with. He took a deep breath.

No, he told himself. This will not be a repeat of what happened four years ago. You will not be a child and throw a tantrum because Oikawa isn’t answering your calls, you won’t destroy your phone again out of sheer frustration.

Even though the number of unanswered calls he was making to Oikawa was nearing fifty now, and this whole situation was becoming borderline ridiculous.

In addition he had already sent about thirty texts all saying something along the lines of ‘We need to talk.’

None of which Oikawa answered. Iwaizumi was beginning to think Oikawa may have blocked his number, just as he did with Ushijima. The thought alone was enough to make Iwaizumi want to tear his hair out.

He knew he had to apologize. He knew he had to address the issues of their relationship; all the secrets Oikawa kept from him, all the emotions Iwaizumi hid around Oikawa. He knew he had to let Oikawa know his feelings before it was too late. He knew all these things, and yet –

How could he even begin when Oikawa wouldn’t even let him get a word in edgewise?

He took another deep, calming breath. Iwaizumi knew getting angry wouldn’t help his situation.

He would just have to be patient with Oikawa, let Oikawa make an opening where Iwaizumi could force his way in, and resolve the miscommunication between them as he had done so many times, years before.

***

Iwaizumi went through the motions of work without thinking. Because if he began thinking, his thoughts would quickly be consumed with Oikawa and the fact that he still hadn’t called him back.

Iwaizumi scrubbed a hand down his face as he clocked out of the hospital. Sugawara had given him worried glances whenever they passed each other by, but their shifts and breaks were on different schedules that day. Iwaizumi swore he would talk to him later when they had a break together.

When he got home, Iwaizumi collapsed onto his couch. He felt utterly exhausted. He was vaguely aware of hunger gnawing at his gut, but he couldn’t bring himself to get up and eat. The worry needling away at his mind was far more distracting.

How upset was Oikawa? He must have been pretty upset if he called his parents to see him. How much did he cry? Iwaizumi only saw him swipe those stray tears before he drove off after their dispute. Did Seiji know what happened? He was asleep during the whole ordeal, was Oikawa able to compose himself by the time Seiji woke up?

A pang hit his stomach, but rather than hunger pains, Iwaizumi felt the all too familiar pull of guilt he’d had since his slip up with Oikawa.

His stupor was broken by his cellphone vibrating in his pocket. Iwaizumi didn’t feel like picking up and thought to let the call go to voicemail.

Until he realized that he had been trying to call Oikawa for the last five days, and this call could possibly be him.

Iwaizumi hastily pulled his phone out of his pocket, only to have it slip from his grip and clatter to the floor. Cursing, he picked it up quickly and answered it.

“Yo, Iwaizumi,” Hanamaki’s voice greeted.

Iwaizumi and Hanamaki had patched things up rather quickly after the slap; Hanamaki apologized for being so abrupt and tactless, but he didn’t apologize for the slap itself, and Iwaizumi apologized for not realizing his fault with Oikawa sooner, deeming the slap a necessary wake up call.

Iwaizumi let out an involuntary sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose. He should have known it wouldn’t be that easy. He shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up and been so eager. It made Iwaizumi seem like an idiot now, even if he was the only one to experience his stupidity.

“What?” Hanamaki asked. “Am I not good enough for conversation?”

“It’s not that, and you know it,” Iwaizumi answered.

“Oikawa still hasn’t answered your calls?”

Another sigh. “No.”

“Well, it is what it is. Just gotta keep at it. Don’t be so mopey. Here, talk to Matsu.”

Matsukawa and Hanamaki had started addressing each other with shortened versions of their last names (in public; apparently they had been doing so in private for a while) because Hanamaki complained that Matsukawa was too much of a mouthful. Matsukawa, in retaliation started calling Hanamaki ‘Hana,’ and though the tone of his voice was mocking, his eyes would have a certain soft quality to them that Iwaizumi suspected meant much more than a cheap jab for fun.

“Hey, how are you?” Matsukawa asked.

“Could be better I guess,” Iwaizumi admitted.

“You just have to be persistent. You know Oikawa better than any of us; you know his personal defense is really solid. You just need to chip away until he cracks.”

“I know,” Iwaizumi said with frustration in his voice. “I know, but I’ve never had to get past his walls before. I’ve known they were there, I’ve seen him put them up around other people, but he’s… He’s always let me in. This… This is the first time I’ve really had to break through to him.”

“Maybe that’s the problem,” Matsukawa offered. “You have to stop living in the past, Iwaizumi. You can’t keep approaching Oikawa like you did four years ago. You did that when you first reunited with Oikawa, and because of that mentality it took you forever to realize your feelings. Everything is different now. And you’ll have to adjust yourself accordingly. You can’t keep acting like it’s natural for you to know everything about Oikawa; the gap of four years is driving you up the wall because you feel like you should know what happened, but it’s pretty clear Oikawa doesn’t want you to.”

There was a “Yeah!” in the background from Hanamaki, meaning he was listening in.

“You can’t demand to know what happened either, and expect him to just fess up to you. You have to ask and see if he’ll tell you. You need to start treating Oikawa based on the way he is now, not the way you remember. Then I’m sure he’ll open up to you. Oikawa is probably scared to even talk to you, because he’s afraid you’re disappointed in him from when you last saw him. He’s probably thinks he’s too different now and you won’t accept him. But change isn’t a bad thing Iwaizumi. It’s natural. And you need to let him know that. Plus, you need to tell him your feelings too, like asap. That way Oikawa will really get it and he can’t run away from you anymore. I swear, both of you are way too stubborn, especially concerning each other.”

Iwaizumi absorbed everything Matsukawa told him. “I understand. It’s just, it’s hard to let go. I’ve been clinging to the idea of Oikawa for four years, so I thought that when I saw him again I’d be prepared. He’s the same person I remember, but the circumstances are different. When I ran into him and Seiji at the grocery store, all the conversations I thought we’d have and all the things I wanted to tell him, everything just blew away when I realized Oikawa became someone I didn’t know. I guess I need to let go of my childhood best friend and focus on Oikawa now.”

“Sounds like you know exactly what to do,” Matsukawa said, and Iwaizumi could hear the smile in his voice.

In the background Iwaizumi heard Hanamaki yell “Go for it Iwaizumi!” and he couldn’t help but chuckle.

***

“Iwaizumi!”

Iwaizumi turned to see Sugawara running up to him, sidestepping a couple nurses on the way.

“What is it Sugawara?” Iwaizumi asked him when Sugawara caught up to him.

“Are you alright? These last couple of days you’ve been really out of it.”

“I’m ok now, thanks for your concern.”

“Hm, that’s good then. But next time you’re feeling down, you should let me know so I can help you out and not sit around and worry.”

Iwaizumi laughed. “You’re such a mother hen!”

Sugawara pouted. “I definitely don’t want to hear that from you!”

Iwaizumi continued to smile as they walked together to the break room. He hadn’t told Sugawara about his predicament with Oikawa, yet he could still feel his comfort and support by just having him by his side. Iwaizumi was glad to be his friend.

***

Though, even with all the self-confidence and support from his friends, Iwaizumi could only do so much on his part. Oikawa would have to meet him halfway if they were ever going to resolve the tension between them.

This day marked a full week without contact with Oikawa. Iwaizumi tried not to dwell on it. If he started counting the days without hearing from Oikawa, he might repeat what happened in the beginning of Oikawa’s disappearance before months blurred into years and Iwaizumi no longer cared to keep track because it wouldn’t bring Oikawa back to him.

But that was four years ago. Iwaizumi wouldn’t let Oikawa slip through his grasp again.

It was Iwaizumi’s day off, he was determined to laze around all day. His heart clenched a little when he thought of how he would normally spend days off seeing Oikawa and playing with Seiji.

He had just finished cleaning up after breakfast when a knock came at his door. Iwaizumi paused, puzzled. He checked his phone as he walked to the door to see if Hanamaki or Matsukawa had texted him about coming over, however his phone had no new notifications.

Iwaizumi opened his door not knowing who to expect. And even so, the person waiting there still shocked him.

Kuroo was leaning against his doorframe, usual smug expression swapped for a glower aimed at Iwaizumi.

“Kuroo?” Iwaizumi asked, flabbergasted. Kenma was nowhere in sight.

Kuroo pushed himself inside of Iwaizumi’s apartment and took a seat at his table without a word. He cast a look around as if he hadn’t been over before, but it was an obvious attempt to mask his clear agitation.

Iwaizumi was at a loss of what to do. He decided to be hospitable. “Do you want some –”

“Give me one good reason,” Kuroo interrupted, narrow eyes sliding over to regard Iwaizumi’s widened ones. “As to why I should give you this.” Kuroo pulled out an identification pass from his pocket. It didn’t have a photo, but simply said ‘Guess Pass to Kokoro Doki Production Studio’ and had a small black cat sticker on its upper right corner.

Iwaizumi remembered Oikawa mentioning that he worked for a label under that ridiculous name. The realization that Kuroo was offering Iwaizumi a way to see Oikawa by, for lack of a better term, ambushing him at work, Iwaizumi quickly got down to persuading.

“I promise that I’ll make the most of this opportunity. I’ll apologize and make amends with Oikawa. I’ll never insult him like that again. And I’ll…endeavor to make him happy here on out.” Iwaizumi was definitely red-faced by the end of his little speech. He felt like he should be saying these things to Oikawa’s father, rather than his college roommate.

Kuroo stared at him in a way which made Iwaizumi feel transparent. He made a valiant effort not to fidget under the intense gaze.

Finally Kuroo sighed, getting up and handing the pass to Iwaizumi. Iwaizumi gaped at it. He didn’t think it would be that easy.

“Even if I didn’t want to give you the pass, Kenma would kill me when I get home. He’s the one who sent me to give it to you. Oikawa has been miserable since your little incident, although he’s trying to pretend he’s ok. Akaashi and Kenma can only comfort him so much. Seiji’s upset because his mother is and he has no idea why. Anyway, you seem earnest enough, so you better fix this.”

Iwaizumi nodded. “Thank you.”

“You can thank me when Tooru’s cheered up,” Kuroo replied, heading out the door.

As he watched Kuroo’s sullen silhouette leave, Iwaizumi knew he couldn’t squander this chance.

***

Iwaizumi cautiously entered the looming skyscraper which was Kokoro Doki headquarters. He recalled Oikawa mentioning that his workplace had offices, studios, and even a few sets. Their main objective was their fashion magazine and a budding clothing line, which Oikawa was helping spearhead. It was impressive given how young he was, but not surprising given his talent. In addition to models for their spreads, they had a host of movie stars and idols come through to be part of their magazine and increase their ratings.

The lobby was bustling with people, most speed walking with purpose, while others roamed around casually.

As Iwaizumi made his way over to the reception desk, he almost crashed into a tall…man? He was had an aura much like Oikawa’s, with deep blue hair which had a familiar sweep to it, and striking green eyes with remarkably long lashes. He was long limbed as well, but far thinner than Oikawa, and had a more delicate frame. When he spoke, his voice had a feminine tone to it.

Pretty boy, Iwaizumi thought. Young girls are into androgynous guys like that, right?

The pretty boy was being trailed by a hostile looking brunet, with spiked back hair and a fairly short stature. He wasn’t quite yelling, though it looked like he wanted to as he spoke to the pretty boy with aggravation. Iwaizumi guessed he was the pretty boy’s manager.

The two melded away into the crowd, and Iwaizumi focused on getting to the front desk. It was shaped like half an oval, with three girls evenly spaced sitting and typing away at laptops. They all wore headsets. Iwaizumi reached the closest girl, who happened to be in the middle.

Iwaizumi had no idea what sort of etiquette to give at these places, so he thought to stand there until the girl noticed him. Thankfully, she glanced up immediately and smiled politely at him.

“Hello sir, how may I help you?” she asked.

“I, uh, have this pass…” Iwaizumi began, pulling out the guest pass and handing it to her.

The receptionist took the pass and examined it. After a minute or two she nodded.

“You’re here to see Oikawa-san then? This is his personal pass for outside guests”

“Er, yes,” Iwaizumi answered.

“Oikawa-san is currently overseeing a photo shoot for his upcoming spread. But he should get off of work in about twenty minutes.” Iwaizumi thanked his lucky stars he had caught Oikawa on one of his half-days. “I’ll call one of his assistants to take you to him.”

“Thank you,” Iwaizumi told her. The receptionist met his eyes and smiled before punching a few numbers and speaking into her headset.

“Hello, Mari? Are you free? There’s a guest to see Oikawa-san. Could you escort him? Ok, thanks.” The receptionist turned to Iwaizumi. “Mari will be here shortly to take you, please wait here.”

Iwaizumi nodded and the receptionist gave the pass back to him. Soon, a girl with short hair and glasses came up to him.

“Are you Oikawa-san’s guest?”

“Yes,” Iwaizumi said. Though it was hard to meet her eyes through her fringe and the glare of her glasses.

“Please follow me.”

Mari led Iwaizumi up two floors and through a maze of hallways until they stopped at a studio. Iwaizumi followed her inside. The studio was busy; both trying to wrap up and keep going. It seemed there was only one more model to go through so the crew began to pack up while leaving essential parts to the shoot. The makeup artists were storing their cosmetics and brushes away while fashionable girls who could have either been models or on the design team idly chatted by racks of clothing.

Oikawa was on the other side of the studio, seemingly prepping the model. As Mari continued towards them, so did Iwaizumi. Mari stopped a few feet away behind Oikawa and looked like she was waiting for him to finish, so Iwaizumi waited patiently too.

The model was a flashy blonde with one silver earring and ridiculous eyelashes. He had a confidence about him that oozed playboy appeal. He was modeling a two piece suit, and Oikawa was making final adjustments before sending him to get his pictures taken. It reminded Iwaizumi of all the times Oikawa would fuss over his clothes, especially that one time Iwaizumi wore his orange and navy tie, and he tried not to feel jealous of the model by telling himself this was Oikawa’s job.

Oikawa himself was wearing a short sleeved dress shirt tucked into a pencil skirt that accentuated his hips and…assets. He was also wearing low heeled black pumps and stockings.

From where he and Mari were standing, Iwaizumi could catch Oikawa’s low conversation with the model.

“Toorucchi~ Let’s go out! I’ll take you to a nice restaurant, one that overlooks the Tokyo skyline! Let me fine wine and dine you,” the model said, finishing with a salacious smile.

“Hm, I don’t know Ryou-chan,” Oikawa replied while fixing his tie. “I’m not too interested in younger men, and I’ve never quite found myself attracted to a beta before.”

The model pouted. “Aw, don’t be like that. You just haven’t met the right one yet!” He continued in a lower voice, “I could please you better than any alpha could.”

“Is that so?” Oikawa asked in a lilting voice, smirk practically audible. “Do you know this from experience?”

The model flinched a little, surprise overtaking his face. “W-What? I don’t –”

“I know exactly how you are, Ryou-chan,” Oikawa said, posture somehow reminiscent of a snake coiling around its prey. “And our tastes are far too similar for us to ever be compatible. We both prefer shorter alpha men with thick eyebrows that tend to furrow more often than not, who express affection in the form of mild violence. Lots of syllables in the family name too, what was his? Kasa–”

“Shh! Shh!” the model frantically pleaded. Oikawa giggled. The model sighed, but smiled at Oikawa. “You’re ruthless, Toorucchi.”

“I try,” Oikawa preened with a saccharine smile. Then he turned the model around and lightly pushed him towards the cameras. “Now go stand over there and look pretty.”

The model grinned over his shoulder. “You could be standing there with me, you know.”

Oikawa rolled his eyes, but he blushed a little. “That was one time Ryou-chan, and I don’t care to repeat it.”

“Fine, fine,” the model conceded, walking over to stand in front of the backdrop.

Mari spoke up. “Oikawa-san, you have a guest.”

Iwaizumi stiffened as Oikawa turned around with a puzzled expression. He wasn’t sure how Oikawa would receive his presence, but he came too far to back out now.

Oikawa saw Iwaizumi and his eyes narrowed, mouth pulling into a frown. Now that he was facing Iwaizumi, Iwaizumi could see that Oikawa was wearing a bright shade of red lipstick. Given the added height from his heels, the way his hip cocked out with a hand on it, and the way his red highlighted lips pursed in his frown, Iwaizumi would be lying if he said he didn’t find Oikawa exceedingly sexy. Those opaque black tights clinging to Oikawa’s long legs didn’t help either.

“What are you doing here?” Oikawa asked him, furrowing his brow. Iwaizumi found it hot, and he berated himself because he shouldn’t. He was there to apologize, not ogle.

“Kuroo gave me his pass to see you,” Iwaizumi answered, trying to maintain a cool exterior.

“Traitor,” Oikawa grumbled. Then he turned to his assistant, plastering on a bright smile. “Thank you, Mari-chan. You can take a break and head back to work. Since I’m off now, I’ll head home with him, ok?”

Mari nodded and bowed to both of them before leaving the studio.

Oikawa gave Iwaizumi a glance before huffing and walking toward the exit. Iwaizumi took that as his cue to follow him. He tried to ignore the way Oikawa’s butt bounced as his heels clicked against the floor. Before they got out the door, a girl ran up and gave Oikawa his purse. Oikawa slung it over his shoulder without a word and continued to walk on.

Once they were on the bottom floor, Oikawa pulled his cellphone out and dialed a number.

“Hello? Akaashi? Yes, it’s Oikawa. I need a favor Keiji-chan. Can you pick up Seiji from daycare and look after him until evening? I’ll pick him up before dinner, most likely. Ah, ok, thank you Keiji-chan. Make sure Bokuto doesn’t give Seiji too many sweets. Alright, bye.”

Oikawa didn’t stop walking, and when they reached the lobby, as busy as it was when Iwaizumi came in, Oikawa gracefully weaved through the crowd as he made his way to the main doors. Iwaizumi stumbled to keep up. Outside, Oikawa stopped in front of his car, parked on the curb not too far off. Iwaizumi wondered why he wasn’t parked in the company structure, but Oikawa had told him before it was easier to reach his car on the curb when he got out on half days.

“Get in,” Oikawa simply said. “We’ll talk at your place.”

***

Iwaizumi’s hand rattled as he tried to open his apartment, jingling his keys noisily. He wanted to curse. He tried to settle his nervous jitters in the car, but the ride was so tense Iwaizumi was left stiff at the edge of his seat.

When Iwaizumi finally got the door open, they both went in wordlessly. Oikawa went straight to the couch, choosing the furthest corner to sit on. He looked like he wanted to curl in on himself, but he couldn’t do so in his work attire. It made Iwaizumi’s heart ache.

Iwaizumi sat himself on the other end of the couch and looked over at Oikawa, wondering how to begin.

Oikawa angled himself toward Iwaizumi, giving him a forlorn smile. Iwaizumi hated it.

“So, Iwa-chan, what do you want to tell me? You said we need to talk, so let’s talk.”

“Well, about last time, I –”

“Oh, that?” Oikawa cut Iwaizumi off. “Don’t worry, it’s not like I haven’t heard it before. In fact I’m quite surprised you didn’t call me a slut when you first saw me again in the grocery store! You must have been thinking it though, since your shocked face then was just the same as when you realized I went on a date with Ushiwaka-chan, and… Iwa-chan?”

During Oikawa’s rant, Iwaizumi’s body went stock still in contrast to how much his blood boiled at the words he heard. He was trying to be patient, he wanted to hear Oikawa out, handle the situation calmly, but not if Oikawa was going to be like this.

“Stop,” Iwaizumi said, but it sounded more like a growl than words. Oikawa froze. “Just stop. That’s enough.” Iwaizumi fixed Oikawa with a piercing glare which made Oikawa flinch briefly. There was no way he could handle this passively, why did he even try? Iwaizumi wanted to laugh.

“You’re so infuriating sometimes, you know?” Iwaizumi continued. “I messed up. I know I did. And I’m sorry for that. I acted immaturely. Never in a thousand years would I think you’d let Ushijima court you. Never in a million years would I think you’d agree to a date with him. And dammit, I was jealous, ok? I didn’t like the idea of you two together. Frankly, I still don’t like it, even if all you did was hold his hand. But, my feelings didn’t condone my behavior. I shouldn’t have questioned you in a way that made everything sound like an accusation, I shouldn’t have hounded you like an envious dick. I’m sorry.

“However; that doesn’t mean you can just attack me, put words into my mouth, and criminalize me. I never called you a slut. You assumed I thought so and said it yourself. I should have refuted you when you called yourself a slut, but my mind was consumed with other things. My bad. I can tell you right now that the only thoughts I had in my head during that time were of disemboweling Ushijima. And when I first saw you and Seiji, I was so amazed at the sight of both of you I didn’t know what to do. Don’t make an ass of me Oikawa, you’re only making an ass of yourself.”

Iwaizumi sighed at Oikawa’s shamed expression. He gently took Oikawa’s hand in his.

“I know you only do that to protect yourself, but you need to realize that it only hurts us both. You have to stop thinking so low of yourself when you feel threatened, and you can’t project those feelings onto other people to justify them. It isn’t healthy.”

“What should I do then?” Oikawa asked, voice a wavering whisper.

“You need to talk to me. I know we kind of glossed this over at the beach, but we really can’t do that anymore. We can’t keep dancing around each other like this.” Iwaizumi took a deep breath. “Part of this is my fault. I wanted our relationship to go back to how it was before, so I ignored your secrets because I didn’t think they were important. But things can never go back, and I was stupid to think they could.”

“What are you saying, Iwa-chan?” Iwaizumi wanted smooth the panic off Oikawa’s face with kisses.

“You’ll always be my best friend. Gap of four years or not, we have way too much history together to change that. But now our relationship means more, so much more than it did before. To foster our current relationship, we need to be honest with each other. Please. There isn’t an alternative to this, so don’t try to find one. Can…can you be honest with me? Can we make this work?” Or will you push me away again? Iwaizumi was too afraid to add.

Oikawa was silent for a long time. Finally he looked at Iwaizumi with unrestrained openness in his eyes. Iwaizumi’s heart skipped a beat and hope filled his chest.

“What…do you want me to tell you?” Oikawa asked cautiously. Iwaizumi took this as a victory; Oikawa was still apprehensive, which was to be expected, but he seemed willing to meet Iwaizumi halfway, and that was all that mattered.

“Everything,” Iwaizumi said. Before Oikawa could become overwhelmed, he continued. “But we’ll start with your biggest secret that you’ve been keeping from me.”

Oikawa stiffened, looking down. “…And that is?”

Iwaizumi knew pulling information out of Oikawa was going to be difficult, like pulling teeth. He figured he might as well go for it, like pulling a bandage off swiftly.

“Who is Seiji’s father?”

Oikawa exhaled, as if he expected it, turning his head so he could stare out the windowed doors of Iwaizumi’s veranda. Oikawa’s silence felt like poison, suffocating Iwaizumi so all he could do was hold his breath until Oikawa answered him.

Eventually he turned back. Oikawa’s eyes were storming again, with that indiscernible emotion Iwaizumi saw when they spoke at the beach.

“What if I told you I don’t know? That I’ve slept with so many men I couldn’t begin to tell you who Seiji’s father might be?”

Iwaizumi met his eyes without wavering. “Then I wouldn’t believe you,” he simply said.

Oikawa’s eyes widened to the biggest Iwaizumi had ever seen them. Iwaizumi continued.

“No matter how friendly you are to people, you’re a very private person. That’s why you have so many masks for your crafted public persona, why you have so many walls, set up like a labyrinth to obscure how you truly feel. You’d never let anyone get close to you unless you trusted them.”

Oikawa stared at Iwaizumi like he was seeing Iwaizumi for the first time, as if he was trying to discover the man who had already figured him out to a tee.

“But even so,” Iwaizumi went on. “If you are telling the truth, it wouldn’t matter. I’m not going to dwell on frivolous stuff like that.” Iwaizumi took a steadying breath. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me who Seiji’s father is. What I really care about is you and Seiji, nothing else.”

“Then why?” Oikawa asked.

“Because it matters to you. You wouldn’t be guarding this secret so strongly if it wasn’t that important to you. And you’re obviously burdened by it. You shouldn’t have to carry that burden alone. We’re…we’re partners, Oikawa. And I won’t let you be weighed down anymore. So tell me.”

Oikawa looked away again, eyes hazy and he chewed his lip with uncertainty.

“Fine, I lied,” Oikawa conceded. “I haven’t slept with a host of men. I’ve only slept with one, and just once at that.” Oikawa stayed silent for a moment. “I haven’t told anyone,” Oikawa whispered.

“You can tell me,” Iwaizumi urged gently.

Oikawa chewed his lip until Iwaizumi thought it might bleed. He gave a small shake of his head.

“I-I can’t,” he stuttered, sounding more afraid than Iwaizumi ever knew him to be.

“You can, I won’t get mad.”

Oikawa licked his stinging lip in favor of speaking.

“Oikawa.”

Oikawa began chewing again.

“Just tell me.”

The only noise coming from Oikawa was the sound of him gnawing his flesh away.

Iwaizumi’s patience was running thin. He decided to raise his voice to snap Oikawa into talking.

“Why is this so hard for you?!”

Oikawa took a sharp, painful bite it his lip before matching Iwaizumi in volume.

“Because it’s you!”

Time seemed to stop as that statement sunk into Iwaizumi’s head. There were only two ways to interpret it:

One: ‘I can’t tell you who he is because it’s you and I don’t want you to know.’

Most plausible. This was Iwaizumi’s theory as to why Oikawa didn’t tell him in the first place.

Two: ‘You’re the father.’

That was…impossible. Right? Surely Iwaizumi would have known; the act of making a child required both participants to be quite active, so…

Iwaizumi felt like his brain was frying as he was coming up with some alternative way of analyzing this.

“Are you happy now?” Oikawa’s question cut into his thoughts. “Is this what you wanted? You’re so unfair, taking me apart like it’s not even hard… You always do.”

Iwaizumi said nothing, waiting for Oikawa to elaborate.

“Do you remember…the night before you left for Hokkaido? Our parents were celebrating together because you had gotten a huge medical scholarship, and Mattsun and Makki took you out as well? I was going to join you guys of course, but I started feeling under the weather and my parents told me to stay home.”

Iwaizumi nodded. He remembered Matsukawa and Hanamaki hauling him away despite his protests of accommodating Oikawa who was under the weather. It wasn’t until Oikawa gently pushed his back in the direction Matsukawa and Hanamaki were pulling him, telling him to have fun and enjoy his night with a smile that emphasized his glassy eyes and feverish cheeks, that Iwaizumi agreed to go with a promise of seeing Oikawa later that night. But memories became nebulous once Matsukawa pulled out bottles of alcohol he smuggled from home and Hanamaki kept encouraging him to let loose for once in his life.

“You came home so smashed!” Oikawa laughed, but there was a bitter edge to it. “Mattsun and Makki were tipsy too went they brought you back. I can’t believe what you did to this day. You climbed the big tree between our houses, and started knocking on my window. Literally gave me a heart attack; you almost fell out of the tree when I opened the window, so I had to yank you in quick.

“Anyway, I tried to sober you up to no avail; Mattsun and Makki got you so wasted nothing helped. So we just watched movies. You kept babbling about old times and the future, it was pretty funny. Does any of that sound familiar?”

Iwaizumi nodded again, but he didn’t recall it from memory. “You told me that happened in the morning when I was hung-over.”

“Ah, right. I did.” Oikawa’s voice seemed far away.

Iwaizumi tried with all his might to pierce the boozy shroud that concealed his memories of that night from him. But they were solidly stored away from him.

“Oikawa, something happened that night, didn’t it?” Iwaizumi felt dread slowly creep up on him. He didn’t, he couldn’t have, did he ra–

“You remember,” Oikawa’s voice cut through his inner monologue. “That my heat was irregular during that time from stress? That it vanished for two months? Turns out that when I fell ‘sick,’ it was really just my heat coming back. Didn’t realize it until after you were gone though.” Oikawa paused, and his eyes had a misty quality. “You know, I look back and think that maybe that was my body calling out to you one last time before you left.” He shrugged. “Who knows?”

Iwaizumi could barely take a breath given how tightly he was constricted by coiling consternation.

“Oikawa–” Iwaizumi choked.

“I suppose I should get to the punch line now, deliver the big secret you’ve been waiting for.” Oikawa’s gaze slid over to meet Iwaiuzmi’s, with a smile that could kill a man. And Iwaizumi felt like he was dying. “We had sex that night. You came onto me, and I, well, I didn’t refuse. I don’t blame you, so don’t guilt trip yourself or pity me. Neither of us were thinking clearly, both drunk in our own ways. And in the morning when you woke up with a splitting hangover and didn’t remember a thing, I decided that you were better off not knowing. After all, you were heading off to Hokkaido in a few hours and I didn’t want to leave you with regret or make you feel obligated to me. Then two weeks later I found out I was pregnant, and I… I got scared. So I ran away to Tokyo early. You know the rest from there.”

“Seiji is mine?” Iwaizumi spoke before he realized, in an astounded voice.

“Biologically,” Oikawa answered in a clipped tone. Then he spoke a little softer, a little wistful.

“You know, I was relieved when I figured out Seiji would look just like me. I’d get less questions about his paternal parentage. He has your eye color, and a mix of our hair and skin tones, but those things are easily dismissible. I thought maybe I could pretend he was all mine. But as my little baby grew older, I realized that he’s just like you. The way he plays outside hunting bugs and comes home with a new scrape somewhere on his skin. The way he smiles and laughs and frowns with furrowed brows. He has your eyebrows too, they haven’t grown in yet, but I can tell. Especially the way he worries about me and comforts me; Seiji won’t say a word when I’m upset, he’ll just quietly hold me tight like you used to do. These similarities made me want to laugh, but all I could do was cry. Everyone says Seiji is exactly like me, but whenever I look at him, all I see is you.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Iwaizumi asked. He was still reeling from the fat that he was a father, but part of brain still seemed active.

“Are you serious, Iwa-chan? You were already in Hokkaido, and I was attending school in Tokyo. What could you have done? You’d probably think of dropping everything to be with us, right? You had a huge scholarship and a bright future waiting for you. I wasn’t going to ruin it. I wouldn’t forgive myself.”

“We could have made something work,” Iwaizumi insisted. Now that he knew the truth, the four years apart felt like lost time.

“Made what work Iwa-chan? If you knew, what would change? We’d still be miles apart. Seiji would still have to be with me. The only time we’d be able to see each other would be during breaks. Seiji would meet you, get attached, and then feel abandoned when we went our separate ways until the next time. Do you think I would choose that for my son?”

“He’s my son too,” Iwaizumi argued.

“Biologically,” Oikawa shot back.

“Why do you keep saying that!?” Iwaizumi growled

“BECAUSE I DECIDED YOU WEREN’T WELCOME IN SEIJI’S LIFE!” Oikawa roared, taking a stand.

Iwaizumi could only stare up at Oikawa from his seat, gaping. Those words hurt for more than Hanamaki’s slap, had the power of being slapped on both sides of his face at once while being punched in the gut and beat over the head with a bat. It fucking hurt, and left Iwaizumi gasping for anything that could sustain him.

Oikawa himself was red-faced and panting, as if he had physically delivered the blows Iwaizumi felt. He whirled on his heel and headed for the door.

Iwaizumi scrambled to catch him. “T-Tooru, please, I –”

“No,” Oikawa interrupted with finality. He looked at Iwaizumi with pain, fear, and sorrow in his eyes. “It’s too late.”

He broke away and left Iwaizumi alone in his apartment with a gouged out heart.

***

Oikawa drove to Bokuto and Akaashi’s apartment without looking back. He couldn’t, he couldn’t, he –

He parked his car as close to their complex as he could manage and strode up the stairs. The sun was beginning to set. It burned the sky in angry reds and horrid orange.

He meant to knock on the door but he may have been pounding on it.

Akaashi opened the door with a puzzled expression before seeing Oikawa. But his expression morphed to puzzlement once more when he saw the look on Oikawa’s face. Seiji was running by behind him, giggling, with Bokuto playfully chasing him. Seiji stopped when he noticed the open doorway and saw his mother standing there.

“Mommy!” Seiji called, running over and around Akaashi to hug his mother’s leg. Oikawa bent down to scoop Seiji in his arms and hug him close.

“Thank you for looking after him, Akaashi,” Oikawa said.

“Of course Oikawa-san, it’s never a problem. But are you alright?” Akaashi asked.

Before Oikawa had to answer, Bokuto came to the door with Seiji’s things. Oikawa took them in his free arm.

“Thank you, Bokuto. I’ll see you both later.” Oikawa turned and left before another word could be said.

The drive home was a blur, but thankfully Seiji was nodding off in his car seat. Oikawa was glad Bokuto tired him out. Seiji was always able to see through Oikawa like…someone he knew.

Oikawa carried Seiji to bed for a nap, and once his son’s door was shut, Oikawa tried not to panic in the comfort of his home.

No no no no no no no no! Oikawa wanted to scream.

This was a disaster, something short of the apocalypse. Maybe a little melodramatic, but it honestly felt like Oikawa’s world was ending. His carefully created façade was falling to pieces all around him, blasted to bits by Iwaizumi Hajime.

Oikawa didn’t know what to do. Tear his hair and scream with all his might? Curl into a ball and sob like a child? How could he do any of these things with Seiji dozing just on the other side of the wall?

Oikawa had to do something or he’d lose his mind. He…he….

He needed to get away.

Oikawa rushed to his room, extracting his suitcase from the back of his closet. He pulled clothes from his closet, emptied drawers, and dumped extra shoes in it.

It felt nostalgic and cathartic. Oikawa didn’t know what to do about Iwaizumi. But he knew how to pack a suitcase.

Once the suitcase was full, Oikawa’s bedroom looked like a tornado tore through it. The messiness of the room matched the messiness of his heart.

Oikawa lugged the suitcase out into the living room. Arrangements at his workplace could be made in the morning.

Oikawa heard a door open behind him, and he whipped around to see a drowsy Seiji rubbing sleep from his eyes. He must have been louder when moving the suitcase than he thought.

“Mommy? Wha goin’ on?”

Oikawa froze before composing himself. He walked over to Seiji and knelt before him.

“Hi, baby. Sorry I woke you. How are you feeling?”

“Mm ok…” Seiji mumbled. He blinked and saw the suitcase. “Go somewhere?”

“I was thinking we could go on vacation. What do you think?” Oikawa asked gently.

Seiji gasped. “Go on trip? Have fun?” Seiji was already vibrating with excitement.

“Yup,” Oikawa laughed. “Mommy’s all packed, so let’s go pack your things now.”

Seiji nodded. “Iwa-shan come too?” he asked innocently.

Oikawa’s heart stopped. Slowly, he brought his hands to his son’s shoulders.

“No… Iwa-chan isn’t coming. It’ll just be you and me. But that’s ok, right? Mommy’s enough for you, aren’t I Seiji?” Oikawa’s voice cracked on his last question.

Seiji stared at him with big eyes and mouth open like a little triangle. Then he gave one big nod.

“Yeah! Just Mommy is ok!” Seiji said with an angelic smile.

Oikawa pulled him close, basking in his son’s warmth and ignoring the heaviness in his heart. He felt tears seep into his lashes.

***

Iwaizumi was determined to make Oikawa listen. He took the day off work, woke up early, and decided he didn’t care that Oikawa never invited him over; he would go to Oikawa’s flat and demand to be seen.

Iwaizumi had just marched up the stairs when he saw a small crowd of four people around a door. Perhaps someone was having a large get together. Upon closer inspection however, Iwaizumi found the group was made of four familiar faces.

He jogged up to them, and immediately wanted to backpedal. The air that hung over them was bleak.

Kuroo looked furious, Akaashi looked miserable, and Bokuto looked uneasy, with hands placed on Akaashi’s shoulders. Kenma was facing the door, seeming to read a note in his hand.

“I should have stopped him, he didn’t look right last night, I should have invited him in and found out what was wrong, I shouldn’t have let him leave,” Akaashi cried into hands.

“Hey, hey now Akaashi…” Bokuto attempted to comfort his mate, but it was obvious he was far too dejected.

Kuroo ground his teeth together and cursed under his breath. He looked like he wanted to kick something with all his strength.

Iwaizumi spoke up to get their attention. “What’s going on here?”

Everyone besides Kenma snapped their eyes to him and Kuroo reacted first.

“You – !” Kuroo snarled, looking ready to pummel Iwaizumi into the ground.

He was stopped by a light hand on his arm from Kenma, who finally turned around. He regarded Iwaizumi with sadness in his eyes and stepped forward, clutching the note in his shaky grip.

“Tooru and Seiji are gone.”

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi lied on Matsukawa and Hanamaki’s couch miserably, deep circles under his red rimmed eyes.

“How,” Iwaizumi hiccupped. “How could he do this to me?”

Iwaizumi had come over to their house immediately after things cooled down at Oikawa’s apartment enough for each group to calmly go their separate ways. He told Matsukawa and Hanamaki everything Oikawa told him, and how Oikawa disappeared with Seiji right from under him. He yelled and cursed, broke down and cried, and finally decided to drown his sorrows and frustrations in liquid happiness.

Matsukawa was picking up all the bottles Iwaizumi had emptied and deposited by the couch, while Hanamaki brought out a blanket and covered Iwaizumi with it.

“I think that’s enough, Iwaizumi. Alcohol is what got you into this mess in the first place,” Hanamaki said while tucking him in.

“What does it matter? He’s gone now, and Seiji is too. Who knows if they’ll ever come back? My life is over now. They-They were everything to me.” A few stray tears escaped Iwaizumi’s eyes.

Matsukawa returned from throwing out the bottles and stood by Hanamaki. “Just rest now Iwaizumi,” he said. “We’ll figure something out in the morning.”

**Approximately a little over four years ago**

Oikawa had been feeling off for a while now. It was summer, the summer before all the third years went their separate ways and pursued their dreams, but this day meant more to Oikawa than anything. Because this was the day before Iwaizumi left him for Hokkaido, yet Oikawa felt too sick to function.

The spring tournament had been their last shot at nationals, and training for it had been intense. He drew up plan after plan, watched all the volleyball videos he had, and then watched them again. And somewhere during all this, Oikawa’s heat vanished. It had been gone for a total of two months now, so he had missed two heat cycles. The doctors said it was stress. Oikawa wanted to say ‘No shit.’

Honestly, Oikawa didn’t really care. He hated his heat because it was such an inconvenience, anyone who had to suffer through ruts and heats alone did, but he hated his heat especially because it reminded him that everyone thought he was weak for being an omega.

Oikawa didn’t mind being an omega; when he presented he wasn’t exactly perturbed by it. His sister had presented as an omega before him, and his mother was an omega whom he regarded highly. Sure, it might have been cool to be an alpha like his father or Iwaizumi, but being an omega wasn’t bad. He didn’t even mind that he was the one who had to get pregnant and give birth, because when he saw his sister pregnant, and eventually met his nephew Takeru, Oikawa had always been secretly excited for the day he’d be a mother himself. His sister was glowing with happiness, and his own mother had always been happy too, so being a mother must be something spectacular.

But then the whispers reached him. Oikawa guessed they had been going on for a while, but they had been careful to keep the gossip away from his ears.

Oikawa had presented fairly late. The doctor’s theory for this was also stress. Many of his peers had presented during their middle school years, Iwaizumi presented as an alpha during their second year at Kitagawa Daiichi, but Oikawa had yet to present well into his first year of high school.

It was one of his ‘charm points,’ as the girls called it. They loved the mystery of not knowing his presentation, fantasizing all the various scenarios in which they found out. Given Oikawa’s height, domineering nature on the court, and the smooth way he handled people, everyone was sure he’d present as an alpha. That notion didn’t disappear until golden week, during their training camp.

Oikawa was well liked on the team in his first year, a precursor for the years to come. Everyone could see how amazing of a player he was, and they knew he would quickly and easily climb the ranks to the top of their team. So naturally, all his senpai did their best to foster Oikawa’s talent. Iwaizumi was also well liked on the team, he showed great promise as a future ace, but mostly because he was dubbed ‘Oikawa’s handler,’ by their senpai.

Oikawa felt under the weather all week, but there were only three days left of camp, and he was determined to see it through to the end. So far, no one found out he was feeling unwell.

That day, the team had split into two, and they held a mock volleyball game. Oikawa had found the day unnecessarily hot since morning, but no one seemed to agree with him. So he tried his best to ignore the intense heat that seemed to be affecting his body alone.

It was Oikawa’s turn to serve, and he had been working hard during the training camp so far to perfect his jump serve attack, so he wanted to nail it and impress his senpai. Oikawa threw the ball perfectly in the air, but just as he was about to make his jump, heat rushed to his head, and made his vision white out momentarily. He lost his footing and collapsed to the floor. The sounds he heard after were warped, as if they were coming from far away, and they competed with the roaring in his ears. He thought maybe he heard Iwaizumi calling his name, but he couldn’t check, his vision was blurring, and his body felt heavy.

And it also felt like every inch of him had been lit on fire.

Oikawa let out a whine and tried to curl in on himself, but that only made everything more intense. Oikawa felt like he was experiencing sensory overload. He realized he probably was.

“Oikawa! Oikawa, can you hear me!?”

Oikawa was vaguely aware of his head being pulled into someone’s lap and cool, soothing hands running all over his face and scalp. Oikawa cracked his eyes open and blearily stared at a familiar figure before his vision focused and he saw Iwaizumi’s face looming over his own, face pinched with worry.

“Iwa-chan…?” Now Oikawa was really confused. Usually Iwaizumi was a natural furnace, so how could his hands feel cold?

“What happened? Did you twist your ankle?”

By now, the rest of their teammates as well as their coaches had crowded around, trying to ascertain what was wrong with Oikawa. Seeing so many faces at once was dizzying.

“I don’t…” Oikawa wanted to say ‘I don’t think so,’ but then he wasn’t too sure with his entire body protesting in pain, so he wanted to change his statement to ‘I don’t know,’ but he ended up just trailing off.

Iwaizumi pulled Oikawa closer, and Oikawa could smell Iwaizumi’s scent so much stronger than before. Iwaizumi must have been emitting an extra strong scent to ward others away. It smelled comforting and protective, just as Iwaizumi had always been to him. But more than anything Oikawa found that heady, strong scent really, really good.

Oikawa had made fun of Iwaizumi when he came back to school after presenting, saying he smelled gross, like some sort of alpha caveman. Of course, Oikawa was lying to get a rise out of Iwaizumi; while Iwaizumi’s scent wasn’t inherently pleasant, he didn’t mind it either. It was Iwaizumi’s scent after all, so it smelled like home.

But now, now all Oikawa wanted to do was bottle up Iwaizumi’s scent, carry with him always, cover himself with it, and always be able to smell it. Why? Why did Iwaizumi suddenly smell so good, better than anything he ever smelled before? Nothing was making sense to Oikawa anymore.

Another scent began bleeding out from somewhere, something sickly sweet and sugary. Oikawa never smelled anything like it, and it was beginning to nauseate him. He buried his face in Iwaizumi’s stomach to inhale more of his scent, rather than the syrupy one.

But the sweet scent only grew stronger, and Oikawa felt his body burn more. Oikawa pulled a little away, wanting to find the source of the scent and stop it, but instead he found Iwaizumi’s face closer to him, so close that Oikawa wondered whether the hunch was hurting Iwaizumi’s back. His pupils were blown wide, so Iwaizumi’s hazel eyes looked uncharacteristically dark.

“Oikawa…” Iwaizumi murmured, voice so deep and raspy that Oikawa couldn’t help the keen he let out in response. He felt like he was melting, turning into goo. He even felt sticky, especially between his legs.

Wait. Sticky between his legs? Oikawa’s heart beat picked up, and the scent bled out further, permeating and saturating the air around them. Iwaizumi’s nostrils flared, and he let out a little growl while eying Oikawa the way he eyed an all you can eat barbeque.

Oikawa panicked; he had never seen Iwaizumi like this before, so predatory, and it frightened him. Normally Iwaizumi would bend to his will and whims, but Oikawa had a feeling if this continued longer, he would be the one bending over.

He turned away as much as he could while still laying in Iwaizumi’s lap, but all he saw were similar expressions on the faces of most of his teammates. Oikawa was terrified.

That scent…was it coming from him? But Oikawa should be scentless because he hadn’t presented yet. Unless…unless…

Iwaizumi leaned all the way in, nuzzling Oikawa’s hair and breathing deep. Oikawa gasped at the sensation, and Iwaizumi let out pleased rumbles in his chest.

Suddenly, someone yanked Iwaizumi away by his shoulder, and Oikawa was hoisted up into someone’s arms princess-carry style. Oikawa saw that it was Irihata who pulled Iwaizumi away and kept him down as Iwaizumi began to snarl, eyes glowing red and fangs growing out. Oikawa looked up to see that he was in Mizoguchi’s arms, and though he didn’t let his alpha traits take over, his stance was rigid, his grip on Oikawa strong, and he glared down at Iwaizumi.

“I-Iwa-chan,” Oikawa called feebly. Iwaizumi’s red eyes bore into his, and Oikawa could feel himself making more slick as his squirmed in his coach’s arms.

Mizoguchi turned around and started walking away, but Iwaizumi stopped him with a loud growl.

“Stop! Where are you taking him?!” Iwaizumi struggled to get up, but Irihata was using all his strength to hold him down, and some of their senpai, betas Oikawa noted, helped to keep him restrained as well. His senpai who were alphas all leered at him, but made no move to get closer with Iwaizumi in a hostile mood and Mizoguchi guarding Oikawa.

“He’s going to the infirmary, and then he’s going home. He’s presenting and going into his first heat, Iwaizumi. Most of you are alphas; you realize that he can’t stay here any longer,” Mizoguchi responded.

“Heat? But Oikawa is…” Iwaizumi looked just as baffled as Oikawa felt.

“Get back to practice!” Mizoguchi yelled at them. “I’ll be back in ten minutes, and I better see all of you practicing your serves and spikes!”

Oikawa shuddered and clung close to Mizoguchi as he was carried away from the gym.

Oikawa spent two hours laying on the stiff infirmary cot and wishing the world to go away until his parents arrived to pick him up. His father carried him to the car while his mother fussed over him and swept his sweaty bangs from his face. Then Oikawa spent another week cooped up in his room and writhing in agony on his bed.

When he made it back to school, everyone’s attention was on him. Oikawa didn’t mind, because he enjoyed being the center of attention, but he didn’t really know what anyone was really saying about him. Mostly he knew people were shocked about him presenting as an omega.

Iwaizumi had visited him on the last few days during his heat week when it was dying down so he could apologize for his behavior and deliver homework. Oikawa waved him away and told him that it wasn’t his fault he couldn’t control himself; Oikawa’s charm was irresistible. Oikawa earned a smack on the head, but they started laughing again and any awkwardness dispelled.

Upon seeing the team again, Matsukawa and Hanamaki were the same, but they did ask a couple invasive questions about his heat and what being an omega felt like before Iwaizumi made them stop. The senpai and other teammates apologized for their behavior as well, and promised to protect Oikawa and make sure he felt safe with them.

Oikawa was happy the team welcomed him back with open arms and that they were back to being normal. But he was a little confused about the protectiveness. Oikawa had always been able to handle himself just fine, why did they want to protect him now?

Until he finally heard what people were saying.

“Hey, I heard Oikawa presented as an omega. Isn’t he the favorite on the team? I bet it’s ‘cause they can all get a piece of him now!”

“Can we really trust an omega as our star setter? Setters control the game, right? Omegas can hardly control themselves, they’re so flighty and scatterbrained.”

“Wow, I can’t believe the team takes orders from a little bitch.”

“I think I’m going to leave Oikawa’s fanclub. It’s unrealistic to me; he’s an omega and so are most of us, how could he ever be our dream man now?”

“No wonder we never win against Shiratorizawa.”

And this was just words whispered around school by his peers. There was also the awful trash talk Oikawa got from the other side of the net.

Iwaizumi once beat up the captain of another team who they were supposed to have a practice match against because he had asked Iwaizumi in passing before the game how tight Oikawa was.

Iwaizumi had been suspended for a week, but the other guy had a black eye for two weeks, plus a broken nose and a missing tooth.

Oikawa stored the bitter memories of his first heat and how people treated him after away. Oikawa always told himself that as long as he had Iwaizumi and the team, he’d be just fine.

But they were graduated now, and heading to different universities. Oikawa no longer had his team, and soon he’d no longer have Iwaizumi either.

Oikawa cursed his luck. Why did he have to get sick on the day before Iwaizumi left, when they were going to celebrate together one last time?

Oikawa groaned just as the doorbell rang. He lugged himself down the stairs wrapped up in his favorite night sky blanket. Even though it was still summer and the nights were warm, Oikawa was feeling chills all day. His skin was cold and clammy, but his head was hot and fuzzy with a fever and his cheeks were flushed. He knew he was coming down with something, but he wasn’t sure what exactly.

His parents had taken Iwaizumi’s parents out to celebrate Iwaizumi’s acceptance at Hokkaido and his sending off. His sister wasn’t able to make it, but she would get into town later to see Oikawa off to Tokyo in a few weeks. Hanamaki and Matsukawa were staying local and going to the same university, so they could relax.

Opening the door, Oikawa was greeted by Iwaizumi, who was flanked by Matsukawa and Hanamaki.

“Hey there sleeping beauty,” Matsukawa said.

“Oh, that beauty sleep did not help though,” Hanamaki added.

“Shut up,” Oikawa groused.

Iwaizumi came forward, placing a hand on Oikawa’s forehead. “You’re still feverish. Did you take anything?”

Iwaizumi had come by that morning and found Oikawa pitifully lying in bed with his current symptoms. Iwaizumi had assured Oikawa that they didn’t have to go out to celebrate, they could do their usual thing with the addition of Matsukawa and Hanamaki, and he’d be just fine. But Oikawa shook his head, telling Iwaizumi he deserved a proper celebration and one last night of foolish, youthful craziness before he had to go off to college and become an adult. Iwaizumi rolled his eyes, but Oikawa was determined to get better and join the celebration. However…

“I took medicine all day, but nothing helped,” Oikawa whined.

Iwaizumi frowned. “Let’s just make it a movie night then.”

“No way,” Matsukawa cut in. “I did not steal my parent’s alcohol for us to just sit in Oikawa’s living room and watch alien movies.”

“I concur, we must make Matsukawa’s noble efforts worth it,” Hanamaki stated.

“What noble efforts?” Iwaizumi scoffed. “All you did was sneak a few bottles of beer from the back of your fridge while your parents were out.”

“I managed to nab a bottle of sake my mom got as a gift too. She won’t mind because she never liked it,” Matsukawa added.

“And we’re going of drink all of it. But you’re going to drink the most tonight, scholarship boy,” Hanamaki said, wrapping an arm around Iwaizumi’s shoulders.

Iwaizumi sighed and Oikawa laughed.

“They’re right, Iwa-chan. You should have one last night of fun before you start preparing for school and getting assignments. Go have fun. I’ll sit this one out though.”

“But-” Iwaizumi protested.

“You heard him! Let’s get smashed!” Hanamaki cheered and Matsukawa joined in.

“It’s fine. It’s your night, you shouldn’t have to cater to me. If you want, swing by when you’re done with Mattsun and Makki, and we can hang out together before you need to head back home, ok?”

“What about your parents?” Iwaizumi asked.

Oikawa giggled. “I’m pretty sure they’ll be out all night with your parents. And even if they are home, when have they ever turned you away?”

“I guess that’s true…” Iwaizumi said reluctantly.

Matsukawa came back and sidled next to Iwaizumi. “That settles it then.”

Hanamaki came up to his other side. “Let’s roll.”

Matsukawa and Hanamaki hauled Iwaizumi away, but both turned and addressed Oikawa over their shoulders.

“Rest well, princess,” Matsukawa grinned.

“Your prince will be back by midnight, we promise,” Hanamaki smirked.

Oikawa stuck his tongue out at both of them before slamming the door shut.

***

Oikawa’s head continued to burn as his body shivered. He was marathon-watching his favorite episodes of X-files on his laptop while wrapped in his blanket and had a cooling patch applied to his forehead.

Just as it got to the really suspenseful part, a knocking sound came from his window. Oikawa jumped, shrieked, and shut his laptop all at once.

He turned and found Iwaizumi outside his window. Knocking on his window and grinning dopily.

Now Oikawa nearly had a heart attack, because his room was in the second floor of his home, and the only way Iwaizumi was able to get there was climbing the tree that grew between their houses. And if Oikawa’s suspicions proved correct, Iwaizumi was also inebriated while sprawled on a tree branch.

Oikawa quickly threw his blanket off and opened his window, pulling Iwaizumi in with all his strength. Iwaizumi, however, wasn’t quite cooperating, so Oikawa yanked him with his entire body, and finally got Iwaizumi inside. Unfortunately, Iwaizumi’s body collided against Oikawa’s with so much force they ended up ended up toppling over.

“Ow,” Oikawa muttered. He had landed on the floor and Iwaizumi lied bodily on top of him. “Hey Iwa-chan, get off, you’re heavy.” Oikawa hoped he didn’t fall asleep on him.

Iwaizumi picked his body up by his elbows as if doing a plank. “’Kawa…?”

“Yes, Iwa-chan, it’s me. Who else is your next door childhood best friend with a tree by his window you can climb?” Oikawa didn’t necessarily want to be snarky, but Iwaizumi was currently trying his patience. And Oikawa was still sick! “Wait. Why were you climbing the tree anyway? Why didn’t you just go to my front door like a normal person!? Don’t you know how dangerous that was!!?”

“I di’…” Iwaizumi mumbled, still leaning over Oikawa. Oikawa blushed a little before he wrinkled his nose. Iwaizumi reeked of alcohol. “Ya didn’ ans’er…”

“So why didn’t you just text or call me?” Oikawa countered.

“Oh,” Iwaizumi replied.

Oikawa sighed, pushing Iwaizumi back until they were both able to sit up. Then he got up.

“Come on, I’m taking you home. You’re too drunk to function right now, and you need to sleep this off.” Oikawa turned with the intention to lead Iwaizumi out of his house and back to his own, but strong arms wrapped around his waist and Oikawa felt Iwaizumi bury his face into the small of his back.

“No,” Iwaizumi protested. “No go, wanna stay. Stay with you.”

Oikawa sighed again and Iwaizumi squeezed him tighter. Oikawa felt his chest tighten too. He knew why Iwaizumi had come; it was the last they would see each other before the send-off tomorrow. Oikawa wanted to see Iwaizumi too, and now they could be alone together one last time before college took them away from each other, but Iwaizumi was clearly over his limit. Yet, Iwaizumi didn’t want to let go, and neither did Oikawa.

Oikawa laid his hands over Iwaizumi’s and gently pried his arms off. “Alright, you can stay. But I’m going down to the kitchen and getting you some water and bread. Don’t move, ok?”

Iwaizumi gave an exaggerated nod that Oikawa had a hard time not laughing at.

Oikawa went down to his kitchen and grabbed three bottles of water and an entire loaf of bread. Oikawa had no idea how much people needed to sober up. He found his entire body was warm now and his head still simmered. Upon returning to his room, he found Iwaizumi sitting rigidly, trying to stay completely still. This time Oikawa did laugh, he really couldn’t help it.

Iwaizumi pouted at him. “Ya tol’ me no’ ta move.”

Oikawa tried to school his expression, but just giggled some more. He sat next to Iwaizumi on the floor and opened a water bottle for him and pulled out a slice of bread.

“Here, eat and drink. We’re watching the X-files.”

Iwaizumi nodded as he began to chew and chug.

After four episodes of X-files, Iwaizumi drank all three bottles and finished about half the loaf of bread before pronouncing himself too full to eat more. Iwaizumi shakily got to his feet when the episode they were watching finished.

“Iwa-chan?”

“Bathr’m,” Iwaizumi muttered, making his way out of Oikawa’s room. Oikawa wondered if Iwaizumi needing help, or at least an escort, but he decided to set up the next episode instead. Iwaizumi was big boy, even if he was so intoxicated massive amounts of water and bread didn’t help him.

Iwaizumi came back just as the episode fully loaded. Oikawa was about to commend him for his excellent timing, when Iwaizumi sat especially close to him and rested his head on Oikawa’s shoulder. Oikawa’s heart stuttered and his voice died in his throat. He felt his skin heat even more, and his head was getting so hot and fuzzy he was afraid fumes would start coming out of his ears. Oikawa felt a fluttering in his lower body that he squirmed at as Iwaizumi’s breath puffed against the sensitive skin of his neck.

“I-Iwa-chan?” Oikawa’s fever had seemed to spread to every inch of himself and he was burning. The heat only increased when Iwaizumi touched him. The seat of his pants felt slightly damp, and Oikawa tried to ignore it, telling himself he must have just sat on the water Iwaizumi spilled earlier.

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi breathed, pupils wide and eyes staring straight into his. Oikawa gulped nervously. The heat within him spiked and his heartbeat thrummed harder. Oikawa could feel more wetness, and tried to wiggle away.

“I-I think that’s enough,” Oikawa said as he turned his laptop off and tucked it away somewhere safe. “Let’s go to bed Iwa-chan, I’ll get the futon out.”

Iwaizumi stared at him as he got up, but before Oikawa could pass him, Iwaizumi seized his wrist and yanked Oikawa down into his lap, chest to chest, facing each other.

“I-Iwa-chan! What are you doing!?”

Iwaizumi wrapped his arms around Oikawa’s waist and nosed along his collar bone. “Share the bed,” Iwaizumi purred straight into Oikawa’s ear.

Oikawa shuddered, heat of his body flaring to its peak, and there was no denying the sticky wetness dripping out of him, plastering the back of his underwear to his skin. Oikawa’s hands had fallen onto Iwaizumi’s shoulders naturally when he first landed on his lap, and now Oikawa dug his nails into the flesh there. Oikawa whined before he snapped his mouth shut. Oh no. It couldn’t be. It was gone. But…

Before Oikawa could think more, Iwaizumi held him tight against his body, so much so that Oikawa could feel their hearts beating together against their chests. Iwaizumi’s hands skated down the rest of his back and over his butt, stopping under his thighs. Then Iwaizumi hauled Oikawa and himself up.

Oikawa squeaked, gripping Iwaizumi tight with both his arms and legs as Iwaizumi carried him the short distance to Oikawa’s bed.

Iwaizumi deposited Oikawa on his bed and climbed over him.

“Oikawa,” he murmured, and Oikawa found he didn’t mind Iwaizumi's breath so much anymore. Especially when Iwaizumi’s scent was overpowering anything else Oikawa could even try to sniff out.

Oikawa keened and Iwaizumi fit himself between his legs. Iwaizumi began mouthing up and down his neck and Oikawa gasped out a moan.

Iwaizumi gripped Oikawa’s thighs again and wrapped them around his hips like a vice. Oikawa crossed his feet over the small of Iwaizumi’s back and squeezed Iwaizumi’s shoulders.

Iwaizumi began to lightly nip Oikawa along his jaw and Oikawa felt some form of sense return to him.

“Iwa-chan stop, stop, we can’t do this. Iwa-chan, listen to me.”

Iwaizumi pulled himself away to look at Oikawa. His eyes were dark and fathomless, and Oikawa couldn’t draw his gaze from them.

“Why?” Iwaizumi asked him.

Oikawa paused, biting his lip. A floodgate of memories overtook him. Iwaizumi’s proud, determined face when he nailed his first spike when they were seven. Iwaizumi’s carefree laugh on the way home after practice in middle school. Iwaizumi’s strong yet gentle touch on his arm, telling him he believes in him before every game. Iwaizumi’s tear-stained face when they lost the last game of their high school volleyball career. The bright hazel of his eyes. His thick eyebrows. The darker tone of his skin, the deeper tone of his voice. The way the wind swayed the spikes of Iwaizumi’s hair. The way the breeze swept Iwaizumi’s scent straight to Oikawa and it always made him a little weak in the knees. Iwaizumi’s arms during the cultural festival, when he beat every opponent who challenged him at arm wrestling. Iwaizumi’s legs, which jumped to whatever height needed to meet Oikawa’s toss, which carried Oikawa home when practice took too much of a toll on him. Iwaizumi’s angry expression, because it meant he was worried, that he cared, that he felt strongly for Oikawa at least in some way.

Oikawa wanted to lose himself in every part of Iwaizumi.

All of Iwaizumi drove Oikawa wild. Thinking about Iwaizumi made him want to scream, run for miles, climb the biggest hill he could find, and then lay there until the stars peaked into the sky. But there was a reason he kept these feelings to himself, locked away in secret depths.

Oikawa moved one hand from Iwaizumi’s shoulder to cup his cheek. “I don’t want you to do something you’ll regret,” Oikawa told him.

Iwaizumi closed his eyes and nuzzled Oikawa’s hand. “Never. Never regret you.”

“Iwa-chan…” Oikawa needed to argue, needed to stop this before it got more out of hand.

But all coherent thought left him when Iwaizumi dropped his hips and grinded down on him. Oikawa moaned at the sensation of Iwaizumi’s bulge against his, and slick practically poured out of him.

“Iwa-chan-!”

“Oikawa, Oikawa, Oikawa,” Iwaizumi chanted like a prayer. Oikawa felt his heart shake at the sound.

Oikawa let the heated haze edging his mind take over. He stopped worrying and overthinking for once in his life. He’d let instinct take over.

He let Iwaizumi undress him, felt fingers probe deep within and moved with them. He felt Iwaizumi breach him, and he kissed Iwaizumi to swallow up their sounds as their bodies connected and became one.

Oikawa let himself open up have Iwaizumi, even if it was just for that night alone.

***

Oikawa woke up with pain deep in his back and hips. He groaned, opening his eyes and found himself looking at a lightly snoring Iwaizumi. And he was very close.

Oikawa jerked back, but that only made the pain in his back worse, and he whimpered as quietly as he could. Oikawa crept carefully out of bed and found some clothes to cover himself with.

He could hardly believe last night had happened, but he could still feel the after effects and remember the way Iwaizumi touched him.

He also realized that Iwaizumi would wake up with an awful hangover, so he went downstairs to the kitchen to get medicine and a glass of water.

When Oikawa got back to his room, he saw Iwaizumi sitting up in bed, rubbing sleep from his eyes. The sheets were pooled on his lap, but his torso was still deliciously on display.

“Iwa-chan, how are you feeling?”

“Like I’m going to kill Matsukawa and Hanamaki next time I see them.”

Oikawa chuckled and gingerly sat on his bed. He handed the medicine and water to Iwaizumi.

“No nausea?”

“No,” Iwaizumi told him before downing a pill and chasing it with water. “Just a splitting headache. Can’t remember a thing.”

Oikawa felt his heart stop. “What?”

“I mean, it’s hazy at best. I remember the night I had with Matsukawa and Hanamaki, which was essentially reminiscing with alcohol and I know they dropped me off, and that I tried to get into your house, but that’s where it stops. I guess I did manage to get in since I’m here. Hey, why am I naked anyway?”

Oikawa ran a number of scenarios in his head, of all the things he could say and explain. But his gut told him one thing: Iwa-chan doesn’t have to know. More than the guilt of not telling him, Oikawa would feel even guiltier if Iwaizumi felt obligated to him through meaningless sex (on Iwaizumi’s part). Plus Oikawa feared that if he told him, the distance added in would destroy their friendship.

“You were super drunk last night! And when I tried to put you to bed, you complained it was too hot and took off all your clothes. But then you complained that it was too cold, so you forced me the sleep at your side and keep you warm. You were so silly, Iwa-chan!”

Iwaizumi blushed. “Sorry…”

“It’s fine. I’m going to head down and make us breakfast. Get dressed and join me. Then you should sneak home and finish packing up before our parents wake up.”

Iwaizumi nodded and Oikawa walked away before his façade could break.

***

They ate in relative silence, occasionally chatting about random things. Once done, Iwaizumi bid Oikawa a “See you soon,” and went back to his house.

Oikawa washed the dishes robotically and then headed up back to his room and flopped onto his bed, despite his body’s protests. He covered his eyes with the backs of his hands and willed the world to go away.

A few hours later, he was shaken awake by his mother who told him to get ready for Iwaizumi’s departure. Oikawa went through the motions, still numb to what happened earlier in the morning. He ate an early lunch mechanically with his parents, and before he knew it they were all driving down to the airport. The Iwaizumis left early to make sure their son would get there on time.

Their families met on the platform. Oikawa’s parents greeted Iwaizumi’s parents before smothering Iwaizumi in hugs. Iwaizumi’s parents greeted Oikawa and his mother doted on him especially. Iwaizumi’s parents weren’t as touchy-feely as Oikawa’s own, but you could tell they cared immensely.

When his parents pulled away, Oikawa came up to Iwaizumi. Iwaizumi said nothing, but pulled Oikawa into a tender hug.

“We’ll see each other again,” Iwaizumi said with confidence, in a low voice.

Oikawa didn’t respond with words, but he held Iwaizumi tighter and inhaled deeply, trying to trap Iwaizumi’s scent within him.

“All passengers for Hokkaido, please make your way to the boarding station.”

“I guess that’s my cue,” Iwaizumi said, pulling back from the hug.

“Yeah,” Oikawa replied with a watery smile.

“Take care of yourself, Tooru.”

“I’ll try, Hajime.”

Iwaizumi gave one last hug to his parents and waved goodbye before heading off and disappearing into the crowd.

***

After Iwaizumi left, Oikawa felt feverish for a few more days, but it was extremely mild, compared to the day the symptoms first appeared.

Oikawa would mostly laze around and count down the days before he would depart for Tokyo. Occasionally he’d hang out with Matsukawa and Hanamaki, along with his underclassmen. He would text Iwaizumi constantly, barraging him with questions about Hokkaido.

Oikawa lost his appetite for a while after his fever dispelled, and he was overly nauseous. He managed to throw up water.

His mother was concerned he caught some strange new string of stomach flu. But after about a week of puking his guts out every day, Oikawa was better. Some things still set off his nausea, like the smell of arugula for some reason, but as long as he avoided things like that, Oikawa was fine. His father thought that maybe he had developed a sensitive stomach.

Oikawa thought it was stress from losing his best friend, but he didn’t want to question it.

Oikawa found that strange food combinations satisfied him more, and curbed his nausea.

His sister had come to visit for the end of summer and see him off to school, leaving her son and husband back home.

Oikawa had been snacking on some cucumber slices which he dipped in caramel sauce, when his sister walked into kitchen.

She raised an eyebrow at him. “Does that honestly taste any good, Tooru?”

“You wouldn’t understand the finer things in life, nee-chan,” Oikawa sniffed at her. Cucumbers and caramel were the tastiest combination he had found yet.

She rolled her eyes, but sat down across from him. She gave his hair an affectionate ruffle that Oikawa squawked indignantly at.

“Hm, but you know,” his sister began. “I think I ate something like that while I was pregnant with Takeru.”

Oikawa choked around his piece of cucumber, letting those words sink in. Suddenly, something didn’t sit right in him.

He pulled up his memories from the night before Iwaizumi left. He had hidden them away in his forbidden vault along with all the feelings he harbored for his best friend. But as he replayed the scenes from that night, Oikawa realized one crucial thing he had overlooked before. They hadn’t used any protection. And Oikawa didn’t use any form of birth control.

Wait, Oikawa told himself. Male omegas can’t get pregnant unless they’re in heat, the alpha they couple with is in rut, or they’re having claim sex. So I can’t be pregnant!

But this creeping sensation niggled at his mind, like Oikawa was missing something vital. Oikawa looked back to his memories and remembered a crucial point of worry he had before his thoughts had been derailed.

The intense warmth his body was producing, as well as how much slick he was able to produce at very little stimulation had all the characteristics of heat. Oikawa’s mind wasn’t the most clear that night either.

“Tooru? Are you ok? You look really pale.”

“I-I’m fine nee-chan. I think I need to lie down for a bit.”

Oikawa put the caramel and cucumbers away, and went upstairs to his room. He lied on his bed and stared at his ceiling until he heard his parents and sister go out to do some shopping.

Oikawa got up, grabbed his wallet and phone, and headed off to the nearest drugstore. He bought four of the top tier brands of pregnancy tests, and didn’t meet the cashier’s eyes as he paid for them.

He got home and nervously chugged water for an hour. Then he used all four of the tests and paced around his bathroom until the results showed. After enough time had passed, Oikawa steeled himself and looked at the test results.

Positive. Positive. Positive. Positive.

Oikawa stared at the four of them in mounting horror. He reread all their boxes, checking for their levels of effectiveness. When all of them told him he was knocked up completely, he threw the boxes out and then swept the tests into the trash as well. He gathered wads of toilet paper, and covered up the tests with them. Finally, he bagged up the garbage and put it out with the burnables.

He stumbled back into his house and into the bathroom. Oikawa knelt down at the toilet and dry-heaved until tears formed in his eyes.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi tossed back another shot of liquor at the bar. He honestly had no idea what type of alcohol it was, but at this point they all burned his throat the same as they went down.

So he didn’t care. Not about the booze or anything. And definitely not about Oikawa and Seiji.

Iwaizumi took another shot.

“Iwaizumi, I think you should slow down, this isn’t healthy,” Sugawara said from the stool beside him.

Iwaizumi ignored him and downed another.

“Please, Oikawa wouldn’t want to see you destroying yourself like this,” Sugawara urged.

Iwaizumi slammed his shot glass down then.

“What do you know about what Oikawa wants? I don’t even know what Oikawa wants! But obviously it isn’t me, since he fucking just left,” Iwaizumi seethed.

Sugawara recoiled a bit, turning forward to stare sadly into his glass of water.

“Fuck, I-I’m sorry, it’s just,” Iwaizumi sighed. “Everyone’s telling me that drinking got me into this mess in the first place and that Oikawa would be disappointed if he saw me. But what am I supposed to do, huh? Turn over a new leaf and wait for him to come back? Become such an upstanding man that he’ll have to accept me as Seiji’s father? He’s made his decisions very clear, and I have no idea if I can even sway him.”

Sugawara turned to face him with a small smile. “Iwaizumi, I don’t think you need to change anything about yourself. Oikawa obviously feels strongly for you if he feared your reaction so much he ran away twice with Seiji. But if you sit around, he’ll accept that as your decision and interpret it as rejection. What you need to do is go after him.”

Iwaizumi’s eyes widened as he stared at all the shot glasses he had emptied on the bar counter.

“I think I’m ready to leave,” Iwaizumi told him.

Sugawara nodded and smiled fully. “I thought you’d be.”

***

Iwaizumi loaded his duffle bag onto the compartment above his seat on the train.

He had Sugawara take him home from the bar that night, pack enough things for a weekend trip home, and contacted his superiors about getting time off. They were surprisingly accommodating. Iwaizumi had an inkling that Sugawara may have gotten to them first and softened them up for him. Iwaizumi would have to thank him later.

For now, Iwaizumi sat himself down and put in his earbuds to listen to music while the train began moving him from Tokyo to Miyagi.

**Approximately four years ago**

Oikawa stared at his bedroom ceiling. He was supine on his bed, one hand rested on his stomach.

It had been two weeks since he had found out he was pregnant. Oikawa guesstimated that he was about four weeks now and though he wasn’t close to showing, Oikawa had read online that pregnant omegas and betas don’t show until they’re at least twelve weeks, he was overly conscious of what was growing inside him.

Summer was dwindling to a close, and Oikawa was panicking.

Oikawa wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do. He couldn’t tell his parents; they would tell Iwaizumi’s parents and they would tell Iwaizumi and then they would try to keep Oikawa at home while also simultaneously trying to drag Iwaizumi back to Miyagi.

And Oikawa would never forgive himself if he jeopardized Iwaizumi’s future.

But his parents had already noticed something was off about him. Oikawa’s food cravings only became more bizarre, he was starting to experience mood swings, and he took special care around his stomach. It was only a matter of time before they found out.

Oikawa turned his head to look at the walls of his bedroom. His room was decorated and organized pretty simplistically, with only two volley posters adorning it. The only part of his room that wasn’t organized was his star constellation.

Oikawa got up and walked over to the wall he and Iwaizumi had decorated when they were kids. Oikawa thought back to that day with fondness, pudgy fingers pressing as many glow in the dark stars their mothers let them buy on his wall, distributed messily with no design in mind.

“Hajime-chan, it’s just like our own personal galaxy!”

Iwaizumi cocked his head to the side. “I thought this was a constellation though?”

“Then it’ll be a constellation! Our own star system!”

“Baka Tooru, make up your mind already.”

“Meanie Hajime-chan!”

They had stood on stools to give them the added height to place the stars high enough to make them seem up in the sky over their heads. Oikawa and Iwaizumi would then lay down by the star wall and stretch their arms toward the stars. Now, the stars were at Oikawa’s eye level and easily reachable.

Oikawa ran his fingers over the edges of the five-point stars. Then he peeled one off and dropped it to the floor.

Oikawa remembered Iwaizumi’s triumphant smile after every successful spike, every game won. He peeled another star off and dropped it.

Oikawa remembered every creek they jumped over and played in as children; every adventure they went on together in search of beetles and late night escapades hunting for UFOs that left them tired in the morning. He peeled another star.

Oikawa remembered Iwaizumi’s laugh, how it could be little and loud and everything in between, and how no matter what mood Oikawa was in, Iwaizumi’s laugh always made him smile. He heard another plastic star land on the floor with the rest.

Oikawa remembered the day Iwaizumi made him lose feeling in his nose, but also made him feel invincible. Another star was torn from his and Iwaizumi’s ‘sky.’

Oikawa remembered everything that made him fall in love with Iwaizumi and let it go; he took his feelings and let them fall away until there was nothing but scattered stars at his feet.

Then Oikawa was staring at an empty wall. The wall began to blur as tears fell from his eyes.

Oikawa braced a hand against the barren wall and began to sob. He faced the ground covered with his and Iwaizumi’s faded, plastic stars and watched his tears spill onto them.

“I love you,” he whispered to the stars, remnants of his and Iwaizumi’s constellation. “I love you, Hajime.”

The hand Oikawa braced against the wall curled into a fist and he looked forward to the wall, now made a blank slate. His other hand curled into his shirt, just before his stomach.

“But I can’t stay here.”

Oikawa pulled his suitcase from under his bed. He had already begun packing a bit, but now he intended to fill it.

Oikawa went through the entirety of his room, sorting necessities from unnecessary, and packing away as much as he could in a single suitcase for Tokyo.

Once his suitcase was full, Oikawa grabbed his wallet and the extra money he stashed between his stack of old sports magazines.

Before he went out the door, Oikawa wrote a note to his sister explaining as much as he could without giving himself away and asking her to hold off their parents from searching for him. He slipped it under her door, and then Oikawa left his home that night.

***

The overnight train to Tokyo was long, but blissfully empty. There were only a few people, mostly betas, riding with him. Oikawa was able to slip into a light, dreamless sleep during the ride.

It was nearly dawn when Oikawa arrived in Tokyo, so he went into a 24-hour convenience store and bought himself some early breakfast.

He sat at a bench and ate an egg sandwich with some milkbread and barley tea. Then began moving, because he knew better than to stay put outdoors in Tokyo during the last hour of the night.

Oikawa wandered around Tokyo with his suitcase in tow. Walking helped him get his mind off things; if he sat down his worries and doubts would start to creep in on him.

As the sun began to lighten up the sky, Oikawa stumbled upon the entrance to Tokyo University. He stared at the large, ornate gates and wondered if he should withdraw his enrollment.

Could he really do this? In theory he could; his tuition was covered by his sports scholarship, but he’d have to figure something out for housing. He and his parents had planned to scope out apartments next week.

So in reality? Oikawa wasn’t sure he could handle coursework and raising a baby. In addition, he’d need to find a job. And what about volleyball? Surely he couldn’t play while pregnant? Didn’t that mean he was kicked off the team? Then didn’t that make his scholarship null?

Oikawa wasn’t sure what to do, but he felt overwhelmed, so he parked his suitcase against a nearby wall and sank down beside it, hugging his knees. He wasn’t sure how long he stayed like that.

“Hey, are you ok?”

The voice was close, and Oikawa looked up to see a young man with perhaps the messiest hair he had ever seen leaning over him with a worried expression.

Oikawa jerked back, nearly smashing the back of his head against the wall behind him. The man backed off a little.

“Woah, woah, calm down, I won’t hurt you. You look like you’re in pain, and you’re letting out a lot of distress. I could smell it from down the block.”

Oikawa gave a furtive sniff, and realized that his distress was palpable, and practically rolling off him. He could also smell something else…he could smell a…

“Well, I’m fine,” Oikawa bit out. “So you can just leave me alone,” he told the alpha.

“Hey, I’m really trying to help you out. If you stay here, you might attract some serious trouble.”

Oikawa narrowed his eyes. “How do I know you’re not trouble?”

The man sighed. “I guess you don’t. There’s no real way to prove myself to you. But I really do want to make sure you’re alright. Something about your scent…not just the distress…” Suddenly, the man’s eyes widened.

“Hey, are you…pregnant?”

Oikawa froze before his heart sped up in panic.

“Hey, wait, relax, breathe with me,” the alpha knelt down in front of Oikawa, took one of Oikawa’s hands, and placed it on his chest.

“In and out, just like that.”

When Oikawa calmed down he took his hand back. He eyed the alpha warily.

“I suppose I can trust you,” Oikawa conceded. “But why are you being so nice to me?”

The man stood and placed a hand on his chest. “I’m always this kind.”

Oikawa scrunched his nose and the man chuckled.

“Ok, but we really need to get out of here,” the alpha said, offering a hand to Oikawa. “I’m Kuroo, by the way.”

***

Kuroo took Oikawa back to his apartment, which was only about six blocks from campus.

“Pardon the intrusion,” Oikawa called as he walked in.

“It’s fine,” Kuroo said, coming in as well. “I’m the only one who lives here.”

“Oh.” With nothing else to do, Oikawa sat himself at the table after putting his suitcase by the couch.

“You hungry?”

Oikawa shrugged.

“I’ll make you something.”

Kuroo stepped into the kitchen, and Oikawa glanced around from his seat to take in the apartment.

It was a decent size; more than enough for one person, comfortable for two, perhaps a bit much for three. It was fairly plain, but Oikawa accounted that for the fact that Kuroo must have moved in only recently. There was a picture up on the top of a bookshelf by the TV. From what Oikawa could see, it was a younger Kuroo with another black haired boy, who had stick-straight, shoulder length hair and a bored expression.

“I made you a sandwich and some rice balls,” Kuroo said, coming back from the kitchen and setting the plates in front of Oikawa. Kuroo took a seat beside him.

“Thank you for the food,” Oikawa said, picking up a rice ball and gnawing on it slowly. He was overly conscious of Kuroo watching him, almost like the way a cat would.

“I thought you looked familiar,” Kuroo hummed after a while. “You’re Oikawa Tooru, right? Best setter in the Miyagi prefecture.”

“Mm, yeah,” Oikawa mumbled around a bite. “You like volleyball?”

“Never thought I’d be able to meet you. I’m a middle-blocker and former captain of Nekoma high school.”

“Oh, well, I’m the former captain of Aoba Jousai, nice to meet you as well,” Oikawa said, picking up a sandwich slice.

Kuroo nodded. “I’m guessing you’re going to attend Tokyo University too?”

Oikawa nodded, but kept eating.

“Excellent. I looked forward to playing with you,” Kuroo said with a sharp smile.

Oikawa finished his slice but didn’t pick up more food. He stared at the plate, eyes roving over the other sandwich slice and two rice balls.

“I…I’m not sure I can.”

“Why do you say that?” Kuroo asked.

“Because I’m…” Oikawa began, but couldn’t finish.

“Pregnant,” Kuroo said for him.

“Yeah…”

“What exactly are you worried about?” Kuroo asked him.

“This baby is going to grow inside me, right? How will that affect me in school? And soon I won’t be able to play. What am I supposed to do? I don’t even have a place to live.”

Kuroo eyed him for a long moment. “Have you considered abortion?”

Oikawa stared at him. Honestly, he hadn’t. His whole mind since he found out had been a mess of Don’t let Iwa-chan find out and Don’t let anyone find out. He supposed that somewhere within him, he had already decided to keep the baby without letting his conscious really know. But if he really thought about it…

This baby was a piece of Hajime. And of himself. In one person. And there was no way Oikawa could get rid of that. Yes, he had let go of his feelings for Iwaizumi, but maybe, just maybe he could keep this. He felt he deserved some sort of consolation for giving up his love.

Oikawa shook his head.

“Alright,” Kuroo said. “Will you give the baby away?”

Oikawa thought about it, but not for long. “I…don’t want to.”

“Ok then. We’ll figure things out from here. A baby won’t stop you from getting an education, it hasn’t stopped others from doing so, and it definitely won’t stop you if you’re as tenacious as they say. As for housing, you can stay here with me. If you don’t mind that is. And about volleyball, talk to the coach and take it from there. But don’t give up without trying.”

Oikawa’s eyes widened. He wasn’t aware that he had. But now he realized that he did, at least somewhat.

“…Thank you,” he told Kuroo. “But I can’t pay for rent.”

“It’s fine. I was going to live here alone and cover the rent myself. There’s room here for you and your spare tire.”

Oikawa glared weakly at the mention of ‘spare tire,’ but decided to eat instead of grace Kuroo with a response.

“I’m going to head out and do some errands. When you’re finished eating, help yourself to a shower, bathroom is down the hall to the left.”

***

Oikawa felt fresh as he emerged through the steam of the shower. He had brushed his teeth as well, and nearly felt like a new man.

Oikawa only wished the past could be washed away so easily. Even so, he was determined to make the most out of his situation.

Oikawa plopped down on the couch and set to drying his hair. He wondered if he should check his phone, but he thought against it.

For now, he’d relax.

Kuroo came back with a haul of groceries. He gave a nod of acknowledgment to Oikawa and started putting them away. When Oikawa finished towel-drying his hair, Kuroo was seemingly done with the groceries and came over to him.

“Here,” Kuroo said, offering him a bottle of something.

Oikawa took it and saw that they were prenatal vitamins.

“Seriously,” Oikawa said, looking up at Kuroo. “Why are you being so nice to me?”

Kuroo shrugged with a half-smile. “I can’t leave people alone, I guess.”

***

Oikawa had been with living with Kuroo for a week and felt comfortably settled. He had unpacked in the other bedroom which had already been furnished with a bed. When Oikawa asked Kuroo as to why there was one, Kuroo had replied that it was meant for guests but now it was meant for Oikawa.

Oikawa had managed not to look at his phone during the week in Tokyo as well.

Oikawa didn’t want to think about it. He would much rather think about classes starting next week, the coach he’d need to talk to, and the job he’d have to find.

Oikawa curled up on the couch and sipped his tea. It soothed him, if only a little. Just as Oikawa was about to take another sip, the front door slammed open, jolting him in his seat.

“BRO! I moved in! And I’m only four blocks away!” A loud boisterous alpha man exclaimed in the doorway.

Oikawa stared at him with a loss of what to do.

Receiving no response, the man looked around until his eyes fell on a frozen Oikawa.

“Huh? What? I know I got the right apartment… Wait, it has to be, or the key Kuroo gave me wouldn’t have worked!”

As if being summoned by his name, Kuroo walked in, grumpy from being woken from his nap.

“Oikawa, the hell was that noise?”

“Um,” was all Oikawa could get in before the loud man began shouting again.

“Bro, what’s going on? You’re seeing someone? What about Kenma?”

Oikawa mentally stored the name ‘Kenma’ away for later as he watched Kuroo scowl at the man who barged in.

“First off, I told you to text or call me if you ever come over. Bro, I love you, but just because you have a key doesn’t mean you can come in any time you want. I was sleeping. Second, I’m not ‘seeing’ anyone. This is my roommate, Oikawa Tooru. He’ll be attending school with us next week, as well as be on the team. Greet him properly.”

“WOAH, you’re the infamous Oikawa Tooru! Best setter in Japan! You’re going to school with us!? And on the same team!? Amazing! I’m Bokuto Koutarou!”

“Erm, it’s a pleasure…” Oikawa replied.

“You’re overwhelming him, bro. Lay off,” Kuroo told Bokuto.

“Whoops, sorry. Can I sit next to you?” Bokuto asked as Kuroo yawned and went into the kitchen.

“Sure,” Oikawa said, taking another sip of tea.

“Smells sweet, what are you drinking?”

“Just some tea,” Oikawa responded.

“Huh, tea isn’t supposed to smell sweet,” Bokuto mused, sniffing around. Then he reared back. “You’re what smells sweet! I thought only pregnant people smelled like that!”

“Well, I am pregnant,” Oikawa said without looking at him. There was really no use in lying.

Suddenly, Oikawa’s tea was snatched from him. He turned an accusing eye to Bokuto.

“No, no, no, no, no, caffeine is bad for babies!”

Oikawa snatched the tea back. “I’ll have you know this is herbal tea, which is naturally caffeine free, thank you very much! I’m not an idiot.”

“Oh, sorry ‘bout that,” Bokuto said abashed.

Oikawa sighed. “It’s fine.” Then he paused. “Wait. Don’t you care that I’m pregnant or curious as to why I am?” Kuroo had been good about giving Oikawa his space so far, but Bokuto seemed really nosy.

“Not really? Your body, your rules. You wanna be pregnant, then go for it! Just make sure to take care of yourself,” Bokuto responded with a broad smile.

“Oh,” Oikawa said, stunned.

Kuroo walked back in with a cup of coffee. “You’re gonna help me look after him, bro.”

“Yeah!” Bokuto agreed.

Oikawa blushed as he took another sip of tea.

***

Bokuto was around so often it was like having a third roommate. But Oikawa didn’t mind, for as loud and disruptive as Bokuto was, he was a sweet and earnest friend who basically leaped at any opportunity to help Oikawa and make him more comfortable.

Kuroo also helped Oikawa out, but he was more aware of Oikawa’s personal space and subtle about taking care of him. Which worked out much better for Oikawa because Kuroo was the one he was living with.

Their dynamic followed them to campus as well.

Oikawa was nervous to start classes, but at about six weeks, he wasn’t close to showing. He was mostly nervous about meeting the coach and his new team, and what he’d have to tell them.

But he was glad to have Kuroo and Bokuto by his side. They didn’t have all the same classes, really, they only shared this mandatory freshman course, but every break they spent together, and soon it was time to gear up for the court.

Oikawa was changed into workout gear and stood nervously with Bokuto and Kuroo flanking him in the gym.

“Don’t worry, I heard the coach is really nice,” Kuroo assured him.

“Really? I heard the coach was straight from hell,” Bokuto said.

Oikawa audibly gulped and Kuroo shot Bokuto a glare.

“Relax, Oikawa. If you feel overwhelmed, let me know, and I’ll take you to the infirmary,” Kuroo said.

“O-Okay,” Oikawa answered.

More people began trickling into the gym, presumably teammates. Oikawa tried to take stock of each new face.

Finally, a woman who appeared to be in her mid-thirties stepped onto the court. She exuded alpha authority so pungent everyone flinched.

“Welcome to the court new recruits. My name is Miyamoto Kana. I’ll be your coach. The returning members are taking a break today. You’ll meet them tomorrow. Today will be a short practice to assess your abilities and figure out where to place you in terms of the team. Understood?”

“Yes, ma’am!” everyone called out and shuffled to get the volleyballs and net out.

Kuroo and Bokuto nudged Oikawa towards Miyamoto before heading to the storage room built into the wall of the gym. Oikawa steeled his nerves and went up to her.

“Excuse me, coach?” Oikawa tried to flash her his award-winning smile, but he was far too nervous for anything more than the frail grin he gave her.

She turned towards him and practically beamed. “Oikawa Tooru! I’ve been eagerly awaiting your arrival. I can’t wait to see you on the court.”

“Um, about that, may I talk to you in private please?”

Her expression fell to match the mood. She turned to the rest of the team.

“Oi, start warming up! We’re stepping out for a bit. And if I come back and see any slackers, you’re doing flying falls, the lot of you!”

There was a chorus of “Yes, ma’am!” as she led Oikawa out of the gym.

“Alright, what’s eating you?” Miyamoto asked him.

“Um, well, I’m pregnant,” Oikawa mumbled. “And I’m not sure what this means for me in terms of playing.”

Miyamoto was shocked to say the least, but quickly schooled her expression and sighed. “Shit, kid, how did you get yourself into this mess?”

Oikawa didn’t answer, but he looked away and grabbed arms, closing himself off.

“That was a little insensitive of me, sorry,” Miyamoto apologized. “Lucky for you, the timing of this is pretty good all things considered. How far along are you?”

“About six weeks.”

“First thing you’re going to do is get yourself checked out by a doctor. Ask the doctor how long you can play for and at what intensity during different stages of your pregnancy. We’ll base your training regimen on that. And I want to see the doctor’s report, so no lying to me. I had already planned to make you reserve setter, and I intend to keep you that way, but I may need to make a setter lineup who can swap out with you if I see you straining yourself. When it becomes impossible for you to play, you’re going to join me on the bench and help me analyze other teams and come up with plays. Understood?”

“Ah, yes,” Oikawa said. “So, I…get to stay on the team?”

“Of course. This will impede you for less than a year, and it’s your first year. I have a lot of things planned and I’ll be damned if I let go of the great Oikawa Tooru from my team that easy,” Miyamoto said with a big grin. “Now, you should be fine to practice as normal today. But if anything feels weird or bad, stop immediately and let me know. Also, we’ll need to make the term aware of your condition, but that can wait until later. For now, get back out on the court.”

Oikawa smiled. “Yes, ma’am!”

***

Oikawa and Kuroo came home sore from a satisfying day of practice. Kuroo told Oikawa to hop in the shower first, and once he was done, Kuroo went in. While Kuroo was in the bathroom, Oikawa unearthed his phone to call the hospital for an appointment. He was greeting with a barrage of missed calls and messages. Most of them were from his sister.

I’ve held off mom and dad like you asked me to. Now where are you??

Tooru, please, we just want to know that you’re safe.

Why did you run off? Are you still going to go to Tokyo U?

Dad wants to search for you and mom wants to file a police report. I’ve managed to convince them otherwise, but please Tooru, you have to pick up or answer a message. They’re losing their minds with worry.

I’m going to find you myself if you don’t answer. Tooru!

The Iwaizumis know something is up. They’re going to tell Hajime when he comes home, I’m sure of it. I know he’s the last person you want to know about whatever is going on with you, so I’m just warning you.

Tooru, Takeru wants to make a search team comprised of himself, my husband, and dad. I’ve distracted him, but you can’t hide forever.

Tooru, please, we won’t ask anymore of you, only that you’re safe. Please just shoot us a text.

Tooru, you know that I love you and I want you to be safe more than anything right now, but as soon as I see you, I’m going to wring your neck.

Matsukawa and Hanamaki stopped by. I had no idea what to say, so now they know something’s going on too. But I told them to leave you alone for now with the promise that I’d update them when I hear from you. So give me something to update them with.

Tooru. Just send us anything so that we know you’re alive. Mom’s on the verge of a mental breakdown and dad’s ready to tear Japan apart to find you. Takeru has been having nightmares about you disappearing. My husband wants to hire a private investigator. Tooru, I’m…barely holding it together. Please, give us anything to put our hope in.

Oikawa didn’t have the heart to listen to the voicemails. His eyes were already wet, and he could barely make out the blurry kanji as he texted his sister the words, ‘I’m safe.’ Then he shut off his phone and curled into bed.

***

The rest of the week went more or less the same as the first day with the addition of the regular members at practice. When the weekend came, Oikawa walked into the hospital hoping they would take him for a checkup without an appointment. They seemed resistant, but as soon as Oikawa uttered ‘pregnant’ they changed their tune. After an invasive doctor’s visit and wasting the last of his money on a prenatal prescription, Oikawa was given the all clear to practice given that he didn’t pushed himself and ate from the recommended list of foods. Kuroo stole that list when Oikawa came home and made it his shopping list.

A few weeks went by the same as well. Oikawa thought he could get used to this normalcy, but one weekend there came a knock at their door.

Kuroo had gone out with Bokuto earlier that day. They invited Oikawa to come along, but Oikawa felt too fatigued for it.

A number of people who could be at the door raced through his mind, and all prospects set a pit in his stomach. When the knocking became more insistent, Oikawa resigned himself to fate and answered the door.

“Finally, Kuroo, it always takes you forever to answer the door, and…you’re not Kuroo.”

Oikawa found himself looking down at a shorter boy, with badly bleached shoulder-length hair. He looked vaguely familiar, though Oikawa knew he had never met him before.

“Kuroo went out with Bokuto earlier. Would you like to come in?”

The boy nodded and walked in, seating himself on the couch. Then he pulled out a portable game console and began playing.

Oikawa wasn’t sure how to respond to that so he went into his room. After about an hour, Oikawa checked on him. The boy hadn’t moved an inch.

Thankfully, Kuroo came home just then with Bokuto behind him.

“Kenma,” Kuroo called in surprise.

So this was Kenma, the childhood friend he mentioned from time to time. Oikawa now realized that Kenma was the black haired child from the photo he saw the day he met Kuroo.

“Hey, hey, it’s good to see you!” Bokuto exclaimed. “How’s Nekoma doing?”

“Nekoma is the same as ever,” Kenma replied. “Kuroo, I didn’t know you had a roommate,” Kenma said, tone just shy of accusatory.

“Oh, it just kind of happened last minute.”

“Hm.”

“Well, anyway, this is Oikawa. You recognize him, right?”

“I do,” Kenma said, eyes shifting to the man in question. “I just didn’t expect him to be living with you. Or pregnant for that matter. Is it your doing?”

You could hear a pin drop in the silence that ensued. Oikawa was flabbergasted, Bokuto was reeling from shock, and Kuroo looked livid.

“Kenma, apologize now. What you said was completely rude to Oikawa.”

Kenma looked like he wanted to argue, but changed his mind seeing Kuroo’s expression. He turned to Oikawa.

“Sorry,” Kenma muttered, and before he could turn away, Oikawa caught a sliver of hurt in his eyes.

Kuroo must have noticed it too, because he sighed and said, “Come on Kenma. I’ll take you out for some apple pie and we’ll talk.”

Kenma nodded and with that they left, leaving Bokuto and Oikawa alone in the apartment.

Bokuto turned to Oikawa excitedly. “Oikawa, wanna hear a story!?”

***

After hearing about ten different, full-length tales about some guy named Akaashi, Oikawa was ready to stab and scoop his eyes out with sporks. Though he supposed that wouldn’t help with his dilemma, he’d have to do something about his ears…

Oikawa heard the front door unlocked and thanked the gods Kuroo came home to end his suffering.

Kuroo had apparently explained everything about their current situation to Kenma and then saw him home.

“He told me to tell you that he really was sorry for his behavior earlier Oikawa. Now that he understands, he’s calmed down.”

“Ah, it’s fine. I understand why he’d be upset. You two are together, right?”

Kuroo looked puzzled. “No, we’re not.”

Now Oikawa was confused. But before he could inquire more about their relationship, Kuroo started kicking Bokuto out.

“Bro, go home. Oikawa’s worn out, what the hell did you do to him?”

“Nothing! I just told him a couple of stories about Akaashi and—”

Kuroo groaned. “Oikawa, you’ve put on a brave face for long enough. Go take a nap, you deserve it.”

Oikawa did feel a little drowsy. He went to take a nap as Kuroo and Bokuto kept squabbling, forgetting his misgivings about Kuroo and Kenma’s ‘friendship.’

***

A few weeks later Oikawa started to show. The bump was small, but it was noticeable in Oikawa’s tighter shirts, so he put those away and started wearing looser shirts to hide it during classes.

Of course, Kuroo and Bokuto noticed it, and Kuroo smiled while Bokuto jumped up and down.

And there was really no hiding it from the team, so Oikawa went to tell Miyamoto in the morning and by practice she assembled the team to let them know about Oikawa. They took it surprisingly well. If anything there was concern on their faces for him, but Miyamoto assured them that she had planned all precautions for Oikawa.

And life carried on. Oikawa turned his phone back on and was thankful that the only new message he had was a ‘Thank you’ from his sister. But that didn’t last for long. A few days later, he received texts again. This time, he received them as they were sent.

Shit, I think Hajime came home. I’m going to check.

He did come home. And his parents told him you went MIA. Tooru, I’ve never seen him this upset.

He’s so angry. He looks ready to tear a whole human in half. He’s talking to mom and dad right now.

He’s pulling his phone out. I think he’s going to call you. Tooru, I’d try to stop him, but I’m scared. Be prepared.

As soon as Oikawa finished reading that text, his phone began ringing and Iwaizumi’s caller ID flashed across the screen. Oikawa panicked, and buried his phone under his pillow. After ten straight minutes of consistent calls, the phone went silent. For about a second, before it began pinging incessantly with message after message. Oikawa kept his phone under his pillow that whole day and night, unchecked ringing and pings putting him to sleep.

The next day was silent, save for one new message from his sister.

That was…intense. Hajime went back home, and I’m going home too. Tooru, please tell me where you call home now? I promise I won’t tell anyone else but I need to see you. Are you ok?

Oikawa bit his lip. He knew his sister wouldn’t lie to him. After deep consideration, he shot a text to his sister giving her the address to his and Kuroo’s apartment, and put his phone away again.

***

For the next week, like clockwork, Oikawa received calls and texts from Iwaizumi every day and night.

Iwaizumi had already gone back to school, but Oikawa should have known that wouldn’t perturb him. Iwaizumi was anything if not stubborn. They both were. And Oikawa was determined not to listen or read whatever Iwaizumi had to say.

Even so, the stress of evading Iwaizumi was taking its toll on Oikawa. Oikawa would lie awake at night and watch his phone continuously receive calls. Every text notification had him jumping during the day.

Kuroo had taken notice. He lived with Oikawa after all, could see the dark circles developing under Oikawa’s eyes and the anxiousness he always had when handling his phone. And close to the end of the week, he couldn’t stand it anymore.

After another call rang for the umpteenth time, Kuroo snatched the phone from Oikawa and took out the battery.

“We’re getting this deactivated and buying you a new phone this weekend. Don’t even try to argue, you know all this stress is bad for the baby.”

Oikawa was silent for a long time before he nodded in agreement.

***

More weeks passed, and Oikawa was officially benched. He could still do some light practice and conditioning, but he could no longer play at the intensity needed for matches.

But even so, he did his best to help Miyamoto orchestrate the team and analyze plays from rival schools. She complimented his skills, and Oikawa felt proud despite not being able to stand on the court.

One weekend when Oikawa was determined to do nothing but sleep like the dead, loud banging at the door woke him up. It was early morning, close to dawn, and Oikawa was scared they were going to get robbed.

Kuroo peeked into his room.

“Oikawa, wait here, I’m going to see who’s at the door. If things start sounding bad, I want you to call the police.”

Oikawa nodded and clutched his phone like a lifeline. He heard the door open and low words being exchanged, but he couldn’t make out the conversation. Oikawa crept closer to his own door in hopes of hearing better.

He could identify the person Kuroo was talking to as a woman. An ex…? But her voice sounded familiar.

Oikawa carefully opened his door to attempt a sneak look at who was at the door. However, the person was too small to be seen around Kuroo’s frame in the doorway.

“Like I said Himari-san, he’s –”

Himari? Oikawa stepped completely out of his room and towards the doorway.

“Nee-chan?”

Kuroo turned back towards him, giving full view of who was in the doorway. Seeing her thick, brunette curls and big brown eyes much like his own, Oikawa confirmed his older sister was here.

Said sister stared at him in shock before narrowing her eyes and stalking towards him.

“Tooru! I’ve been calling and texting you nonstop! Why haven’t you answered!?”

“Oh, er, I kind of got a new phone…”

“And you didn’t think to tell me!?”

“Sorry! I’m sorry nee-chan, it just happened.” Lately things had been ‘just happening’ so fast Oikawa felt like he was getting whiplash.

Himari reached for him, and Oikawa instinctively flinched, but found himself in a warm embrace.

“I was so worried about you! I’m so glad you’re ok.” Her voice was thick with emotion.

Oikawa melted into the hug, returning it and pressing into the comfort of his sister’s body. He missed her.

But as soon as he did so, she pulled away. Himari looked at him with wide eyes. Her gaze dropped to his stomach.

Oikawa felt like someone had replaced all of his blood with ice.

“Tooru…you…”

Oikawa’s eyes filled with hot tears, and he tried valiantly to not let them fall.

“I’m stepping out for some errands,” Kuroo’s voice cut in. Oikawa knew full well that Kuroo had no place to be, on an early Saturday morning no less, but he was grateful to him for giving him and his sister their privacy.

When Kuroo left, the floodgate broke and Oikawa sobbed loudly as his tears trickled down his face. Wordlessly, Himari took hold of him again and dragged him back until they could sit on the couch. There, she rocked him in her arms and whispered soothing words in response to his sobs.

After ten minutes, Oikawa was able to calm down enough for coherent speech. Himari spoke first.

“Tooru, how did this happen?” she asked in a soft, concerned voice.

Oikawa shook his head. “I can’t–” his voice caught on a sob and he couldn’t continue.

“Ok,” Himari soothed. “Ok.”

They stayed like that in silence for another twenty minutes.

“Are you hungry?” his sister asked.

Truthfully, he wasn’t. But he knew he had to eat for the baby. So he nodded.

“What are you in the mood for?”

“Miso.” Oikawa thought soup would be easy on his palette.

Himari extracted herself from him and let Oikawa flop on the couch as she set to work cooking breakfast. Thirty minutes later she called him to the table.

They ate in silence as well. Once they were done, Himari gathered the plates and washed them.

“Hajime came home last weekend,” Himari began conversationally.

“Did he?” Oikawa asked. He knew that if he didn’t take the bait now, his sister would force him to eventually.

“He wanted updates on your status, but we didn’t have any, just that we knew you were safe. I could tell that relieved him, but he still wanted to know more, you know. He stayed over and just kept calling you. Apparently he’s been calling you every day?”

Oikawa nodded.

“I think that day was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He was getting more agitated after every ignored call. Finally, he threw his phone at the wall so hard he broke it, then apologized to mom and dad and stalked home. He left for school again in the morning.”

Oikawa didn’t know how to feel about what his sister told him. Part of him was relieved that Iwaizumi had finally given up. But another, bigger part of him felt inexplicably lonely.

“I see,” was all Oikawa could manage.

Himari came to his side, squeezed his shoulder and pressed a kiss to the top of his head. Oikawa felt tears well up in his eyes again.

***

Himari stayed over that weekend and tiptoed around the subject of Oikawa’s pregnancy, opting to ask how Oikawa’s life was doing in general and letting him pick the topics to discuss, like school and volleyball. The only time she brought the subject back up was as she left.

“I’m going to visit once a month ok? And now that I have your new number, I expect you to answer me,” Himari said sternly.

“I got it, I got it,” Oikawa said with a laugh. “Thank you for visiting me nee-chan.”

“Of course,” Himari said with a warm smile. “Also, I have Takeru’s crib, baby clothes, and some toys in storage. I’m going to double check, and go through to see if they’re still good. I’ll let you know, ok?”

“Ok.”

“I love you Tooru, please take care.”

“I love you too, nee-chan.” With that, they hugged once more and Himari returned home.

***

Oikawa’s pregnancy was impossible to hide now. And it was impossible to hide from the whispers and rumors too.

“Hey, isn’t that…”

“I heard he…”

Oikawa wanted to sink into the floor with every step he had to make down the hall to his next class. It wasn’t too bad, generally people kept their distance, as if they thought pregnancy was a contagious disease, and they kept their conspiracies to a minimum around him. But sometimes…

“How many do you think he’s slept with?”

“Has to be in the double digits.”

“Think he’s sleeping with the volleyball team now?”

“Wouldn’t put it past him. He definitely doesn’t have to worry about protection now.”

“Doesn’t look like he worried about it before either.”

Oikawa wished Kuroo and Bokuto got out of class sooner so he wouldn’t have to sit alone and listen to this as he ate. The assholes weren’t even attempting to conceal their words.

Soon enough, Kuroo and Bokuto joined him, and Oikawa felt a little more at ease.

“Which one do you think he’s fucking with?”

“I heard he lives with the black-haired one.”

“Think he’s the baby daddy too?”

“Sugar daddy sounds more appropriate.”

Oikawa did his best to ignore by giving all his attention to his food. But in doing so, he didn’t notice Bokuto getting increasingly riled up by their conversation until Bokuto got up from the table and stomped over to them.

“Hey, hey, hey, you should really watch what you say.” Bokuto growled the last part menacingly. He started rolling his sleeves and clenching his hands into fists.

A hand on his shoulder stopped him. Bokuto turned to see Kuroo had joined him.

“Don’t waste your time on these guys, bro. They’re just jealous because this is the only way they can get Oikawa’s attention.” Kuroo leered at them.

The two of them reddened and turned to leave, muttering indecent remarks as they went.

Oikawa smiled as he finished his food. He was happy to have made good friends like Bokuto and Kuroo.

***

As the weeks and his pregnancy progressed, Oikawa found that even when Kuroo or Bokuto couldn’t join him down the hall or for lunch, he was met with at least two of his teammates. All of them tried to be nonchalant about ‘running into him,’ but Oikawa quickly caught on that his whole team was trying to protect him from bullying.

Oikawa was happy, and knew that when he returned to the court he could trust his teammates to support him.

***

Kenma started coming to their apartment more often. It had started with him stating that he was going to tour their campus and take the entrance exam, but he soon started showing up regularly.

Kenma was slowly opening up to Oikawa. Oikawa found him endearing in his shy awkwardness, and sometimes he would catch Kenma looking at him with something he liked to akin with respect.

The two of them were sitting on the couch together, Oikawa seated on one side reading his textbook, and Kenma sprawled on the other side, back rested against Oikawa’s side, playing a video game.

Suddenly, Oikawa flinched. Sharp pain radiated in his abdomen.

Kenma turned to look at him. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s nothing,” Oikawa assured him. “Baby’s just being really active right now.”

Kenma turned his attention to Oikawa’s stomach. “The baby’s kicking?”

“Yep. Baby’s a strong one too.” Like Iwaizumi.

Kenma stared at his stomach so long Oikawa felt like fidgeting. Finally, he spoke up.

“…Can I feel?”

Oikawa blinked, a little shocked at the request, but pleased that Kenma wanted to interact with him and the baby.

“Sure! Here,” Oikawa took Kenma’s hand and placed it on the spot the baby was kicking repeatedly.

Kenma felt the kicks and his eyes widened, taking on a quality that Oikawa could only describe as wonderment. As Kenma continued to receive the baby’s kicks, he mouthed ‘Wow…’

Oikawa giggled at Kenma’s expression, but his mood turned somber when he thought about what Iwaizumi’s expression might have been if he was the one feeling their baby instead.

***

Oikawa was now bedridden and sour. He felt like a beached whale.

His sister had come and taken leave from work to look after him at all times. Because any day now, the baby could be born.

His professors had been surprisingly accommodating, emailing him assignments, lecture notes, and extra materials. His coach emailed videos of practices and games. Kuroo and Bokuto snapchatted him constantly about the outside world he was missing.

Still Oikawa was going stir crazy being cooped up at home.

Oikawa had regularly seen the doctor throughout the course of his pregnancy and at the last appointment where they told him to stay on bedrest, they said everything was progressing smoothly. Still, Oikawa wanted the baby out already. Maybe he should take up yoga.

Oikawa was propped up in bed reading a book while his sister watched k-dramas on TV in the living room.

The baby had been kicking all day. Hard. Oikawa thought the baby was sick of being cooped in him too, with the thrashing he felt from within. These kicks were stronger than any he felt before, and his lower body was basically numb with pain. But Oikawa had endured and ignored a lot of pain before, and he could continue to do so now.

As Oikawa reached to turn to the next page of his book, he felt a wet sensation. He groaned. The baby must have kicked his bladder. Again. But as Oikawa shifted, he realized the liquid came from elsewhere. With horrifying realization, he knew what this liquid was. And then he screamed.

Himari frantically burst into his room.

“What’s wrong!?”

“I-I think my water just broke…”

“WHAT!?” Himari ripped off his bedsheets and took in the liquid that stained the bed. “How could you not realize you were having contractions!?”

“I don’t know, I thought the baby was just kicking really hard and ignored it!”

“TOORU!”

“I’m sorry!” Oikawa’s voice was edged with panic and his eyes brimmed with tears and fear.

“Ok, ok, breathe and calm down, it’s ok, you’re going to be ok, let’s get you to the hospital.”

***

Oikawa was on the verge of a breakdown in the delivery room.

“I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this, why did I think I could do this.”

“Tooru, relax, you’ll be fine,” his sister said as she held his hand. Kuroo and Bokuto were waiting outside.

Oikawa looked at her with wild eyes. “I’m scared. Nee-chan, I’m so scared.”

“Everyone is. I was frightened to death when I was giving birth to Takeru. Is this going to turn out ok, is my baby going to be alright, will I be a good mother, will I let my baby down, I thought all these things and more. But when it comes down to it, you just have to jump and hope for the best. Tooru, you’re strong. If anyone can do this, you can. And you aren’t alone. You have me, your friends, and so many more people who support you.”

“I want Hajime,” Oikawa whimpered. He broke into a full wail. “I want Hajime here with me!”

Himari held him close and shushed him to soothe his nerves.

Soon, the doctor and nurses came in.

“I hope you’re ready to push sweetie,” one of them said to him.

Whether he was ready or not, Oikawa did as told and pushed when prompted. He tried breathing deep, but it was really wheezes between his hysterical crying. His sister held his hand tight and used her free hand to pet his hair and brush sweaty bangs from his face.

There came a loud, piercing cry. Oikawa thought he had finally tipped to the point of madness and lunacy, but his sister gasped by his side and he looked up to see the doctors holding up what looked like a small, bloody, crying shape. He could only guess that was his baby. But he didn’t have time to dwell on it. He had to push more to rid the afterbirth, and his baby was soon taken away.

Oikawa wanted to ask where they were taking his child, but blackness overtook him instead.

***

Oikawa woke up to his sister’s humming. He blearily opened his eyes to see her sitting at his bedside sifting through an old magazine full of stale gossip.

“Nee-chan?” he croaked.

“Oh Tooru, you’re up.” She put the magazine aside and smiled softly at him.

“What happened?”

“You fainted after you pushed the placenta out.”

“Oh,” Oikawa replied. A beat. “Where…?”

Himari’s smile grew bigger. “Give me one second.”

Himari got up and went to the other side of the room. There, Oikawa saw her reach into what looked like a plastic bin. Belatedly Oikawa realized it was a small plastic crib, like the ones placed in rows in the large 'baby room' where most babies were placed after being born. She cooed as she lifted up what was inside.

Himari returned to his bedside and gently placed the blanketed bundle in Oikawa’s arms.

And Oikawa felt the world slow and his heart swell as his stared at the most beautiful thing his eyes had ever seen.

“Congratulations,” his sister said. “It’s a boy. …At least until he decides what he wants to identify as. For now we’ll call him a boy.”

Oikawa chuckled. “He’s so perfect…”

“He looks just like you Tooru. You’re so lucky, Takeru only looks like his dad…”

Oikawa laughed at his sister’s audible pout. “Nee-chan, he’s a newborn baby. He doesn’t look like anything except squishy.” But Oikawa could already see the scrunch of his baby’s nose like his own and the furrow of his brows like Iwaizumi’s.

Oikawa realized it was far too silent and peaceful. “Hey, where are Kuroo and Bokuto?”

“Oh, they stepped out to –”

“SURPRISE!” Kuroo and Bokuto yelled as they burst through the door of his hospital room. Bokuto was throwing confetti left and right while Kuroo carried in a large balloon arrangement with the biggest balloon stating, ‘It’s a Boy!’

Oikawa laughed and his baby fussed in his arms. Oikawa looked down to see him making a carbon copy frown of Iwaizumi’s. Oikawa laughed some more, though his eyes felt a little wet.

Himari giggled with him. Kuroo and Bokuto came over to ‘ooo’ and ‘aww’ over the baby, each poking at his cheeks.

A nurse came in to check up on Oikawa and started scolding Bokuto and Kuroo for scattering confetti everywhere and making a mess. They began sweeping all the little pieces up.

“Tooru, he needs a name,” Himari reminded him.

Oikawa looked down at his son and remembered some of the best memories he made with Iwaizumi. He remembered expanding his network of close friends upon meeting Hanamaki and Matsukawa. He remembered constructing the most perfect, well-orchestrated team he could have ever come up with.

“Seiji.”

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi was greeted by a familiar face when he got off the train at the Miyagi platform, though it wasn’t quite the face he wanted to see. Nevertheless, he was happy, because he missed her.

His mother smiled up at him and took him into her arms.

“Welcome home, Hajime.”

Iwaizumi returned the hug firmly. “I’m back, Kaa-san.”

When they pulled away, she cupped Iwaizumi’s face.

“Look at you! You’re so thin! And you look so tired! You look almost as old as your father! Is everything alright?”

Iwaizumi contemplated lying, but he knew his mother would see right through him. But so much had happened in the months he was in Tokyo, he wasn’t sure where to begin.

“Not exactly,” Iwaizumi sighed, deciding to start there.

Concern covered his mother’s face. “Alright then. Let’s get you home, and we can talk about this over a cup of tea.”

***

The nostalgic scent of incense that his mother always lit filled Iwaizumi’s nose and made him feel at home as soon as he walked through the front door.

“Your father isn’t home yet,” his mother called from the kitchen, having raced over there to start boiling water. “Go drop your things off in your room, and then come back out here, Hajime.”

Iwaizumi took his shoes off at the entryway and made his way upstairs to the tune of his mother’s humming. Shouldering the door open, he went into his bedroom and dropped his duffle bag by his bed. His bed was pristinely made, courtesy of his mother no doubt, and there wasn’t a speck of dust in his room.

Iwaizumi looked everything over; nothing had changed since his last home visit, but something out of place caught his eye. Iwaizumi went over to a bookcase where an assortment of picture frames stood. He saw a picture of himself and his parents, pictures of birthdays, and coming of age ceremonies. One frame was face down.

Iwaizumi picked it up and saw that the glass was cracked. It was the only part of his room that had dust, the shape of a rectangle on the spot where the frame had been placed face down on the bookshelf.

Well, not so much ‘placed’ as ‘smashed.’

Iwaizumi remembered slamming this photo down years ago with a wince.

Iwaizumi stormed into his house, clutching his newly broken phone in his hand, seething with rage. His mother came up to him, concerned.

“Hajime, what’s wrong?!”

“He won’t answer! I call him, I call him whenever I can, but there isn’t a single response!”

“Is this about Tooru? I’m sure it’ll be fine, just please calm down, Tooru will come around—”

“NO!” Iwaizumi whirled on her, and his mother flinched. He felt bad, but he really couldn’t keep his temper in at this point. “I’m done. I’m done with him avoiding me, I’m done with him not talking to me, and I’m done with all his bullshit.

Iwaizumi took the stairs two at a time to get to his room and stalked over to his bookshelf. He stared down at the picture of himself and Oikawa when they were six. Oikawa had an arm slung over his shoulders, caught mid-laugh. Iwaizumi was ducked a little, grinning wide. One of the reasons Iwaizumi loved this photo was because at this time Oikawa had lost one of his front teeth and had refused to smile at all until the new one grew back. But Iwaizumi was still able to make him smile despite that, and it made him proud.

Iwaizumi turned the photo down on his bookshelf with so much force the rest of the frames shook.

“HAJIME!” his mother yelled, finally having caught up with him in his room.

“HAJIME! HAJIME, COME DOWN, THE TEA IS READY!” Iwaizumi heard his mother yell from downstairs.

Iwaizumi shook that memory off of him, placing the frame upright with the rest on his bookshelf before heading down to meet his mother. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, he found his mother curled up on the couch, holding two cups of hot green tea. She smiled at him.

“I made your favorite,” she said, offering a cup to him.

Iwaizumi took it and sat beside her, pressing a kiss into her cheek. “Thanks, Kaa-san.”

“Now then,” his mother said, patting his thigh. “Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong?”

Iwaizumi took a scalding sip of his tea, letting the brew burn his tongue as he tried to put his thoughts together. Once the hot liquid went down his throat, he launched into his whole experience in Tokyo: reuniting with Oikawa, meeting Seiji, becoming friends again, becoming more than friends, adoring Oikawa’s son, finding out that Seiji was his son too. He also told his mother that Oikawa ran off with Seiji again.

His mother had been calmly sipping her tea while listening to Iwaizumi. When he was done talking, she turned to Iwaizumi with a sad look in her eyes, shaking her head softly.

“First, Hajime, drink your tea. It’s gone cold.” Iwaizumi took a gulp of tea while he waited for his mother to react. While she appeared like a calm woman, Iwaizumi had inherited his short fuse from somewhere.

“That boy Tooru,” his mother sighed. “He’s too flighty, I swear. He has to learn to relax and trust in people more.”

Iwaizumi nodded in agreement; he had been telling Oikawa that since middle school. Then he paused.

“Wait. You’re not…surprised? Kaa-san, Oikawa’s son is my son. I’m…I’m a father.”

His mother sighed again. Iwaizumi wasn’t sure he had ever seen her look so weary. She certainly appeared like a grandmother now.

“Honestly, I’m not. Last year, Tooru came home for Christmas, and while the Oikawas were having their family get together, I stepped outside to shovel some snow off the porch. I found a little boy in our yard, dressed up in a thick, reindeer themed outfit. I only know one family flashy enough to dress younger children in themed outfits around here. They even tried to dress you up before too!” His mother let out a short chuckle. “Anyway, I knew this little boy had to be an Oikawa, but I didn’t hear a single word of Himari having another child. So I was baffled. I walked over to him, and found him trying to make a snowman, but it was coming out lopsided. I asked him if he wanted help making snowmen, and the boy looked up to me and gave me a big, wide smile. I think that’s when I knew.”

“You knew?” Iwaizumi asked.

His mother nodded. “This little boy was the spitting image of Tooru, but his grin was just like yours. I’m your mother, I watched that smile for years, so I just knew it was you in him. Plus he gave off your friendly atmosphere; Tooru was such a shy child before his popularity skyrocketed in school. So I played with my apparent grandson for a little bit before taking him back over to the Oikawas’ house. I pretended to think he was Himari’s son, but the horror in Tooru’s face when he saw us together confirmed my suspicions. It startled me a little at first. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this realization.”

“You could have told me,” Iwaizumi said with an accusing tone.

“Hajime, what would you have done?” Seeing the defiant look in her son’s eyes, she amended. “Hear me out, alright? First off, I won’t ask how this happened.” Iwaizumi blushed, and his mother continued. “I know if you could choose, you would have wanted to be with Tooru and your son. We all would have wanted that. And I know the current situation isn’t ideal, what with Tooru running off again, but you have to admit that at least this way both of you are a little more secure and established than you would have been at eighteen, and are far more ready to raise a family together.”

Iwaizumi absorbed her words, looking for an area to refute her. Coming up short, he sagged a little.

“But even so…Tooru was alone,” Iwaizumi said, his voice echoing the deep sadness in his heart. “And Seiji might have needed me too.”

His mother squeezed his shoulder. “I know. And I also know that both of them still need you. Tooru is just being stubborn. But you’re stubborn too Hajime. You wouldn’t have fallen in love with Tooru if you weren’t.” Iwaizumi spluttered but his mother pressed on. “I know you’ll find him and reach him. You always do.”

**Flashback**

A loud wail woke Oikawa from his sleep. He gazed up at the ceiling of his room with tired eyes and turned over to check the clock at his nightstand. Its bright, neon numbers burned his eyes and told him it was 4:32 a.m.

Oikawa’s body felt heavy, and all he wanted to do was sleep, but cries were filling up the room, and soon they’d permeate the walls, bothering Kuroo and the neighbors.

Besides, Oikawa couldn’t possibly ignore his son calling for him.

Oikawa hauled himself out of bed, stumbling over to Seiji’s crib and wiping bleary traces of sleep from his eyes. Oikawa almost tripped on the futon he kept out for Seiji to wiggle on and nearly collided against the rocking chair his sister gave him to nurse Seiji.

Oikawa’s room had changed a lot in the two months since he had Seiji. Along with the rocking chair, his sister gave him from her storage the crib his son was currently screaming in, a changing table, a few salvageable toys, a good set of onesies to last Seiji through his infancy, and the star mobile that Oikawa had actually bought for Takeru when he had been born.

His room felt a little cramped, but it was cozy, and Oikawa enjoyed being close to his son. He attributed this nesting to his omega nature and mother instinct, because he definitely preferred his space before.

Oikawa peered down into the crib to be greeted by his agitated son. Seiji was crying so hard his whole face was red, eyes screwed tight as tears escaped them. Dark, fluffy tufts of hair stuck up in every direction on his head. His little hands were balled into fists and he kept kicking his legs out.

Oikawa began murmuring calming words as he lifted Seiji out of his crib. He held Seiji upright and against his shoulder, rubbing soothing circles into his back and lightly bouncing him in place. When that didn’t seem to pacify Seiji at all, Oikawa let his hand drift down to check his diaper.

“Well you’re dry, so that’s not why you’re upset…” Oikawa muttered softly. Then he reached up, gently placing a finger near Seiji’s mouth to see if he’d root to it. Seiji turned away and wailed some more.

“So I guess you’re not hungry either,” Oikawa sighed. He returned to rubbing circles onto Seiji’s back. “Seiji, baby, tell me what’s wrong.”

Oikawa was answered by more screaming.

Oikawa was at a loss so he looked out the window for any signs of an answer, or even just a shift in perspective that could help. It was still dark out; the sun wouldn’t peek out for another hour or so. Oikawa could vaguely make out the silhouettes of trees and nearby buildings. The sky was inky black, but there was too much light pollution in Tokyo to see any stars.

Maybe it was too hot. School had ended a little over two months ago and the summer heat was beginning to be a constant stifling in the air. Even the nights offered little reprieve, so Oikawa worried Seiji was overheating and that’s what caused him to cry so much. He’d have to go buy a fan for the room soon.

Oikawa barely heard the knocking at his door over Seiji’s cries. When he answered it, he found a tired Kuroo in his doorway.

“I’m sorry,” Oikawa sighed.

Kuroo waved him off. “It’s fine,” he told Oikawa with a yawn. “Squirt can’t sleep, huh?”

Oikawa casted another worried glance toward Seiji. “No, he can’t. I think the room might be too hot for him, maybe.”

Kuroo nodded. “Bokuto and I will take you two out tomorrow for a fan. In the meantime, why don’t you take him out of the here and soothe him around the apartment for a change?”

“Alright,” Oikawa agreed, and Kuroo drowsily went back to his room.

Oikawa started pacing up and down the apartment, bouncing Seiji and rubbing his back. Oikawa nuzzled Seiji’s head when his wails got particularly loud.

About two hours later, Seiji fell asleep, probably from exhausting himself. Oikawa stared at him with tired eyes to make sure he was in deep sleep, and other than tear tracks down his face, Seiji was the image of a serene, peaceful baby. But even though Seiji was resting now, doubt pricked Oikawa like needles in the back of his mind.

Seiji was crying for at least two hours straight, that wasn’t healthy. And Oikawa could do nothing to soothe him. Was he even qualified to be a mother? Oikawa bit his lip.

No, he told himself. I made a decision, and I’m not giving up. I knew it would be hard. I just have to work at it, become better parent for Seiji.

Oikawa sighed for what seemed like the thousandth time that night. As he passed through the living room to go back and put Seiji in his crib, Oikawa caught a glimpse of the calendar. Kuroo had a habit of crossing off each passing day, and as Oikawa followed the trail of red Xs, he realized it would be Iwaizumi’s birthday soon.

But this year, he wouldn’t call.

***

Seiji wiggled in the sling holding him against Oikawa’s hip. His diaper bag rested against Oikawa’s other hip. Oikawa always had an arm around Seiji, and his other hand kept the strap of his bag on his shoulder, but now he wished he had his two hands free to rub his temples.

Kuroo and Bokuto were arguing like old men over which fan to get for Oikawa’s room, butting heads on brand loyalty.

Oikawa thought just any fan would do, but when he told them that, they looked at him appalled.

As Bokuto was going through all the ways his fan was superior to Kuroo’s, Seiji began making noises.

“You see!” Bokuto exclaimed. “Seiji agrees with me!”

Kuroo scoffed. “Those sounds are obviously of protest.”

Oikawa let out a harsh exhale. “God, no, you two are not using my son as a bargaining chip. I’m going to walk around a bit, choose a fan by the time I get back.”

With that, Oikawa turned around and began wandering around the store. Seiji bounced around a bit in the sling and babbled a little, but otherwise he was calm.

Oikawa decided to check out the baby section to see if he could pick up anything for Seiji with the money his sister sent him monthly.

On the way, Oikawa had to pass through strategically placed maternity clothing and the women’s clothing section.

As he was just about to round the corner into the baby section, Seiji began wriggling and babbling louder, shaking his fists toward something.

Oikawa turned toward him with concern. “Seiji?”

Seiji was looking and shifting toward a long, delicate lace skirt. Oikawa found himself caught up in the intricate pattern, the soft material.

It wasn’t a secret that Oikawa was genderfluid. It just wasn’t something he really talked about, and it wasn’t obvious because he didn’t care to change his pronouns. But on days he felt more feminine, his favorite thing to wear was skirts.

He picked up the skirt and started inspecting it, pinching the material between his fingers.

There were only two people outside his family who really knew how he presented his gender.

He remembered breaking down in Iwaizumi’s room one cold winter night during their first year of high school, confessing that he didn’t feel like a boy all the time, afraid something was wrong with him.

He remembered Iwaizumi lightly knocking their foreheads together and telling him nothing was wrong with him, he was just being himself, and that was fine. Nothing was wrong with being who he was.

After that, they started shopping for skirts together when they weren’t too busy with volleyball and occasionally Oikawa would wear them when he hung out with Iwaizumi.

It wasn’t until he met his ex-girlfriend that he started wearing skirts more frequently in his free time. She was the second person who knew about his gender presentation.

The bitter taste in his mouth made Oikawa aware on the fact that he had been bunching up the fabric of the skirt in a fist. He let it go and picked up a new, unwrinkled skirt.

Their relationship had been good. She had been in the same class as him. She was a sharp female alpha who saw his gender without him having to say anything. On the day she confessed and asked him out, she gave him a small, beige hair bow and told him that she could accept all of him if he was willing to accept her. Oikawa was flustered, mostly by how cool and smooth she was, but also over the fact that she didn’t care about his gender fluidity. So he said yes.

They went out together on dates, mostly in cafes or at the movies, she took him shopping, bought him skirts and other accessories, and sometimes they’d cuddle and make out. Their relationship had been good. But it had strained his relationship with Iwaizumi.

“Iwa-chan, what do you think of this skirt?”

Iwaizumi grunted in response, scrolling through his phone. His scowl was particularly deep that day, Oikawa noticed.

“Iwa-chan, you aren’t listening to me. What do you think of this skirt?”

“It’s fine,” Iwaizumi muttered, eyes fixed on the screen in his hand.

“What’s fine about it then?” Oikawa huffed.

“The shape,” Iwaizumi threw out.

“And what shape is it?” Oikawa asked with growing irritation.

“How the hell should I know?” Iwaizumi growled at him.

“By looking at it instead of your goddamn phone!” Oikawa growled back, reaching the boiling point.

Iwaizumi sighed, pocketing his phone and running a hand through his hair. “I don’t even know why you asked me to come shopping with you.”

“Why wouldn’t I? I always went shopping with you before.”

“Yeah, before,” Iwaizumi said under his breath.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Oikawa asked, affronted. “And what’s with you today? You used to at least put in a little effort. You even told me what skirts you thought would suit me better!”

“Why didn’t you just ask your girlfriend to come with you? She was at your house yesterday, wasn’t she?”

Oikawa immediately went red. “H-How did you know that?!”

Iwaizumi rolled his eyes. “You always close the blinds when she’s over.”

“W-Whatever,” Oikawa mumbled. “That doesn’t matter, because I’m shopping for a skirt to wear on our date this weekend.”

“Why don’t you just wear one of those skirts she bought for you then?” Iwaizumi’s stance was nonchalant, but there was a sour edge to his tone.

“I can’t do that! The point is to surprise her! You don’t know anything about being in a relationship, Iwa-chan.”

“If I don’t know anything about being in a relationship, then I don’t know why you wanted me here in the first place,” Iwaizumi spat.

Oikawa frowned. “I asked you to come with me because I value your opinion and know you wouldn’t lie to me if something looked bad on me.”

Iwaizumi turned to him. “Oika–”

But the damage had been done. Oikawa slammed the hanger of the skirt on the rack and crossed his arms.

“Forget it. I’m not in the mood to shop anymore. Let’s go home.”

Oikawa remembered the walk home being tense and rigid, and they didn’t even bid each other goodbye upon going into their respective houses. After that day, Oikawa and Iwaizumi interacted with each other as little as possible, and avoided each other during free time. Oikawa also constantly complained about Iwaizumi and his behavior to his girlfriend.

He shouldn’t have been surprised that day when she asked him to meet behind the school building, where she stroked his cheek, ran her fingers through his hair until she met the bow she gave him, and unclipped it from his locks.

“Let’s break up, Tooru.”

She had told him that it was because he spent too much time with volleyball, but Oikawa knew she meant that he spent too much time with someone in volleyball.

After their break up, Oikawa didn’t really feel like wearing skirts again.

Oikawa was about to put the skirt back when Seiji started wriggling insistently again. Oikawa stared at him, and then looked at the skirt.

“Do you like this skirt, Seiji? Do you think it will look good on me?” Oikawa asked, smiling down at his son.

Oikawa was answered with light babbling and a wide, gummy smile. His heart swelled.

“Well, if you insist,” Oikawa said airily, putting the skirt over his arm and patting Seiji on the back. “Now let’s find something for you too.”

After perusing all of the baby section and being disappointed by its slim selection, Oikawa headed back to the appliance section to find Kuroo triumphantly holding up a box while Bokuto hung his head in defeat. Though he perked up when he saw Oikawa approaching.

“Hey, how was your walk with Seiji?”

“Good,” Oikawa replied. “Seiji picked out this skirt for me.”

“Oh, that’ll look really good on you!” Bokuto exclaimed.

“Wait, wait, while I agree with you bro, how is it fair that Seiji can pick something for you and not pick the fan for us?” Kuroo asked Oikawa.

Oikawa glared at him. “Because I say so, that’s why.”

Before anyone could respond, Seiji broke out into peals of laughter that made everyone smile.

***

Oikawa was seated in his rocking chair, cradling a sleeping Seiji. With every back on forth movement, his thoughts churned more and more.

Now that Oikawa had become a parent, it was becoming increasingly more obvious how worried his own parents were for him and how he must have done the absolute worst thing to them. If Seiji ever ran away from him… A shudder ran down Oikawa’s spine. Seiji snuffled in his arms, but stayed asleep.

Maybe he should call them. His sister definitely supported this, but Oikawa wasn’t sure how to face them.

And he definitely wasn’t sure how to tell them about Seiji.

Oikawa gnawed on his lip. He should tell them. He managed for a year, but who knew how long he could hold up avoiding his parents. And he had a sneaking suspicion that even if he did hold out, his sister would eventually tell their parents where he was. It would be better if he did it on his own terms.

Oikawa carefully got up from the rocking chair and placed Seiji in his crib. He fished his phone out of his pocket and stepped out into the living room. Oikawa’s thumb hesitated over the call button. Oikawa’s resolve was crumbling; he didn’t think he could bear to hear either of his parents’ voices.

But he knew he had to contact them. Chewing his lip again, Oikawa switched to text, and sent his mother a text asking her to stop by whenever she and his dad were free, giving them the address to find him at. Then he shut his phone off in nervousness and turned in for the night.

***

The next morning woke Oikawa with slamming at the door. He knew only one person who could match his older sister’s aggressive form of knocking, and groaned in bed. He was glad Kuroo was sleeping over at Bokuto’s apartment from their movie marathon last night. How Seiji stayed asleep through this was beyond him.

When the banging turned louder, Oikawa rolled out of bed, ready to meet his doom. He took as small of steps as he could to get to the front door. Once he reached the door, he opened it carefully, peeking out with apprehension.

Sure enough, his mother stood on the other side, red-faced, nose scrunched, and panting with exertion. Her hair was in disarray, and his father stood behind her with his hands on top of her shoulders.

Oikawa smiled sheepishly at them. “Hi Mom, hi Dad,” he said in the smallest voice possible.

His mother glared up at him, but his father squeezed her shoulders to soothe her. His father smiled over her head at their son, the same cool, suave smile he inherited. But his eyes were tight with emotion.

“Tooru,” he said smoothly. “It’s been a while. Won’t you let us in?”

“O-Of course,” Oikawa said, standing aside to let his parents in. His mother huffed as she passed him, and his father looked around the apartment.

“Er, so…” Oikawa began; only, he had no idea where to begin.

“Why did you run away, Tooru, my beloved, only son?” his mother asked him through gritted teeth.

Oikawa stiffened.

“Dear, you should relax,” Oikawa’s father urged her.

“Relax? You expect me to relax? Our son runs away, ignores us for a year, and suddenly texts me out of the blue with a new phone number, and you expect me to relax?”

Oikawa flinched.

“In any way, this isn’t good for your blood pressure,” Oikawa’s father countered her.

Oikawa’s mother glared at her better half so deeply her nose was completely scrunched up.

“Um, I—” Oikawa’s sentence was broken by a shrill cry.

His parents visibly jumped in place and their eyes widened. Oikawa cursed under his breath.

“Please wait here,” he told them frantically and rushed into his room.

Inside his room, he found Seiji thrashing around in his crib, fat tears rolling down his cheeks. Oikawa immediately lifted him out of the crib and held his son against him.

“Shush baby, shush please,” Oikawa pleaded, but he could feel his own anxiety spiking, which meant Seiji could definitely feel it and wouldn’t calm down.

There came a light tapping at his bedroom door.

“Tooru?” his mother’s gentle voice filtered in and Oikawa felt his eyes fill with tears.

“We’re coming inside,” his father said, just as gentle. Oikawa’s lip quivered and he let out a small sob.

The door opened and Oikawa bit his lip to hold himself back from crying. His parents had a look that was torn between concern and confusion on their faces. They immediately zeroed in on the baby in his arms and had equal looks of shock.

“I-I d-don’t know what to do,” Oikawa cried, finally succumbing to the overwhelming feelings mounting within him.

His mother softened from the initial shock and came over to him. She gently took Seiji into her arms.

“Hm, you’re upset? Why’s that, bright little boy?” his mother murmured to Seiji. Oikawa sobbed harder because he remembered his mother always asked him the same thing when he was crying.

Oikawa’s mother rubbed Seiji’s back, and then settled on a specific spot, massaging soft circles there. Immediately, Seiji stopped crying and melted against her shoulder, sucking his thumb contently.

Oikawa’s jaw nearly dropped. “W-What? How…?”

His mother grinned at him. “An old trick I used on you when you’d cry.” She handed Seiji to Oikawa’s father, who cradled him; Seiji staring up at his grandfather with wide, wet eyes, still sucking his thumb.

His mother went over to him and rubbed the same spot on his back, albeit harder than she did on Seiji. Oikawa felt his muscles relax instantly. “Still works,” she told him proudly.

“Thank you…” Oikawa told her, amazed at how easily Seiji was soothed.

“It’s nothing,” his mother returned. “So, I’m guessing you haven’t suddenly taken up babysitting, have you Tooru?” his mother hedged.

Oikawa felt his eyes well up again. “No, I haven’t,” he said in a thick voice.

His mother sighed. “Oh Tooru, this is the biggest mess you’ve gotten yourself into yet.”

Oikawa’s brimming tears spilled over, and his body wracked with sobs. “I know, I know,” he mumbled around catches in his breath.

But unlike his previous slip ups, Iwaizumi wasn’t there to swoop in and save him. Oikawa had made sure of it. And now he felt so helpless.

“Darling, take the baby out into the living room so Tooru’s distress doesn’t agitate him.”

Oikawa’s father did as told, and once he was out of the room, Oikawa’s mother dragged her son over to his bed and let him curl up with his head on her lap. She stroked his hair and hummed a tune while he cried out all his frustration and sorrow.

When his breathing evened out and his tears stopped spilling, his mother stopped humming.

“Tooru, what’s going on?”

Oikawa exhaled. “I had a baby.”

“Mhm, I can see that,” his mother responded. “With whom?”

“No one,” Oikawa replied shortly.

“Tooru,” his mother chided. “I may be significantly older than you, but I do know that asexual reproduction does not exist, despite how much my new grandson looks like a miniature you.”

Oikawa let out a teary laugh. He swallowed the lump in his throat and considered telling his mother the truth.

But he didn’t feel ready.

“Mom, I can’t…” Oikawa trailed off, not sure how to explain.

His mother ran her hand through his hair again. “Fair enough, I’ll let you tell me when you feel like it. It’s obvious you’ve been through a lot this past year. But let me ask you this Tooru; and I expect an answer.”

“O-Okay,” Oikawa agreed.

“Why didn’t you tell us?”

Oikawa knew this question was coming, but it still felt like he was blindsided by it. He took a shaky breath.

“I, um. I felt scared.”

His mother paused and Oikawa could hear her breathing evenly, the way she did when she tried to maintain her composure. Oikawa mimicked this trick of hers during his games.

“Did your father and I ever make you feel unsafe?” she finally asked.

Oikawa shot up at that, but immediately regretted it because of the head rush that followed.

“No, no! Mom, you and dad are the best parents I could ever ask for, promise!”

“Then why did you run off without a word to us?” Emotion shined bright in her eyes.

“I…it just happened. I panicked. Like fight or flight. And I chose flight. I’m sorry.”

“…Alright then,” she sighed, cupping his cheek. Then her hand moved up and yanked his ear. “But if you ever avoid your father and I like you did this past year and keep something as big as this under wraps, you’re in a world of trouble, you hear me young man?”

“Ow, ow, yes, I hear you, I’d hear you better if you weren’t pulling on my ear so hard!”

His mother let go of his ear and drew him into a hug. “Never be afraid to tell us anything Tooru, no matter how difficult it seems. We love you no matter what.”

Tears sprung up in his eyes again, but Oikawa didn’t want to cry anymore so he buried his face in his mother’s shoulder and gripped the back of her shirt tight in his hands.

His mother hummed and whispered supportive words to him, rubbing that soothing spot on his back all the while.

***

Eventually, Oikawa and his mother left his room to see what his father and Seiji were doing.

Oikawa’s father was seated on the couch, staring down at Seiji with the fondest smile Oikawa had ever seen on him, Seiji had his hand wrapped around his grandfather’s forefinger and was staring at him quizzically.

Hearing people enter the room, Seiji turned to face the source of the noise. Upon seeing Oikawa, Seiji’s face lit up in a big, open-mouthed smile.

Oikawa felt his heart nearly stop. A smile like that from Seiji could keep him going for hours on end.

“Darling, I see you’ve bonded with him,” Oikawa’s mother chuckled.

Oikawa’s father lifted his head and his eyes were full of wonder. “Dear…he’s so adorable.”

“Of course he is, he’s an Oikawa,” his mother stated primly. “Give him here,” she told her husband.

Oikawa’s father handed Seiji off to her, and Oikawa’s mother cradled him with the ease of a natural.

“Hm, he may look like you Tooru, but his temperament is the exact opposite. You were such a fussy baby, but he’s so calm. He almost reminds me of Hajime-chan in that way; he was always able to tone you down with how calm he was, even as a child.”

Oikawa froze, but before he could panic at almost getting caught, his mother spoke more.

“Well, this is long overdue, but what’s my grandson’s name?”

“Seiji,” Oikawa answered.

“That’s a good, strong name for an Oikawa,” his father said.

Oikawa smiled at him. “Thanks Dad.”

His father stood up from the couch and engulfed Oikawa in a hug, pressing a kiss into his temple.

“Ugh, Dad, stop,” Oikawa complained weakly, but he smiled through his protest.

Any lingering traces of tension melted away at that point, and Oikawa’s parents decided to spend the day with him and Seiji. Oikawa shot Kuroo a quick text explaining that his parents were over for the day visiting, and Kuroo replied that he’d stay with Bokuto and give him and his parents their time alone.

Oikawa’s parents prepared to leave in the late evening. They wrote him a list of tips and tricks they did as new parents, as well as resources Oikawa could turn to.

“If you ever need any help, don’t hesitate to call us, ok?” Oikawa’s mother told him as she slipped her shoes on.

His father nodded. “We’ll always be here to support the both of you.”

Oikawa gave them a watery smile. “Thanks Mom, thanks Dad.”

Oikawa’s parents surrounded him and Seiji in a group hug, pressing kisses on his and Seiji’s cheeks.

***

The summer break was counting down steadily. It was a peaceful day, so Oikawa dragged the futon out into the living room and played with Seiji on it. Oikawa leaned over him, lightly shaking a rattle in front of Seiji’s face, watching Seiji follow its movements with his eyes and flail his limbs towards it. Oikawa found the bit of drool at the corner of Seiji’s mouth so endearing that he just wanted to hug his son.

Suddenly, the front door opened with a bang.

“BRO! OIKAWA! SOMETHING INCREDIBLE HAS HAPPENED!”

Oikawa wrinkled his nose. There went the peaceful day. “Kou-chan, pipe down, I’m trying to have a meaningful moment with my son and you’re ruining it.”

Bokuto pouted at Oikawa and Kuroo laughed from the kitchen where he was making lunch.

“Guys!” Bokuto protested. “I’m being serious, I have big news!”

“Well shoot then,” Kuroo said with a grin.

“Akaashi’s going to live with me next year! And probably the years after that too!”

“If you don’t drive him out,” Kuroo chuckled.

“BRO!”

“Is this the guy you never stop talking about?” Oikawa asked.

Bokuto turned to him with shining eyes. “YES!”

Oikawa wanted to groan. “Forget I asked.”

Bokuto squawked indignantly, and Kuroo cackled wildly.

Soon, Bokuto recomposed himself. “What about Kenma? Is he going to move in with you guys?”

“Kenma-chan said he’d prefer to live in the dorms,” Oikawa remarked.

“Which is a lie,” Kuroo added. “But honestly, I prefer that he live there. It’ll make him come out of his comfort zone.”

Bokuto nodded and then sat down at the table. “So, what’s for lunch?”

***

Oikawa had decided to go to a nearby market with Seiji because he heard there was some special deal going on. And he thought it would be a nice day to take Seiji out. The market alley wasn’t too far by walking so Oikawa strapped on the sling, secured Seiji in it, and made his way over bringing along the diaper bag and his wallet.

They were having a small little festival with special deals and handing out tons of free samples left and right. Oikawa had taken four and already felt like he had a full meal. After a few hours, Oikawa sat down and pulled out a bottle to feed Seiji.

“Awww, he’s so cute! How old is he?”

Oikawa looked up to see a group of girls, a mix of betas and omegas, stopped in front of him. One of the girls was bent over and cooing at Seiji. Oikawa was normally used to a gang of girls surrounding him, but he felt remarkably uneasy with them closing in on him and his baby.

“Oh, he’s about three months now.”

Oikawa smiled at them but he was visibly uncomfortable. As soon as Seiji finished his bottle, Oikawa excused himself from the group and ran off to find shelter somewhere. He ended up running into an empty ramen shop. Oikawa paused and took a breath of relief there.

“Hey! We’re not open today!” A gruff voice yelled from the back of the shop. Oikawa startled, turning to see a man perhaps in his early fifties with greying hair coming from what appeared to be the kitchen.

Oikawa stiffened, but before the man could reach him, a woman close to the old man’s age intercepted him.

“Hacchan! What’s the matter with you? Is that really how you greet a guest?” The woman glared daggers at the man before turning to Oikawa.

“I’m very sorry for my husband’s behavior. My name is Miko, and his is Hatori, we’re not ones for formality, so you can call us by those names. How about you dear?” she asked Oikawa with a kind smile.

“I’m Oikawa Tooru, it’s nice to meet you both,” Oikawa told them, returning Miko’s smile. He shifted his arms to somewhat present the dozing baby in them. “And this is my son Seiji.”

“Oh, he’s adorable!” Miko cooed at Seiji. Then she looked up at Oikawa with an apologetic smile. “Although my husband was a bit rude, what he said was true; we’re closed today. May I ask what brings you in here?”

Oikawa flushed a little in embarrassment before explaining, “Ah, I’m so sorry, I was feeding my baby and a bunch of girls came out of nowhere and surrounded me. It made me uncomfortable, so I dashed into the nearest building I could to hide, and it just so happened to be your shop…”

“Oh sweetheart, say no more, it’s fine for you to come in here!” Miko said while giving his arm a comforting squeeze.

Hatori spoke up at this point, despite his previous silence. “Where’s yer alpha at? He or She could’ve fended those girls off for you.”

Oikawa’s lips pressed into a thin line before he was able to recover and give a superficial smile. “I don’t have an alpha, or any significant other in my life.”

Hatori’s eyes widened while Miko gasped. Then Miko rounded on her husband.

“Hacchan, go into the kitchen and brew us up some tea. Now.”

Hatori rushed to fufill her request.

“Sit down, Oikawa-kun,” Miko told him.

Oikawa sat down across from Miko at one of the restaurant’s tables. He nervously bounced Seiji in his arms.

“Don’t be anxious dear,” Miko told him. “I really just want to talk.”

Hatori came over and wordlessly gave them freshly brewed tea and then slinked to the back once more.

Miko giggled. “Don’t mind Hacchan either, he’s gruff but he means well. I wouldn’t have married him otherwise.”

Oikawa chuckled despite his nerves. “He actually reminds me of someone who was really dear to me…”

The somber tone of Oikawa’s voice made Miko’s expression soften and sadden. “You’re fairly young to be a single parent,” she mentioned.

Oikawa stared down into his steaming green tea. A tea stalk was floating vertically in it and Oikawa wanted to laugh.

“I suppose I am,” Oikawa replied, and over sipping their tea, Miko was able to coax a summary of Oikawa’s life story out of him. Oikawa spoke of his hopes, his dreams, his aspirations for the future, but he especially spoke of his fears.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I guess I’m ok financially because my parents and sister are supporting me, but how long can I mooch off them? And who will watch Seiji when I start classes again? I…” Oikawa remembered the hurtful words of his peers while he was pregnant during his first year. “I can’t bring him around campus.”

Oikawa wasn’t aware of how hard he was gripping his teacup until Miko’s hand softly covered his.

“You’ve been through a lot, Oikawa-kun. And you’re strong for getting through the things you have by yourself. But it’s not bad to rely on people, especially those who care about you the most.” She smiled with genuine empathy in her eyes. Then she angled her body towards the back in her seat, and spoke in a louder voice. “You know, it’s really just me and Hacchan running this shop. We could use a fresh, young, and cute new waiter helping us around. Plus I’m sure this waiter would attract new customers easily.” She gave Oikawa a wink.

Hatori came from the back and picked up their cups. “I can hear you just fine without you raising your voice like that,” he grumbled. Before turning around, he addressed Oikawa. “But the offer does stand. You can work here if you like. Earn yourself some money, and we live upstairs, so you can keep yer boy there while you work. You can leave him with us when you start classes too, if you feel fine with that. We’ll look after him. We don’t mind.”

Miko nodded in agreement with her husband’s words.

Oikawa absorbed their words with damp eyes and an aching chest. He ducked his head to focus on Seiji’s serene, sleeping face.

“Thank you,” he murmured.

***

The rest of Oikawa’s summer break became a routine of looking after Seiji, interacting with Kuroo and Bokuto, and starting work in the ramen shop.

Seiji warmed up to Miko and Hatori almost instantly, which made Oikawa relieved to have them take care of him. It also helped Oikawa focus on his job training without worrying about Seiji’s wellbeing.

Oikawa was able to get through his training period effortlessly and navigate the restaurant with ease. He charmed loyal customers and brought in new ones by hoards. Soon, the restaurant was busier than either of the owners had ever seen it.

Hatori still held down the kitchen like he always had. Miko was in and out of the floor, checking up on people where Oikawa couldn’t before going back up and watching Seiji.

On his breaks, Oikawa would check up on Seiji, who would normally giggle and reach for him.

This routine lasted until classes began again, where Oikawa’s work shifts moved to after practice was over, and Oikawa would stop by in the morning to drop Seiji off at the shop before heading out to campus. Being a returning team member meant that he didn’t have to go to the first practice where new members were evaluated, so Oikawa spent the day with Kuroo and Bokuto. Kenma wasn’t able to see them because his schedule conflicted with theirs, and Bokuto was vibrating with excitement over who they were going to meet tomorrow along with seeing Kenma.

The next day after classes were over, Oikawa had geared up for practice with the rest of the returning members. Oikawa felt a sense of nostalgia and a feeling like coming home when stepping back onto the court. Coach Miyamoto welcomed them.

“Alright boys, divvy up by position! I want wing spikers, middle blockers, liberoes, and setters to meet up. Oikawa, come here for a second.” Oikawa jogged over to her. “I want you to meet the two reserve setters I have lined up behind you, Akaashi Keiji and Kozume Kenma.”

“Ah,” Oikawa said with a smile. “I’m already acquainted with Kenma-chan, but I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you, A—” Oikawa was cut off by a thunderous shout.

“AKAASHI!” The four of them turned to see Bokuto racing toward them, with what looked like the most lovesick expression Oikawa had ever seen on him. Meanwhile, Akaashi’s face seemed to wrinkle in mild disgust.

Before Bokuto could even get close to his target, Miyamoto intercepted him. “Bokuto, what did I just say? Go back to the wing spikers before I give you a lap of flying falls,” she growled at him.

Bokuto froze, mechanically turned around, and dashed back to his group. Miyamoto rolled her eyes.

“I’m sorry about that,” Akaashi sighed. “I asked him not to make a scene at practice before leaving for school today, but he never listens…”

“Oh, so you’re the Akaashi Bokuto’s living with! The setter from his high school!” Oikawa realized. No wonder Bokuto was so excited. He never shut up about this guy.

“Yes, a pleasure to finally meet you, Oikawa-san,” Akaashi said with a small smile.

There wasn’t any more room for further conversation, because practice began with Miyamoto barking orders and going through drills. But Oikawa figured he could talk to Akaashi later, seeing as they’d probably be meeting up outside of school very soon and very much given Bokuto’s enthusiasm about him.

Oikawa’s second year of college could best be summed up as raising his baby amidst a regular schedule of classes, practice, and work, along with the occasional games and tournaments, and he spent too much of his free time with Kuroo, Bokuto, Kenma, and Akaashi. But he wasn’t complaining when his second year drew to a close.

***

Seiji had grown in the year that had passed. Not only in size, but also in capability.

He started to crawl like some sort of speed demon, forcing Oikawa and Kuroo to baby-proof every inch of the apartment. Seiji was an extremely inquisitive kid as well, so he was always poking his nose into everything. Half the time he gave Oikawa a heart attack.

Seiji had learned to wave at people, nearly causing Bokuto to faint from happiness when he managed it perfectly the first time, aimed at him.

Seiji was also able to better recognize things, and had a tendency to point at all his favorite stuff. Kenma blushed to the tips of his ears when he had come over and Seiji pointed at him.

Seiji made grabby hands whenever he wanted to pick something up or wanted to be picked up himself. Akaashi always seemed to melt when he saw those hands, picking things up for Seiji when Seiji couldn’t reach, or picking Seiji up into his own reach.

During the summer after their second year, Oikawa found himself alone in the apartment one day. He had planned to go out with Kuroo, Bokuto, Kenma, and Akaashi, but Seiji had been fussy that morning and didn’t seem to want to go out. So Oikawa told the four of them to go ahead. Seiji calmed down when he realized he wasn’t being forced outdoors anymore.

Seiji was currently babbling and smiling as he walked with the aid of holding on to the couch. Seiji could communicate through a few grunts and his body language, Oikawa thought he was truly Iwaizumi’s son in this way, but he had yet to say his first word. Oikawa was a bit concerned, but he knew babies developed differently, and Seiji seemed to be progressing just fine.

“Uoh!” Oikawa heard Seiji grunt, looking over to see his son with a determined look on his face, the set of those eyebrows and frown a definite gift from his father, and taking wobbly steps away from the couch.

Seiji had never managed to stand or walk by himself before. Oikawa sucked in a deep breath at Seiji slowly taking steps without support and positioned himself in a way where he could catch Seiji if he started to stumble.

Oikawa remained kneeled on the floor nearby as he tracked Seiji’s every move, watching his son’s steps grow steadier. Oikawa couldn’t help the surprised “Seiji!” he let out when Seiji’s walking was balanced and effortless.

Seiji turned his head at the sound of his name, breaking into a wide smile and stretching his arms forward towards Oikawa. He began walking to Oikawa, giggling happily. When Seiji reached Oikawa, Oikawa pulled him into his arms.

“Seiji, you did it! I can’t believe it!”

“Mama-!” Seiji let out between peals of laughter.

Oikawa froze before his heartbeat skyrocketed in his chest. Did Seiji just say his first word? And was his first word…?

“Mama, Mama!” Seiji chanted happily.

Oikawa gasped. “Iwa-!” Oikawa exclaimed, looking up and around the room. “…chan.” He was met with silence. Oikawa let the sun filter on him from the window and watched dust motes dance in the rays of light with a sense of emptiness. Of course Iwaizumi wasn’t there. And Oikawa had no one to blame but himself for that.

“Mama?” Seiji asked, wriggling in Oikawa’s arms.

Oikawa looked down and was met with his son’s big, hazel eyes. The shape was his own, but the color reminded him too much of Iwaizumi. Yet another trait from him. Even the look of concern in Seiji’s eyes mirrored Iwaizumi’s. Oikawa wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to escape him.

Despite this, Oikawa smiled, albeit a bit hollow. He nuzzled Seiji close. “Good job, baby. I’m so proud of you.” And Oikawa was proud of himself too, for not letting his voice crack.

***

The summer seemed to be burning quicker than it had before, and during the flurry of work, leisure, and looking after Seiji, the start of his third year approached Oikawa before he realized it. Soon enough, Oikawa was dropping Seiji off at Miko and Hatori’s shop and attending classes and practice again, but this time now Seiji would wave and say “Bye-bye Mama!” every time Oikawa left.

***

One weekend when the exam period died down for all of them, Bokuto announced that they should celebrate their hard work by putting together a feast and eating together at his and Akaashi’s apartment. Kuroo, Oikawa, and Kenma all thought Akaashi would shoot the idea down on the spot, but to their surprise he agreed.

So on the appointed day, Kenma had come over to Kuroo and Oikawa’s apartment just as they finished the fried rice and they made to contribute for the get together. Kenma bought an apple pie for it.

“Kenma, I know you still live in the dorms, but how lazy can you get?” Kuroo complained.

“Shut up,” Kenma groused. “Feel honored that I’m even sharing this pie with you.”

Oikawa laughed as he dressed Seiji up to leave.

Kuroo and Kenma walked the short distance to Bokuto and Akaashi’s shared apartment with their dishes in hand, and Oikawa walked with them, pushing Seiji in his stroller. When they arrived, Bokuto let them in enthusiastically.

“Come in, guys! Oikawa you can park your stroller by the door. Sit anywhere you like!”

They followed Bokuto’s directions, and Oikawa found himself seated between Kuroo and Kenma on the couch with Seiji in his lap. Oikawa was already used to this position from the many times Kenma would come over and they’d all watch movies, but Kuroo and Kenma were somehow arguing about how Kenma needed to learn how to cook rather than buy all his food.

Akaashi was still cooking in the kitchen, so to distract himself from Kenma listing reasons as to why buying food was more cost efficient for him, Oikawa tried to sniff out what he was cooking. But instead of smelling food, Oikawa was met with a musky scent, tempered with something fresh and clean. Oikawa faintly recalled whiffs of these scents separately, but never mixed together. The scent was strange, it enveloped the place, but it smelled comforting too. Oikawa tried to remember the last time he smelled two contrasting scents mixing like this. When he did, he shot up from his seat.

“Oh my god.” Oikawa deposited his son on a confused Kuroo’s lap and stalked over to Bokuto who was standing near the kitchen. “Oh. My. God.”

“Oikawa? What’s up?” Bokuto looked puzzled, and a little uncomfortable.

Oikawa narrowed his eyes. “You didn’t.” He took another sniff. The scent was definitely stronger, and Oikawa recoiled, scrunching his nose. “You did.”

Akaashi turned to see what sort of fuss Oikawa was kicking up, but the realization in Oikawa’s eyes filled his with surprise. “Bokuto, he knows about us.”

“I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!” Oikawa nearly screamed at Akaashi’s confirmation of his suspicions.

“What’s going on?” Kuroo asked.

Kenma’s eyes widened. “Bokuto and Akaashi are mated to each other.”

“WHAT.” Kuroo’s eyes were the widest Oikawa had ever seen them.

Seiji witnessed all of this with blank confusion on his face.

Bokuto looked sheepish and Akaashi sighed.

“We were trying to find the right time to tell you,” Akaashi told them.

“Were you using this ‘banquet’ as an excuse?” Oikawa asked.

“M-Maybe…” Bokuto said, scratching the back of his head.

“Bro, really?” Kuroo said with disappointment.

“Hey, hey, we’re both adults, and yeah, it kinda just happened on the spur of the moment, but we talked after, and we agreed we both wanted to be together!” Bokuto defended.

Akaashi went over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “That’s right.”

An uncomfortable silence ensued, broken by Kenma. “As long as you two are happy,” he shrugged. “Can I eat pie now?”

***

Oikawa was starting to feel the pressure of being an upperclassman on the team. Nearly everyone knew he was frontrunner for captain next year, so Oikawa felt the need to up the ante in games. Today they were having a practice game with a fairly distant team that they had never played before.

Oikawa scoped the incoming members of the opposing team, assessing them from what he could tell physically and by their demeanor. Each person was a new face that Oikawa was eager to play against and match his skills to. But as the last team member strode in, Oikawa became increasingly aware of how familiar he was.

Suddenly, Coach Miyamoto’s excitement for this game made sense to Oikawa. He turned to glare an accusing eye at her, but she had already gone to greet the other team’s coach.

“Oikawa,” a deep voice called out. Oikawa always thought his voice was too deep, like he had been held back several years in his educational career. It would explain why he was such an unfairly good player.

“Ushiwaka-chan,” Oikawa sneered. “I had no idea you were on this team.” If I had, I wouldn’t have shown up, Oikawa added silently in his head.

“I was unaware you were my opponent either.” Ushijima paused, scanning the gymnasium. “I’m relieved to see you’ve extracted that thorn from your side.”

“Thorn…?” Ushijima always spoke in weird metaphors and Oikawa found it annoying to talk to him because he had to decipher nearly every sentence.

“Iwaizumi. He only hindered your growth. I’m sure that you’ll flourish now that he’s gone. Though I’m afraid you haven’t chosen the best team to cultivate your growth yet again.”

Oikawa stared at him in incredulousness. Did Ushijima even hear half the words he said? Was someone really that blunt and clueless? How could someone be so offensive yet unassuming?

Oikawa inhaled deeply to attempt to calm himself, but he could feel hostility coming off him in waves. Oikawa couldn’t help the clench of his jaw and fists, the furrow of his brows, the scrunch of his nose. He was about to retort with something scathing when he was interrupted by his coach.

“Alright boys, line up! We’re going to start warming up!”

Oikawa turned on his heel and stomped away from Ushijima to gather with his team.

***

The game had been a tug of war on the scoreboard. It was grueling; a neck and neck race that only ended with Ushijima’s final spike on the court. Oikawa gritted his teeth at the slam the ball made when their libero couldn’t receive it.

When they shook hands at the end, Oikawa had to resist the urge to spit on his hand before offering it to Ushijima. Oikawa shook hands wordlessly, which he thought showed his newfound maturity, but Ushijima held on to Oikawa’s hand past the initial grip and shake.

“Oikawa, I want to see you again.”

“What?” Oikawa asked, face shriveling in repugnance.

“You’re single. So am I. I want to court you. I always believed you belonged at my side.”

Oikawa yanked his hand away. “No,” he spat out, before hightailing it out of there.

***

Over the course of the next month, Oikawa and his team had a practice match against Ushijima’s each week.

Oikawa turned a critical eye on his coach, but she simply shrugged.

“Their coach insisted.”

Oikawa had a fair inkling that the coach was speaking for someone else who was insisting on these matches, but he bit his tongue instead of calling Ushijima out.

Ushijima pestered him about dates and courtship before and after every game. And even after the accursed games ended, Ushijima had wrangled Oikawa’s number out of one of his underclassmen (“I’m sorry Oikawa-senpai! He was so scary, I had to!”).

Ushijima began calling and texting Oikawa much like Iwaizumi had, but instead of giving Oikawa constant anxiety, Ushijima’s persistence gave Oikawa increasing irritation.

One day, Oikawa reached his boiling point.

Seiji was sitting up on the futon, stacking blocks. Oikawa was sitting near him, handing him more blocks.

His phone pinged, and Oikawa was repulsed to see Ushijima’s caller ID. Fed up with having to deal with Ushijima, Oikawa took a picture of his son and sent it over to him.

To: Cow Bastard
Img attached
This is my son. Completely, biologically mine. Still want to court me now?

From: Cow Bastard
Yes. Prior relationships have no impact on our future relations. He looks like you.

He stared at the text in disbelief. Oikawa was literally at a loss. Telling Ushijima about Seiji to drive him away had been his last resort. Now he had no options left but to endure the messages and calls until Ushijima gave up. Except…

To: Cow Bastard
Pick the date and location, and I’ll pick the time for our date. I expect you to pick me up, too.

The next week, Oikawa stood outside his apartment complex waiting for Ushijima. Kuroo and Kenma would be watching Seiji for the evening.

A new model car pulled up to the curb in front of him. The window rolled down, and Oikawa was greeting by Ushijima’s face in the driver’s seat.

“Come in,” Ushijima invited.

It was about the last thing Oikawa wanted to do, but seeing as he set up the date, Oikawa had no choice but to reluctantly climb into the passenger seat of Ushijima’s car.

They drove in silence all the way to the restaurant, Oikawa staring resolutely out the window on his side and nowhere else.

When they arrived and got out of the car, Ushijima offered his hand to Oikawa. Oikawa glared at it, but finally took Ushijima’s hand in his. It was rough and calloused, larger than his own.

Oikawa remembered Iwaizumi’s hands; palms wider than his own, but fingers shorter. On his meaner days, Oikawa would call them stubby. His hands were calloused too, but Oikawa recalled a softer quality to them.

Oikawa came back to himself when they started walking to the restaurant entrance, Ushijima effectively pulling Oikawa along with him.

Oikawa took this chance to glance at his actual date. Ushijima was dressed nicely, casual yet proper. Despite being as dense as lead, it seemed he had some sense of fashion.

Iwaizumi didn’t. He’d always throw on whatever was comfortable, and Oikawa would scold him, then pillage his closet until he could create a decent outfit for Iwaizumi to wear. It got to the point that Oikawa would just start buying clothes for Iwaizumi himself, so he’d at least have a few nice things in his abysmal wardrobe. Oikawa wondered how Iwaizumi might look if he was wearing Ushijima’s clothes right now…

“After you,” Ushijima said, and Oikawa realized Ushijima was holding the door for him. Oikawa quickly dashed inside and waited for Ushijima to follow.

Ushijima had apparently made reservations. Oikawa could never imagine Iwaizumi doing something like that. When they were seated and given menus, Oikawa scoffed. Iwaizumi wouldn’t recognize half the dishes on here.

Ushijima ordered for both of them, and while waiting for their food, Oikawa was again amazed at how easily Ushijima made his blood boil. At that very moment, Oikawa was tempted to climb over the table and stab Ushijima with his chopsticks.

Ushijima had made small talk with him. And small talk for Ushijima was pointing out all Oikawa’s prior mistakes and failures, tutting at Oikawa’s inability to pick to the proper school even now, and commending him on one thing: getting rid of Iwaizumi. Which was a topic Oikawa was still sore about. Oikawa had no idea when he’d stop being sore about it.

“Why did you cut Iwaizumi out, if you don’t mind me asking?” Ushijima inquired after a sip of water.

Oh, Oikawa minded. “I’d rather not talk about it.”

“Is he at least paying for child support?”

Oikawa choked on his water. “What?”

“Even if Iwaizumi is out of the picture, he should still give you compensation for the baby you two had right? Isn’t that how it works?” If Oikawa had been anyone else, he may have found Ushijima’s slight head tilt endearing.

“H-How…?” Oikawa couldn’t even form a sentence.

Surprisingly, Ushijima was able to catch on to what Oikawa was asking him.

“Who else could be the father but him? He’s the only one you ever allowed that close to you.” Oikawa may have been hearing things, but Ushijima sounded a little petulant.

Oikawa sighed. “I’d really rather not talk about this.”

Thankfully Oikawa was saved by the food arriving. Oikawa didn’t really know what Ushijima ordered for him, but he thought he’d give it a shot. It was…salty. It was good, but not something that really suited Oikawa’s palate. He could eat it, but he didn’t really enjoy it.

Oikawa glowered at the plate of fancy, unappealing food. If Iwaizumi was here, he wouldn’t have ordered this for Oikawa. He wouldn’t have even ordered for Oikawa at all; he’d let Oikawa eat whatever he wanted. Hell, they wouldn’t even be in this restaurant, but in a restaurant they’d both enjoy, laughing over their food instead of eating in this terse silence. Oikawa took another bite.

And even though Oikawa was eating, he felt emptiness consume him.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi woke to the sensation of someone running fingers through his hair. He tried to remember the last time someone did this before opening his eyes to find out.

Iwaizumi flopped over his desk, exhausted from being on day duty. His partner had to skip out early, so he was stuck doing the majority of work.

It was Monday, but he was just as tired as he would have been if he had to go to practice.

Iwaizumi heard the door slide open, but he didn’t move, determined to get a few extra moments of rest before he was kicked out of the room by whoever came in.

“Iwa-chan? Oh, Iwa-chan, this is where you’ve been~”

Iwaizumi ignored his best friend, hoping the voice was some dream-induced hallucination.

“Hm, Iwa-chan? You’re taking a nap? How can you sleep on such a hard surface? Is it because your head is even denser than the desk?”

Iwaizumi twitched his eyebrow in irritation, but still didn’t move, mostly so Oikawa wouldn’t get the satisfaction from his jab than trying to fall asleep.

He heard Oikawa chuckle and a few footsteps. The steps seemed to stop at the other side of the desk, where Iwaizumi was facing the warm afternoon sun.

He felt familiar fingers lightly brush through his hair, and another chuckle.

“You must be tired,” Oikawa commented, fingers setting a soothing rhythm on Iwaizumi’s scalp. “I’ll wake you up in half an hour.”

Iwaizumi finally cracked an eye open, to see Oikawa smiling down at him genuinely, soft sunlight filtering through his hair.

Iwaizumi opened his eyes to wake himself from that memory. He was greeted with what could have been an older reflection of himself.

“Good morning Hajime,” his father said cheerfully.

Iwaizumi groaned and turned onto his stomach.

“Come on now,” his father playfully chided, patting his back. “You’re a grown man Hajime, you should wake up like one.”

“Tou-san,” Iwaizumi croaked, voice scratchy from sleep. “It’s too early.”

“Come now Hajime, it won’t be too early for your son, when he bursts into your room and wakes you up. He’ll be far more demanding than me, and he’ll probably jump on you too. You certainly did when you were younger,” Iwaizumi’s father remarked.

Iwaizumi’s eyes snapped open, and he jumped up into a sitting position on his bed.

“T-T-Tou-san, you know about Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked.

“Of course I do, I’ve known since your mother discovered him. She tells me everything, it’s the mark of a good relationship.”

Iwaizumi remained shocked still for a few moments before he ran a hand through his hair and let out a wry laugh. “I guess that’s why Tooru and I haven’t been together huh?”

His father squeezed his shoulder. “Proper communication takes time and trust to build. Mostly time. Lord knows your mother and I had our fair share of stumbling blocks in the beginning of our relationship. It lasted through the first few years of our marriage! It’s not enough to say, ‘We’re in love, everything will work out.’ Sometimes it’s because you’re in love that these misunderstandings arise. But you don’t try to avoid them. You meet them, solve them, and move forward.”

Iwaizumi’s father sighed. “Tooru means well, and I love him like my own, but I can’t deny he has a bad habit of avoiding things until he can’t contain himself anymore. When this happens he gets sidetracked, and loses focus of what’s important.”

Iwaizumi was about to retort in defense of Oikawa, but his father held up his hand.

“But Tooru’s almost always been able to keep a clear head because you’ve been by his side. And now he needs you by his side more than ever, Hajime.”

Iwaizumi frowned. “He doesn’t want me by his side Tou-san.”

His father laughed. “Has that ever stopped you before? You’ve always beaten some sense into him regardless of the obstacle. You’ve just been unsteady lately. You have to ground yourself before you can ground him.”

“Do you…do you really think I can, Tou-san?” Iwaizumi looked his father in the eyes.

“Of course you can,” Iwaizumi’s father smiled. “You’ve got your resolve. I can think of no greater conviction than your love, for both Tooru and Seiji.”

**About a year or so ago**

“Mommy, what that?”

“A box, Seiji.”

“An’ tha’?”

“A bigger box, Seiji.”

Kuroo and Bokuto were carrying boxes into Kuroo and Oikawa’s, and soon to be Kenma’s, shared apartment, setting them in the living room area while Akaashi helped Kenma sort his things. Oikawa had what might have seemed the easiest job but was probably the hardest: keeping Seiji out of the way and out of trouble.

Now that Seiji was two years old, he was intrusively curious about everything and held no qualms against investigating things, especially the things he was meant to be kept out of. Oikawa really didn’t need Seiji climbing and digging through Kenma’s things, potentially breaking something, or even worse, hurting himself through his search. So Oikawa kept a gentle, steely grip on Seiji’s waist as Seiji bounced with excitement at each new stimulus being carried in box by box.

“Hey, hey, Akaashi! Doesn’t this remind you of when you moved into our apartment?” Bokuto grinned around the box in his arms.

Oikawa saw Akaashi’s face soften and a small smile grace his features. “Of course it does Bokuto-san.”

Before Oikawa could tease Akaashi and Bokuto about being “newlyweds,” Seiji wiggled out of his grip.

“Ah, Seiji!” Oikawa scrambled after him.

Seiji managed to dash over to a cardboard box about his height and on his tiptoes he was able to start yanking things out of the box. He haphazardly threw them over his back or dropped them at his sides.

“Seiji! Stop pulling things from that box!” Oikawa grabbed Seiji and lifted him away, thanking the gods above that there wasn’t anything sharp or fragile in the box.

“Awww,” Seiji pouted, kicking his feet and making grabby hands at the items he scattered on the floor.

Kuroo walked over to the mess and chuckled. “The squirt is pretty slippery, huh?”

“No call me squirt!” Seiji stuck his tongue out at Kuroo.

“Seiji, that’s rude,” Oikawa chided.

“Unca Kurwoo ish rude!” Seiji argued back with puffed cheeks.

Kuroo chuckled again, but ruffled Seiji’s hair affectionately. “Sorry kiddo.”

Oikawa adjusted his hold on Seiji to hold him more securely against him, and Seiji glared at Kuroo in his arms.

Kuroo bent down to start gathering up Kenma’s things and put them back into the box Seiji had pulled them from. Kuroo paused when his hand wrapped around a soft, worn, familiar shape.

“Kenma, you still have this?” Kuroo asked, holding up a ragged calico cat plush.

During the time Oikawa was scrambling after Seiji, Bokuto snuck away from carrying boxes to hug and snuggle Akaashi from behind while Akaashi still helped Kenma sort his things.

Kenma turned from them to see Kuroo holding the plush that he gave Kenma on his fifth birthday.

“Oh…” Kenma said, staring at the slightly discolored fabric. Then he looked up into Kuroo’s eyes. “Well, yeah. I mean, it’s still in good condition, so I didn’t see any reason to get rid of it.”

Kenma’s cheeks looked a little pinker, but Oikawa thought not to comment on it.

Kuroo brought the plush closer to himself and looked at it with what Oikawa was certain to be fondness twinkling in his eyes.

“I see,” Kuroo murmured with a smile that didn’t hold its usual sharp edge.

The soft, nostalgic air that had settled around them was broken with, “I want!”

Everyone turned to the source of the of the sound to see Seiji making grabby hands toward the plush.

“Seiji, no, that doesn’t belong to you,” Oikawa explained.

“But, I want,” Seiji pouted with a quivering lip. Oikawa needed to act quick because Seiji’s eyes were starting to water.

“I’ll do you one better, bud,” Kuroo said, stooping to Seiji’s eye level. “I’ll buy you your own so you don’t have to play with this ratty thing. How does that sound?”

“Yesh!” Seiji exclaimed, throwing his arms around Kuroo’s neck and letting Kuroo pull him out of Oikawa’s grasp.

“Kuroo…” Oikawa couldn’t help but fret. He didn’t want Seiji to act out like this and expect to be spoiled.

“It’ll be fine Oikawa, don’t worry about it ok?” Kuroo said with a wink.

“If you say so,” Oikawa sighed. He turned away from Kuroo rubbing his cheek stubble against a giggling Seiji to see Kenma regarding the plush cat with relief.

***

Oikawa stood on the balcony of their apartment. The nights were still warm, but he knew that they would soon give in to autumn chill as the start of school was soon approaching. Oikawa heard the door behind him slide open, but he didn’t move from staring at the dusky buildings below.

“Oikawa? What are you doing awake? Did Seiji start crying and wake you?” Kuroo asked.

“No, I just can’t sleep.”

Kuroo walked over and stood beside him. “Something eating you?”

“Hm,” Oikawa hummed but didn’t answer. “Is Kenma all moved in now?” Oikawa had excused himself early from the rest of the group moving Kenma’s things into Kuroo’s room to put Seiji to bed. By the time he finished, Bokuto and Akaashi had gone home and Kenma was all moved in, playing video games on his bed.

“Yup, though I didn’t think all his crap would fit,” Kuroo chuckled.

“Are you sure Kuroo? Will you two be alright sharing a room together? I know that my room was originally meant for Kenma. If you need me to leave—”

Kuroo gave him a sharp look. “Oikawa quit it. Don’t come to me half-hearted plans to leave just because you feel guilty. So what if your room was supposed to be for Kenma? It’s yours and Seiji’s now. And Kenma and I will be fine. We’ve known each other forever, had sleepovers all the time, and Kenma’s used to having a roommate by now. If anything, this is better. If Kenma had his own room, he’d just hole himself up in there. This way I can keep a better eye on him.”

Oikawa giggled. “You sound like his mother! Like…someone familiar…” Oikawa soon grew somber again.

Kuroo let the silence rest for a bit before breaking it. “…It’s him, isn’t it? Seiji’s father?”

Oikawa sighed out the breath he was holding. But he didn’t do anything else, just stared at the dimly lit streets wordlessly.

Kuroo turned to look at Oikawa. He studied Oikawa’s stiff features before taking a deep breath. “You know—”

“I dream about him, sometimes,” Oikawa interrupted Kuroo’s impending speech. “I dreamt about him earlier too. I have dreams where he yells at me, tells me to stop running off and doing things on my own. I have dreams where he’s been with me all along, taking care of Seiji, all of us together and happy.” Oikawa paused, his small smile slipping away. “I hate those dreams. They’re all the what ifs I’ve already explored and exhausted. They feel like a broken record. But they’re not the worst.”

Oikawa waited for Kuroo to say something. When he didn’t, Oikawa continued. “The worst dreams are when everything’s the same; just Seiji and I as always. In dreams like these I’ll go home and everything is the same too. My house and his house are still side by side and the big tree still grows between. But then something changes, and I see that not everything is the same. It’s not only his house anymore. He has a ring on his finger and some faceless omega by his side and he’s…happy. That’s what woke me up.”

Oikawa laughed but he felt like he was choking. “Isn’t it pathetic? I’m the one who ran away, but it horrifies me to think of him moving on. I act like it doesn’t matter, but I’m still just as in love with him as I was since our third year of middle school. What should I do? How can I forget him and focus on Seiji?” Oikawa could feel tears stinging his eyes.

Suddenly, Oikawa felt really warm. Kuroo had almost thrown himself on top of Oikawa in a hug and held him close.

“Listen, Tooru. I know how it feels to be in love with someone you’re not supposed to be. And I know things are difficult now, but I’ll always be here for you and Seiji. Things will be ok. Things will get better.”

Slowly, Oikawa returned the hug. “Thank you, Kuroo.”

Something clattered to the ground from the inside. Oikawa and Kuroo turned to see Kenma staring at them with wide eyes, PSP abandoned on the floor. Oikawa decisively stepped back from the hug.

“Kenma, you should put your games away and go to bed,” Kuroo chided, stepping inside and picking up Kenma’s PSP.

Kenma snatched it from him and glared. “Don’t act like you know what’s best for me, Kuroo.” He turned around and went back into their room.

Oikawa stepped inside and shut the door to the balcony. He looked at Kuroo scratching his head at Kenma’s outburst with growing unease. Oikawa had a bad feeling about this.

***

Oikawa knew his senior year would be a good year when he stepped onto the court as captain. He could feel every set connect with the spiker he tossed for and heard every serve give a satisfying smack on the gym floor. Leading this team was a new experience, but with Kuroo as his vice-captain and Bokuto as ace of the team, things were going well. The steadiness of Akaashi and Kenma helped keep the team in order too. Oikawa looked forward to their growth.

***

Every day after school and practice Oikawa went to work at the ramen shop with Miko and Hatori. He would have worked weekends too, but Miko insisted on him having free time then to have fun and enjoy his youth.

Seiji was dropped off upstairs, where Oikawa would change into his uniform and then head back down to take customers’ orders.

His uniform wasn’t anything special. It was a samue, an apron to hold his notebook to jot down orders, and the handkerchief-like hat that covered most of his hair apart from his bangs. Oikawa had much more flattering outfits than his work uniform. So he really wasn’t sure why this old man was hitting on him.

Every time he walked by the man’s table, the man would find some way to bump his hand against Oikawa hip, thigh, or butt. And when Oikawa glared at him, the old man just gave him a sleazy smile in return.

Oikawa wanted to scream in frustration, but he could only sigh. Miko was upstairs looking after Seiji and Hatori was back in the kitchen. He was the only one out on the floor and other customers were too engrossed in their own food to notice the old man’s passes. Oikawa supposed he just had to grin and bear for the sake of good customer service.

Oikawa gritted his teeth as he was making his round and had to pass the old man’s table again. He wasn’t sure what he expected, but it certainly wasn’t the sharp pinch he got on his butt.

Oikawa jumped and yelped, spinning round and grabbing the man’s wrist tightly. “Don’t touch me,” Oikawa hissed.

“The man raised a brow. “Oh? What will you do about it, little omega? You were so obedient the last few times.”

“First, I’m by no means little, ossan. Second, I was trying to ignore you in favor of not making a scene. There’s a difference between tolerance and obedience. Learn it, along with some manners.” Oikawa knew his fangs were bared by now, but he didn’t care.

The man stood up and was so close Oikawa could smell beer on his breath. Oikawa wrinkled his nose.

“You want to repeat that? Or would you rather apologize like a good boy?”

Oikawa growled. “I’m sure you heard me the first time.”

The man grabbed Oikawa around his chin. “Maybe I should show you how to respect yer alphas,” the man said with a snarl.

“I don’t believe that will be necessary,” a voice cut in. Oikawa wrenched his face from the man’s grip to see Hatori approaching them.

“Who’re you?” the man asked in a slurred voice.

“Chef and owner of this restaurant,” Hatori replied.

“Good!” the man exclaimed. “I got a problem with yer waiter here. He’s rude and defiant, you should train him better.”

“Hm,” Hatori responded, eyes trailing over to Oikawa. “That’s interesting. I’ve got a problem with him too.”

The man puffed his chest proudly and Oikawa felt his heart sink.

“My problem is that he didn’t come to me the second you started harassing him. Now get out of my restaurant before I have the police remove you,” Hatori said calmly.

“Wh-What?” the man spluttered.

“I said leave and don’t come back. I’ll get you a restraining order if you want it to be official.”

The man gaped at Hatori before grumbling under his breath and picking up his things. He shot Oikawa a dirty glare as he stomped out of the restaurant.

The other customers quickly returned to their food. Miko came down the stairs.

“What’s going on? I heard a ruckus.”

“It’s fine,” Hatori sighed. “I took care of it.”

Miko turned to Oikawa and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Tooru dear? Why don’t you go upstairs? I’ll take over the floor.”

Oikawa nodded and headed up the stairs to find Seiji watching a cartoon movie. Seiji turned at the noise and lit up when he saw Oikawa.

“Mommy!” Seiji smiled, getting up and walking over to Oikawa. He stopped at Oikawa’s feet and gripped his pants leg. “Mommy…?”

Oikawa bent down to his knees and enveloped Seiji in a hug. “I’m ok,” he murmured. “We’re ok.”

***

Oikawa squinted through his glasses at the Economics formulas he needed memorized for the quiz at the end of the week. Seiji’s light snores were a constant soundtrack as he studied. But that steady rhythm was broken by a slam of a door and muffled yelling through the walls.

Oikawa took off his glasses and rubbed his temples before getting up and leaving his and Seiji’s room.

“Hey, hey!” Oikawa interrupted their commotion. “Seiji’s sleeping right now!” Oikawa looked at them sternly with a frown.

Kenma turned away from Kuroo and bit out, “Whatever,” before heading out the front door.

Kuroo ran a hand through his hair with a long suffering sigh.

Oikawa fidgeted in the lingering tense atmosphere. This was the third fight he broke up between them just this week.

***

Oikawa wandered the busy streets of Tokyo with Seiji holding his hand by his side. His midterms were over, but Kuroo and Kenma were still in the midst of theirs, and their apartment looked like a warzone of textbooks and notes.

Oikawa’s first thought was to slip off to Bokuto and Akaashi’s apartment for refuge, but Akaashi informed him over the phone that while both of them were done with midterms, Bokuto was currently in ‘dejected mode’ because he didn’t think he did well on his midterms.

So Oikawa decided that taking walks with Seiji to avoid Kuroo and Kenma’s study frenzy was a good way to spend his time and bond with his son.

Today, Oikawa and Seiji were walking through the busy streets of Tokyo by the office and production buildings. The skyscrapers loomed overhead while people milled below.

“Make sure not to let go of my hand, ok Seiji?”

“Ok, Mommy!”

Oikawa smiled down at his son before looking ahead and focusing on safely getting them through the crowded street. As Oikawa walked with Seiji, he let his thoughts wander.

His first semester of college was halfway done, and he still wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. Oikawa knew he had to find a job to provide for Seiji; he couldn’t live off his parents’ and sister’s generosity forever. Oikawa was studying business because it was a flexible profession, but he wasn’t too sure what he actually wanted to do with it. Oikawa sighed.

He had gotten into college on a sports scholarship; he wasn’t like Iwaizumi who had gotten a prestigious medical scholarship. Oikawa widened his eyes and halted his thoughts, though his feet continued forward.

It had been a while since Oikawa could think of Iwaizumi without the mess of heartache and anguish that ‘what if,’ left him with. But Oikawa did wonder what had happened to Iwaizumi. It was his last year of college too. Was he still pursuing medicine? Was he doing well in classes? Did he make new friends? A new best friend? Did he find someone to give his affection to? Has he already fallen in lo—

Oikawa’s thoughts were halted again, but this time, so were his steps. Lost in thought, Oikawa also lost sight of where he was going and he bumped into someone.

“Ah, I’m sorry,” Oikawa apologized to the stranger before a hand on his shoulder stopped him from continuing down the street.

Oikawa met the man’s eyes with a confused look. “You’re perfect…” the man breathed in an awed voice.

“Excuse me?”

“Please, I need you to come with me!” them man said, wrapping a hand around Oikawa’s bicep and pulling him into the building behind him.

“Wait, wait, I have my son with me!” Oikawa protested. He had no idea what was going on.

The man paused, turned around, and looked lower. “Son?” He looked back up and squinted at Oikawa. “You’re a little young for a son, aren’t you?”

Oikawa pressed his lips into an uncomfortable line.

“No matter,” the man suddenly decided, pulling Oikawa along again. “He can come too.”

The man pulled Oikawa with Seiji in tow into the building and across a busy lobby. He didn’t stop until he yanked Oikawa and Seiji with him into an ascending elevator.

“Where are you taking us?” Oikawa demanded with a huff. Seiji was trying to reach one of the elevator buttons, but was too short.

“A photo shoot,” the man said with a grin.

Oikawa thought he didn’t hear right. “Photo shoot?”

“You see, we had a model cancel on us today and I had just stepped outside to call a few people to see if they could help when you bumped into me. I’d like you to step in and model for my spread.”

“You couldn’t have told me this before manhandling me?” Oikawa complained.

“If I did, would you have come with me?”

Oikawa pouted in response.

“Of course, I’ll pay you what I was going to pay the model who flaked. If you do it.”

Oikawa turned to him a little. “I’m listening…”

The elevator reached its destination and the doors slid open. “Great, follow me,” the man said as he left.

Oikawa took Seiji’s hand and followed him down the hall. They went into a large studio room. The man was standing by the door and smiled when Oikawa came in.

“Alright, go over to the mirrors for hair and makeup, nothing drastic we’re just going to style your hair a bit and highlight some features. Then you can come over to the clothes rack to get fitted. The interns will take care of your son, I’ve briefed them already.”

“Um,” Oikawa started.

“I’m going to have a quick chat with the photographer. Ladies, take care of our guests.”

Before Oikawa could interject, a flock of women were before him.

“Come with me please, a woman with dark purple eyeliner and a lip piecing told him.

“Hi there sweetie, wanna play with me?” a girl around Oikawa’s age asked Seiji.

Oikawa resigned himself to fate at that point. As the makeup artists and designers got him ready, Oikawa couldn’t help looking over at Seiji constantly.

“He looks great girls,” the man said, coming over to inspect Oikawa. “Come on over, we’ll start taking shots.”

Oikawa swallowed nervously. He gave one last look to the interns playing dress up with Seiji before going to stand before the backdrop. But Oikawa couldn’t relax.

“You’re too stiff, try to loosen up,” the photographer suggested.

Oikawa felt restless with a lens focused on him. This wasn’t like the numerous selfies he used to take to pester…someone.

“Hm, none of these shots are working…” the man who brought Oikawa in said from his laptop.

Oikawa wasn’t sure what to do. Sure he could admit that he was attractive, but he was by no means a model.

“Mommy!” Oikawa looked down to see Seiji dressed in a designer children’s outfit at his feet. “Mommy smile!”

Oikawa laughed a little. He picked Seiji up and nuzzled him. “You’re right.”

Oikawa was so preoccupied with Seiji that he jolted when he heard the photographer yell, “And that’s a wrap, we got our shot!”

“H-Huh?”

The man walked up to Oikawa and handed him a check. “Boy, you really saved my skin by filling in! Thanks for that. I threw in a little extra since your son is in the shot too. And here’s my card. Give me a call if you ever need anything, favor for a favor. The girls love you two, so you’re welcome back any time.”

“Uh, sure,” Oikawa replied, a little dazed.

***

Oikawa was seated on the couch with Seiji bouncing in his lap. He had rented an animated educational movie about the ocean that Seiji was watching with intense interest.

Oikawa wanted to laugh, Seiji’s concentrated face reminded him of Iwaizumi’s expression when he was watching Godzilla or a recording of a match with Oikawa. But after thinking that, Oikawa couldn’t find much joy in himself.

Kuroo and Kenma were in the kitchen making dinner when Oikawa heard something fall to the floor and smash.

“Seiji, wait here,” Oikawa said, getting up and setting Seiji back down on the couch to continue watching his movie.

Oikawa walked over to the kitchen and overheard Kuroo sigh.

“Geez Kenma, I’ve told you to be more careful.” Oikawa peeked around the corner to see Kuroo bent down and picking up shards of glass from what Oikawa assumed to be a cup.

“Kenma? Are you listening to me?” Kuroo looked up from the pieces still scattered on the floor.

“I really wish you’d stop,” Kenma murmured, barely loud enough for Oikawa to hear.

“What?” Kuroo looked almost frightened.

“I’m sick and tired of you babying me, you know? I’m not that little kid from down the block who always got bullied anymore, I’m not your best friend you have to look out for on the team either, I’m me, and I can take care of myself. I don’t need you breathing over my shoulder all the time. I don’t want you to.”

Kuroo picked up the remaining glass and put it in the trash. “I never meant to make it seem like you’re helpless. I just, I want to help you whenever I can.”

“Sometimes it’s overbearing. I know I’m not the most stable, but I can hold my own without you.”

“Is that what you want?” Kuroo asked Kenma in a small, fragile voice. “Do you want to be without me?”

Kenma looked at Kuroo with wide eyes. “No, I thought that’s what you wanted. I feel like I’m in the way, intruding on your and Tooru’s space.”

“What does Tooru have to do with this?”

Kenma laughed but it lacked any humor. “I think you already know. I heard you that night on the balcony when you hugged him. ‘Being in love with someone you shouldn’t be.’ You should be happy. You know, every time we go out, the four of us, you stick like glue to Tooru and Seiji. You even carry Seiji most of the time. And all the time I hear people compliment the cute young couple and their adorable kid. You can rejoice now Kuroo, you’ve staked your claim on Tooru and everyone, even strangers can see it.”

Kuroo looked pale. “Kenma, you know that’s not what I was doing. Tooru’s an omega, people are gonna come after him if they see him alone and without an alpha. Especially since he has a kid. I’m trying to protect him. That’s all.”

Kenma gave a harsh bite to his lip and stayed silent for a few moments. “…Well isn’t that convenient?”

“Kenma,” Kuroo called in a deeper, more authoritative voice. “You know how people look at him. It’s not the same for you as a beta. And don’t you think you’re being a little hypocritical? You’re faulting me for paying extra attention to Tooru, but you get mad when I do the same to you.”

“It’s not the same! The intention isn’t the same! You treat Tooru like he’s your treasure, something to keep safe. You treat me like I’m your burden, your childhood friend who turned you into a babysitter!” Kenma spat.

This was getting out of hand and Oikawa knew he couldn’t intervene, or another misunderstanding would arise. Oikawa crept away from the kitchen as carefully and quietly as he could and went into his room. He packed up a small bag of pajamas for himself and Seiji along with toiletries. He came out of his room just in time for Seiji’s movie to finish. And to hear that the yelling from the kitchen had gotten louder.

“Mommy, what happen?” Seiji asked with a worried frown. It looked so much like Iwaizumi’s that Oikawa’s heart clenched.

Oikawa took Seiji into his arms and held him tight. “We’re heading out for a little bit, to let Uncle Kuroo and Kenma talk to each other.”

***

“Thanks for letting us spend the night,” Oikawa said as he accepted a cup of tea from Akaashi.

“It’s no problem Oikawa-san. You and Seiji are always welcome.”

There was a shriek of laughter and both of them turned to see Seiji riding Bokuto’s shoulders as Bokuto stomped around their flat.

“Hey, hey, Seiji! I bet Uncle Kuroo can’t do this for you like Uncle Bokuto can!” Bokuto was answered with more laughter.

Akaashi sighed fondly. “And as you can see, Bokuto loves to have you and Seiji around.”

“I’m glad,” Oikawa said, staring into his tea. “I’m glad that you guys care so much about the two of us. But I’d hate to think it was the reason Kuroo and Kenma fell apart.”

Akaashi placed a comforting hand on Oikawa’s shoulder. “They’ll be alright, Oikawa-san. A friendship like theirs endures anything.”

Oikawa stared at Seiji clutching Bokuto’s hair and giggling. “You’d be surprised,” Oikawa said in a hollow voice. “I thought the same of Seiji’s father before too.”

Akaashi opened his mouth to speak but he was interrupted by Bokuto coming over and bending down to their seated eye level.

“Hey, Oikawa! I always wanted to ask you something,” Bokuto started.

“What is it?” Oikawa asked cautiously.

“Why does Seiji call you ‘mom’? I mean, I know you’re genderfluid, but you go by ‘he’ pronouns.” While Bokuto asked this, Akaashi picked Seiji off of Bokuto’s shoulders and settled him on his lap.

“Oh.” Oikawa supposed he never really explained that to anyone. “It’s not really that complicated. I never changed my pronouns because I didn’t really care; I know who I am despite what people call me. And I mean, I’m already used to them. I actually don’t know why Seiji calls me mommy, but I have a hunch. I never told Seiji to call me anything when I started teaching words to him, I figured he’d call me what he wanted. I’m guessing that ‘mommy’ was the most prevalent parent in books and on TV, so that’s the parent he identified me as. Anyway, I didn’t mind so I let it stick.”

“Huh. That’s surprisingly simple,” Bokuto said.

Akaashi placed Seiji in Oikawa’s lap and pressed a kiss to Bokuto’s cheek. Then he patted Bokuto’s chest. “Alright Bokuto-san, Oikawa-san and Seiji haven’t eaten yet, so let’s make some dinner.”

***

Oikawa carefully opened the door to the apartment, easing the door only enough to peek in. The entryway was empty and there was silence throughout the apartment. Odd. It was already afternoon. Oikawa stepped inside the apartment, Seiji following closely behind him. Oikawa shut the door quietly and went to his room to put away his things and put Seiji down for a nap. He left his room, and ran into a shirtless Kuroo.

“Oh, hey,” Kuroo said with a lazy grin. “Was wondering when you’d get home.”

Oikawa was about to comment on Kuroo’s sloppy state when he was assaulted by an unidentifiable scent. It was cloying and a little nauseating, and Kuroo reeked of it. Oikawa wrinkled his nose as much as he could.

A pair of arms wrapped around Kuroo’s waist. Kenma, dressed in a hoodie and boxers, peeked from Kuroo’s side.

“Hey, Tooru.”

Oikawa’s eyes were starting to water. The scent was stronger now that Kenma had joined them. This intense scent was almost like…

“You two mated…?” Oikawa asked before he could fully process it.

Kuroo made an embarrassed face while Kenma hugged Kuroo tighter.

“We, uh, yeah. We did,” Kuroo said. “We just talked about each other, how we felt, and where we wanted to be together. And then it happened.”

Oikawa stared at them. “I’m happy for you,” he said, still a little dumbfounded but sincerely glad things worked out for them.

***

Not only was their scent nauseating, but so was their displays of affection. Paired with Bokuto and Akaashi, Kuroo and Kenma was just as disgustingly clingy and all over each other. Lunch at school consisted of Oikawa watching the two couples feed each other and plan double dates, only to remember him after and tack him on last minute.

“It’s fine,” Oikawa said with a withering smile. “I had plans this afternoon anyway.”

“Are you sure?” Bokuto asked.

“Mmhm,” Oikawa hummed, putting his bento away. “Seiji wanted to go play at this new park that opened, so I’m taking him there after school.”

“Seiji can come too! In fact, all of us can go to the park,” Kuroo said.

Oikawa smiled at him but knitted his brows. He appreciated Kuroo wanting to include everyone, but…

“It’s really fine guys. Enjoy your time together as couples. I’d like to spend some time with my son.” With that said, Oikawa left for his next class before anyone could refute him.

After classes were over, Oikawa went to the ramen shop to pick up Seiji. Waving goodbye to Miko and Hatori, the two of them walked to the new park. Oikawa had packed a thermos of tea and a light bento for the two of them to snack on.

The park was surrounded by trees, the center holding a large sandbox, a swing set, and a little dome structure that children could climb and hide in. There were a few benches on the periphery of the center. Oikawa set his bag down on the closest one.

“Ok Seiji, what do you want to do first?”

Seiji pointed at the dome. “Climb!!!”

“Alright, I’ll be there in a moment, don’t start climbing without me,” Oikawa called as Seiji dashed off.

Oikawa was rummaging through his bag to get his snack bento and thermos out so they’d be ready when he and Seiji wanted them, rather than digging through his bag later when Seiji would be hungry and grumpy. But before Oikawa could turn around, he became aware of a presence beside him. One that was startlingly alpha.

Oikawa was starting to get sick of alphas nosing into his business. He wrapped a hand around the thermos in his bag, ready to swing it out ad strike whoever was next to him. Oikawa took a deep breath and on three he looked up to see—

Kageyama? There was no mistaking the familiar fringe of dark hair, restless blue eyes, and furrowed brows. Kageyama seemed just as confused as Oikawa was.

“Oi-Oikawa-san? What are you doing here?”

Oikawa had no idea what to say, but he didn’t need to as someone else spoke up.

“Uwoah, the grand king? What’s he doing here? Does he go to school in Tokyo too?” Hinata asked, emerging from behind Kageyama’s back.

Oikawa felt frozen on the spot. Not only was he faced with Kageyama, but Hinata too? What was he supposed to say? How should he face them? He never expected to see them after high school.

Oikawa felt a tug on his pants leg. He looked down and saw hazel eyes that echoed another’s from the past.

“Mommy? Go climb?”

“M-Mommy? Oikawa-san!?” Kageyama spluttered.

Oikawa felt his veins freeze in horror, cold seeping to his core. Could he grab Seiji, their things, and run? How was he supposed to explain this situation if he couldn’t?

“Kageyama! Psst, Kageyama!” Hinata whispered loudly. “Don’t you think that kid looks an awful lot like the grand king?”

“He does, but like someone else too…” Kageyama remarked while narrowing his eyes at Seiji.

Seiji looked up at Oikawa and then back at Kageyama and Hinata before glaring intensely at them. Hinata stiffened and Kageyama’s eyes seemed to widen in realization.

“You’re bullying my Mommy! Go away!” Seiji yelled at them with a slight, light growl to his voice.

“We’re not bullying him, I used to be his kohai,” Kageyama started to explain.

“Mommy doesn’t like you!” Seiji countered, delivering a swift kick to Kageyama’s shin.

Kageyama let out a grunt of pain and surprise, going down to clutch his leg. Hinata snorted a laugh before quickly covering it with a cough.

“Ok, we just want to talk to your mom for a second, little boy,” Hinata said with a friendly smile, bending almost half way to sort of meet Seiji’s height.

Seiji said nothing, taking a step towards Hinata before jumping up and head-butting Hinata in the gut. Hinata let out a shout and clutched his stomach, collapsing to the ground.

Seiji stepped back with a “hmph,” crossing his arms and making a triumphant frown, much like the one Iwaizumi made after winning the arm wrestling championship.

Oikawa gasped and picked Seiji up. “Seiji! We don’t kick or head-butt people!”

Shakily, Kageyama and Hinata stood back up. “Oikawa-san, please hear me out…”

***

Oikawa watched Seiji making a sandcastle with Hinata over in the sandbox. Well, an attempt at it. It was really just a sand hill.

Oikawa was sitting on the bench with Kageyama, his bag used as a barrier between them. Oikawa wasn’t sure what to say to open this conversation.

“Oikawa-san… You had a child,” Kageyama said astutely.

“Obviously,” Oikawa drawled.

“Um,” Kageyama started looking around. “Where’s Iwaizumi-san?”

“Iwa-chan? Why would he be here?”

Kageyama tilted his head at Oikawa. “Iwaizumi-san is the father, right?”

Oikawa stared at Kageyama for a long moment. “How did you know?”

“Really Oikawa-san? Who else could the father be? Your son acts just like him.”

Oikawa sighed. “Iwa-chan’s…not around. He goes to school in Hokkaido. I figured he’d be better off without this burden, so I cut him off.”

Kageyama gaped in shock at Oikawa and stuttered a few phrases before becoming silent and looking down into his lap with a pensive expression.

Oikawa pulled out his thermos to pour himself a cup of tea. Oikawa took a sip and waited.

“You know, Oikawa-san, I think you were my first love,” Kageyama said and broke the silence.

Oikawa inhaled sharply in surprise and inhaled his tea, coughing and spitting to get it out for a good minute.

“Are you some kind of masochist, Tobio-chan?” Oikawa asked once he was able to speak again.

“No, it’s just, I think, um.” Kageyama paused. “You were the first player I looked up to, and I saw you as someone within my reach so I wanted to get closer to you. And I mistook that for love. But as I watched you and Iwaizumi-san, your friendship, your partnership, your trust and faith in each other, I think that’s when I learned what true love was. And,” Kageyama paused again, but this time to look fondly in Hinata’s direction. “I think I found it too.”

“That’s nice Tobio-chan, but Iwa-chan and I aren’t in love. We aren’t together, hell; we aren’t even friends anymore. I don’t see the point you’re trying to make. I guess I’m happy for you and Chibi-chan though.” Oikawa noisily slurped down the rest of his tea.

“Oikawa-san, do you seriously believe Iwaizumi-san doesn’t love you?”

Oikawa sighed heavily, leaning down to rest his forearms on the tops of his thighs and play with the empty cup in his hands. He heard Seiji laugh as Hinata’s side of their sand mound collapsed.

“I know he loved me to an extent. I don’t know how far that extent went though. I know it wasn’t as deep as mine. How could it be?” Oikawa straightened his back and sat up. “But in any case, whatever love he had for me should be long gone by now. We haven’t talked to each other since we started college.”

“He’ll wait for you,” Kageyama said with conviction. “He’ll wait for you, Oikawa-san.”

Oikawa didn’t know how to repond to that, but thankfully Hinata saved him from saying anything.

“Ah, grand ki— I mean, Oikawa-san, Seiji-kun is falling asleep. He almost face planted into our sand hill,” Hinata said, holding a drowsy Seiji in his arms.

Oikawa gathered his things and slung his bag over his shoulder before taking Seiji from Hinata. “Thanks Chibi-chan. I’ll see you and Kageyama around.”

Oikawa began to walk home, but Kageyama’s words still rung in his head.

He’ll wait for you, Oikawa-san.

***

The year was close to ending and it was time for Bokuto, Kuroo, and Oikawa to pick their professions. Kuroo had decided to become an editor on a whim, but he aced his interview at a reputable publishing house and landed a paid internship. Bokuto was freaking out about what to do and was confined to his flat while Akaashi attempted to help him choose and calm him down.

Oikawa wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He supposed he could still work at the ramen shop.

“You will not work here after you graduate,” Miko said when Oikawa brought up the idea during his closing shift.

“I agree,” Hatori said as he came out of the kitchen. “As much as we like having you and Seiji around, we’re not going to have you waste your time waiting tables for us. You need to go out and find yourself a career.”

The next day Oikawa wracked his head for ideas. Maybe a walk would clear his head. Oikawa pulled on one of his cardigans and something fell out of its pocket. Oikawa picked it up and found the business card of the man who had him and Seiji model for his spread.

Give me a call if you ever need anything, favor for a favor.

Oikawa flipped the card in his hand a few times before pulling out his phone and dialing the number.

A few hours later, Oikawa sat down to dinner with Kuroo and Kenma. Seiji had been fed earlier and was sleeping now.

“I have a job,” Oikawa started.

Kuroo and Kenma both turned to look at him at the same time.

“It’s at a production company. I’m going to assist a guy who does fashion spreads,” Oikawa finished.

Kenma smiled and Kuroo grinned.

***

Oikawa could feel the sweat dripping out of his every pore. The lights felt harsh as they reflected off the gym floor. Every breath he took was ragged, and his heart thrummed with force.

His team had battled hard to make it to the finals. Kuroo and Bokuto stood on the court with him, and on the other side of the net he could see Ushijima. It seemed Oikawa was finally having the rematch he wanted, but it felt like a hollow victory because the one he always fought with against Ushijima wasn’t there. But no matter.

They were at match point and in the lead. After so many grueling back and forth sets, Oikawa could hardly believe the score. He could feel victory in his bones. He needed to win.

The opposing team got ready to serve and Oikawa took this opportunity to look up into the audience seats. He saw his team’s banner, and standing behind it were Takeru and his older sister. Himari held Seiji in her arms so he could watch. Oikawa pressed a kiss to his palm and held it up to them. Seiji threw his hands out over the rails, closing them into fists to ‘catch’ Oikawa’s kiss. The referee’s whistle signaled Oikawa to get back into the game.

The other team sent the ball over the net, but the libero on Oikawa’s team received it perfectly.

“Oikawa-san!”

Oikawa got under the ball and set the ball to the person he knew would make the spike.

Bokuto had already jumped, and when the ball came before him, he slammed it down, past the middle blockers, and it hit the court harshly.

There were a few seconds where no one said a word on either side of the court before Oikawa’s team burst out in celebration. Coach Miyamoto ran onto court and ruffled Bokuto and Oikawa’s hair, then hugged Kuroo and slapped the other team members on the back with tears in her eyes.

Takeru was cheering loudly and Himari held Seiji high so he could yell along with everyone else.

They lined up and shook hands, and again Ushijima’s hand lingered on Oikawa’s.

“You’ve grown, Oikawa. I’m glad I got to play against you again, though it was too bad we never got to play together.”

“Thanks Ushiwaka-chan. I...actually feel the same.”

After the other team left the court, medals were handed out and Oikawa welcomed the weight around his neck with pride.

***

Oikawa set down the last box in his bedroom, taking a look at the bare walls and empty room, aside from the boxes piled up to be unpacked later and the bed Kuroo and Bokuto assembled for him. Seiji was still jumping up and down on his bed, excited to have his own room for the first time. Akaashi and Kenma were making sure he didn’t fall and hit his head.

“Are you sure, Oikawa? We have room in our apartment for you and Seiji,” Kuroo said, sitting on the mattress. Oikawa shooed him instantly to lay out the sheets.

“I’m fine Kuroo,” Oikawa assured him. “I need a place of my own, and my company offered this apartment at a discounted rent rate. It's close to my work and a daycare for Seiji.”

“Well, as long as we get to visit you!” Bokuto said with a grin. “I still can’t believe we all graduated…”

“I can’t believe you graduated,” Oikawa said slyly.

“Hey!” Bokuto yelled and Kuroo cackled.

“Still, you were lucky Coach Miyamoto offered you a job as assistant coach,” Kuroo pointed out.

A few hours passed as everyone set to work on unpacking Oikawa and Seiji’s things. Close to late afternoon, Kuroo, Kenma, Bokuto, and Akaashi left Oikawa and Seiji to organize leftover items.

Oikawa stretched his back after finishing Seiji’s room, unpacking everything and putting things in their place.

“Seiji,” Oikawa called to him. Seiji looked up from the toys he was playing with on his freshly made bed. “How about we do a little grocery shopping for dinner?”

Seiji jumped off the bed and raced to the door.

Oikawa walked down the aisle with Seiji on one arm and he pushed the cart with the other arm. Oikawa paused to look at a box of crackers, trying to take mental stock of the food he already put away in the apartment.

“Mommy, buy this, buy this,” Seiji pleaded. Oikawa saw that Seiji was holding up a box of cookies, but he knew they still had some leftover.

Oikawa chuckled, giving Seiji an affectionate eskimo kiss before easing the box out of his hands. “No, Seiji,” Oikawa said. “We have cookies at home. We need to finish those before buying more, ok?”

“O-Oikawa?” a voice gasped.

Oikawa turned without thinking. Anyone would, when being addressed. But he should have listened more carefully. He should have known whose voice that was. He shouldn’t have been so distracted by thei— his son.

Because when Oikawa looked, everything came back. Oikawa remembered bandaged knees and missing teeth. He remembered secrets whispered under a shared blanket during sleepovers. He remembered shoulder bumps and faint fingertips, ghosts of touches that still made his skin itch.

Even after four years of separation, of no contact, Iwaizumi Hajime made Oikawa fall in love with him.

Oikawa thought of all the dreams he had where he reunited with Iwaizumi. But never in his wildest dreams did he think it would happen like this.

“Iwa…izumi. How nice it is to see you again.”

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi let out a sigh, the chilly air turning his breath into a white puff that quickly dissipated.

It was winter now, and Iwaizumi thought back to the day he met Oikawa again in that grocery store. That was close to the end of summer, and now that winter was coming around, Iwaizumi realized it was about four months since he and Oikawa reunited.

It wasn’t enough. Four months in comparison to the four years they’ve been apart seemed too small. Iwaizumi wanted to see the cherry blossoms bloom in the spring with Oikawa and Seiji too, wanted to enjoy a full summer with them and go back to the beach, and have more picnics in the fall. And this season, Iwaizumi wanted to pull out the kotatsu, with a hot pot for Oikawa and Seiji to share with him.

Even then, Iwaizumi wanted more. He wanted to spend every season for the rest of his life with Oikawa and Seiji, smiling and laughing with them, fighting and crying, anything, as long as they were together.

Iwaizumi wanted to raise his son with Oikawa, watch Seiji start elementary school, and he wanted them to grow as a family.

Iwaizumi stared up at Oikawa’s apartment complex. He rode the train back from Miyagi that morning after spending five days at home with his parents. He stopped by next door to the Oikawa’s to see if by chance Oikawa and Seiji had gone home, but no such luck. Iwaizumi figured as much, but still asked Oikawa’s parents if they had an idea where Oikawa was. They didn’t.

Iwaizumi was beginning to worry. This felt like déjà vu, back to his first year of university where Oikawa shut him out.

Iwaizumi took a deep breath of the cold air to clear his head. Then he started climbing the stairs up to the second floor of the complex. Iwaizumi stopped outside the door to Oikawa's apartment and wondered if he should knock. If he did, would there be an answer? If there wasn’t, was it because Oikawa was ignoring him, or because there simply wasn’t anyone there anymore?

Iwaizumi hovered around before finally leaning back against the wall and sliding down to sit under the nameplate next to Oikawa’s door.

***

“—an!”

Iwaizumi thought he heard something, but his eyes felt so heavy.

“—shan!”

There it was again. It sounded so familiar. Iwaizumi wondered if he should answer, but that felt too strenuous at the moment.

“Iwa-shan!” Two small, warm hands clapped him on the face. Iwaizumi snapped his eyes open and saw a smiling Seiji giggling at him. “You woke up!”

Being this close, Iwaizumi realized just how much Seiji was of himself and Oikawa. Iwaizumi was always aware of how much Seiji resembled Oikawa, from the curl of his hair, the shape of his face and eyes, the way his nose scrunched when he was mad, and the way his lips curved into the same smile his mother had. Seiji still had the childhood freckles Oikawa used to have when they were kids, and they seemed to scatter across Seiji’s face the same way Oikawa’s had.

But Iwaizumi could see himself too. His mother was right, Seiji did radiate the friendly, gravitating atmosphere Iwaizumi had, which Oikawa didn’t inherently possess. Seiji’s eye color was a reflection of his own, and so was his hair color and skin tone. Iwaizumi felt like an idiot for not realizing sooner. Belatedly, he remembered what Oikawa told him before he vanished:

“As my little baby grew older, I realized that he’s just like you. The way he plays outside hunting bugs and comes home with a new scrape somewhere on his skin. The way he smiles and laughs and frowns with furrowed brows. He has your eyebrows too, they haven’t grown in yet, but I can tell. Especially the way he worries about me and comforts me; Seiji won’t say a word when I’m upset, he’ll just quietly hold me tight like you used to do. These similarities made me want to laugh, but all I could do was cry. Everyone says Seiji is exactly like me, but whenever I look at him, all I see is you.”

Suddenly, it occurred to Iwaizumi that this was the first time he was looking at Seiji since learning he was Seiji’s father.

“Mommy, Iwa-shan woke up!” Seiji said, turning to his right and looking up.

Iwaizumi followed Seiji’s line of sight to see Oikawa at his door, a neutral expression on his face as he stared at Iwaizumi. Oikawa was dressed in a light long coat, enough to keep the slight chill away, with a scarf, black leggings, and knee high boots. There were several bags by his feet and two suitcases.

Oikawa dug through the pockets of his coat and pulled out his keys wordlessly. Iwaizumi noticed that the two keychains he had, the volleyball mascot and an alien, were both from himself. Oikawa unlocked the door and opened it, picked up the bags and one of the suitcases.

“It’s cold out,” Oikawa began. He started stepping into his apartment. “…come inside.”

Seiji followed Oikawa into the apartment, and Iwaizumi scrambled to his feet, grabbing the leftover suitcase and entering Oikawa’s apartment through the door left ajar.

Iwaizumi closed the door behind himself, and slipped his shoes off. Oikawa peeked into the entryway, face still passive. He had taken off his coat and was wearing a plain long sleeve shirt.

“You brought in the other suitcase? Thanks,” Oikawa said, coming over to Iwaizumi and reaching to take the suitcase from his hand. Their hands brushed as the handle was transferred to Oikawa’s grip, and Iwaizumi saw that Oikawa’s blank mask twitched.

“I’ll put the souvenirs and bags away. Stay here with Seiji,” Oikawa said, turning away and heading down the hall.

Iwaizumi slowly stepped into the apartment, absorbing all the details he could. This first time in Oikawa’s apartment may very well be his last. But he tried not to dwell on that thought.

The layout of Oikawa’s apartment was different from his own, and more spacious. That made sense, they lived in different buildings after all. It was different from Bokuto and Akaashi’s too. It was probably different from Kuroo and Kenma’s as well, the apartment Oikawa and Seiji lived in during Oikawa’s college years.

Iwaizumi wandered around the living room a little bit. There was a couch, small table, TV, and a toy box on one side of the room, and a small bookcase next to the TV. Iwaizumi went over to the bookcase since it was in front of him. There was an assortment of framed photos on top of it.

A few Iwaizumi recognized from seeing them in Oikawa’s room as they grew up together; a picture of Oikawa with his sister and parents, a picture of Oikawa before his first volleyball game, and a picture pushed to the back, obscured by the other frames. It was the same picture of himself and Oikawa when they were six that Iwaizumi had in his room. Oikawa had an arm slung over his shoulders, caught mid-laugh. Iwaizumi was ducked a little, grinning wide. Iwaizumi still loved this photo was because at the time Oikawa had lost one of his front teeth and had refused to smile at all until the new one grew back. Yet Iwaizumi was still able to make him smile despite that, and it made him proud.

The pictures that were placed in front and on focus were ones Iwaizumi had never seen before. One photo was of an exhausted Oikawa wearing a hosipital gown, cradling a newborn in his arms, with Himari on one side and Bokuto and Kuroo on the other, all happy and excited.

Seiji’s birth then, Iwaizumi thought.

The next photo had Seiji when he was a little older, held by Oikawa with Kenma and Akaashi flanking him and Kuroo and Bokuto behind them. Another frame held a picture of the entire Oikawa family, from Oikawa’s parents, Himari, her husband, and Takeru, to Oikawa and Seiji. The most recent photo was simply of Oikawa and Seiji, but both of them were dressed in formal kimonos. Oikawa was crouched down, supporting Seiji to stand up straight for the photographer most likely. Iwaizumi recognized the bag Seiji held up proudly as a chitose ame bag, and since Seiji was three years old, Iwaizumi figured it was Seiji’s first Shichi-Go-San.

A small hand clasped his own and Iwaizumi almost jumped out of his skin. Seiji grinned up at him.

***

“Me and Mommy took the, the, Shinka-Shinka train!”

“Shinka train…?” Iwaizumi asked.

“He means the Shinkansen train,” Oikawa supplied from the kitchen. Iwaizumi turned to him and their eyes met briefly before Oikawa went back to preparing dinner.

Iwaizumi was at a loss of what to do if Oikawa was going to keep being so cold to him. But he supposed he should have expected as much.

“Then, then, we saw everything,” Seiji said, continuing to recount his and Oikawa’s weeklong trip to Kyoto with stars practically shining in his eyes.

Iwaizumi pulled Seiji into his lap as Seiji continued to babble about castles and palaces, the Kyoto Tower, the aquarium, the manga museum, and temples. It seemed like they stayed in central Kyoto.

While Seiji was speaking, Oikawa wordlessly gave Iwaizumi a plate of onigiri, enough to feed both Iwaizumi and Seiji, and then he went off to his room. Iwaizumi guessed he was going to unpack his things.

Seiji continued to talk about all the sights while Iwaizumi ate his share, and when Iwaizumi realized not even hunger would stop Seiji’s rant, Iwaizumi started feeding him between pauses. After finishing the food, Seiji was able to go on for about an hour before starting to nod off.

As if on cue, Oikawa came out of his room and walked over to Iwaizumi in the living room. Gently, he lifted Seiji off of Iwaizumi’s lap and cradled Seiji in his arms, pressing a soft kiss to Seiji’s forehead. Oikawa walked off again, going into a different room, which Iwaizumi guessed was Seiji’s bedroom.

Iwaizumi wasn’t sure what to do now. Should he leave? Should he wait? Had he overstayed his welcome? It was hard to tell with Oikawa being as impassive as stone. The only person who wanted him around was now asleep. Maybe he should discreetly head out—

Oikawa came out of Seiji’s room and carefully shut the door behind himself so it wouldn’t make much noise. Silently, he walked past Iwaizumi and sat on the other end of the couch, with his back to the armrest and his knees tucked up to his chest. Oikawa hugged his legs and stared at Iwaizumi, seeming to study him.

Iwaizumi fiddled with his hands in his lap, but he couldn’t look away from Oikawa’s gaze.

“He really missed you, you know?” Oikawa broke the silence, and Iwaizumi almost jumped, because Oikawa’s mouth was hidden behind his knees, so he couldn’t tell that Oikawa began to speak.

“Did he?” Iwaizumi asked. He wasn’t sure what else he could say in this situation.

Oikawa nodded, casting his eyes down. “Seiji would talk about you every day we were in Kyoto. He would point out things that reminded him of you, he would pick up souvenirs he wanted to buy for you, and he’d always say, ‘Let’s come back with Iwa-shan, Mommy.’”

Iwaizumi’s heart felt full, knowing how much he meant to Seiji. But it didn’t feel complete; not when he had no idea how Oikawa felt about him.

Oikawa smiled a little, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “I shouldn’t have kept him from you for so long…”

Iwaizumi chuckled to alleviate the tense mood, but it didn’t really help. “You were only gone for a week.”

Oikawa’s eyes narrowed, becoming sharper, and he frowned at Iwaizumi. “You know that’s not what I meant.”

Iwaizumi opened his mouth to respond but he couldn’t find the words to say.

Oikawa pressed his forehead into his knees. “I’m sorry,” Oikawa said, in a tone that Iwaizumi knew he had begun to cry. “Hajime, I’m so sorry…”

Iwaizumi didn’t know what to say, but he did know what to do when Oikawa cried. Slowly, he reached for Oikawa, grasping Oikawa’s legs and pulling them his lap, rubbing and massaging them gently like he did when Oikawa used to overexert himself after volleyball practice.

With his legs stretched out, Oikawa brought up his hands to cover his face instead. Iwaizumi could hear hitched sobs from behind them.

Iwaizumi realized that Oikawa being stoic before wasn’t to give him the cold shoulder; Oikawa didn’t want to break down in front of Seiji.

“I’ve been so messed up,” Oikawa said in a shaky voice. “Trying to raise Seiji by myself. I thought I didn’t need you. I thought you didn’t want me. I tried to forget about you. But how could I?” Oikawa scrubbed at his eyes and sniffled loudly. “How could I forget you when Seiji was growing up to be just like you? How could I forget you when I… I…”

It was obvious what Oikawa wants to say isn’t coming out, so Iwaizumi spoke up. “Tooru, you don’t need to forget me. I’m here. And I’ll stay here with you and Seiji for as long as you need me to.”

Oikawa paused, biting his lip as more tears rolled down his cheeks. “I was scared. I’ve wanted you with me for so long, I wasn’t sure what to do when you made it seem like you weren’t leaving. So I ran away again.”

Iwaizumi took hold of Oikawa’s wrists and pulled Oikawa’s hands from his face. Oikawa sniffled and more tears ran down his blotchy red cheeks. His nose was running and his eyes were puffy. Iwaizumi thought Oikawa was beautiful.

“You have me,” Iwaizumi told him, letting go of Oikawa’s wrists to wipe his tears away. “As long as you want me, I’ll never leave you. Tooru, you weren’t the only one messed up. I agonized over why you left without a word all the time before we met again. You were always on my mind, a constant worry of why you didn’t want to speak to me again. I thought about you so much it almost felt like you never left. But I had this constant pain in my chest, this hole filled with unease because I didn’t know what happened to you. I wish I had realized sooner it was heartache.”

Oikawa eyes widened and shined with his unshed tears. Iwaizumi took a breath to steel himself for what he was going to say next.

“When I saw you again, the unease cleared away, but that hole in my heart was still empty. I didn’t know what it meant until I started spending time with you and Seiji, and that hole was filled with my love for the both of you.”

Oikawa was trembling now, lips quivering and tears brimming his eyes, ready to fall. Iwaizumi’s heart was thrumming in his chest, a steady, heavy beat so loud he wasn’t sure if he could hear anything else.

“I love you Tooru. I love Seiji too. He’s so gorgeous, so perfect, I can’t imagine my life without him. I don’t want to think about living without you two with me. It’s so empty in my heart without you and Seiji, I don’t think I could bear it. So you have me Tooru. You don’t need to forget me, and you don’t need to run away anymore.” Iwaizumi stroked Oikawa’s damp cheeks. “…Do you want me?”

Oikawa was overcome with emotion, but he was able to lay his hands over Iwaizumi’s as he composed himself. He took gulps of air and gripped Iwaizumi’s hands, pulling them away from his face, but keeping them in his hold.

“Of course I do Hajime,” Oikawa said, voice raw from his tears but clear. “I’ve been in love with you for years. I just, I never imagined that I could have you, so now that I know you want me, now that I know you’re mine, I’m, I’m just the happiest!” Oikawa laughed even though it hurt his throat a bit. “I’ve never been this happy. And Seiji, Seiji will be so happy too! I, I don’t know what to do with all this happiness. Hajime, what should I do?”

Iwaizumi had the biggest smile he could ever remember making on his face as he listened to Oikawa. He squeezed Oikawa’s hands in his and leaned closer. “We’ll share it. We’ll share this happiness until it doesn’t overwhelm us anymore, and then we’ll make more happiness. We’ll give most of it away to Seiji of course, but Seiji will give us some back, and we’ll need to save some to show our friends too—”

“Pfft. Hahaha!” Iwaizumi was interrupted by Oikawa’s laughter.

At first Iwaizumi thought Oikawa was laughing at his idea, but then he noticed that Oikawa was simply laughing out of pure joy. Iwaizumi’s smile grew wider until he started laughing too. Both of them were leaning closer until their foreheads bumped and then they rested their foreheads together as their laughter quieted.

“Hajime?” Oikawa started softly.

“Hm?” Iwaizumi hummed in response.

“Thank you,” Oikawa said, gratitude and love so sincere spilling out of his voice as he stared deep into Iwaizumi’s eyes.

Iwaizumi couldn’t be blamed for what he did next, not with Oikawa looking at him like that. At least he hoped not.

Iwaizumi leaned just a little more and closed the gap between their lips. It was a ghost of a kiss, the barest brush of lips, but it made Iwaizumi heart race and palms sweat. Oikawa’s lips were impossibly soft, probably from all the lip balm he religiously applied, and Iwaizumi felt self-conscious of his lips, chapped from the cold.

Iwaizumi started to lean back, but Oikawa almost pitched forward, pressing his lips more insistently against Iwaizumi’s, but the kiss remained chaste.

“Mmph!” Iwaizumi let out in surprise.

Oikawa pulled back from the kiss with tears clinging to his lashes. He buried his face in his hands again, but this time he was laughing behind them. After a few moments, Oikawa looked up again, giggling with tears slowly falling down his cheeks.

“I’ve wanted to do that since our third year of middle school…!”

Iwaizumi felt his heart surge in his chest, beating full force against his ribs. But it wasn’t painful. Everything was warm. His heart, his cheeks, his lips, his hands, and the look in Oikawa’s eyes.

“Well, we don’t have to wait anymore. We can kiss whenever we want to, right?”

Oikawa giggled again. “Right.”

Iwaizumi was about to go in for another kiss when Oikawa gasped.

“It’s late! I have work tomorrow morning, and I need to drop Seiji off at the daycare before that…”

Iwaizumi nodded. “I’ll head out then.”

“Do you need me to drive you home?” Oikawa asked, but Iwaizumi could tell he was tired, physically and emotionally.

He shook his head. “It’s not too late, I’ll catch a train home.” Iwaizumi got up from the couch and headed to the entryway. “Get some rest Oikawa,” he added, slipping on his shoes.

Oikawa walked up behind him and saw him out the door. “I’ll text you tomorrow. Good night, Iwa-chan. I hope you get some rest too.”

Oikawa pecked Iwaizumi on the lips one more time before blushing and shutting the door.

Iwaizumi had a spring in his step all the way down to the station.

***

“Wait, wait, let me get this right,” Hanamaki said. “Oikawa’s back. And the two of you talked, made up, and then made out?”

“We didn’t make out,” Iwaizumi said around a piece of grilled fish. “We just…kissed a little.”

Hanamaki’s expression pinched. “Gross, you’re blushing. What is this middle school romance crap? You’re both in your twenties.”

Matsukawa patted Iwaizumi on the back and handed him another bowl of rice. “There’s no shame in taking things slow, Hana,” Matsukawa pointed out.

“Taking things slow!? They have a kid already, Matsu! The time for taking things slow is over!”

“Ah, speaking of Seiji, how is he taking the news?” Matsukawa asked

Iwaizumi swallowed a mouthful of rice. “I’m not sure. This just happened last night, and after Seiji was put to bed. Oikawa said he’d text me today, but he has work in the morning, and I’m not sure what he told Seiji before dropping him off at daycare. And I don’t really know if we have news to share.”

“What do you mean you don’t have news to share!?” Hanamaki demanded, almost spilling his miso soup. “You came over just to tell us about you and Oikawa confessed undying love to each other over breakfast not ten minutes ago!”

“Yeah, but that’s just it,” Iwaizumi explained. “We told each other how we felt and we kissed, so now we’re honest with each other and on the same page. But I don’t know what that same page is. We’re together, but are we dating? Are we in a relationship? Are we committed to each other?”

“Hm,” Matsukawa hummed. “Weren’t you two dating before?”

“I…guess?” Iwaizumi said. “I mean it was really casual, mostly just meet ups, and Seiji was almost always with us.”

“That’s what you do when you date!” Hanamaki said. “You meet up casually and get a feel for each other. So, you were getting a feel for Oikawa after he left for four years again, and also Seiji too.”

Iwaizumi frowned over his tea. “Don’t make it sound like I was dating my son.”

“Oh yeah, does Seiji know you’re his father?” Matsukawa asked.

“I don’t think so,” Iwaizumi said. “Oikawa probably hasn’t told him, and I’m not sure there’s a way we can explain it to him where he’d understand. Besides, it’s too early. I’m telling you, we only sorted this out last night.”

“Well, let’s just agree that you and Oikawa are in a committed relationship now, and that you’ll address your position as Seiji’s father later,” Hanamaki said, setting his chopsticks down with an irritated sigh.

***

Iwaizumi stretched in the break room, his lunch on the table before him. Matsukawa had made a bento for him before he left for work after breakfast.

It felt good to get back to work. He missed seeing his patients, and he missed his coworkers too.

Just as he thought that, Sugawara walked in. “Yo, Iwaizumi! I heard you got the mid shift today, how were your rotations?”

“Good,” Iwaizumi answered. “Thanks for getting me those days off again, Sugawara.”

“No problem,” Sugawara replied, seating himself across from Iwaizumi. “Did the days off help?”

“Actually…” Iwaizumi began, and told Sugawara about his trip home and especially about what happened the night before.

Sugawara gaped at Iwaizumi as what he heard sunk in, and then he grinned brightly. “That’s great! I’m so happy for you two! And Seiji will be thrilled!”

Iwaizumi nodded, and his phone pinged with a text. It was from Oikawa.

Just got out of work! \^o^/ Can I call you tonight? :3c

Sure, Iwaizumi replied, and pocketed his phone.

He smiled at Sugawara. “Things are going really great.”

***

Iwaizumi dried his hair after his shower, dressed in comfortable sweats for sleeping. He went over to his fridge and pulled out a can of beer. He didn’t make it a habit to drink, the most he ever drank at once was when…that happened a week ago, but he did enjoy a beer when there was something worth celebrating.

Just as he took his first sip, Iwaizumi’s phone rang with Oikawa’s caller ID flashing.

“Hello?” Iwaizumi said as he picked up. He hoped he didn’t sound too eager.

“Hi, Iwa-chan! Sorry to call you kind of late, I wanted to call sooner, but I had to pick up Seiji and run some errands.”

“It’s not a problem,” Iwaizumi assured him.

Oikawa giggled a little and Iwaizumi smiled. He wasn’t the only one who still had some leftover giddiness from last night.

“That’s good. I…we have a lot to talk about, don’t we?” Oikawa asked.

“Yeah…” Iwaizumi agreed. “Can I ask: what are we? I, uh, talked about it over breakfast with Hanamaki and Matsukawa, I hope that’s ok, and well, Hanamaki said we’re in a committed relationship now and I just walked to clarify with you…”

“Hee hee, you sound so nervous Iwa-chan!” Oikawa laughed. “It’s fine to talk to Makki and Mattsun about us, I wanted to meet up with them with you too. And yeah, I’d like us to be in a committed relationship, is that’s alright with you…”

“It is! It’s better than alright! That’s what I want too!” Iwaizumi said, almost tipping his beer can over.

Oikawa giggled again. “I’m glad.”

“Can I ask something else too?” Iwaizumi hedged. He knew Oikawa wasn’t going to run away again, and that they were being honest with each other, but it never hurt to be cautious.

“Sure, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa said, sounding amused.

“Are we going to tell Seiji about our relationship? And that I’m his father?”

The line was quiet for a few beats. Iwaizumi nervously chugged a few gulps of beer in the silence.

“Let’s…wait. Not that I don’t want to, but I’m not sure how Seiji will react to suddenly having another parent. We both know he adores you, but I don’t know if he’ll be keen on the idea so soon. I’m worried. If he throws a tantrum because he doesn’t want us together, I’m not sure what we’ll do. How about we just go through this gradually; have you spend just a little bit more time with us until you’re almost always around, and we’ll see how Seiji responds at each increment. Does that sound good?”

“That sounds like a good plan,” Iwaizumi agreed. As much as Seiji loved him, Seiji was definitely a momma’s boy, and he might not be too happy with another man in his mom’s life, even someone he liked.

“Anything else you want to ask?” Oikawa wondered.

“Ah, no, I guess I’m done,” Iwaizumi said.

“Then can I ask you something?” Oikawa’s voice was strangely coy.

“Go ahead,” Iwaizumi answered, voice coming out gruffer than he meant it to.

“Do you want to go out on our first official date as a couple tomorrow? This new café opened up by my office and they have this signature parfait I want to try. I can get Kuroo and Kenma to babysit Seiji.”

Iwaizumi’s heart kick started in his chest again. Would being with Oikawa always make him this anxious and excited?

“Yeah, let’s go.”

***

“Say ‘ahhh’ Iwa-chan,” Oikawa said, holding up a spoonful of the green tea strawberry parfait this café was apparently famous for.

“You’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you?” Iwaizumi sighed.

Iwaizumi had picked Oikawa up from the studio after his shift ended and they walked together to the café, which was only about two blocks away. Oikawa was wearing a long skirt that went down to his ankles with short boots and a thick, oversized sweater. He had one of those popular Korean twist headbands that made it look like he had bunny ears and he was wearing peach tinted lip gloss. To top it off, Oikawa was swinging his feet under the table in a way where his feet were brushing against his on every other swing. He was hardly playing fair, but Iwaizumi should have seen this coming; he had forgotten how much of a shameless flirt Oikawa was when he had someone he liked.

“What do you mean?” Oikawa asked, batting his naturally long eyelashes at Iwaizumi. “I’m just trying to share this parfait with you, my boyfriend.”

Iwaizumi gritted his teeth against the blush that spread across his cheeks. He hated getting embarrassed like this, but Oikawa loved riling him up.

“Iwa-chan? What’s wrong? Green tea is your favorite, isn’t it?” Oikawa sounded innocent, but the grin on his face spoke for itself.

Iwaizumi resigned himself to fate. He opened his mouth to let Oikawa feed him the parfait, but Iwaizumi figured it was worth it, the way Oikawa’s eyes lit up.

“Iwa-chan, you don’t need to be so shy,” Oikawa told him, taking a spoonful of parfait for himself. Iwaizumi heated up realizing they only had one spoon so it was essentially an indirect kiss. “This is a couple spot, we aren’t doing anything odd. In fact, we might be one of the tamer couples in here.”

Iwaizumi discreetly looked around café and saw that Oikawa was right; there was a couple at a booth, but they were smushed together on one side, there was another couple giving each other eskimo kisses over a shared drink, and a couple across from them was holding hands on top of their table.

While Iwaizumi was looking around, Oikawa finished the last of the parfait. Iwaizumi got up, shrugging his coat on and he held his hand out to Oikawa to help him out of his seat. It was satisfying to see Oikawa flush a little before taking his hand. Iwaizumi looked over Oikawa’s outfit again as he stood up.

“Why are you wearing a skirt in this weather? Don’t complain if you get too cold.”

Oikawa pouted. “I’m wearing tights under them! Besides, I know that Iwa-chan will lend me his coat if I do complain.”

“Hmph,” Iwaizumi huffed, but offered his arm for Oikawa to take as they left the café.

***

Iwaizumi and Oikawa didn’t go out on dates often. It was hard when they had a child to care for, so they spent most of their time at each other’s apartments. Whoever got off of work first would pick up Seiji from daycare and take him back to their respective apartment. Then, whoever got off later would meet up at the apartment the other two were at. And if Iwaizumi had the day off, Oikawa would drop Seiji off at his apartment rather than taking him to daycare. If Oikawa had the day off, Iwaizumi would go straight to his apartment after work to be with him and Seiji.

But they spent more time at Oikawa’s apartment; it was larger and nicer than Iwaizumi’s and after Seiji threw a tantrum for not having a toy he wanted to play with while at Iwaizumi’s, Oikawa made a spare key for Iwaizumi so he could take Seiji to the apartment after picking him up.

Steadily, Iwaizumi found more and more of his things in Oikawa’s apartment. It started small; Iwaizumi would forget his jacket at Oikawa’s apartment, but then it grew to Iwaizumi bringing his good pots to help Oikawa cook and just leaving them there because he’d be back the next day anyway. Before he knew it, his own apartment became somewhat of a storage space, where’s its only purpose really was for him to sleep and get ready for work.

***

“You two are sickening,” Hanamaki grumbled.

“Eh~? Are you jealous Makki? You know envy isn’t very attractive right?” Oikawa teased.

Hanamaki growled and Oikawa laughed. Iwaizumi shook his head and kept eating his lunch. Bokuto and Akaashi were looking after Seiji today so he and Oikawa could go on a lunch ‘double date’ with Hanamaki and Matsukawa.

“Don’t mind him Oikawa,” Matsukawa said. “He’s just annoyed because a lot of his students are getting together because Christmas is coming up.”

“Ah, I forgot about the Christmas fever that hits high schools,” Oikawa mused. Then he leaned over to bump shoulders with Iwaizumi next to him. “So~? What shall we do for Christmas, Iwa-chan?”

“Don’t you dare start this conversation over food!” Hanamaki yelled. “I’ll lose my appetite.”

Oikawa cackled and Iwaizumi rolled his eyes.

“Makki, don’t be so salty. If it really bothers you so much, why don’t you find yourself a date for Christmas too?”

“Yeah, right. I’m swamped with work and I hardly go out. Where am I going to find a date for Christmas?” Hanamaki sighed.

“Well, I don’t really think you need to look all that far,” Oikawa said, gaze sliding over to Matsukawa who stiffened in response.

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi called. “Drop it.” He looked into Oikawa’s eyes to convey You’re crossing the line of Matsukawa’s comfort zone.

Oikawa pouted but gave in. “Che, fine…”

“It still creeps me out when you guys do that weird telepathy thing,” Hanamaki commented.

“Well, Tobio-chan did say we were linked mentally,” Oikawa said.

“And physically,” Matsukawa added with a wink.

Hanamaki burst out laughing at the blush that immediately covered both Oikawa and Iwaizumi’s faces.

***

Iwaizumi turned off the TV as Seiji fell asleep on him. Seiji was drooling a stain on his shirt, but Iwaizumi didn’t mind. Iwaizumi secured Seiji in his arms and gently got up, padding over to Seiji’s room and tucking him into bed.

“Ah, he fell asleep,” Oikawa said, peering over Iwaizumi’s shoulder.

“Yeah,” Iwaizumi stated, carefully prying Seiji’s hand from the hem of his shirt. He turned to look at Oikawa and saw the Oikawa was beaming.

Oikawa kissed Iwaizumi softly. “Thanks for putting him to bed.”

“No problem,” Iwaizumi replied. “How was your shower?”

“Well, I got all the sauce out of my hair, if that’s what you’re asking,” Oikawa said pointedly. “I can’t believe Seiji just spilled it on me after I tried to pick up his spoon for him.”

Iwaizumi chuckled. “My boy makes me proud.”

Oikawa rolled his eyes. “Anyway, thanks for staying later than usual. Did Seiji make a fuss?”

“No, we finished dinner and cleaned up just fine, and then he fell asleep on my lap while watching TV.”

“Damn, I would’ve wanted a picture of that,” Oikawa cursed.

Iwaizumi shook his head as they left Seiji’s room. “I’ll make sure you don’t get the opportunity to take that photo.” Iwaizumi pulled on his jacket. “I’ll head home now.”

Iwaizumi was stopped by Oikawa grabbing his sleeve.

“You know…I don’t mind if you spend the night here. You can bring a pair of your scrubs and keep it here, I have an extra toothbrush and towels, I could drop you off at work too…” Oikawa said, ears tipped red.

“Are you sure?” Iwaizumi asked, trying to ignore the fact that he felt like he was having a heart attack.

“We’ll talk to Seiji about it, the next time you come over. Bring your scrubs and any toiletries you think you’ll need, and we’ll ask Seiji if he’s ok with you spending the night here.” Oikawa said, before kissing Iwaizumi goodbye and goodnight.

***

Sugawara was bouncing his leg restlessly in the breakroom ever since Iwaizumi came in.

Iwaizumi tried to ignore it, eating his lunch instead, but Sugawara wasn’t addressing what was on his mind and their break was almost over.

“Sugawara, is there something you want to tell me?” Iwaizumi asked, packing his bento away.

Sugawara almost jumped, but he composed himself. “Er, it’s something I’d like to ask, actually…” he began.

“A double date with you and Sawamura?” Iwaizumi clarified.

“Daichi and I have been talking about talking our relationship to the next level…becoming fiancés and everything. We’ve also been talking about kids, so I really wanted to pick your and Oikawa’s brain for advice and expertise! And you can bring Seiji too! We’ll eat at a family restaurant; how does that sound?”

“I’ll ask Oikawa tonight and see what he thinks,” Iwaizumi said.

“Thanks! Are you going to his place for dinner?”

“Yeah, and if all goes well, I’ll spend the night too,” Iwaizumi answered.

“Ooh, spending the night huh?” Sugawara said with a wink, nudging Iwaizumi a little.

“Not like that!” Iwaizumi protested. “We wouldn’t do anything with our son just in the next room!”

“Aw, that sucks,” Sugawara lamented.

***

Iwaizumi knocked on Oikawa’s door. His overnight bag felt heavy in his hand.

Oikawa opened the door, smiling with mirth. “You know Iwa-chan, I gave you that spare key so you could let yourself in.”

“O-Oh,” Iwaizumi stuttered. He had limited using the key to Oikawa’s apartment only when he knew Oikawa wasn’t home.

“Come inside, I just finished making some curry and rice.”

Iwaizumi followed Oikawa inside, slipping off his shoes and setting his bag down by the couch. He was immediately tackled in the legs.

“Iwa-shan!”

Iwaizumi smiled fondly and picked Seiji up, pressing a kiss into his cheek. “Hey there Seiji. How was your day?” Iwaizumi asked as he carried Seiji to the table where Oikawa set out dinner.

As they ate, Seiji talked about a new song and dance he learned in daycare until dinner was finished.

Oikawa and Iwaizumi washed dishes together while Seiji started playing with blocks.

“Seiji’s in a good mood,” Oikawa commented.

“Hm, should we ask him now then?” Iwaizumi asked as he handed the last plate to Oikawa to dry.

Oikawa nodded. “Seiji,” Oikawa called as he and Iwaizumi left the kitchen. “We have something we want to ask you.”

Seiji looked up from his blocks and stared curiously at them.

“You know how Iwa-chan has been staying over a lot and sometimes late too?” Oikawa asked.

Seiji nodded.

“Would you be ok if I spent the night here?” Iwaizumi asked.

“…Iwa-shan sleepover? Yesh!” Seiji said excitedly, knocking over his blocks. Seiji got up and grabbed Iwaizumi’s hand. “Play! Play all night!”

Seiji’s excitement only afforded him an extra two hours before he passed out and Oikawa put him to bed.

Iwaizumi sat on the couch with sweaty palms, waiting for Oikawa to come back.

“Iwa-chan? Why are you hunched over? You look a little pale…”

“I’m fine,” Iwaizumi assured Oikawa, jumping up and grabbing his bag. “I’ll borrow your bathroom.”

“Go ahead,” Oikawa said, and Iwaizumi rushed past him.

He brushed his teeth quickly and washed his face, before racing back out to meet Oikawa. Oikawa was seated on the couch and blinked at him when he came back.

“Iwa-chan. Your face is still wet.”

“It is?” Iwaizumi hadn’t noticed.

Oikawa laughed, taking the small towel from Iwaizumi’s neck and dabbing Iwaizumi's face with it.

“Iwa-chan, it’s just me. All we’re going to do is sleep. We’ve had sleepovers countless times before. It’s nothing new.” Though it sounded like Oikawa was trying to convince himself towards the end of his little speech.

“I’ll sleep out here,” Iwaizumi said, gesturing to the couch. “So if you’ll lend me a blanket—”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Iwa-chan. We’ve, we’ve shared a bed dozens of times, and even if you don’t remember, we did sleep together, so there’s no need to have you out here. You can make yourself comfortable in my room, I’m going to get ready for bed.” Oikawa headed into the bathroom.

Iwaizumi stood there for a few beats before slowly making his way to Oikawa’s room. Beside his bed was a dresser, night stand, and a mirror vanity; otherwise Oikawa’s room was pretty bare. There was a window with nice curtains, but nothing decorated the walls. On the nightstand was an alarm clock and a single framed photo. Iwaizumi sat on Oikawa’s bed and picked up the picture.

It was a photo of Seiji when he was about a year or two younger, giggling and reaching for the camera with exaggerated, clumsy footsteps.

“I took that photo of Seiji when he first started learning to walk,” Oikawa said from beside him. Iwaizumi hadn’t heard him come in.

Oikawa was wearing a worn, oversized t shirt and soft shorts as pajamas, wearing a headband Iwaizumi had seen people use in commercials to apply makeup. But Oikawa was using it to apply lotion into his skin.

“Your walls are pretty bare,” Iwaizumi pointed out.

“Mm, yeah, I always forget that I want to resize the pictures I have to be bigger and buy frames to hang them on the walls,” Oikawa said, sitting next to Iwaizumi and finishing rubbing the lotion into his face.

Iwaizumi set the frame back on the nightstand, and Oikawa took his headband off, putting it on the counter of his vanity.

“Well, Iwa-chan, shall we call it a night?” Oikawa asked.

“Uh, sure,” Iwaizumi said, climbing into the side of the bed away from the nightstand.

Oikawa turned off the light and climbed into bed beside him. Iwaizumi wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do. His heartbeat was roaring in his ears and he was sweating. Was this natural? Iwaizumi tried to shut his eyes and count sheep, count something, to get over his nerves and fall asleep.

His concentration on counting was broken by a giggle.

“Oikawa?” Iwaizumi asked, turning to Oikawa in the dark. The window provided just enough light that Iwaizumi could dimly see Oikawa’s features.

“Sorry, sorry, it’s just…my heart is beating so loud! I can’t calm down,” Oikawa laughed.

Iwaizumi took Oikawa's hand in his and held it against his chest. “Me too, I can’t calm down either.”

Iwaizumi watched Oikawa’s soft lips part and eyes widen, rosy blush tinting his cheeks. He smiled at Iwaizumi.

“I’m happy,” Oikawa said, shifting closer to Iwaizumi.

“So am I,” Iwaizumi agreed.

Oikawa started humming a little, and Iwaizumi remembered something.

“Oikawa,” Iwaizumi whispered to him.

“Hm?”

“Sugawara asked me if we wanted to double date with him and Sawamura. He wants us to bring Seiji too, because they want advice on child rearing,” Iwaizumi mentioned.

“Oh, they’re ready to get committed now? How nice. A double date with Suga-chan and Sawamura… Sounds like fun, let’s go,” Oikawa said with a grin.

They continued to whisper to each other until they fell asleep.

***

Iwaizumi woke up earlier than he needed to. He guessed the anxiousness from last night didn’t completely disappear, so he woke up ahead of time. Blearily, he opened his eyes and tried to get up, but a weight pressed him down. He opened his eyes fully and looked down at his chest to see a pair of small legs across his torso. Following the legs, Iwaizumi found Seiji asleep on top of both of them, head pillowed on Oikawa’s chest. They had near identical expressions in sleep, their long eyelashes casting shadows on their cheeks in the early morning sunlight. They both had awful bedhead because of their natural curls.

Iwaizumi covered his eyes with his free arm and let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He wondered if it was really ok for one person to have this much happiness.

A few hours later, they all fully woke up, Iwaizumi getting ready for work first while Oikawa made breakfast and ate with Seiji. When Iwaizumi was done, Oikawa got Seiji ready and Iwaizumi ate. Finally, Oikawa got ready himself while Iwaizumi read a book to Seiji.

“I’m all done, let’s head out!” Oikawa announced.

Iwaizumi closed the book and set Seiji on the floor before turning to Oikawa. The sight he saw…shocked him.

Oikawa was wearing dark, tight jeans, a graphic v neck tee, and a blazer. He was winding a scarf around his neck.

“You’re…not wearing a skirt?” Iwaizumi asked, flabbergasted.

Oikawa looked over at Iwaizumi and gave him a blank stare. “Iwa-chan, you don’t think I wear a skirt every day, do you? I alternate unless I feel like wearing a particular outfit.”

Iwaizumi blinked in shock. “Ever since coming to Tokyo…I’ve seen you in nothing but skirts. I think you may have worn shorts once, and you wore a dress to the beach, but…”

“Oh,” Oikawa said, cheeks turning red. “I, uh, made it a habit to wear skirts around you when we met up before, because I remembered how flustered you got when I wore skirts in high school…”

Iwaizumi was soon blushing at an intensity to match Oikawa’s redness.

***

“Thanks for meeting us!” Sugawara said with his signature smile, seated at the table next to Sawamura.

“Thanks for waiting,” Oikawa said, holding a pouting Seiji’s hand while Iwaizumi went to ask a waiter for a high chair.

“No problem, we only got here about fifteen minutes ago,” Sugawara said. “Hey there Seiji, how are you?”

Seiji looked up at Sugawara with doleful eyes. “I’m ok…”

“Don’t mind him,” Oikawa sighed. “He’s just upset because I didn’t let him eat milkbread before coming here.”

Sugawara chuckled while Sawamura spoke up. “It’s not good to eat sweets before dinner, Seiji. You’ll spoil your appetite.”

Seiji pouted harder in response.

Iwaizumi carried a high chair over to them and placed it near Oikawa’s seat. He picked Seiji up and placed him in it. Then he ruffled Seiji’s hair.

“Cheer up Seiji, I’ll buy you a dessert after we eat, ok?” Iwaizumi promised.

Seiji immediately brightened.

“Iwa-chan, you’re spoiling him too much,” Oikawa complained.

Iwaizumi said nothing but pressed a kiss into a now pouting Oikawa’s cheek.

Once dinner was ordered the adults began to chat while Seiji drew on a page from a coloring book he received from the waitress.

“Ah, Suga-chan, is that a ring?” Oikawa asked.

“Oh, this? It’s a promise ring Daichi gave me ages ago; I only ever wear it when we go out together.”

“That’s so sweet!” Oikawa cooed.

Soon, Sugawara started asking Oikawa about the ins and outs of taking care of Seiji, and Iwaizumi listened with half an ear while watching Seiji to make sure he didn’t get into trouble. Iwaizumi glanced at Sawamura, but Sawamura seemed content to watch Sugawara’s face as he spoke to Oikawa.

When the food arrived, Oikawa started to ask Sugawara about date spots he’d recommend, and Iwaizumi and Sawamura tried not to get embarrassed.

After dinner was finished, Seiji said he wanted pudding it looked like ‘Unca Kenma.’

“You two know Kenma?” Sugawara asked as Seiji ate his pudding.

“We went to college together and lived together for a year,” Oikawa said. “Kuroo lived with us too, and Bokuto and Akaashi lived a few streets down from us.”

“No kidding?” Sugawara said, and he told Oikawa about the Tokyo training camp they had in his third year of high school.

Oikawa returned the favor by telling Sugawara about all the antics they got into during college.

Sawamura chuckled. “I’m glad,” he told Iwaizumi. “The three of you look like a great family.”

***

It had been two months since Iwaizumi and Oikawa got together. Iwaizumi spent every other day at Oikawa’s apartment, staying over each night he was there.

“I think we should tell him,” Oikawa said, one night before bed.

“What?” Iwaizumi asked.

“I think we should tell Seiji you’re his dad. Or um, ask him if he’d be ok with having you as his dad? What do you think?”

“Asking him would probably be a better way for him to understand,” Iwaizumi stated. “But why now?”

“Well, it’s been six months since we saw each other again, and in these past two months we’ve been together I can safely say that both Seiji and I have never been happier, and I know you’re happier too, so if we’re all so happy, let’s be a real family together and let Seiji know that you’re his dad?”

“Alright,” Iwaizumi conceded. “Should we tell him in the morning?”

Oikawa nodded enthusiastically.

“It’s decided then,” Iwaizumi said.

Oikawa jumped on Iwaizumi and kissed him full on the lips. They landed in a heap on the bed.

The next morning after breakfast was cleared, Iwaizumi and Oikawa approached Seiji.

“Seiji, Iwa-chan and I want to talk to you,” Oikawa told him.

“Ok!” Seiji said, walking over to them.

“Baby, you know how Iwa-chan and are dating right?” Oikawa asked. Seiji nodded. “Do you know why?”

“’Cause Mommy and Iwa-shan in love!” Seiji answered with a smile.

“That’s right,” Oikawa said. “But do you know who else we love?”

Seiji stared blankly.

“We love you, Seiji,” Oikawa told him.

Seiji giggled in happiness. “I love Mommy and Iwa-shan too!”

Iwaizumi knelt down in front of Seiji. “Do you like having me around Seiji?” he asked.

“Yeah, yeah! Every day more fun with Iwa-shan!”

“Would you like it if I was around all the time? If we were a family? Would you be ok with me being daddy?” Iwaizumi asked, heart in his throat.

“Iwa-shan, daddy…?” Seiji asked. He furrowed his brow and looked down, seeming to mull it over.

Oikawa placed a steadying hand on Iwaizumi’s shoulder as they waited for Seiji’s response.

Seiji looked up then, and walked into Iwaizumi arms. He head-butted Iwaizumi affectionately and nuzzled him. “Daddy!” he said, hugging Iwaizumi around the neck.

Iwaizumi hugged Seiji back, his heart and mind a mess. He could hardly believe his ears. He thought that even if he dreamed of this moment, it wouldn’t have been as perfect as this. Iwaizumi buried his face in Seiji’s hair.

“Hee hee, don’t cry Daddy!” Seiji laughed.

Chapter Text

“You should just move in, Iwa-chan.”

Iwaizumi had just come back from work to have dinner and spend the weekend with Oikawa and Seiji. He was sitting at the table with Oikawa sitting at the opposite side, facing him.

“What was that?” Iwaizumi asked, looking over a patient’s file he had brought home to review.

Suddenly Iwaizumi felt warm hands envelop his face and Oikawa raised his line of sight to across the table to look up.

“Why don’t you try looking at me first before asking me to repeat myself so I know you’re paying attention, hm?” Oikawa asked with a bemused expression.

Iwaizumi felt his cheeks and the tips of his ears grow warm. “Uh, right.” He set the papers down and focused on Oikawa. “You have my full attention now.”

Oikawa laughed but Iwaizumi noticed his cheeks growing pink. “Well, I said…you should move in. With Seiji and me. You practically live here already; I’m pretty sure you’ve only gone to your apartment twice this past month. The place must be gathering dust. And you’ve moved everything you need over here already, so what’s the point in paying rent at a place you don’t use? You already chip in for groceries…if you don’t mind splitting the rent, would you like to live here?”

Iwaizumi didn’t want to admit that the last time he went back to his apartment he found a layer of dust on everything. He also didn’t want to admit how giddy Oikawa’s proposition made him.

Instead, he cleared his throat. “Are you sure? I’d be happy to, if you’re certain.”

Oikawa rolled his eyes. “Iwa-chan there’s no point in acting gallant now. Like I said we practically live together already. It’s all a matter of making it more official.”

Iwaizumi laid his hand over one of Oikawa’s resting on the table.

“Then I’ll move in.”

The matter moving Iwaizumi’s things over was quick and easy; selling the extra, unneeded appliances took a little time, but Matsukawa and Hanamaki helped them. Three weeks later Iwaizumi found himself outside of what was officially his and Oikawa’s apartment after his work shift.

Before he could use his key, the door opened and he was greeted with an enthusiastic kiss from Oikawa.

“Welcome home, Iwa-chan.”

Iwaizumi gave Oikawa another kiss. “I’m back.”

Oikawa giggled, hugging Iwaizumi over his shoulders. “I’ve always wanted to say that to you…” he admitted.

Iwaizumi responded with a deep kiss to Oikawa’s lips.

They remained like that in the entryway until something hit Oikawa in the back of the legs and spoke out in protest.

“No fair, Mommy! Hoggin’ Daddy to yerself, I wanna greet him too!” Seiji pouted up at them.

Oikawa and Iwaizumi laughed while they separated, and Iwaizumi scooped Seiji into his arms as he stepped inside.

***

Iwaizumi watched Oikawa gently set a small, child sized volleyball up in the air from a crouched position for Seiji to practice his spikes. Iwaizumi couldn’t help but be amazed that every time he saw Seiji practice, Seiji’s form improved. Truly he was his mother’s child.

“Hey,” a voice shook Iwaiuzmi out of his thoughts. He turned to see Kuroo sidling up to him. “You two finally got it all figured out huh?”

Iwaizumi had almost forgot that they were out at the park with Bokuto, Akaashi, Kenma, and Kuroo as well. Bokuto and Akaashi were cuddling together under the shade of a nearby tree, and Kenma was seated at their picnic area, eating a slice of apple pie. Winter was quickly warming into spring.

“Are you here to give me more threats on the grounds that I might jeopardize Oikawa’s happiness?” Iwaizumi asked Kuroo with a brow raised.

Kuroo waved a hand dismissively. “No, no, nothing like that. I’m, um, sorry for being so hostile with you before,” Kuroo said while rubbing the back of his neck. “I’m sure Kenma has told you, but I tend to get really protective of people I care about. But I’m genuinely happy for you and Tooru; he and Seiji need you in their lives and in all the time I’ve been with both of them, I’ve really never seen them happier. So thanks,” Kuroo finished with a wide grin.

Iwaizumi smiled back. “I’m glad to be in their lives, now and hopefully forever.”

“Ha ha, you will be,” Kuroo assured him. “Now that Tooru’s got you, he’ll never let you go, and Seiji won’t either. You’re as good as trapped.”

Iwaizumi laughed. “Great. I never want to be away from them.”

They stood in comfortable silence until Kuroo broke it again.

“Oh yeah, I came over to ask you about your plans for the first of April. It’s in a few weeks and I wasn’t sure if you and Tooru had something planned as a family or if we were just gonna do our usual thing,” Kuroo mentioned.

“What’s on the first of April?” Iwaizumi asked.

Kuroo seemed to freeze and then slowly turn to Iwaizumi with widely bewildered eyes. After a couple moments of scrutiny, Kuroo sighed and called out to Oikawa.

Oikawa and Seiji trotted over to them, but Seiji went past them to sit with Kenma.

“What is it Kuroo?” Oikawa asked, hugging Iwaizumi’s arm and affectionately nuzzling his cheek. Iwaizumi gave Oikawa a kiss on the forehead while listening for Kuroo’s response.

“You haven’t told Iwaizumi what April first is, have you?” Kuroo asked Oikawa with narrow eyes.

Oikawa seemed to pause, and suddenly started to panic. “I-Iwa-chan, I forgot, April first is Seiji’s birthday!”

Iwaizumi’s eyes widened as he felt his heart stop. “What.”

“So many things have been happening that I forgot to mention it!” Oikawa mumbled frantically.

Iwaizumi took a deep breath. “It’s…fine. This situation isn’t ideal, but at least I have some advance notice and we can figure out what to do.”

“I’m sorry Iwa-chan, I didn’t mean to keep it from you or anything…” Oikawa said with a crumpled expression.

Iwaizumi kissed him on the cheek. “I know, I know, I have enough time to figure out a gift for Seiji so I’m not mad.”

Oikawa giggled and hugged Iwaizumi’s arm tighter as Iwaizumi leaned in to kiss him on the lips.

Kuroo cleared his throat. “Well, I’ll leave you two to it and I trust you’ll update me later on Seiji’s birthday plans.”

***

Iwaizumi scrubbed a hand down his face, resting his eyes from reading the patient file in his hands. It must have been the new spring season moving in, but there seemed to be more athletic injuries with high school students than usual. Dealing with athletic idiots who pushed themselves past the brink seemed to be his calling in life.

He sighed. Iwaizumi really didn’t want to keep bringing work home with him.

The door knob turned until it clicked open and Oikawa peeked in.

“Iwa-chan? I thought you turned in early to rest! You look silly, sitting on the bed with your face all scrunched up. At least you put your pajamas on…” Oikawa said.

“Hrm,” Iwaizumi grunted, acknowledging Oikawa’s words but not really registering them.

“I put Seiji to bed,” Oikawa mentioned as he stepped into the room and walked by Iwaizumi.

“Mmhm,” Iwaizumi hummed.

There was the sound of clothes rustling, which Iwaizumi heard distantly with all his focus on the report of acute tendonitis.

“Iwa-chan~”

Iwaizumi read over where the patient felt the most pain and thought of the type of pain medicine to prescribe that would effectively alleviate it.

“Iwa-chan?”

Iwaizumi would also need to prescribe some bandages, and teach the patient and her parents how to properly wrap the injured area.

“Iwa-chan.” Iwaizumi blinked and found not words, but his empty hands in front of him. He looked up to see Oikawa holding his file. “I think you’ve been reading this too long.”

“Wait, patient details are confidential—” Iwaizumi started, but Oikawa’s finger to his lips silenced him.

“I’m not looking; I’m just putting it aside. Must be really interesting though, if you’re ignoring Oikawa-san to read it,” Oikawa said with a playful smile.

Iwaizumi swallowed guiltily nonetheless. “I’m sorry.”

Oikawa laughed. “It’s fine. I know you’re busy. Suga-chan mentioned your ward had an unusually high number of patients recently. But…at home, I’d like my boyfriend to pay a little attention to me, ok?”

Iwaizumi’s head snapped up. “Tooru, I…” Iwaizumi paused, fully taking in Oikawa. “Wait, aren’t those my clothes?”

“You noticed,” Oikawa said, breath light with relief.

Oikawa was standing in front of Iwaizumi, clad in a pair of his boxers and an old, worn graphic tee. It wasn’t as if the clothes were baggy on Oikawa; they were about the same size after all, but seeing Oikawa in clothes he’s had on before…

“Why are you wearing my clothes?” Iwaizumi asked with a dry mouth. Their bedroom was getting warm fast, and Iwaizumi was starting to sweat a little.

“Does it matter?” Oikawa asked, taking measured steps forward to Iwaizumi, swinging his hips just the slightest. “Since Iwa-chan’s eyes weren’t on me, I thought his clothes would be good enough.”

“Are they?” Iwaizumi asked, a nervous lump in his throat.

Oikawa was now close enough for his knees to bump Iwaizumi’s. “It’s nice…but now that I have your eyes and your clothes on me, I think I want your hands on me too.”

Iwaizumi’s heart stuttered as Oikawa smoothly climbed onto the bed and lowered himself onto Iwaizumi’s lap. “Touch me, Hajime.”

Iwaizumi’s hands fitted themselves on Oikawa hips, and Oikawa reached over Iwaizumi’s shoulders to cup the back of his head with one hand and fist the fabric of his shirt with the other. Oikawa dipped his head a little and slotted his mouth against Iwaizumi’s to start a messy, open kiss that Iwaizumi quickly deepened, pulling Oikawa closer.

Oikawa moaned softly into the kiss once he was fully seated on Iwaizumi’s lap, where no space existed between their bodies. Iwaizumi slid his hands down from Oikawa’s hips to cup Oikawa’s ass and squeeze it firmly. Oikawa jolted a bit, before breaking away from Iwaizumi’s lips to moan deeply.

“Ha, Hajime… That’s not fair…” Oikawa pouted, and Iwaizumi couldn’t help but notice how swollen Oikawa's lips were from kissing.

Iwaizumi chuckled. “You dressed up in my clothes and sat yourself on my lap. Are you really going to complain about who’s not being fair here?” Iwaizumi gave Oikawa another playful squeeze and nipped his bottom lip.

Oikawa was still somewhat pouting, but gave in and melted quickly into another kiss. Oikawa cupped Iwaizumi’s face, but stealthily moved his fingers back to stroke Iwaizumi’s ears.

Iwaizumi pulled back from the kiss and sighed shakily.

“Stop that, Tooru.”

“Hee hee, I knew it~” Oikawa giggled and an annoyed look crossed Iwaizumi’s face. “Iwa-chan’s ears are still sensitive. I remember that I’d always blow on them when no one was looking during volleyball practice and you’d get so embarrassed. It was so cute.”

Iwaizumi growled a little, but Oikawa continued tracing the shells of his ears with feather light touches. Deciding to switch tactics, Iwaizumi started peppering kisses along Oikawa’s jaw and pinched his ass when Oikawa’s guard lowered.

Oikawa gasped and arched his back a little from the sharp sensation. “Mean, Iwa-chan.”

“Hmph, even so, you love me,” Iwaizumi countered.

Oikawa lifted Iwaizumi’s face gently with his hands so they were eye to eye. “I do.”

Iwaizumi’s heart melted at the look in Oikawa’s eyes. Iwaizumi always loved the sincerity they held, whether they were addressing him, their teammates, or his fans.

Iwaizumi kissed Oikawa with as much tenderness he felt Oikawa give him in that gaze. Then he started to stand, lifting Oikawa off his lap and up into his arms. Oikawa moaned in response.

“God, I fucking love how strong you are…” Oikawa whispered in his ear.

Iwaizumi let a growl rumble in his chest and kissed Oikawa once quickly before laying him out on the bed.

Iwaizumi placed his hands on Oikawa’s thighs, squeezing them and spreading them. Oikawa’s thighs quivered as Iwaizumi rubbed them slowly, marveling at how supple they were.

“Tooru,” Iwaizumi murmured, moving to meet him on the bed, hovering carefully over Oikawa.

“Hajime,” Oikawa smiled back, pulling Iwaizumi down to kiss him.

Iwaizumi leaned further down during the kiss, but still kept an inch of distance between their bodies.

That irked Oikawa, so he bit Iwaizumi’s lip and used his legs to drag Iwaizumi on top of him, locking his ankles over the small of Iwaizumi back and framing the sides of Iwaizumi’s waist with his thighs. Their groins met, half-hard cocks brushing against each other. Oikawa turned away from the kiss to gasp at the sensation.

Iwaizumi groaned. “Tooru, I’m going to lose control if you do that.”

“And if I want you to?” Oikawa challenged.

Iwaizumi growled again, feeling his concentration slipping further. He was determined not to fall to his instincts, but Oikawa was making it so difficult to keep a rein on himself.

Iwaizumi sucked on Oikawa’s ear lobe before whispering in a deep, rumbling voice into Oikawa’s ear. “Would you like that? Do you want me to fuck you? Give you another?”

“Another…?” Oikawa asked breathily.

Iwaizumi skimmed a hand over Oikawa’s flat stomach. “Another little one… A sibling for Seiji.”

Oikawa inhaled sharply and his eyes seemed to almost glaze over in desire. He dug his nails into Iwaizumi’s shoulders and squeezed his legs tighter around Iwaizumi. “I—”

A jarring sound like pots banging and crashing forced Iwaizumi and Oikawa to flinch, moving apart from each other enough to turn in the direction of the noise. They waited in stiff silence as they tried to identify what happened. After a few moments, crying started.

“Mommy… Daddy…!!!!” they heard Seiji blubber faintly from their room.

Oikawa sighed with a smile. “It sounds like Seiji was trying to get a late-night snack and knocked some things over in the kitchen…”

“Goddammit…” Iwaizumi muttered, burying his face in Oikawa’s shoulder.

Oikawa gave him a strained chuckle. “Come on. Before we get to work on making more, we have to look after the son we have right now.”

Iwaizumi grumbled a little bit before dutifully getting up and helping Oikawa to his feet. They went to the kitchen to find Seiji crying with kitchen utensils scattered on the ground, and when he saw his parents, he ran over to them.

Iwaizumi picked Seiji up and rubbed his back to soothe him while Oikawa cleaned up the mess.

***

“Pfffft, hahahahahaha!” Hanamaki continued snorting for two mintues.

“Shut up,” Iwaizumi growled. He was thankful that the café was near empty.

“I can’t believe you got cockblocked by your own son!!!” Hanamaki guffawed.

Iwaizumi snarled at him.

“Well, isn’t that actually pretty common for parents with young kids? You have to always take care of them, and watch them, and by the time you can even be alone, you’re exhausted. They always say your sex life dies when you have a kid,” Matsukawa reasoned.

“Always the logical lawyer, Matsu,” Hanamaki teased. Iwaizumi noticed the faint blush appearing on Matsukawa’s cheeks but thought not to mention it. “If you want, we can look after your little monster so you and Oikawa can get it on.” Hanamaki punctuated his offer be waggling his brows.

“Thanks but no,” Iwaizumi groused, taking a chug of his coffee. “You’ll probably let him play with knives.”

“Hey, I’m not that irresponsible!” Hanamaki defended.

“The very mention of ‘that’ in your sentence is worrisome enough,” Iwaizumi said.

Hanamaki pouted and Matsukawa faked a sneeze to cover his giggle.

“Anyway, I didn’t invite you two out to laugh at my expense,” Iwaizumi clarified. “Seiji’s birthday is coming up, would you two like to attend?”

Hanamaki and Matsukawa turned to each other briefly before turning back to Iwaizumi. “Sure! I wonder what we should get the lil guy…”

“Any ideas, Iwaizumi?” Matsukawa asked.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” Iwaizumi sighed.

“You don’t know what to buy for your own son?” Hanamaki accused.

“I’m just not sure! I’ve been thinking!” Iwaizumi countered. “I was considering maybe buying him a cute dress? To go along with the tutu I bought him before. But I’d have to talk to Tooru about it. Seiji runs around so much and climbs trees and things, I don’t want to put him in a dress just for people to be able to see up his skirt. It’s impractical.”

“That’s true… Though you could always buy him a dress for formal occasions,” Matsukawa pointed out.

“You’re right, but I want to buy something for Seiji that I know will make him happy.”

“Why don’t you take him shopping and ask him to pick out whatever he likes?” Hanamaki suggested.

“No, it has to be a surprise,” Iwaizumi insisted.

“Well, aren’t you a fussy, doting father,” Matsukawa smirked.

***

Iwaizumi was still at a loss when he met up with Kuroo, Bokuto, and Kenma for lunch the next day.

“Where’s Akaashi?” Iwaizumi asked.

Bokuto deflated. “He has lab work to finish so he can’t join us…”

Kuroo patted Bokuto on the back with sympathy.

Kenma rolled his eyes. “You’ve been whining about Akaashi for ten minutes already, let’s just sit down and eat.”

“Kenma skipped breakfast to finish an assignment this morning, so he’s cranky from hunger,” Kuroo stage-whispered to Iwaizumi.

“I can hear you, asshole,” Kenma said, stepping on Kuroo’s foot as he went to his seat. Kuroo laughed affectionately.

“So…” Iwaizumi began, fiddling with his chopsticks. “Do you guys know what I can get for Seiji for his birthday?”

“Oh, so that’s why you invited us out?” Kuroo asked. “Well, the answer is anything.”

“Huh?”

“What Kuroo means is that Seiji would be happy with anything,” Bokuto said. “If you put thought into it and what he likes, he’ll definitely love it.”

“Don’t let these idiots confuse you,” Kenma piped up. “Just pay attention to Seiji a little more than usual and figure out what he’d want from what he’s interested in. It’s that simple.”

Iwaizumi kept Kenma’s words in mind on his way home. As he opened the door to the flat, Iwaizumi was greeted immediately by Seiji running up to hug his legs.

“Daddy! You’re home!!”

Iwaizumi ruffled Seiji’s curls. “I’m home.”

Oikawa peeked around the corner of the entryway. “Welcome back, Iwa-chan.” Oikawa went over and kissed Iwaizumi on the cheek.

Iwaizumi bent over and picked Seiji up with one arm and wrapped the other around Oikawa’s waist. He returned the kiss to Oikawa’s cheek.

***

Over the next few days, Iwaizumi payed extra attention to Seiji and what he was interested in on his days off and whenever he came home.

After dinner, Seiji was watching TV and Iwaizumi was on the couch looking after him as Oikawa showered and took a bath. A commercial for Disneyland came on, and Seiji jumped to his feet, dancing, and singing along with the song playing.

“Do you like Disneyland Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked after the commercial was over.

“Yeah!!!!!” Seiji yelled while jumping up and down. “Mommy an’ I went once, but dese men were bein’ mean to Mommy soes we had ta leave early…” Seiji said, previous enthusiasm drained away.

Seiji immediately bounced back up to play with some action figures, so Iwaizumi didn’t press the issue with him further. After putting Seiji to sleep a little while later, Iwaizumi went to the bedroom and met Oikawa fresh out of the bath.

Iwaizumi wrapped his arms around Oikawa’s waist and kissed his cheek repeatedly, trailing down to Oikawa’s neck. He loved how pink and soft Oikawa got after bathing.

“Mm, Iwa-chan that tickles!” Oikawa giggled.

Iwaizumi nosed Oikawa’s pulse point, breathing in his scent. “I have something to ask you.”

“You’re being very convincing right now; I might just give you what you want…”

“It’s just a question and I want you to answer honestly. What happened the last time you took Seiji to Disneyland?”

Oikawa’s muscles seized up momentarily, before he relaxed with a sigh. “How did you find out? Did Kuroo tell you?”

“No, Seiji did. A commercial for the park played and he started dancing along to it so I asked him if he liked Disneyland and he told me what happened when you two went.”

“Huh. I’m surprised he remembers. I took him more than a year ago.” Oikawa mused. “Well, there’s not much to tell. I took Seiji to Disneyland because he had been asking to go and I had the day off. But it’s pretty hard to manage a child alone in a big, crowded park like Disneyland, and being a single omega mother doesn’t really help my situation… We walked around for a while trying to figure out what to do when some men started to hound me and upset Seiji, so we had to leave. It really sucked, Seiji was crying all the way back home…”

“Hm…” Iwaizumi hummed, before pulling at the collar of Oikawa’s shirt to get better access to the base of Oikawa neck, peppering kisses there.

***

“Sugawara,” Iwaizumi called to him while they were on break. “Would you mind covering my shift on the first of April?”

“This isn’t an April Fool’s joke, is it?” Sugawara laughed.

“No, it’s my son’s birthday.”

Sugawara blinked. “Oh. Oh. Yeah, sure, I don’t mind! What have you got planned?”

“I’m taking him and Oikawa to Disneyland. And then on the weekend we’re going to throw a party for him at the park. You and Sawamura are welcome to join us.”

“Oh, that sounds fun! I’ll need to ask Daichi, but I’m pretty sure we’ll make it out there! So have fun on the first.”

Iwaizumi smiled. “Thanks, Sugawara. You always seem to be helping me with my family.”

Sugawara slapped Iwaizumi on the back with a big grin. “Don’t worry about it!”

***

“Tooru, do you have a second?” Iwaizumi asked.

Oikawa took off his glasses and set them aside along with the sample magazine spreads he was looking over. “Sure, Iwa-chan.” Oikawa scooted over on the couch to make room for Iwaizumi to sit next to him. “What is it?”

“Can you take the day off on Seiji’s birthday?”

“Sure, I could do that. But I thought we agreed his party would be on the weekend?”

“Yeah, but… I decided that my gift for Seiji would be taking us to Disneyland.”

“What? Really?”

“Yeah… Seiji’s a little older now, so he’ll be able to enjoy more things and not throw a tantrum as easily as the last time you took him. Plus, I’ll be there to keep an eye on him as well, so it’ll be easier on you too. If you want to?”

“I do! I…really do! Iwa-chan, Seiji will be so thrilled!!” Oikawa said, brimming with the same excitement Iwaizumi saw in Seiji when he gushed about Disneyland.

“I’m glad,” Iwaizumi said, kissing Oikawa on the lips.

***

Iwaizumi woke up to feel a weight on his chest, making it difficult to breathe. He opened his eyes slowly, and was met with his son’s face directly before him.

“Daddy! It’s my birthday!!”

Iwaizumi smiled sleepily, moving his arms up to wrap around Seiji. He got up enough to sit up in bed, shifting Seiji onto his lap. “It is. Happy birthday, Seiji,” Iwaizumi pressed a kiss onto Seiji’s forehead.

“Thank you Daddy! I’m four years old now!” Seiji turned to look at Oikawa still cocooned in blankets. “Mommy’s still sleeping huh?”

“Yeah, let’s let Mommy sleep a little longer and we’ll make some breakfast, ok?”

“Ok!” Seiji said, jumping off Iwaizumi’s lap and running to the kitchen.

Iwaizumi tenderly ran a hand through Oikawa’s curly bedhead before following after Seiji.

After breakfast was made, Oikawa softly padded in behind Seiji, gesturing to Iwaizumi to stay silent. He picked Seiji up under his arms and pressed a kiss to the top of Seiji’s head.

“Happy birthday to my little man,” Oikawa said in a sleep-thick voice.

“Thank you Mommy!!!” Seiji said, tipping his head back to give Oikawa an eskimo kiss. “We made breakfast!”

“I can see that,” Oikawa chuckled. “I’ll eat my share while you and Daddy get ready ok?”

“Get ready? We going somewhere?” Seiji asked.

“It’s a surprise,” Iwaizumi told him.

“Surprise!!!??!!?” Seiji asked excitedly.

“Yes, so hurry and get ready,” Oikawa said pinching one of Seiji’s cheeks affectionately.

Seiji giggled before running off into the bathroom, Iwaizumi trailing after him to help him get ready.

After everyone was ready, they went to the car, Oikawa getting into the driver’s seat as Iwaizumi buckled Seiji into his car seat. Once Iwaizumi was in the passenger seat, they started driving.

Seiji bounced excitedly in his seat on the way there, and once their destination came into view, he shrieked.

“DISNEYLAND!? We go to Disneyland!!??”

Iwaizumi turned back to see Seiji’s eyes sparkling. “Yes, we’re going to Disneyland.”

Seiji was smiling but speechless the rest of the way there, until they parked.

When Iwaizumi pulled Seiji out of the car, he started babbling about all the things he wanted to see. Oikawa adjusted the bag full of Seiji’s extra clothes, water, snacks, a first aid kit, and other necessities on his shoulder and took Seiji’s hand in his. Iwaizumi took Seiji’s other hand, and they walked together to the gate of Disneyland together, occasionally swinging Seiji up with their arms.

Inside the park, Iwaizumi felt a sense of nostalgia hit him. He had been to Disneyland twice before; once with Oikawa and their families as children, and with the whole Aoba Jousai team. The first time he hardly remembered, just fragments and pictures of he and Oikawa at the park to go by, but the disaster that was the entirety of Seijou going to Disneyland together was something he’d never forget. He still shuddered at the image of Kindaichi throwing up after Space Mountain along with Hanamaki and Matsukawa being thrown into Disney jail as Kunimi watched with zero emotion.

Seiji started looking around everywhere, enchanted by everything he saw. Iwaizumi grasped his hand a little tighter to make sure he wouldn’t wander off. They started walking together but Seiji’s feet suddenly stopped. He was staring at a kiosk that sold the assorted famous Disney headwear.

“Do you want to buy something from there Seiji?”

“Iwa-chan—” Oikawa protested.

“It’s fine, it’s his birthday.”

Seiji nodded frantically.

Iwaizumi laughed. “I’ll get something for all of us.”

Oikawa sighed. “Alright fine, but no other souvenirs.”

“What do you want Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked him when they walked over.

“Tiara!!!! Like the princesses!” Seiji exclaimed. The clerk chuckled at Seiji’s enthusiasm and gestured to tiaras they had available, per princess.

“Which princess is your favorite?” Iwaizumi asked.

“Belle!!! She pretty and smart like Mommy and the Beastie is handsome and strong like Daddy!!”

Oikawa smiled fondly as Iwaizumi blushed. “One Belle crown then,” Oikawa asked the clerk. He put it on Seiji’s head in a comfortable yet secure manner as Iwaizumi payed for it.

Seiji giggled happily, reaching up to touch the tiara on his head. “What about Mommy an’ Daddy?”

“Well, if you’re talking about us, then it had to be Mickey and Minnie, right? The perfect pair,” Oikawa said with a wink. “Why else do you think I wore a red skirt today?”

“Oh really? I didn’t notice the connection,” Iwaizumi commented.

“Iwa-chan! I’m surprised at you! If you keep getting sloppy like this, I’ll leave you for someone who watches me keen fashion choices more seriously!”

Iwaizumi rolled his eyes but picked up the classic Mickey and Minnie ears regardless and went to pay for them. When he came back he handed Oikawa the mouse ears with Minnie’s signature polka dot bow. Oikawa put them on, pulling out a compact mirror to make sure his hair was still neat. Then he snatched Iwaizumi’s ears and put them on his head.

“There! Now we match! Feels like old times, doesn’t it?” Oikawa said.

“Hmph, maybe a little…” Iwaizumi answered, heart picking up in pace.

They took Seiji hands again and began looking for an attraction Seiji would enjoy. As the morning grew into the day, more people came to the park and the crowd was swelling. It was getting hard for Seiji to keep up with his parents navigating through the sea of people, and he tripped over his feet.

“Seiji? Are you ok?”

“Yeah…” Seiji mumbled as Oikawa helped him to stand and brushed dust off his clothes.

“How about we do this?” Iwaizumi asked as he approached them, lifting Seiji up from behind and sitting Seiji on his shoulders.

“WOW!” Seiji started whipping his head around in every direction. “I can see everything Daddy!”

Iwaizumi chuckled.

Oikawa looked up at Seiji nervously. “Iwa-chan are you sure? What if you strain your neck or shoulders? What if Seiji moves too much?”

Iwaizumi waved his concerns away. “It’s fine, if I can lift you, Seiji is no problem. He’s practically weightless.”

The blush that painted Oikawa’s cheeks was exceedingly satisfying. Iwaizumi made a mental note to carry Oikawa more often when they were alone together.

Iwaizumi kept his right hand around Seiji’s leg to help steady him and held the other hand out for Oikawa to take. Oikawa’s blush deepened a bit, and he smiled as he twined their fingers together.

When they started to walk again, Seiji buried his hands in Iwaizumi’s hair around the Mickey headband to anchor himself.

“Careful, Seiji. Don’t yank your Daddy’s hair too hard, he already has such a high forehead, so losing more hair won’t do him any good.”

“Hey,” Iwaizumi chided at the same time Seiji chirped, “Ok Mommy!”

They started Seiji off on a carousel, moved on to the spinning cups, and starting going through all the princess and classic Disney movie themed rides before looking for a spot to take a break.

“Ah, Iwa-chan! Before we leave storybook land we need to take a picture by Snow White’s castle!” Oikawa said, pulling Iwaizumi back.

“I thought this place was called Fantasyland?”

“Whatever, it’s the same thing!” Oikawa shot back, shoving past people to get towards the center front of the castle with surprising strength for someone yanking a grown man with one arm and carrying a child with the other.

When they made it to their destination, Iwaizumi stepped back and pulled out his camera, which already had pictures of Seiji on a horse in the carousel and sitting in one of the oversized cups at Alice’s tea party.

“I’ll take a picture of both of you,” he said.

Oikawa adjusted Seiji in his arms to hold him with both and have their cheeks touching as they smiled towards Iwaizumi. As Iwaizumi snapped a photo of the pose, someone tapped him on the shoulder.

“Excuse me,” a man said. “Would you like me to take a photo for you so you can be in one with your husband and child?”

Before Iwaizumi could respond, Oikawa brightened.

“That would be great! Iwa-chan, come over here!”

Iwaizumi handed the camera to the man and went over to Oikawa and Seiji. Oikawa handed Seiji off to Iwaizumi and took hold of his free arm, and then smiled wide at the man taking their picture, flashing his signature peace sign.

“Smiles, Daddy!” Seiji said with a big smile of his own and Iwaizumi complied while reminding Seiji is look in the direction of the camera.

After the photo was taken, Oikawa practically zoomed to the man’s side to check it out. Iwaizumi briskly walked with Seiji in his arms to catch up.

“Ah, it’s perfect, thank you for taking it!” Oikawa told the man with his crowd pleasing smile. The man nodded and left with his group.

Iwaizumi peeked over Oikawa’s shoulder to see the picture, and was struck by how much they actually looked like a family.

Oikawa handed the camera to Iwaizumi and lifted Seiji out of Iwaizumi’s arms to set him on the ground.

“Let’s find a spot to eat?” Oikawa asked, taking Iwaizumi’s hand in his and holding Seiji’s hand with his other.

They wandered around for about fifteen minutes before finding an empty bench to sit on. Oikawa took one end, while Iwaizumi sat at the other, and they sandwiched Seiji between them.

Oikawa pulled out three bentos from his bag and handed Iwaizumi and Seiji their lunches. As they ate, Iwaizumi and Oikawa would pause occasionally to help Seiji eat his food. Once they were finished eating, Oikawa pulled out a thermos of green tea and cups for the three of them. Iwaizumi stood to help him pour it, but he ended up jostling Oikawa and spilling the tea on his own hands.

“Ah, Iwa-chan, are you ok!?”

Iwaizumi shook his hands to get as much liquid off of them. “I’m fine, it wasn’t that hot. I’ll go to the bathroom and wash my hands.”

When Iwaizumi returned, he saw Oikawa had moved Seiji onto his lap and two men were standing in front of him, nearly obscuring him and Seiji from view. From the back all Iwaizumi could tell was that they were a little above average height, and one of them had light brown hair while the other had shorter black hair.

And all Iwaizumi knew was that he didn’t like the two of them crowding Oikawa at all. Iwaizumi stalked towards them with a growl building low in his throat. The strangest thing was that Oikawa didn’t look uncomfortable talking to them at all; in fact, it seemed like he was enjoying their conversation. And Seiji wasn’t upset either, he just stared up at the men in wonder.

Just as Iwaizumi was going to tell these men, an alpha and a beta he was able to identify being that close, to leave Oikawa and his son alone, Seiji peeked around them and smiled at the sight of his father.

“Daddy! It’s more people from Mommy’s videos!”

The two men turned and Iwaizumi was met with familiar faces he hadn’t seen in roughly four years.

“Iwaizumi-san!” Yahaba said with surprise. Kyoutani stood silently beside him, staring in the same gruff, contemplative manner he had in high school.

“Yahaba, Kyoutani, what are you two doing here?” Iwaizumi asked after his initial shock wore off. Iwaizumi figured he would have recognized the pair if Kyoutani’s hair was still bleached.

Yahaba instantly turned beet red. “Uh, well, you see, we—” He was instantly silenced when Kyoutani took hold of his hand.

“We came together.”

“Isn’t it cute, Iwa-chan~” Oikawa piped up from the bench. “Our kohai started dating!”

Iwaizumi smirked. “You two seemed to hate each other during your second year. Had a change of heart after we graduated?”

“Well you two had a kid, so we’re not the most drastic change here, are we?” Kyoutani shot back.

Oikawa was left so astounded that his eyes rounded out completely, and Iwaizumi had to repeat the sentence over and over again in his head to rationalize that such snark could have come from Kyoutani.

“EH!? W-Wait, you mean, you aren’t babysitting Oikawa-san? And Iwaizumi-san isn’t helping you?”

“How thick is your head? The kid just called Iwaizumi his dad and he looks exactly like Oikawa with Iwaizumi’s features,” Kyoutani answered.

Yahaba whipped around to glare harshly at his boyfriend. Kyoutani stared back impassively.

“Now, now, it probably just went over his head because the idea of me babysitting was so ingrained in his thoughts, no need to argue,” Oikawa placated.

Iwaizumi went over to stand beside Oikawa, ruffling Seiji’s hair as he waited to see if the tension would break or if he’d need to diffuse an argument.

Yahaba eventually relented, turning to Iwaizumi, Oikawa, and Seiji instead. “…What are you three doing here then?”

“It my birthday!” Seiji announced.

“Is it? And how old are you?” Yahaba asked.

“Four years old!”

A look flashed on Yahaba’s face for a moment, probably taking in Seiji’s age to Oikawa and Iwaizumi’s. But it passed, and he smiled cheerily.

“Does the birthday boy have a name?”

“My name is Seiji!”

“Well Seiji, would you like me to buy you a pastry for your birthday?”

“Yeah!!” Seiji exclaimed, hopping off of Oikawa’s lap. Oikawa stood and pressed a kiss to Iwaizumi’s cheek.

“We’ll be back soon, watch my bag.”

As they walked off, Oikawa and Yahaba were speaking closely to each other.

Iwaizumi was left in silence with his former underclassman. “So… You stopped dyeing your hair?”

“Yeah, once I entered university. Shigeru said it made me look like a thug, so I shaved it the summer we graduated.”

“On a first name basis now are we?” Iwaizumi said slyly.

“We’re bonded, and we’ve talked about getting married and eventually mating once everything settles down. It’d be weird if I didn’t call him by his given name.”

Iwaizumi blinked at him. “Wow. That’s…That’s great. I’m happy for you.”

Kyoutani smiled. “Thanks. I’m sure you’ll get there with Oikawa too.”

“Huh?” Iwaizumi asked, pulse nearly stopping.

“I’m not stupid. Oikawa didn’t smell mated and neither of you are sporting wedding rings. You two are just freshly bonded too. My guess is that for some reason you two had a kid but didn’t start dating until recently.”

“You’re…very astute,” Iwaizumi said.

“Yeah, but I like to mind my own business, unlike Shigeru.”

Iwaizumi chuckled. “That’s true.”

“You don’t have to explain your situation to me like Oikawa is probably doing for Shigeru right now. From where I can see, you two look happy enough, and you’re a great dad to your son, so what else matters?”

Iwaizumi felt some internalized pressure ease off himself. “Thanks, Kyoutani. I needed to hear that.”

“We’re back!!!” Seiji yelled, a half-eaten Mickey head cookie in his hands and chocolate smeared all over his face.

Iwaizumi pulled wet wipes out of Oikawa’s bag and started cleaning up Seiji’s face.

“We’ll be going now, so enjoy the rest of your birthday Seiji,” Yahaba said, grabbing Kyoutani’s hand.

Kyoutani nodded at Iwaizumi and Oikawa before kneeling down in front of Seiji and straightening his tiara. “I like your crown. You make a cute princess.”

Seiji beamed at Kyoutani. “Thank you!”

Kyoutani got to his feet and took Yahaba’s hand in his and the two of them bid farewell again before walking away together, shoulders bumping playfully.

“And they’re gone,” Iwaizumi stated.

“Don’t worry, I got Shige-chan’s contact information so we’ll call each other later. Unfortunately, they’re busy this weekend, but he said he’d love to have a double date with us plus Seiji soon.”

“Sounds good,” Iwaizumi said, stooping down to clean Seiji’s chocolate-coated hands as Seiji polished off the last of his cookie.

Iwaizumi and Oikawa took Seiji around to more young child friendly attractions, and photo opportunities like meeting Mickey and Minnie, as well as a stray Belle and Beast that happened to be roaming around the park. They made a pit stop near Tomorrowland so Oikawa could pick up the Toy Story alien themed ice cream mochis; he gave one to Seiji while practically shoving the other one into Iwaizumi’s mouth before eating his own.

Soon, Iwaizumi found himself beside Oikawa in a sea of people, watching a parade of Disney characters on floats, with fireworks booming in the sky. Even amidst all this cacophony, Seiji remained sound asleep in Oikawa’s arms.

“Tooru, let me know if your arms get tired, and I can carry Seiji.”

“It’s fine,” Oikawa said with a small, sweet smile. “I want to be able to hold Seiji while I still can. It’s only now hitting me that he’s growing older, getting bigger. He’s slurring fewer words in childish speech and speaking more clearly. Soon I won’t be able to lift him and he’ll stop holding my hand…”

Iwaizumi wrapped an arm around Oikawa’s waist and pressed a kiss to his temple. “And Seiji will be able to stand confidently on his own because you raised him so well.”

“We, Iwa-chan. Don’t forget that you’re standing here right beside us. And even before we got together, you did so much for Seiji and I. And as I brought up Seiji on my own, I was always thinking of you, so you’ve always been an influence in his life even if you weren’t there directly until recently.”

Iwaizumi paused to stare Oikawa in the eyes. The bright flashes of color from the fireworks bounced off Oikawa’s skin, tinting it briefly, beautifully, and they reflected in his eyes like stars exploding brilliantly. Iwaizumi never felt more in love.

They went back to their car before the parade ended to try and avoid the bulk of the traffic on the drive home. Iwaizumi noticed on the way back that Oikawa was a bit sluggish.

“Are you tired?” Iwaizumi asked, placing a steadying hand on Oikawa’s back.

Oikawa shook his head. “I’m fine, I can still drive…”

“I can take over if you want.”

“Eh?” Oikawa asked, finishing strapping a sleeping Seiji into his car seat. “Iwa-chan knows how to drive?”

“Of course I do dumbass; I just haven’t had the funds to afford a car yet. I got my license back in Hokkaido.”

“Okay~ Iwa-chan can drive then,” Oikawa hummed sleepily, handing the keys to Iwaizumi and then curling into the passenger seat.

The drive home was tranquil, and Iwaizumi hummed Disney songs as he drove and his two favorite people slept on.

***

Shrieks of children filled the air as Seiji ran around with his classmates in the open space of the park. Oikawa set out the tables with food and drink and the birthday cake, and now he was chatting with the mothers of Seiji’s friends. Somehow Matsukawa and Hanamaki were talking with Kuroo, Bokuto, and Daichi while Sugawara was with Kenma and Akaashi. Iwaizumi sat at one of the tables and sighed, watched Seiji’s tiara shine in the sunlight.

“Tired already? Being a father doesn’t age you that quickly Hajime, I should know,” an amused voice said behind him. Iwaizumi looked to see his father, along with his mother, Oikawa’s parents, Himawari, her husband, and Takeru.

Oikawa quickly came over. “Mom, Dad! Nee-chan, Nii-chan, Takeru, Oji-san, and Oba-chan too! You all made it, thank you!”

Iwaizumi’s mother stepped forward and pinched Oikawa’s cheek. Hard. “But of course Tooru-kun. I would never dream of missing my grandson’s birthday not that I’m finally, officially, his grandmother.”

Oikawa squeaked in fear. His mother came forward and giggled.

“As much as I enjoy you justly punishing my silly son, we’ll miss out on quality time with our grandson.”

“Ah, you’re right,” Iwaizumi’s mother agreed and released Oikawa’s cheek.

“Seiji,” Iwaizumi called. “Come over here and greet your family.”

Seiji turned around mid-stride, the skirt of his dress puffing out from the momentum of his pseudo-twirl.

“Coming!” Seiji dashed over and tackled Takeru in a hug. “Take-nii!!!”

“Hey, Seiji, I’m digging the dress and tiara combo,” Takeru said as he caught Seiji in the hug.

“Daddy bought them both for me!” Seiji preened, showing off the A-line shirt that was brought up with a layer of tulle underneath, but was short enough that Seiji could run about comfortably, and the modest top much like a tank top in style. The waist had a thick ribbon that tied into a large bow at the back. It was a pale, pastel yellow that went with the motif of spring, yet matched Seiji’s Belle tiara perfectly, along with bringing out the richness of his skin tone, highlighting his freckles, and bringing out his hazel eyes.

Seiji then went around greeting all his relatives warmly until he paused at the two people he didn’t recognize.

“Seiji, these are also your grandparents. These are your Daddy’s parents,” Oikawa introduced. “Will you say hello to your Iwa-baa-chan and Iwa-jii-chan?”

“Hello,” Seiji said a little shyly, stepping closer to the both of them. Iwaizumi’s mother enveloped Seiji in a long hug and then passed him on to Iwaizumi’s father to receive the same treatment. After that was done, Seiji dashed back to play with his friends again.

At that, Oikawa and Iwaizumi’s parents talked together while Oikawa spent some time chatting with Himawari and her husband. Takeru came over the punched Iwaizumi lightly in the arm.

“I’m glad you and Tooru worked things out. I always knew it was you, but I was too young to say anything when Seiji was born. So I’m relieved you were able to get back into Tooru’s life on your own and be with Seiji.”

Iwaizumi patted Takeru on the shouder. “Thanks. That aside, what’s with you, you’re growing like a weed! Don’t surpass me in height, alright?” Takeru laughed as Iwaizumi tried to noogie his head.

As the party winded down, in the afternoon, Iwaizumi kept watch of the kids playing tag, glaring at boys he thought got too close to Seiji.

“What are you doing Iwa-chan, trying to make the grass combust with your fierce glare?”

“I’m just making sure none of those brats flip up Seiji’s skirt or something,” Iwaizumi explained, continuing his intense stare.

“Even if they do, he has matching shorts on underneath that came with the dress.”

“They look like frilly boyshorts and no one else but us should know of their existence.”

“Geez, Hajime,” Oikawa sighed fondly. “You’re too much. You’ve spoiled Seiji completely for his birthday by taking him to Disneyland and buying him that dress, and now you’re watching over him like a hawk; you’re the epitome of a doting, overprotective father.”

“I just want to make up for lost time I guess,” Iwaizumi responded, relaxing his stance a little.

Oikawa rested his head on Iwaizumi’s shoulder. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, we already talked about this. You did what you thought was best at the time and I didn’t know. We shouldn’t care about the past when can move forward now.”

Oikawa pressed a gentle kiss to the side of Iwaizumi’s neck. “Sometimes I think I don’t deserve you.”

“That’s a stupid thing to think. You have me.”

Oikawa laughed. “I know, I know.”

Iwaizumi turned his head and a bit to kiss the top of Oikawa’s head. “I love you, Tooru.”

Oikawa giggled. “I know that too.” Oikawa tipped his head up to catch Iwaizumi’s lips with his. “I love you so much Hajime,” Oikawa whispered to him.

“Daddy, Mommy! I want hugs and kisses too!” they heard Seiji yell as he ran over to them.

Iwaizumi caught Seiji in his arms and lifted him up, kissing him right on the cheek as Seiji giggled happily. Oikawa came close and rubbed noses with Seiji and they butted heads affectionately.

Iwaizumi couldn’t think of a more perfect family than theirs, and he held both Seiji and Oikawa close as the sun started to set.

Chapter Text

Iwaizumi softly tucked Seiji into bed and smiled as Seiji snuffled quieted and hugged the stuffed cat Kuroo gave to him closer. As Iwaizumi turned away, he saw Seiji’s tiara resting on his nightstand around the base of his lamp that had a lampshade with stars cut into it. Iwaizumi passed Seiji’s open closet, seeing the purple poof of Seiji’s tutu and the sunny yellow of his birthday dress. Iwaizumi smiled to himself. These small gifts were evidence that he was finally taking root in his son’s life. On his way out of the room, Iwaizumi bent down to turn on Seiji’s nightlight before quietly closing the door.

Iwaizumi went through the living room to get to the passage that led to his and Oikawa’s room, but he paused at the bookcase next to the TV, with all the photos Oikawa had accumulated. On the wall above them, there were the pictures from Disneyland, made to a bigger scale to be of significant size for hanging frames. There was the picture of just Oikawa and Seiji together in front of the castle, a picture that made Iwaizumi’s heart calm and put his mind at ease. Next to it, made just a little bigger, was the picture of all three of them with the same background, and Iwaizumi’s heart swelled at the sight of their first photo as a family. He felt his pride inflate every time the photo caught his eye.

It was two weeks after Seiji’s birthday and Oikawa’s heat had come on time like clockwork this month. Iwaizumi felt his palms sweat. It was the first heat he would be helping Oikawa through as his significant other.

This was a good thing: Iwaizumi’s alpha senses were practically singing at being able to care for his omega during his heat, as well as care for their son during this time of vulnerability. And the fact that Oikawa had someone able to make sure he was fed and hydrated as well as check in on him relieved Iwaizumi. An added bonus was the fact that omegas tended to crave not only the presence of their alphas but also their children during heats and it helped soothe some of the effects of heats.

But there were problems as well: Iwaizumi wasn’t completely confident that he could keep himself in control if he had to stay and care for Oikawa throughout his entire heat. Especially on the days towards the middle of the week when it’d peak and be the most intense. But he had to, because he had to be responsible for Seiji’s wellbeing during this time and he couldn’t just lock himself up with Oikawa and have rampant sex with him the whole week.

…No matter how enticing that sounded. Iwaizumi was determined to be there for both his love and son, and not be a slave to instinctive impulse.

Iwaizumi shook his head to clear it before continuing to their bedroom. He hesitated a bit outside their door, doubting himself briefly, but hearing the soft panting and whines through the door, Iwaizumi knew he couldn’t leave Oikawa alone. He suffered enough heats by himself by now.

Carefully, Iwaizumi eased the door open and stepped into the room. He was almost instantly hit with all the pheromones in the air, Oikawa’s flowery heat scent dizzying. It reminded Iwaizumi of the flowerbeds they used to run through as children, the ones cultivated in their mothers’ gardens as well as the wildflowers that grew in patches wherever they made the world their playground.

The alpha in him flared up with the temperature in the room, and all Iwaizumi could think of was to get to Oikawa and be as close to him as possible. Iwaizumi made his way over to Oikawa as if naturally gravitating toward the center of his universe.

“Iwa…?” Oikawa gasped. He was writhing on the bed, hands grasping and rumpling the sheets beneath him. He had kicked the blankets to the foot of the bed, and his clothes and hair stuck to his skin with sweat.

“Tooru,” Iwaizumi murmured. “I’m here. Seiji’s asleep, I put him in bed. Do you need anything?” Iwaizumi brushed Oikawa’s hair from his forehead and trailed his touch to cup Oikawa’s cheek. Oikawa leaned into the touch and nuzzled Iwaizumi's palm.

“I just want you here with me, that’s all,” Oikawa sighed.

“How are you feeling?”

Oikawa wrinkled his nose and Iwaizumi laughed. “I feel disgusting. Like I’ve run a marathon, but my body can’t cool down, and the adrenaline is making me intensely horny. Everything is gross.”

“Why not take a bath? Or a shower?”

Oikawa groaned. “I thought about that, but with the height of my body temperature and heart rate, I’ll probably faint. Even if I don’t, I’m producing so much bodily fluids I’ll melt into goo once I get immersed in water.”

“Hm,” Iwaizumi hummed. “What can I do to make you more comfortable?”

Oikawa frowned. “I-I don’t know, honestly. I’ve never had anyone with me while I’m in heat. I usually try to satisfy myself with fingers or toys to ease it enough for sleep. It’s just a week of horny discomfort.”

Iwaizumi’s mouth felt dry. “Toys…?”

Oikawa’s mind was so distracted with his heat he didn’t notice the desperate tone of Iwaizumi’s voice. “Yeah…I only ever use them when my heat gets too much and fingers aren’t enough. But it’s just the first day, so I’ll just tough it out.” Oikawa gave Iwaizumi a weak smile. “I’d like it if you cuddled with me though. That would probably comfort me.”

Iwaizumi climbed into the bed and laid beside Oikawa, pulling him close, rubbing his back soothingly. Oikawa sighed in relief into Iwaizumi’s collarbone and tangled his long legs with Iwaizumi’s slightly shorter ones.

Iwaizumi pressed a kiss into Oikawa’s forehead and ran a hand along Oikawa’s side, paused at the hem of his t-shirt. “Let me take care of you, Tooru.”

Iwaizumi slowly peeled Oikawa’s shirt off, dumping it on the floor to be washed later. Iwaizumi nudged Oikawa onto his back and moved to hover over him.

Iwaizumi dipped down to kiss Oikawa. Oikawa immediately deepened the kiss and pulled Iwaizumi until there was no space between them and moaned appreciatively at the contact.

Oikawa’s heat ignited a flame in Iwaizumi that burned up all the oxygen within him, leaving him breathless, and gasping into kisses with Oikawa as if Oikawa was the only supply of air available to him. Iwaizumi tried to maintain focus, so he leaned his weight onto one arm without breaking the kiss and reached between himself and Oikawa to rub the pad of his thumb on Oikawa’s nipple.

Oikawa broke away from the kiss and whined, “Hajime, no.”

Iwaizumi stopped moving his thumb in circles. “You don’t like it?”

“Normally I would, but my nipples get really sore when I’m in heat so it just feels like you’re chafing them. The only time they’ve felt worse was when I was nursing Seiji…”

“You nursed Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked before realizing, duh, of course he would have.

“Oh, yeah, I’m sorry did that make you uncomfortable? I know Kuroo and Bokuto always scattered when I made to unbutton my shirt around feeding time.”

“What? No! Why would it? If anything I…would have wanted to see you do it…” and god, now Iwaizumi sounded like a pervert who could only think with his alpha brain.

Oikawa blushed, and whispered, “Next time then,” before pulling Iwaizumi into another fiery kiss.

Iwaizumi moved his hand lower, and stopped at Oikawa’s hip, squeezing it and eliciting a moan from Oikawa through the kiss. Iwaizumi pulled away from the kiss and placed soft, fleeting kisses at the corner of Oikawa’s mouth, his cheek, his jaw.

“Tooru,” he breathed softly, fingers gently dipping under the waistband of Oikawa’s boxers. “Let’s take these off.”

Oikawa gave a dazed nod and lifted his hips so Iwaizumi could slide Oikawa’s boxers off his hips and down his legs. Iwaizumi threw the sticky garment on the floor to join Oikawa’s shirt. Oikawa gasped at the sensation of being completely bare on the sheets.

Iwaizumi fitted himself between Oikawa’s legs, and Oikawa spread them further to accommodate Iwaizumi. Oikawa’s cheeks were flushed red, and the blush bled to the tips of his ears and over the bridge of his nose. It spread down to the tops of Oikawa’s shoulders and to his chest. Iwaizumi loved the natural pout Oikawa seemed to make after they had kissed for an extended time, it made Iwaizumi just want to kiss him more. Oikawa’s arms and legs were trembling a little as he wrapped them around Iwaizumi to hold him close. Oikawa’s eyes were dark, pupils blown with lust, and they were watery with unshed tears. Iwaizumi thought he could drown in them for the rest of his life.

Thick lashes batted up at him. “Hajime?”

“What is it?”

“You were just staring at me…is something wrong?” Oikawa sounded worried. Iwaizumi knew this was their most intimate moment to date, and being in heat, Oikawa felt especially sensitive and vulnerable.

Iwaizumi’s gaze grew fond. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as perfect as you are right now…I’m so happy that you love me.”

Oikawa laughed. “You’re silly Iwa-chan.” Oikawa moved his hands up along Iwaizumi’s back until he could tread them through Iwaizumi’s hair. “I’m the one who should be saying that.”

“How about we both agree that we’re very lucky to have each other?” Iwaizumi asked, giving Oikawa an eskimo kiss.

“Mm, that sounds good…” Oikawa said with a smile.

Iwaizumi pulled his shirt off, and kissed Oikawa again, relishing the soft sigh Oikawa let out as their lips met. Iwaizumi trailed his hand down past Oikawa’s hip and squeezed his ass appreciatively, stopping just at his entrance.

“Tooru…let me take the edge off a bit?”

Oikawa shuddered, and he rolled his hips toward Iwaizumi. “Ok.”

Iwaizumi started kissing and sucking hickies into Oikawa’s neck as he dipped his index finger into Oikawa.

Oikawa immediately ground down into it and growled. “More, Hajime. I’m in heat, I’m loose enough for another, and I’m horny as fuck. This isn’t taking the edge off, it’s teasing. If you keep this up, I’ll bite you.”

Iwaizumi shivered. “We’ll leave the biting for another time, when I don’t have to hold back.”

Iwaizumi pushed another finger to join his index inside Oikawa’s squeezing walls. Oikawa clenched around the two digits briefly before relaxing, and Iwaizumi nibbled on the shell of Oikawa’s ear to distract him from the intrusion.

When Iwaizumi pulled away, he was satisfied to find Oikawa’s ears even redder, but he noticed something else a little lower.

“Your ears are pierced?” Iwaizumi asked, noticing two little holes in the lobe of Oikawa’s ear. Iwaizumi glanced to the other side, and sure enough there were two holes there to match.

“Huh? Oh…yeah. It uh, happened. I was feeling a little blue after Seiji was born, I think the doctor said I had a mild case of post-partum depression, so Kuroo and Bokuto tried to cheer me up. Seiji was left in the care of Akaashi an Kenma, and the three of us ended up getting plastered. I woke up with two new piercings on each of my ears, Kuroo has some on the cartilage of his ear, and Bokuto ended up with an embarrassing tattoo. I still don’t remember everything that happened that night, but all three of us have different fragments of memories, so we’ve pieced together most of it,” Oikawa explained. “My hair was longer then too, used to tie half of it up… Anyway, Kuroo and I don’t really wear our earrings anymore, and I have no idea if Bokuto got that tattoo removed or not.”

“What was the tattoo?” Iwaizumi asked.

Oikawa considered him for a few moments. “…A tramp stamp. Of an owl with spread wings. That had the characters 赤葦 on one wing and 京治 on the other.”

“Oh my god,” Iwaiuzmi wheezed.

“And he hadn’t even gotten together with Akaashi at the point either,” Oikawa added.

Iwaizumi buried his face in Oikawa’s should and tried to stifle his laughs. “I…I’m speechless.”

“Good, because you can’t tell anyone. Bokuto might skin me.”

“I’m pretty sure Bokuto lives in fear of you ever since that one time you almost killed him for losing Seiji in the park.”

Oikawa laughed, and Iwaizumi nuzzled Oikawa’s cheek until Oikawa turned to face him and met Iwaizumi for a languid kiss.

Iwaizumi took this opportunity to sink his fingers a little further in, until they were halfway inside, and rubbed gently at Oikawa’s slick glands. Oikawa broke away from Iwaizumi and let out a high keen, gasping to catch his breath.

“They’re so swollen…” Iwaizumi murmured. He carefully traced one and rubbed it soothingly before twisting his fingers to the other side to repeat the process with Oikawa’s second slick gland. The contact was making Oikawa gush slick so much that Iwaizumi’s whole hand felt like it was drenched and Oikawa’s walled clenched down, making everything slippery and tight.

Oikawa thrashed beneath him, digging his nails into Iwaizumi's skin and raking them up the length of his back as Oikawa struggled to breath, panting desperately and moving his hips for more stimulation. Iwaizumi was so numb from arousal he barely felt the scratches being made.

“Haji-Hajime, more, I need more than this,” Oikawa gasped between gulps of air as he rocked his hips on Iwaizumi’s fingers.

“Relax,” Iwaizumi whispered. “I’m going to take care of you.”

Oikawa let out a shuddering sigh, but sank into the sheets with more ease.

Iwaizumi plunged his fingers deeper, down to his knuckles, and felt around for the spot that would make Oikawa scream. He curled his fingers and bumped into Oikawa's prostrate, and Oikawa moaned. Loud.

Sealing his lips over Oikawa’s in a deep kiss, Iwaizumi started to abuse that spot in earnest, adding a third finger to help scissor Oikawa open as well, give him a better sensation of being filled.

Oikawa was moaning nonstop into Iwaizumi’s mouth, and as much as Iwaizumi would love to break away and hear Oikawa sing, he couldn’t risk waking Seiji and then having to leave Oikawa unsatisfied.

Iwaizumi alternated between rubbing against Oikawa’s prostrate and jabbing it with sharp thrusts of his finger like he would have done if he could actually enter Oikawa and fuck him like he wanted to.

Oikawa tore away from Iwaizumi and arched his back, biting his lip so he wouldn’t make a sound.

“I’m so close-!” he told Iwaizumi, tears dripping out of his eyes, gaze glazed and already far gone into the realm of pleasure.

In response, Iwaizumi laid on his side and rolled Oikawa towards himself to do the same, so they were facing each other. He pulled Oikawa’s leg over his hip to keep Oikawa spread open, and continued fingering Oikawa. With his free hand, Iwaizumi reached down and grasped Oikawa’s cock, giving him a hand job to send Oikawa over the brink.

Iwaizumi moved his hand up and down much like he moved his hand on his own; in quick, jerky movements all with the intention to get off, but there were times he would slow his hand to better appreciate the shape of Oikawa and feel the weight more solidly in his hand. He especially loved the reaction he’d get from Oikawa when he ran his thumb over the head, smearing the generous amount of precome bubbling there, Oikawa squirming and whining softly, chanting ‘Hajime, oh Hajime, it’s good, so good.’

Finally, Oikawa came undone with a particular squeeze of Iwaizumi’s hand and thrust of Iwaizumi’s fingers, pressing himself against Iwaizumi, gripping his biceps, and going in for a bruising kiss in an attempt to silence himself as he spilled his release into Iwaizumi’s hand.

Oikawa’s walls clenched around Iwaizumi three fingers like a vice, and Iwaizumi tried not to fantasize how it’d feel around his cock, or better yet, his knot. Mentally shaking himself from those thoughts, Iwaizumi slid his fingers out of Oikawa gently, but Oikawa still winced from the loss.

Iwaizumi rolled away from Oikawa and out of bed, quickly ducking into their bathroom to wash his hands of Oikawa’s come and slick. He grabbed a small towel and ran it under cold water before going back to their bedroom.

Iwaizumi joined Oikawa on the bed again and started to wipe Oikawa down to get rid of sweat and any lingering bodily fluids from their activities.

Oikawa blearily opened his eyes where tears still clung at the corners, and regarded Iwaizumi drowsily. So Oikawa was the type to fall asleep after coming? Iwaizumi thought that was adorable. And definitely something he could use when Oikawa battled with insomnia.

“Hajime?”

Iwaizumi wiped a stray tear from his cheek. “I’m here.”

Oikawa stared him in the eyes before trailing his gaze down. Iwaizumi jumped when he felt Oikawa cup his hard-on through his boxer-briefs.

“What about you?” Oikawa asked, palming Iwaizumi’s erection mercilessly.

“I-I’m fine,” Iwaizumi responded weakly. It was hard to not give in to Oikawa’s touches.

“Are you sure?” Oikawa asked, adding a suggestive lick of his lips to punctuate the question.

Oikawa would be the death of Iwaizumi.

“I’m sure. With all your pheromones I’m almost guaranteed to pop a knot if I come, and if I do, I won’t be able to move for at least an hour, so that’s not an option. I’ve got to take care of Seiji and also take care of you. I’ll wait ‘til it passes.”

Oikawa frowned and pulled his hand away. “I’m sorry…”

Iwaizumi chuckled, giving Oikawa a wolfish grin. “Don’t worry, I’m plenty satisfied seeing your orgasm face.”

Oikawa face burned with the rush of blood that made his cheeks blush bright red. “IWA-CHAN!” Oikawa yelled, slapping Iwaizumi on the chest.

***

Iwaizumi woke up in the middle of the night. His boner had thankfully deflated some time while he was asleep, which was a small wonder since he had been spooning Oikawa the entire time.

Oikawa was soundly asleep; his heat had died down to the warmth of a dying fire meaning he was satiated for now, but Iwaizumi knew it would flare up again in the morning or sometime early in the day. Iwaizumi pressed a kiss to the back of Oikawa’s shoulder and Oikawa snuffled, but remained sleeping.

Knowing he wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep easily, Iwaizumi rolled out of bed and quietly padded to the kitchen for a glass of water. After downing the glass, Iwaizumi decided to peak into Seiji’s room to check if his son was sleeping as soundly as his mother was.

Iwaizumi crept to Seiji’s room silently but was surprised to hear movement behind the door, followed by pitiful sniffling.

Alarmed, Iwaizumi carefully opened the door to Seiji’s room. He found Seiji sitting up on his bed, sobbing and rubbing tears from his eyes with small fists. Iwaizumi recognized the action as something he used to do when he was young; Oikawa had a habit of hiding his face when he cried. His heart felt like it was being physically torn, but he needed to remain calm.

Iwaizumi walked stepped inside, and Seiji turned to the doorway to see Iwaizumi walking towards him. He let out a hiccup and more tears spilled down his face.

“Daddy…”

Iwaizumi sat on Seiji’s bed and Seiji crawled out of his covers to curl up on Iwaizumi lap and cry into his shirt. Iwaizumi patted Seiji’s head soothingly and held him close.

“Seiji…can you tell me what’s wrong?” Iwaizumi hedged when Seiji’s breathing evened out.

Seiji looked up from Iwaizumi’s shirt, lashes clumped up by tears, eyes wet, and nose red, dripping a bit. He looked so much like Oikawa when he was upset that Iwaizumi’s heart broke at the sight.

“I had a bad dream…” Seiji began.

“What was it about?” Iwaizumi asked, starting to gently wipe Seiji’s face clean. Thank god they kept a tissue box on his nightstand.

Seiji didn’t reply, even after Iwaizumi finished dabbing him with tissues.

“Seiji?”

“…Mommy said I’m not ‘sposed to tell Daddy ‘bout these dreams ‘cause they will make Daddy sad…”

Iwaizumi’s eyes widened at Seiji’s confession. Did that mean this dream was recurring? And Oikawa didn’t want him to know about it?

Iwaizumi took a steadying breath and kissed Seiji on the top of his head. “Well, the truth is, I’m already sad because my favorite boy is crying. And now I’m even sadder because he won’t tell me why. But I would feel better, if you told me what was wrong. That way, I can try to make him happy again, and that would make me happy too.”

Seiji gripped Iwaizumi’s shirt and wobbled his bottom lip. “I…had a dream, where Daddy wasn’t here. Daddy left, and ev’rythin’ was back to before Daddy started living with us, and Mommy wasn’t as happy anymore, and, and I wasn’t happy too!” Seiji broke off his words with a wail.

Iwaizumi shushed him so Oikawa wouldn’t wake up and burst in here, probably also to simply break down in tears with all the extra hormones flooding his system while in heat. Of course, of all the things Seiji inherited from Oikawa, he had to inherit his anxiety too. Iwaizumi began steadily rocking Seiji in his arms until his tears subsided once more.

“Daddy?” Seiji asked cautiously.

“What is it my beautiful boy?” Iwaizumi rumbled, nuzzling Seiji to provide extra reassurance.

“You won’t leave, right? Daddy, you’ll stay with me and Mommy forever?” Seiji stared up into Iwaizumi eyes and Iwaizumi couldn’t look away even if he wanted to. “Please?” Seiji added on, with a quivering pout.

Iwaizumi hugged Seiji as close as he could without crushing him. “I’ll never leave you or your mother, Seiji. I love both of you so much, too much, to ever do that.”

Seiji sniffled. “Prwomise?”

Iwaizumi kissed his cheek. “I promise, as long as you want me by your side, I’ll never, ever leave you.”

“Seiji wants Daddy to stay until…until forever and after! With Mommy too!”

“Then I’ll do that,” Iwaizumi chuckled and Seiji giggled back.

Iwaizumi started to hum, rocking Seiji until he fell back asleep, and Iwaizumi tucked him back into bed. He headed back to his and Oikawa’s bedroom, sliding back under the sheets and pulling Oikawa close to spoon Oikawa’s body to his once more.

***

When Iwaizumi woke up in the morning, he found Oikawa’s side of the bed empty, but he could still smell his scent lingering, meaning Oikawa hadn’t been gone for long. Iwaizumi was tempted to stay in bed and just remain surrounded by Oikawa’s sweet, floral scent, but he knew he had to check on Oikawa and Seiji, so he hauled himself out of bed and went towards the kitchen.

There he found Oikawa humming to himself while fixing a pot of tea. Iwaizumi walked up behind him and encircled his waist with his arms, kissing the side of his neck.

“Mm, good morning handsome,” Oikawa purred. “Want some tea or coffee?”

“I’ll have whatever you’re having,” Iwaizumi answered, not pulling away from Oikawa in the slightest, even when Oikawa moved to pull another cup out of the cabinet.

Iwaizumi glanced up at the clock to see that it was early morning, barely 6 a.m. The sun had only just placed itself in the sky. Seiji wouldn’t be up for at least another two hours, potentially more because he had spent part of the night crying before Iwaizumi lulled him back to sleep.

“Tooru,” Iwaizumi said, chin resting on Oikawa’s shoulder.

“Hm~?” Oikawa asked.

“I have to ask you something,” Iwaizumi said, finally pulling away from Oikawa. He hated to ruin the good mood of their morning, but he knew that he couldn’t sweep what happened with Seiji under the rug either.

Oikawa put the kettle on the stove to boil, and turned to meet Iwaizumi’s eyes, already apprehensive. Iwaizumi took his hand to calm his nerves. He didn’t want Oikawa to feel like he was attacking him.

“I woke up in the middle of the night, and I got up to get a glass of water. I also took that opportunity to check on Seiji, but I found him crying.”

Oikawa immediately stiffened. “What? Is he ok? What happened, Hajime?” Oikawa asked frantically, looking in the direction of Seiji’s bedroom and his body language was poised to start moving there.

Iwaizumi squeezed Oikawa’s hand to ground him. “He’s fine now, I talked him through it, comforted him, and put him back to bed after he fell asleep. However…it seems you’re more acquainted with Seiji’s nightmares than I am.”

Oikawa whipped back to Iwaizumi with wide eyes, shock written all over his paling face. Iwaizumi held his ground, staring back at Oikawa’s astonishment calmly and keeping hold of his hand.

“I can explain,” Oikawa started.

“By all means, please do,” Iwaizumi returned.

“I wasn’t trying to keep it from you,” Oikawa continued.

“But weren’t you?” Iwaizumi countered. “Seiji told me that you said he wasn’t allowed to tell me when he had bad dreams because you thought it would make me sad.”

Oikawa bit his lip, unable to respond. He turned away and Iwaizumi saw tears shining in his eyes. Iwaizumi knew Oikawa was especially sensitive right now, but he couldn’t let this issue lie.

“Tooru. Tooru, look at me,” Iwaizumi requested gently. Oikawa took a shuddering breath and faced him, jaw tight. “I’m not angry at you. I’m disappointed that you still don’t trust me enough to tell me about matters like this, but I’m not trying to make you feel bad.”

“That’s not it!” Oikawa protested. “Yes, I didn’t want Seiji to tell you, but it’s not because I don’t trust you! I didn’t want you to be upset. I didn’t want you to think you were any less than the wonderful father to our son that you are, just because Seiji had a few dreams where you left or weren’t here. I didn’t want you to doubt yourself; after everything I put you through, that’s the last thing you deserved…”

Iwaizumi sighed and Oikawa flinched. Iwaizumi tugged Oikawa closer by the hand that was still in his and hugged Oikawa close, pressing a chaste kiss to his lips.

“Thank you,” Iwaizumi said when he pulled away. “For telling me the truth. But you know that I don’t want you to keep anything, and I mean anything, from me. Tooru, I want us to always be honest with each other, alright? And I appreciate the thought, but I’m mature enough to not get hurt by fears my son has concerning me. You should have told me the first time Seiji had a dream like that, and we could have all sat down and talked about it as a family.”

Oikawa sniffed. “I’m sorry Hajime…”

“Don’t be Tooru. I just want us to be on the same page.” Iwaizumi paused to kiss Oikawa sweetly again. “You know I love you.”

Oikawa giggled. “I know. Just like you know how much I love you.”

Iwaizumi made to pull Oikawa in for another kiss, but the kettle began to boil over for their tea.

Oikawa retreated back to their bedroom after he had finished his share of their tea.

“Heats burn all the energy out of me, so I think I’m just going to sleep today. Don’t worry about me, I’m feeling a lot better after last night. Having you around for this is great, so I think I can rest up today without being too uncomfortable.” Oikawa gave Iwaizumi an appraising pat on the ass and a wink as he passed. “I’ll need my energy for tomorrow.”

Iwaizumi blushed. Tomorrow would begin the peak days of Oikawa’s heat, so he would have to mentally prepare himself for that. Oikawa would probably be reduced to bedridden, wanton, and irresistible. Iwaizumi needed to find the strength in him to satisfy Oikawa while also being available to cater to the needs of their son.

Oikawa turned back to Iwaizumi just outside their bedroom door. “Since you’re off for today, why don’t you take Seiji out when he wakes up? I’ll call or text you if I need anything.”

“Alright,” Iwaizumi agreed. “But you know I’m off for the week as well Tooru. Alphas who have omegas in heat either get half days at work or the week off depending on the policy of their workplace. Since we have Seiji to take care of as well, I got the full week off.”

“Oh!” Oikawa said with surprise. Then his expression shifted, into something borderline devious. “That means we can spend all day tomorrow between the sheets with each other.” Iwaizumi’s eyes widened at the insinuation. “Have a good day today!” Oikawa cheered as he went into their room and shut the door.

Iwaizumi took a deep, calming breath. Oikawa would be the death of him.

***

Iwaizumi was seated in the living room when Seiji woke up, stumbling in half asleep, hair more akin to a bird’s nest than actual follicles. Seiji walked over to him and climbed onto Iwaizumi’s lap, bumping his head affectionately against Iwaizumi’s.

“Morning, Daddy,” Seiji mumbled sleepily, looking ready to conk out against Iwaizumi at any second.

Iwaizumi laughed. Although Seiji slept like he did, he woke up just like Oikawa.

“Morning Seiji,” Iwaizumi said. “How are you feeling? Better?”

Seiji smiled up at him. “Yeah!”

“How about we get some breakfast in you and then go out today? Mommy is staying in to rest up.”

Seiji practically leapt out of Iwaizumi’s lap and dashed to the kitchen.

After feeding Seiji the leftovers Oikawa made before he had gone back to nap, Iwaizumi got Seiji ready to start the day.

Iwaizumi grabbed the keys of the car, and took Seiji’s hand as they went out the door. After their trip to Disneyland, Oikawa told Iwaizumi that he was free to drive the car whenever he wanted.

Iwaizumi decided the drive them to the mall, so he could browse around for anything he thought their home needed. Maybe he could buy some vintage Godzilla posters from a hobby shop to spruce up the walls.

“Don’t let go of my hand, ok Seiji?” Iwaizumi said, taking Seiji out of his car seat and setting him on the ground. Seiji nodded, and kept a firm grip on Iwaizumi’s hand.

Iwaizumi wandered around the floors of the shopping complex for a while, stepping into stores that seemed promising, only to find nothing caught his interest. He and Seiji stopped by the food court for lunch, and after they finished, Iwaizumi was leading them towards the closest exit to where their car was parked. Until he couldn’t feel Seiji’s hand in his anymore.

Iwaizumi froze, panic flooding his senses and making him rigid as he whipped around to look for his son.

“Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked, but just a moment later he saw Seiji not five feet from him, peering up at a nearby jewelry store.

“Prwetty…” Seiji said when Iwaizumi came close to him, Seiji standing on his toes to get a better look.

Iwaizumi lifted Seiji so he could better see the display case facing outside the store. “Want to go inside Seiji?”

“Can we?” Seiji asked excitedly.

“Sure,” Iwaizumi replied, putting Seiji down and taking his hand again.

The jewelry store was empty, as they usually were, and as Iwaizumi and Seiji entered, a couple had just exited. A store employee greeted them immediately.

“Hello, is there anything you’re looking for in particular today?”

“Ah, no, we just wanted to browse…” Iwaizumi said.

The employee gave them what Iwaizumi knew was a practiced service smile, slightly strained and her eyes twitched for a second. “Of course. Let me know if you need anything.”

Seiji trailed along the display cases, oo-ing and ah-ing at all the shiny gems he saw. Iwaizumi followed behind him closely to make sure Seiji didn’t knock over anything expensive.

Seiji stopped at a particular display case and gasped. Iwaizumi crouched down to Seiji’s line of view.

“What is it?” Iwaizumi asked.

“Tha’ ring! It’s like Mommy!”

Iwaizumi arched a quizzical brow at his son, before looking to see where Seiji was pointing. And Iwaizumi was speechless, because Seiji was right.

Seiji had pointed out a blue star sapphire, the deep hue reminiscent of evening skies, the skies Iwaizumi and Oikawa would walk home from practice under. The bright shine of the “star” on the gem reminded Iwaizumi of Oikawa himself, a bolt in the blue, a leader full of clarity and light. There were smaller gems framing the star sapphire on its sides, a small diamond, blue topaz, and classic blue sapphire set in opposing order on each side on the centerpiece. The clear white of the diamond, plus the light blue of the topaz and the dark blue of the sapphire reminded Iwaizumi of the colors of the two teams he played on with Oikawa during middle school and high school. These seven stones were set in a ring of white gold.

Iwaizumi felt an inexplicable need to buy this ring. It belonged to Oikawa. Then he glanced at the price tag and dear gods above, that was a lot of yen. Iwaizumi felt himself start to perspire.

Iwaizumi stood to his full height shakily, feeling mildly dizzy. He must have looked at least half the mess he felt, because the employee who had greeted them earlier came over from behind the display case with concern.

“Sir? Are you alright?”

“Uh, yeah, I’m fine,” Iwaizumi said, clearing his throat. “About this ring…” he said, pointing to the one he could easily envision on Oikawa’s finger. “Is there a payment plan with it?”

The employee perked up, delighted at a possible sale. “Yes!” she said, reaching down and pulling some papers out from a shelf Iwaizumi assumed was under the displays. “We have various payment plans available, with and without warranty. You can pay in monthly or yearly payments, or in one lump sum.”

Iwaizumi looked over the papers, taking care to look over the interest rates for the different payments as well. The best rate was obviously for the entire fee at once, but Iwaizumi definitely didn’t have enough money to drop just like that. He had used up all his extra spending money on Seiji’s birthday trip to Disneyland and his gifts. The second best plan seemed to be monthly, given the interest and including the warranty.

Iwaizumi swallowed nervously. “Is there a way you could hold this ring for me? So I can see if I’m able to save up for a monthly plan?”

The employee frowned but held sympathy in her eyes. “It’s not really our policy to do so, but you’re the first person who’s expressed true interest in purchasing this ring, so I’ll hold it for two weeks. May I get your contact information?”

Iwaizumi jotted down his name, phone and email for her, thanked her sincerely, and left to get himself and Seiji home for the dinner Oikawa was most likely preparing for them.

***

Iwaizumi felt a bead of sweat drop from his temple to his chin. The room was stifling hot, and if Iwaizumi wasn’t so horny he’d think to turn on the fan or turn up the AC. At this point he hardly cared; Oikawa’s peak heat could have been melting his brain out of his ears and it wouldn’t have mattered. Iwaizumi licked his lips and tasted the salt of his sweat, but he was in the mood for something sweet.

Oikawa had just come out of the bath, and his skin was flushed all the way down to his chest from the steam. Iwaizumi could still see some of that blush as Oikawa lay on his stomach, the pink hue skirting just over his shoulder blades. Oikawa’s legs were quivering against the foot of the bed, feet planted apart on the floor with shaky roots. He whimpered into the body pillow beneath him, hugging it desperately.

Iwaizumi took his time walking up to him, enjoying Oikawa’s trembling form like a predator cornering his prey. When Iwaizumi finally stood behind Oikawa, he brushed the tips of his fingers up Oikawa’s bare legs and Oikawa gasped in surprise.

“Shh,” Iwaizumi soothed, continuing his feather light ministrations. When his fingers tracked all the way to the globes of Oikawa’s ass, Iwaizumi trailed one hand around and over Oikawa’s hip, while the other ghosted over the crease of Oikawa’s cheeks.

Oikawa sobbed into his pillow.

Iwaizumi knew he was being a little cruel. It was the second day of Oikawa’s peak, his heat was at its most intense, and every nerve he had was basically a live wire. Oikawa was so sensitive that a puff of air on his cock could probably make him come. So Iwaizumi probably shouldn’t have been teasing his lover like this…but it was so hard to resist when Oikawa was so pliant and needy, glancing back at Iwaizumi over his shoulder with wet eyes and red tinted skin.

Iwaizumi’s underwear felt so tight at the sight.

Oikawa made a noise in the back of his throat, a choked off sound of protest, and Iwaizumi moved closer until his bulge bumped Oikawa’s butt, and he pressed the palms of his hands into the tense muscles of Oikawa’s back, giving Oikawa a light massage to help him relax. Iwaizumi leaned forward until his lips brushed Oikawa’s ear.

“You’re so cute,” Iwaizumi cooed.

Oikawa sighed in response, arching his back and pressing his ass more firmly into Iwaizumi’s groin. Iwaizumi grunted to suppress a groan. He decided it was time to stop playing with Oikawa.

Iwaizumi knelt down between Oikawa’s spread legs, giving Oikawa’s calves a squeeze of encouragement before reaching up and taking Oikawa’s ass into his hands, spreading Oikawa open for access.

Oikawa moaned deep as a shiver rippled through him.

Iwaizumi chuckled, moving to graze his teeth over the meat of Oikawa’s cheeks, wishing so badly he could bite. Wasting no more time, he dipped his face between them and touched his tongue to Oikawa’s entrance.

“Ahh! Hajime!” Oikawa muffled his scream into the pillow and squeezed it to him tighter.

Iwaizumi smirked and flattened his tongue against the pink hole, lapping up Oikawa’s slick. Iwaizumi didn’t want to be one of those alphas, but he wasn’t sure there was an alpha alive that didn’t enjoy the taste of their omega. Oikawa slick was sugary sweet, especially since he was in heat so it nearly tasted like some sort of syrup, but it was tempered with Oikawa’s natural floral scent, making the sweetness a bit milder in a way that reminded Iwaizumi of floral milk tea. And Iwaizumi was nothing if not a tea aficionado, so the taste suited his palate perfectly. Iwaizumi stiffened his tongue so he could breach Oikawa’s entrance, hoping the flavor would get stronger further in.

“Ah, oh, guh, god, Hajime, Hajime.” Oikawa pushed his hips back in the hopes that it would push Iwaizumi deeper.

Iwaizumi pulled away and Oikawa keened a whine. They had tried this yesterday, when Oikawa’s peak heat had begun, but Oikawa had been on his back with his legs in the air, and he was bucking so erratically against Iwaizumi’s face that Iwaizumi nearly got kicked in the head. Iwaizumi had hoped that with Oikawa on his stomach and feet planted on the floor he’d have more control, but he should have known Oikawa wasn’t one to lay still and take it.

Iwaizumi licked the slick from his lips and swatted Oikawa on the ass with a growl. “Behave yourself or I’ll stick a vibrator in you and leave it to take care of you.”

Iwaizumi hadn’t expected the full body shudder Oikawa answered him with.

“I-I’ll be good…so please…?” Oikawa asked, canting his hips up a little, tears spilling slowly out of his eyes.

Iwaizumi grinned and dove back in, starting up a rhythm of licks and thrusts of his tongue, eating Oikawa out with renewed vigor.

Oikawa let out a muffled yelp before melting down into the mattress, hips moving forward just the slightest to lightly rut against his body pillow. Iwaizumi took a brief break to get some feeling back in his jaw and peaked low to see a puddle of precome forming under Oikawa.

Iwaizumi figured it was time to give Oikawa his release. Resuming his previous rhythm, Iwaizumi lulled Oikawa back into pattern of pleasure, but, timed with a thrust of his tongue, Iwaizumi pressed his thumb on Oikawa’s perineum, hitting his prostrate from the outside.

Iwaizumi felt bone-deep satisfaction when he felt Oikawa’s hips stutter, hole clamp around his tongue, and heard Oikawa’s guttural moan softened as Oikawa bit into his pillow.

***

Iwaizumi sat across from Hanamaki and Matsukawa for lunch, unknowingly smiling to himself.

“Looks like someone’s gotten lucky,” Hanamaki commented. “About time, eh Matsu?”

Matsukawa smirked as Hanamaki nudged him. “Well, it does seem a little overdue, especially for you two.”

Iwaizumi almost choked on his food, pounding his fist on his chest. “W-What are you idiots going on about?”

Hanamaki rolled his eyes. “Oh please, no one looks that self-satisfied unless they’re getting regularly laid.”

Matsukawa wiggled his brows and Iwaizumi glared at both of them.

“I’ve just been helping Oikawa through his heat week,” Iwaizumi said, pointedly looking at his food.

“Oh my god,” Hanamaki gaped. “You’ve been having heat sex this whole time!? You sly dog!”

“Heat sex is some of the best sex there is Iwaizumi, second only to claim sex. What the hell are you even doing here, eating lunch with us?”

“First off, if Oikawa was here, he’d punch both of you. Second, heats are not the fabrications that dramas and movies would like you to believe: yes, they last a week, but there are only three spikes in a heat; the first day, towards the middle, which lasts two days, and the last day. The two middle days are the only time an omega is actually bedridden and desperate for contact. The other days they are uncomfortable, but can still more or less function like regular people, albeit more tired and horny than usual with a higher body temperature.”

“Oh,” Hanamaki and Matsukawa said in unison.

“Is that why he isn’t here?” Matsukawa asked.

“What day of his heat is it?” Hanamaki added.

“It’s his fifth day, so we just got over his middle spike. It’s a lax day for him, so he wanted to stay home and spend time with Seiji. His next spike is due in a day or two.”

“So you’ve been getting lucky during the spikes at least?” Hanamaki asked with a salacious grin.

Iwaizumi sighed, cheeks turning pink a little. “No, we can’t go all the way, especially while Oikawa’s in heat. Think a bit, and you’ll figure out why.”

Matsukawa and Hanamaki regarded each other until they simultaneously groaned.

“Seiji,” Matsukawa offered.

Iwaizumi nodded. Hanamaki patted his shoulder consolingly. The three of them resumed eating in comfortable silence.

Iwaizumi took a gulp of water before feigning an air of nonchalance. “I can’t say I’ve been able to eat the whole peach, but I’ve gotten my fair share of bites in. I can still boast the taste.”

Hanamaki snorted his drink up his nose in surprise and the food Matsukawa was eating fell out of his slack mouth.

***

After Oikawa’s heat week ended, Iwaizumi returned to work anxious for what he had to ask. It wasn’t as if extra hours were an outrageous thing to ask for, but the purpose the extra hours and money he’d make from them still made him nervous.

A slap on his back startled him.

“Yo Iwaizumi! Enjoy your week off?” Sugawara asked with his signature smile

Iwaizumi grinned back. “Yeah.”

“‘Yeah’? That’s all you have to say after spending a heat week with Oikawa?”

Iwaizumi scoffed. “There’s not much we could have done when I also had Seiji to look after.”

“I suppose that’s true… But you seem so rigid! What gives?”

Iwaizumi looked around before pulling Sugawara into the closest empty breakroom. There he recounted what happened when he and Seiji visited the jewelry store together.

Sugawara’s eyes were sparkling by the time Iwaizumi was finished speaking.

“Oh. My. God. You’re proposing!? You’re proposing! I’m so excited for you two! If you want, you can take over some of my shifts! Daichi and I could use a vacation anyway. Let me know ok? I’ve got to run to my rotation now.” Sugawara clapped Iwaizumi on the arm as he made his way out.

Iwaizumi stood there frozen, astonished. He hadn’t realized his endeavor sounded like a proposal. All he wanted to do was buy Oikawa a ring that suited him perfectly. He didn’t think past that. But it was an expensive ring. It would be a shame if there wasn’t a more significant reason behind purchasing it. Even so, Iwaizumi wasn’t sure if he and Oikawa were ready for such a big step in their relationship. It felt like they had barely begun being in a committed relationship.

Iwaizumi's anxiety increased tenfold. Even so, he asked his superiors for extra shifts at the end of the day.

***

“Why not?” Matsukawa asked, helping Iwaizumi wash up the dishes from dinner.

Oikawa was out drinking with some colleagues from work that night, thankfully he decided to wear pants to work that day, so Matsukawa and Hanamaki joined Iwaizumi and Seiji for dinner.

Hanamaki was in the living room entertaining Seiji, or as he dubbed their son, “little sprout.”

“What do you mean ‘why not.’ This isn’t me trying to indulge in some fancy shoes, this is me considering saving up to buy a ring to propose with! Be serious!”

“On the contrary, I think you’re making this too extreme Iwaizumi,” Matsukawa pointed out. “Don’t get fixated on the scary permanence of a proposal like lesser men do. Think about it like this: do you love Oikawa?”

“Obviously,” Iwaizumi responded, somewhat affronted.

“Do you ever picture yourself loving anyone else?” Matsukawa continued.

“Of course not.” Now Iwaizumi was affronted.

“Do you intend to stay with Oikawa for the rest of your life?”

“Yes.”

“Do you think that intention will change in the future?”

“Never.”

“Then, why not? Propose now, if nothing will change how you feel. You’ve been a victim of lost time for too long Iwaizumi, it’s about time you capitalized on opportunity and made Oikawa yours forever. Not that he already is, but this would officially seal the deal.”

Hanamaki came into the kitchen and nudged Matsukawa aside. “My turn! I’ll dry the dishes, so go keep the sprout busy, Matsu.”

Matsukawa left with a chuckle of “sure, Hana,” and when he got to the living room, he pulled Seiji onto his lap and began reading him a story.

Iwaizumi handed plates for Hanamki to dry in silence for a few moments before Hanamaki spoke up.

“He’s right you know.”

“What?” Iwaizumi asked.

“You should propose to Oikawa. And I’m not saying that because you’re the alpha, because we all know Oikawa would have no trouble proposing to you, and he’d make an entire spectacle of it like the big drama queen he is. It’s because Oikawa wants you to take the lead now. He’s made so many decisions alone for your guys’ relationship these past couple of years that were just short of catastrophic that now he’s sending the ball onto your side of the court, and he’s waiting to see what you’ll do with it. So you should propose. It’d be the ultimate spike; he’d never see it coming and wouldn’t know how to defend against it.”

Iwaizumi handed Hanamaki another plate. “I’ll think about it.”

***

Iwaizumi lied wide awake in bed, thinking about it. Thoughts of the ring and asking Oikawa to stay by his side for eternity consumed every vacancy in his thoughts.

He wasn’t opposed to the idea. He definitely wasn’t. Of course, this was something he would have considered eventually. Emphasis on eventually.

But Matsukawa’s words and Hanamaki’s encouragement needled at the back of his mind with pinpoint precision.

What exactly was he waiting for? It’s true that they were young; their coming birthdays would mark them just twenty-three. But they already had a four-year-old together. It seemed silly to argue about timing in their situation; everything felt out of order and somewhat rushed.

Though, was it really? Iwaizumi remembered childish plans when he was younger, hoping to grow up faster, so he could take care of Oikawa better, be a proper partner on the court and best friend outside of volleyball. He always felt like he was running after Oikawa just to stand by his side.

Iwaizumi turned over to face Oikawa, watching him breathe evenly in sleep, hair in utter disarray.

Now he was by Oikawa’s side, so why was he hesitating? Sure their foundation wasn’t the strongest, not after all the miscommunication they endured, but at least they were together now, and had mutual understanding and love binding them. What would a ring and proposal do other than strengthen that? If anything, it would give them more even footing, level ground, and bind them more than their words ever could.

However, they also had Seiji to consider. How would he take this? Sure, he accepted Iwaizumi as his father, but would he understand a proposal?

“Seiji wants Daddy to stay until…until forever and after! With Mommy too!”

And oh, Iwaizumi thought, clarity clearing the storm in his mind like the first ray of sun to filter through the clouds. Seiji would understand, and he seemed to have a better grasp of the concept without even knowing it. Iwaizumi didn’t have to look at his proposal like it was a way to tie himself more firmly to Oikawa, but as a promise, a promise to love and cherish Oikawa and Seiji for the rest of his days. With waves of calm started to lull him, Iwaizumi wondered why he was so nervous to begin with.

Suddenly a warm hand caressed his cheek. “Hajime? You’re still awake?”

Iwaizumi rested his hand over Oikawa’s. “I was up thinking, but just about to fall asleep, don’t worry.”

Oikawa smiled drowsily. “Brooding so much with that empty head of yours…is useless you know?”

“Hey,” Iwaizumi chided, but it was weak, with no bite, because Oikawa was still soft and gentle from sleep and Oikawa like this could bring Iwaizumi to his knees.

“Don’t think so hard,” Oikawa said with a yawn. “You’re a man of action; you always have been. Whatever it is you want to do, just go ahead and do it.”

Iwaizumi watched Oikawa drift back to sleep, running his thumb soothingly over Oikawa’s knuckles, pausing only so slightly on his ring finger, contemplating the empty space there which Iwaizumi hoped to fill very soon.

***

“Sugawara,” Iwaizumi greeted as he entered the breakroom for lunch.

“Hrmf,” Sugawara responded around a mouthful of rice. After swallowing, he grinned. “What’s up, Iwaizumi?”

Iwaizumi sat across from him, opening the bento Oikawa had packed for him. “How soon would you like to go on that vacation with Sawamura? I’d like to pick up a few of your shifts.”

***

A week into it, Iwaizumi regretted picking up Sugawara’s shifts on top of his own rotation and the extra hours his superiors gave him by request. But he couldn’t back out now, especially because Sugawara was already off in Hakone with Sawamura. If his first weeks working at the hospital felt like torture, this was hell itself.

Iwaizumi sighed as he lugged himself home with heavy limbs. Oikawa graciously gave him the car because he was working the late shift, so at least he didn’t have to take the train home. Oikawa was probably worried that Iwaizumi would fall asleep on the train like he did two days ago and wind up on the other side of Tokyo.

But it would be worth it. At the end of this week he’d have enough money put away to make the first payment on the ring, and he could have it in his possession. Even after Sugawara came back to work, his extra shifts would quickly help him save up for the rest of the payments he had to make for the next few months.

Iwaizumi parked the car, and regarded the stairs he had to climb with a tired hatred before ascending them. He loathed coming home utterly exhausted all the time, but he needed to scrap the money together soon. As he turned the key in the lock and let himself inside, Iwaizumi stopped in the entryway at the sound of faint singing.

Iwaizumi carefully peered around the corner to find Oikawa singing a familiar lullaby to a tired Seiji in his arms. Iwaizumi stepped closer and the song ended, Oikawa turning around.

“Iwa-chan, you’re finally home,” Oikawa said, with a quiet intensity that barely masked his irritation.

“Daddy?” Seiji asked, groggy.

“Shh,” Oikawa soothed. “You’ve managed to stay up to see Daddy come home like you wanted to, now go to sleep.”

Iwaizumi felt guilt pierce him. It was late, far later than Seiji should even be awake. Before Iwaizumi could say anything, Oikawa spoke.

“You look dead on your feet. Go to bed, I’ll tuck Seiji in,” Oikawa said in a cutting tone. He turned down the hall before Iwaizumi could protest.

Iwaizumi heaved a sigh but did as he was told. He was in the middle of changing into his pajamas when Oikawa came in.

“Tooru, I know you’re upset. Let’s talk about this.” Iwaizumi shrugged his shirt on and sat on the bed.

Oikawa moved to stand in front of him, pout evident on his face and eyes refusing to meet Iwaizumi’s as he crossed his arms over his chest.

Iwaizumi grabbed Oikawa by his hips and pulled him closer, looking up at Oikawa through his lashes and grinning. Oikawa sighed, his stance relaxing a bit, pout broken by a small quirk of his lips that hinted at a growing smile.

In retaliation, Oikawa used his hands to squish Iwaizumi’s cheeks. “You’re not being fair when you use your handsome looks against me and act all charming, you know.”

Iwaizumi laughed, taking hold of Oikawa’s wrists to steady his hands and he placed a kiss on each palm. “Still mad?”

“Oh, absolutely,” Oikawa replied.

Iwaizumi continued to smile at Oikawa but his expression and tone held more remorse. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”

Oikawa sighed again, a sigh that had all the tension bleeding out of his body. “I know I’m being a little selfish and petulant…but I miss you. Whenever you come home, you’re out like a light. You hardly seem to have time for Seiji and I anymore. I understand that you’re busy, but I don’t understand what it is keeping you so busy and away from us. I know that look in your eyes. You’ve got a motive for all this work, but you won’t tell me what it is.”

Iwaizumi felt a flutter of panic; he had to deflect the conversation before Oikawa got too suspicious. “I’m just working a few extra shifts and covering for Sugawara while he’s on vacation. Just a couple more days and he’ll be back.”

Oikawa frowned at him. “But then you’ll still have those extra shifts for the next month.”

“I’ll have more free time and be less tired though,” Iwaizumi pointed out.

Oikawa pouted, but Iwaizumi knew it was because he couldn’t find a counter-argument. “…Suga-chan’s lucky that he and Sawamura get to go on vacation…”

“Why don’t we go somewhere too, when Sugawara gets back and my work lessens a bit. I’ll take time off and we can make a weekend trip.”

“I want to, but I have a photoshoot in Kyoto in two weeks. Work will be busy until then.”

“After the shoot?” Iwaizumi offered.

“It ends on a Friday.”

Iwaizumi mulled ways to overcome this in his mind, but came up short. “I’ll figure out a trip for all of us to go on. It doesn’t have to be far; I think we all just need a little break.”

“That does sound nice…” Oikawa conceded.

Iwaizumi hummed in agreement. Then he pulled Oikawa down until he had Oikawa seated on his lap. Oikawa gave Iwaizumi a confused glance, but Iwaizumi ignored it in favor of kissing up Oikawa’s neck and jaw until his lips brushed the shell of Oikawa’s ear.

“For now, it seems that I’ve left my bunny feeling a little lonely, hm?” Iwaizumi whispered huskily into Oikawa’s ear, squeezing Oikawa closer around the waist as Oikawa shivered at Iwaizumi’s words.

And there it was, the gratifying blush spreading slowly but surely across Oikawa’s face, cracking through Oikawa’s previous resistant expression. Oikawa’s eyes got darker as his cheeks turned redder. Iwaizumi knew Oikawa loved giving people nicknames, half to irritate them, half to foster trust. However, Iwaizumi, and only Iwaizumi, also knew that Oikawa was weak to nicknames referring to himself, and terms of endearment were the fastest way to make him fall apart.

Iwaizumi blew a puff of air directly into Oikawa’s ear, and Oikawa squeaked in surprise. “Well? Use your words, bunny. Tell me, were you lonely?”

Iwaizumi nipped his ear and Oikawa squirmed in Iwaizumi’s tight grasp. “Y-Yes, I was lonely…”

Iwaizumi nuzzled Oikawa’s throat. “Good boy. I don’t like leaving my bunny lonely. My bunny should always be happy and satisfied. Why don’t you tell your alpha what would cheer you up?”

Oikawa murmured something breathlessly, but Iwaizumi couldn’t quite catch it. Iwaizumi sucked a sharp hickey into the side of Oikawa’s neck and Oikawa moaned shakily.

“Speak up or I can’t give you what you want, Tooru. And then I’ll just turn in and go to bed. My bunny doesn’t want that, does he?”

“No…” Oikawa weakly protested, staring into Iwaizumi’s eyes with a half-lidded, alluring gaze. “I want us to cuddle…”

Iwaizumi gave Oikawa a grin so wide it felt like it was all teeth and borderline feral, but he couldn’t help feeling predatory right now. He loved being able to bait Oikawa like this, getting Oikawa to admit what he really wanted so Iwaizumi could indulge him.

Iwaizumi growled low, catching Oikawa’s lips in a bruising, biting kiss. Oikawa cupped Iwaizumi’s face, and Iwaizumi deepened the kiss when he felt pleased rumbles from Oikawa’s chest, flush against his. When they broke the kiss to breathe, Iwaizumi moved his hands lower to grip Oikawa’s hips.

“I know how much my bunny loves heavy petting,” Iwaizumi said with a voice raspy from growling. He slid his hands further to skim Oikawa’s ass and Oikawa whined when they wouldn’t stay. Iwaizumi stroked Oikawa’s thighs instead, squeezing and pinching the sides before inching over to caress Oikawa’s inner thighs. Oikawa gasped when Iwaizumi’s hand brushed over his groin before dissolving into moans and pleas.

***

When the week ended, Sugawara came back to the hospital to resume his shifts.

“Just in time for payday, huh?” Iwaizumi teased.

“Oh, shush,” Sugawara said with a grin.

Iwaizumi only had a half shift that day, so after double checking his bank account balance to see if his paycheck went through, Iwaizumi left work and went straight to the jewelry shop in the mall.

The store employee greeted him brightly. “Sir, it’s great to see you again!”

Iwaizumi smiled back at her pleasantly. “Yeah. About that ring I asked you to reserve…”

The employee and Iwaizumi discussed payment plans and warranties, Iwaizumi was able to appraise the ring once more, and then he was signing the papers and handing his card over to be charged. When she brought his card and receipt over, Iwaizumi handed the employee a slip of paper with the measurement of Oikawa’s ring finger on it that Iwaizumi had nervously measured while Oikawa was asleep so the ring could be resized.

She took it with a smile, attaching it to the other paperwork with a paperclip. “The ring will be ready in two weeks. I’m sure your partner will love it.”

“Me too…” Iwaizumi sighed fondly.

***

After two weeks of anxiously waiting, the ring rested in Iwaizumi’s briefcase, where Oikawa knew never to look for fear of peaking at confidential medical files. Every night after Oikawa fell asleep, Iwaizumi would take the velvet box out and stare at the ring.

Iwaizumi bounced his leg as he thought of a way to spring the question on Oikawa. He had to time it perfectly. Was he being too eager? Was he waiting too long? Was there even a procedure to these things? He wished he had someone to turn to for advice…

Oikawa entered their room after a bath and pulled out a duffle bag that he started filling with clothes. Iwaizumi watched him curiously.

“What are you doing?” Iwaizumi asked.

Oikawa turned to stare at Iwaizumi funny. “I told you Iwa-chan, I have a photoshoot this week. I’m leaving for Kyoto tomorrow. …Were you listening?”

Iwaizumi cursed his scatterbrained mind at the moment. He was so consumed with thoughts about the ring, he let this crucial detail slip.

“Right… Do you still want to go on a weekend trip when you get back?”

Oikawa hummed as he packed a t-shirt. “Have you come up with somewhere you want us to go?”

Iwaizumi gnawed on his lip. He hadn’t. He needed to come up with something quick or Oikawa would think he had lost his mind. Iwaizumi grasped at his last coherent thought, his wish for advice. Where could he even go for advice? Who were the last people who gave him sound advice, especially concerning Oikawa?

…And suddenly, it hit him.

“Why don’t we go home?”

“Home?” Oikawa echoed, confused.

“I mean to visit our parents,” Iwaizumi clarified. “I know they all came to visit for Seiji’s birthday party, but my parents haven’t really interacted all that much with Seiji. Maybe we could stay at my parents’ house so Seiji can get more comfortable with them?”

“It would be good for Seiji to be more acquainted with his paternal grandparents…” Oikawa agreed.

“How about Seiji and I go ahead and travel to Miyagi on Friday and you’ll meet us on Saturday? We can all stay at my parents’, they wouldn’t mind.” The extra day would afford Iwaizumi time to ask his parents what he should do.

“My parents are next door too… Alright, let’s do it.” Iwaizumi breathed a sigh of relief at Oikawa’s unknowing compliance.

The next day, Iwaizumi and Seiji saw Oikawa off as he boarded the train that would take him to Kyoto. After pecking about a dozen kisses all over Seiji’s face, Oikawa set him down and threw his arms over Iwaizumi’s shoulders and met his waiting lips.

“I’ll see you and Seiji in Miyagi in two days,” Oikawa said when he reluctantly pulled away.

Iwaizumi chased his lips for one last kiss before Oikawa had to leave the platform, and then he was off.

Iwaizumi took Seiji’s hand as they watched the train speed away.

Friday morning came, and Iwaizumi loaded the car with enough clothes for himself, Seiji, and extras for Oikawa just in case, along with all the necessities. He double checked everything, triple checking the ring surreptitiously even though Oikawa was in another city.

He finally sent a text to his parents saying they were on the way, strapping Seiji into his car seat, and then he began to drive.

A few hours later, Iwaizumi stood in front of his childhood home carrying his own child in his arms.

“Hajime, Seiji!” Iwaizumi’s mother greeted them warmly, hugging them and pressing a soft kiss to each of their cheeks.

Iwaizumi’s father approached them as well, giving Iwaizumi a squeeze on the shoulder and Seiji and affectionate hair ruffle before passing both of them and unloading the car.

“Hi, Kaa-san,” Iwaizumi said.

“Iwa-baa-chan!” Seiji exclaimed excitedly.

Iwaizumi’s mother chuckled. “Oh dear, it looks like Tooru taught my grandson something troublesome…”

Iwaizumi laughed. “I think it’s pretty endearing actually.”

“Of course you do Hajime, you’re over the moon in love with him.”

Iwaizumi gulped nervously at his mother’s words.

“Well? Come in, both of you. I have tea and snacks ready, your father will take care of the bags,” Iwaizumi’s mother said, turning towards the house. Iwaizumi set Seiji down, and Seiji trotted after her.

“Are you sure?” Iwaizumi asked, casting a concerned glance at his father.

“Now Hajime, I may be a grandfather, but I’m not quite an old man yet. Go on and listen to your mother.”

Iwaizumi listened to his father, following his mother and son inside. After everything was situated, Iwaizumi laid back to let his parents spend quality grandparent-grandchild time and bond. At least that’s what he told himself, but in reality he was stressing out over how to bring the topic of the ring to his parents.

Before Iwaizumi realized it, the sun was setting and Seiji’s eyelids were growing heavy. Iwaizumi’s father offered to tuck Seiji into his futon.

“What’s on your mind?” Iwaizumi’s mother’s voice disrupted his thoughts abruptly.

“Nothing!” Iwaizumi yelled a little too quickly. “Absolutely nothing.”

Iwaizumi’s mother quirked an eyebrow. Iwaizumi’s father came back from the room, and smiled at both of them. “Hajime won’t talk?”

“Tou-san!”

Concern wrinkled his mother’s face. “Are you and Tooru fighting?”

“No! I told you, he’s off in Kyoto for a photoshoot and coming over here tomorrow!”

“But it is about Tooru, isn’t it?” Iwaizumi’s father asked knowingly.

Iwaizumi’s throat felt full of cotton.

“If you aren’t fighting, then what’s wrong?” his mother pressed.

“Everything’s fine! More than fine…it’s perfect. So perfect…I’ve been thinking of proposing…” Iwaizumi said, voice gradually softening into a murmur as he spoke the sentence.

His parents’ eyes widened as they regarded him. His father spoke first.

“Do you have a ring Hajime?”

Iwaizumi nodded stiffly.

“Can we see it?” his mother hedged.

Iwaizumi walked mechanically into his room, careful not to disturb Seiji and plucked the small box out of his briefcase. He walked back to his parents on autopilot and presented the box in a rigid stance. His mother took it from him and opened it carefully. Both of his parents gasped at the sight.

“My that’s beautiful…” Iwaizumi’s mother breathed.

Iwaizumi’s father tore his gaze from the ring and appraised his son. “Are you sure Hajime? You and Tooru haven’t been bonded for very long, and you two aren’t mated either. This is a big step of commitment.”

Iwaizumi’s mother nodded beside him, handing the open box back to Iwaizumi.

Iwaizumi stared at the ring as he tried to come up with an answer. “I’m sure. Tooru…he’s been by my side since we were kids. We grew up together, took on challenges and foes together, we won together, lost together, celebrated and despaired together. We separated for four years, but I never lost my loyalty to him. When I realized that it was love, everything with each other and Seiji just fell into place. This ring is just a physical representation of that.”

Iwaizumi’s mother smiled at him and pulled him into a hug. “While I’ll admit that I pictured you a bit older when you would decide to propose to Tooru, given certain circumstances,” she said, glancing towards Iwaizumi’s bedroom, no doubt referring to Seiji, “this isn’t the most unexpected news.”

“You heart has never led you astray before Hajime, so if it’s telling you to marry Tooru, then let it lead the way,” Iwaizumi’s father assured him.

***

The next day had Iwaizumi’s heart pounding achingly in his chest, adrenaline pumping through his system like nervous poison.

After breakfast, Iwaizumi left Seiji in the care of his parents to go next door and visit Oikawa’s parents. The ring box in his pocket felt like a cube of lead, but it was now or never. Oikawa would be coming home that evening in time for dinner.

The door opened and Oikawa’s mother faced him. “Hajime-chan! What a pleasant surprise! Though I knew you were over at your parents’ I didn’t expect you to come over without at least Tooru.”

“Good to see you oba-chan. Is oji-chan home too?”

“Ah, yes he is. We’re both home for the day. Is there something you wanted to discuss with us Hajime-chan?”

“Actually, yes,” Iwaizumi answered.

Oikawa’s mother’s mood dropped like a pin. “Is something the matter? Tooru didn’t do anything stupid again, did he?”

Iwaizumi chuckled as he stepped inside. “No, surprisingly not.”

Oikawa’s father looked up from his newspaper. “Hajime-kun, welcome. Our son isn’t running you up the wall yet is he?”

“I think it’s the exact opposite,” Iwaizumi began, getting the attention of both of Oikawa’s parents. Iwaizumi took a deep breath but it literally did nothing to sooth the pounding in his chest. “I want to propose to Tooru. I’m asking for your blessing. I love him and Seiji more than anything in this world and I promise to care and protect them always.”

Oikawa’s parents continued to gawk at him. Suddenly, Oikawa’s mother busted out laughing, and Oikawa’s father followed with quiet sniggers. Iwaizumi felt his heart break.

Seeing the devastated look on Iwaizumi’s face, Oikawa’s mother attempted to school her expression. “Oh Hajime-chan…we’ve entrusted Tooru to you since the day you took his hand on the playground and announced yourself as his best friend. We always knew you two would end up together not matter what designation either of you presented as. Then Seiji came along and everything seemed muddled, but we should have known true love always finds a way, no matter what fate throws at it. We’re just laughing because we really should have seen this coming.”

Oikawa’s father nodded. “We’ll entrust our son to you as always Hajime-kun. And now it seems we always will. Of course you have our blessing.”

***

Iwaizumi rocked on his heels at the train station. The platform was pretty bare, only stragglers roaming around. He preferred this to the massive crowds in Tokyo.

The train pulled into the station, slowing to a crawl to stop. Iwaizumi watched the doors of the train slide open and people spill out, scanning the crowd of moving people for Oikawa. When the herd began to thin out, Iwaizumi spotted Oikawa strolling out of a nearby carriage with headphones in his ears. Iwaizumi tried to get his attention while walking over to him.

And then Iwaizumi felt time pause and stretch, watching Oikawa turn towards him, the light of recognition in his eyes, the smile that spread across his face as he moved a hand to pull his headphones out.

“Iwa-chan,” Oikawa said, meeting Iwaizumi halfway so they were standing before each other. They stood like that for a moment before Oikawa launched himself at Iwaizumi for a hug.

“I missed you,” Oikawa mumbled.

“It was only three days,” Iwaizumi answered but made no move to break their embrace.

“I thought about you and Seiji the whole time…that photoshoot seemed to drag forever.”

“Well it’s over now,” Iwaizumi said, pecking Oikawa on the lips. “My mom’s waiting with dinner, so we should head back.” Iwaizumi stepped out of the hug but he took Oikawa’s hand and interlocked their fingers.

They walked back to Iwaizumi’s house and Oikawa told him about the difficult model they had to work with on the shoot.

“And she refused to wear the accessory that the advertisement was about, can you believe it!?”

Iwaizumi stared at Oikawa’s face and smiled at the scrunch of his nose, slight furrow of his brows, and small downturn of his mouth. God, he was so in love—

“Iwa-chan? We’re outside your house.”

Iwaizumi jumped a little in surprise, and pulled his keys out when he got himself together. When they went inside, they were warmly received by Iwaizumi’s parents, Iwaizumi’s mother giving Oikawa an affectionate pinch on the cheek.

“Mommy! You back!” Seiji yelled as he ran up and threw himself into Oikawa’s waiting arms.

Oikawa kissed Seiji on top of his head. “I am. Did you behave yourself for your grandparents and Daddy?”

Seiji nodded. “Yeah! Today, Iwa-jii-chan and I played catch! And…”

Seiji talked Oikawa’s ear off about all the things he has doing with his grandparents. Iwaizumi helped his mother set the table.

They ate dinner with a comfortable conversation about what was going on in their lives. When the food was finished, Iwaizumi’s mother gave Iwaizumi a look and took Seiji to read a story. Iwaizumi’s father cleaned the table and dishes.

“Tooru, let’s go for a walk,” Iwaizumi said, trying to pass the statement casually.

“Isn’t it a little late? I don’t think we should take Seiji out at this time.”

“We’ll leave Seiji with my parents. Let’s walk by ourselves.”

Oikawa took a few seconds to think about it before brightening. “Alright, let’s go.”

“Mom, Dad, we’re heading out for a bit,” Iwaizumi said as he left. His parents bid them goodbye without looking away from Seiji.

Oikawa threaded their fingers together when they stepped outside with a grin. Iwaizumi felt warm despite the slight chill in the air.

Iwaizumi took them down the familiar path they used to walk down for so many years that the way was pretty much ingrained in them. Iwaizumi paused by the little park near their houses.

“You remember this? We used to play here all the time.”

Oikawa smiled. “I remember. This is where we first became friends too. I was playing by myself and the other boys who were playing with you started making fun of me. So you took my hand and said if anyone messed with me, they’d have to go through you.”

“Then you dragged me to your house and we found out we lived next door to each other,” Iwaizumi added.

“It’s been so long…” Oikawa said with a fond sigh.

Iwaizumi nudged Oikawa with his shoulder before they started walking again. Continuing the same path, soon they stood outside the gates of Kitagawa Daiichi, able to discern their middle school even in the dim light.

Iwaizumi laughed. “This sure brings back a lot of memories.”

“Yeah. This is where I fell in love you, that day you literally bashed some sense into me. Made me realize that I didn’t have a to a genius to feel invincible.”

Iwaizumi didn’t say anything, pulling Oikawa down into a tender kiss.

They kept going after that, taking a turn down the path that led them to Aoba Jousai. Oikawa and Iwaizumi both stood and stared at it the school for a long time quietly, anchored by their interlocked hands.

“…I meant it, you know?”

“Hm?” Oikawa asked.

“When I said ‘you’re the partner that I can boast about.’ I was always proud to play on your team and be your ace. And I’m glad we can stay partners even after we’ve stepped away from the court.”

Oikawa rested his head on Iwaizumi's shoulder. “Such a sap, Iwa-chan~”

But when Oikawa moved away to continue their journey, Iwaizumi swore his shoulder felt a little damp.

They walked around, pointed little landmarks where they had made significant memories, until they had circled back close to their childhood homes again. They stood in the open field they used to chase each other in during the day and lay in during the night to watch the stars. Iwaizumi let go of Oikawa’s hand so he could move forward, marvel at the stars scattered above them.

“This is one thing I miss about home; the stars aren’t as bright in Tokyo,” Oikawa murmured.

Truthfully, Iwaizumi had never noticed. The stars had always looked bright to him when he watched them reflected off Oikawa’s eyes.

Oikawa turned back to Iwaizumi with an amused expression. “So? Is this the big finale to our trip down memory lane?”

Iwaizumi smiled sheepishly and Oikawa laughed.

“I always tell you Iwa-chan, you’re never quite as subtle as you think you are.”

Iwaizumi hoped that wasn’t the case with the small box in his pocket. He moved to stand beside Oikawa and weighed his feet side to side a little on the ground beneath them, trying to strengthen his resolve physically.

“You know…” Oikawa said, still staring up at the stars. “I had dreams when I’d come home with Seiji and I’d run into you. I never thought there would be a day we’d come back all together.”

“What were your dreams about?” Iwaizumi asked.

Oikawa gave Iwaizumi an apologetic smile. “It was a few years ago, back when I was still in uni, about a year or so after I had Seiji… Basically, it was the worst of the dreams I had about you. I’d come home with Seiji and everything was the same, but then it wasn’t and you would be back with an omega on your arm and a ring on their finger. It broke my heart, even when I had resolved to let you go.”

“Tooru…”

“It doesn’t matter anymore, so don’t worry about it!” Oikawa said with a tight, pained smile.

Iwaizumi realized it was important, his proposal to Oikawa. Oikawa needed to know and always be reminded of Iwaizumi’s love. He needed the peace of mind a physical item could afford, a tangible promise that would hold them for a lifetime and whatever was beyond. Iwaizumi needed to give Oikawa his ring so that he would never make a heartbroken face like that again.

“Tooru,” Iwaizumi called, gaze sliding to the stars. “I remember you used to ramble on and on about star systems to me. I only ever listened to you with half an ear because the shit you said made no damn sense, and because I loved listening to your voice. But I think I remember a thing or two.

“I remember when we made that little constellation of glow-in-the-dark stars on your wall and called it our constellation, but I think we’re more complex than that. We’re a star system, gravitationally bound. And a new star had been born between us with Seiji. Tooru, I used to think that I could tear down the sky and lay its treasures for you, the glory we deserved. But now I realize that in yourself resides a galaxy; so the stars up there hold nothing on us.” Iwaizumi paused and met Oikawa’s eyes. “Sometimes I used to look at you and feel so small, but when I realized I was a part of your galaxy, that we were linked together, I felt like the strongest person alive. I…want you to always feel like that too.” Iwaizumi said with a shaky smile.

He dug into his pocket, closing the box around his hand, and slowly, Iwaizumi knelt to the ground. “I can’t scatter the stars at your feet or reach up at the sky to tear them down for you, but I can give you this star.” Iwaizumi opened his hand and showed Oikawa the box on his palm. He pinched it so the top would flip open and show off the star sapphire in the ring. Iwaizumi swallowed at the dryness in his throat and hoped he wouldn’t choke. “Marry me, Tooru?”

“Hajime…? Are you serious?” Oikawa asked, emotions swimming through the tears in his eyes, voice thick with them.

“Of course,” Iwaizumi assured.

“…Can I put it on?” Oikawa asked.

“Sure,” Iwaizumi said, heart agonizingly pumping in his throat.

Oikawa plucked to ring out of its box and stared at the gems in it, moving the ring slightly see the gleam of the star sapphire move with the gem. He slipped it onto his finger and marveled at the perfect fit.

“It’s gorgeous.”

“Seiji picked it out,” Iwaizumi said, hands sweating.

Oikawa smiled so wide his eyes crinkled and the tears in his eyes spilled over. “Of course he did.”

“Tooru, what do you say?”

Oikawa tore his gaze from the ring and looked Iwaizumi in the eyes. Iwaizumi hoped he didn’t look too anxious.

“You really want to marry me, Hajime?” Oikawa’s voice was small, unsure.

Iwaizumi stood and took Oikawa’s hands in his. “You and Seiji are everything to me. If you’re my galaxy, then you and Seiji together are my universe. I’ve never been so happy, so complete, so in love, than I was beside the two of you. I want this ring to symbolize that. Yes, I want to marry you.”

“I hate you,” Oikawa sniffed.

“Why?”

“Because!” Oikawa said with a sob. “You’re making me cry, really cry! You know I hate crying! I, god Hajime, I love you so much, I’m so happy, I hate this…”

“Nothing you’re saying is making sense,” Iwaizumi chuckled.

“Shut up, I know you’re enjoying this. …you better make Seiji and I happy for the rest of our lives ok?” Oikawa said with a glare. His expression then softened. “And I’ll do my best to make you happy too.”

“You already do,” Iwaizumi reassured him.

“Hajime…” Oikawa continued to sob and cry, choking on his words through aborted gasps.

Iwaizumi took Oikawa into his arms and Oikawa curled into him. Iwaizumi rested his chin over Oikawa’s head and looked up to the night sky watching over them.

“Let’s get married Tooru.”

Iwaizumi felt Oikawa’s fingers curl into his shirt and the slightest nod against his chest. Iwaizumi continued to gaze up, but he found the stars had started to blur around their edges when his eyes grew wet in relief and joy.

Chapter Text

“EH!? You’re PREGNANT!?” The food Oikawa was eating had grossly spilled out of his mouth and back into his bento. Yuck. He discreetly picked it out and let it fall to the ground for the birds to eat as he tried to calm down.

Meanwhile, Iwaizumi next to him was pounding on his chest, after sending his food down the wrong pipe at the announcement. Oikawa took pity on his husband-to-be, and slapped him hard on the back to clear his airway.

Sugawara beamed at them over his salad. “Yup! I’d been feeling oddly queasy and tired for the last two weeks, so I went with Daichi to the physician yesterday to make sure.”

Iwaizumi coughed a bit more, then smiled. “Congratulations, Sugawara.”

Sugawara grinned wider. Oikawa had dubbed him ‘Mr. Refreshing’ in high school, but who knew he’d be this radiant years later?

“How did Sawamura take it?” Oikawa asked.

Sugawara snickered. “Daichi cried on the spot. He was so happy. He kept thanking me over and over, and sobbing.” Sugawara’s expression turned soft and warm. “I’m happy too. I can’t wait to meet whoever is growing in here.”

Oikawa watched Sugawara’s hand over his stomach with a pang in his heart. His own pregnancy years ago with Seiji had been filled with so much dread and anxiety, he hardly enjoyed it.

“But, you and Sawamura aren’t married, right?” Iwaizumi asked.

Oikawa stomped on Iwaizumi’s foot. “Neither are we! And we have a toddler! Be a little sensitive, Iwa-chan!”

“Our circumstances are different!” Iwaizumi shot back. “And we would have been together a lot sooner if someone wasn’t so stubborn and dramatic!”

Oikawa felt a vein throb on his forehead. “What did you say, you gorilla? Whose fault was it that I got pregnant in the first place?”

Sugawara laughed. “Now, now, don’t fight you guys!” They looked over and Oikawa noticed that Sugawara’s salad was already finished. “We’re actually planning our wedding! We told our parents our intentions after the baby announcement. Of course, they’ve been expecting this for years, but probably not in this order!”

Same here, Oikawa couldn’t help but think, glancing down at the ring on his left hand.

“But don’t worry,” Sugawara continued. “Our wedding won’t happen until you two have yours. We wouldn’t want to steal the spotlight, after all.” He finished his statement with a wink.

Iwaizumi chuckled. “How generous of you.”

Oikawa pouted. “Return your wedding invite. I can’t have your pregnant belly detract from my special day.”

Sugawara laughed and skipped out of Oikawa’s grabby hands. “No way!” He dumped his empty salad container in the trash a few feet ahead, and turned back to call over to them. “Oikawa, Iwaizumi! I hope this kid of mine will be a good friend to Seiji when they’re born!”

***

If Oikawa had known things would turn out this way, he would have booked a flight to Las Vegas and gotten hitched to Iwaizumi in a neon chapel and had their honeymoon right there on the strip. Hell, he’d probably tattoo the date next to a heart with ‘Iwa-chan’ in the center on his ass for good measure.

“Oikawa-san,” Iwaizumi’s mother gritted through her teeth. “The cake should be light and appeal to everyone’s taste.”

But he had felt guilty. Oikawa had made so many decisions about his and Iwaizumi’s relationship without including any of their families that he wanted to make it up to them by letting them have a part in their wedding. Though, maybe letting both his and Iwaizumi’s mother plan the whole shebang was not the wisest decision.

“It should be rich, sweet, and decadent!” Oikawa’s mother shot back. “A bland cake is asking for a bland marriage!”

Then again, running off on his own to have Seiji wasn’t the wisest decision either, but it all worked out in the end. Oikawa could only hope this situation would too.

Currently, Oikawa was stuck at a cake tasting, watching his mother and soon to be mother-in-law bicker over flavors. Oikawa hoped things wouldn’t escalate to the point where they’d actually start throwing cake samples at each other.

Iwaizumi had gone off with Matsukawa and Hanamaki to a vineyard to sample the wine and champagne for the reception. Oikawa opted out, as he hadn’t been a fan of alcohol since Seiji’s conception.

Though he really wished he did go. He could use a drink right about now.

Seiji was seated on his lap, inhaling all the leftover samples with the force of a high power vacuum. Oikawa couldn’t even find it in himself to care about the impending sugar rush as a headache was beginning to form between his eyes.

“H-How about we let Seiji decide?” Oikawa piped up.

Both his mother and Iwaizumi’s whirled on him with a glare, and Oikawa shrank back in his seat.

Seiji looked up from the piece of cake he was shoving in his mouth and grinned through a thick layer of frosting. “I like all the flavors!”

Oikawa wanted to bang his head on the table. His and Iwaizumi’s mother had been at each other’s throats since they supported different wedding themes. Iwaizumi’s mother thought they should have a traditional, small affair. Oikawa’s mother wanted a big, modern wedding. Oikawa had made the mistake of saying he liked the appeal of both ceremonies, and Iwaizumi hadn’t cared as long as they got married in the end. Since then, neither woman backed down from making her distaste with the other’s opinions on the wedding heard.

Oikawa swallowed the lump in his throat as he spoke up to cut into their argument again. “How about we make each layer a different flavor, hm? That way everyone wins?”

The mothers glowered at him, each reluctant to compromise and admit defeat, before finally agreeing with the idea. Oikawa sighed in relief and called a worker over to finalize flavors and designs.

At this point, he’d be happy with a pyramid of milkbread instead.

***

Oikawa plopped face first into the mattress and groaned. He blindly opened and reached into his nightstand drawer, looking for his trusty ibuprofen bottle. Before his fruitless rummaging ended, another hand reached in and shook the bottle above him.

Oikawa turned his head and squinted at an Iwaizumi badly trying to conceal a smile.

“I figured you were looking for this with the state you’re in.”

Oikawa squinted harder. “…you’re not drunk, are you?”

Iwaizumi rolled his eyes, but the smile stayed. “They have us spit out the wine to prevent that, you know?” He sat on the edge of the bed and ran a hand through Oikawa’s hair. Oikawa purred and melted into the mattress. “I picked out a champagne, along with a red and white wine. I brought bottles of each home so you can try it too.”

“That’s nice,” Oikawa murmured. If Iwaizumi kept scratching behind his ears, he’d become one with their bed.

“Do you want to tell me how the cake tasting went?”

Immediately, Oikawa’s dreamlike state popped, and he groaned again.

Iwaizumi chuckled. “That bad, huh?”

“Iwa-chan,” Oikawa whined, turning over to curl around Iwaizumi’s back. Iwaizumi hummed and continued massaging his scalp. “They won’t stop being at each other’s throats! I don’t even get to be a bridezilla with our mothers filling in the role all too well!”

“What a shame,” Iwaizumi cooed, pinching Oikawa’s cheek.

Oikawa swatted his hand away with a pout. “You know what I mean.”

Iwaizumi’s face softened in sympathy. He and Oikawa had been trying to get their mothers to see eye to eye on the wedding for months now, to no avail. It didn’t help that neither of their fathers wanted to help, lest they face the wrath of their wives.

“Where’s Seiji?” Iwaizumi asked instead.

Oikawa snorted. “I let him polish off all the cake samples and left our parents to deal with his sugar-high as revenge.”

Iwaizumi laughed. “You’re evil.”

“They deserve it!” Oikawa defended. “Why can’t we just run off and get married without all this nonsense?”

Iwaizumi didn’t say anything, but got up, leaving Oikawa to curl around the empty space he left. Oikawa frowned and sniffed as a tear rolled down his cheek.

Iwaizumi came back with a glass of water and two pills in his hand from the bottle. He offered them to Oikawa, and Oikawa sat up to take them. Once he finished chugging the remaining water, Iwaizumi put the glass on the nightstand and tugged Oikawa onto his lap. Oikawa wrapped his arms around his neck, and Iwaizumi wrapped his arms around his waist. Iwaizumi kissed the tear track left on Oikawa’s face.

“You know we can’t do that,” Iwaizumi finally said. “It would break the hearts of our family and friends if we ran off. They’ve done so much for us and Seiji that they deserve to be a part of our ceremony.”

Oikawa kicked his legs where they hung off Iwaizumi’s lap. “I know,” he sighed. Oikawa really did know all too well how much it hurt the ones he loved to run off and do something life-changing when he found out about Seiji. He’d never make that mistake again “It just sucks.”

Iwaizumi kissed Oikawa’s forehead. “I know you’re feeling overwhelmed. Especially because our mothers bombard you with their ideas and don’t even care to tell me. But you don’t have to stress out by yourself, Tooru. I’m here if you want to vent or cuddle out the stress.”

Oikawa raised a brow and moved to straddle Iwaizumi’s lap. “Are you sure venting and cuddling are the only things we can do to relieve stress?” He wiggled on Iwaizumi’s lap suggestively to drive his point.

Iwaizumi grinned, lifting Oikawa as he stood to turn around and lay him on the bed. Oikawa stared up at Iwaizumi in breathless anticipation as Iwaizumi licked his lips and undid the buttons on his cuffs to roll his sleeves up. Oikawa could barely hold back a squeal as Iwaizumi was quick to rest above him, biceps flexing.

“You know I’d want nothing more than to take you apart,” Iwaizumi whispered. Oikawa loved when Iwaizumi’s voice got husky, and shivered when Iwaizumi nipped his ear. “But we should probably wait until the honeymoon. It’d be such a scandal if you were pregnant at the wedding when we already have one kid out of wedlock.”

Oikawa smashed a pillow into his fiancé’s face. “Iwa-chan!” he giggled.

***

Iwaizumi and Seiji were playing in a field before him. Oikawa realized that the field was the same one near his and Iwaizumi’s homes, where they used to catch bugs and practice volleyball together before joining school clubs.

He looked around, trying to find their old neighborhood, but the field stretched endlessly, and the edges felt hazy, like pavement under the hot summer sun.

A glint of light drew Oikawa’s attention back to Iwaizumi and Seiji. Iwaizumi had Seiji lifted up in his arms, and Seiji spread his arms and legs wide, laughing. The flash came from the sun reflecting off a gold band on Iwaizumi’s finger.

Huh? Oikawa thought. But Iwa-chan and I haven’t had time to get him a ring yet? Between all the wedding preparations, their full time jobs, and looking after Seiji, Oikawa and Iwaizumi hardly had any time to breathe, let alone ring shop. Iwaizumi assured Oikawa he hardly cared for one, but Oikawa wanted to make sure those nurses at the hospital quit gazing at his fiancé so hungrily.

Oikawa lifted his own hand, just to make sure he had his own ring on, when a tiny, chubby hand reached up and grasped his thumb.

Oikawa gasped, and looked down in shock to see he was wearing his old baby sling, and that an infant with wavy tufts of black hair and hazel eyes was giving him a drooly smile.

Oikawa’s heart started beeping loudly and...wait, beeping?

Oikawa peeled his eyes open and turned his head to stare at the glaring alarm clock. He shifted to shut the alarm off, but Iwaizumi hugged him tight around the waist in sleep, and was drooling into his shoulder.

Oikawa sighed, tossing his free arm over his eyes and willing the clock to shut up.

***

Oikawa worked in a daze. He didn’t want to admit it, especially amongst the insanity of dealing with his family and planning a wedding, but it was getting hard to ignore.

Ever since Sugawara had invited Oikawa to join him and Iwaizumi during their lunch break a few weeks ago, Oikawa has had baby fever.

His dreams of holding an infant, watching Iwaizumi cradle a newborn, and helping Seiji support his baby sibling had been relentless.

Oikawa groaned into his desk. This could not come at worst timing. Not only were his mother and mother-in-law driving him insane, but he and Iwaizumi needed to be saving. The wedding budget was still fluctuating because their mothers were still fighting on finalizing details, and more importantly, they were hopefully trying to move out of their apartment and into a house.

A baby would complicate that. Not to mention be a huge expense in and of itself. Oikawa chewed his nail nervously as he also thought about how they haven’t gone shopping for what they were wearing for the ceremony either. A potential baby bump growing meant that he would have to get the suit or dress he picked altered before the wedding, which was an additional cost.

But…

Oikawa couldn’t forget the warmth and floaty feeling of every dream he had, or the face of every baby he held. He wanted to actually enjoy a pregnancy, like Sugawara seemed to be.

And most of all, he wanted to have Iwa-chan with him, every step of they way. From conception to big-ass belly, Oikawa wanted to watch Iwaizumi cry in gratitude and smile in absolute joy at their child growing inside him. He also wanted to watch Seiji’s eyes light up in excitement over a sibling to play with.

He let his head drop to his desk with a thunk.

“Oikawa-san?” Oikawa looked up to see one of his assistants staring down at him. “Are you feeling alright?”

Oikawa gave her a sheepish smile. “I’m ok.” Before he could continue, his phone rang.

His assistant peered over to check the caller ID. “Ah, is that your husband?”

Oikawa blushed. “F-Fiancé, actually!”

His assistant giggled. “Sure Oikawa-san~” She started walking away. “I’ll leave, so feel free to flirt.”

Oikawa sighed and picked up the phone. “Iwa-chan?”

“Ah, Tooru, I was worried you were away from your desk. Is now a bad time?”

“No,” Oikawa responded. “I was just talking to one of my assistants, but I’m just about finished for the day. What is it?”

“I’m actually leaving the hospital early today. Can I come pick you up?”

Oikawa smiled. “Sure, Iwa-chan. Wanna go on a date?”

Iwaizumi’s pause was so long Oikawa was about to speak up again. “Sorry Tooru, I think we should just head straight home. I have something to talk to you about.”

Oikawa tried to ignore the ice spearing and stopping his heart. “Ok, Iwa-chan. I’ll be waiting for you.”

“I’ll be leaving now, then,” Iwaizumi responded.

Oikawa swallowed the lump in his throat. “I-I love you! I love you, Iwa-chan.”

There was a pause, and then a laugh. “What’s with the sudden confession? I love you too, Tooru.”

Oikawa sighed with relief as he hung up and started tidying his desk up. There was no need to worry. His and Iwaizumi’s relationship was rock solid! As rock solid as Iwaizumi’s name! Before he knew it, his phone vibrated with a text.

I’m here.

Oikawa tired to shake his nerves on the way down to the lobby. When the elevator doors opened, he saw Iwaizumi leaning against the wall near the entrance doors, scrolling on his phone. His hair was a bit windswept, and his scarf and coat fit him perfectly (Oikawa should know; he picked them out). The cool air outside also gave Iwaizumi a pink tint to his cheeks and nose.
As Oikawa stepped off the elevator, Iwaizumi happened to glance up, and their eyes met. He smiled, the rare type of smile that lit up his eyes and Oikawa knew was reserved just for him.

“Tooru.”

Just with that, the anxiety icing his heart melted away. Oikawa ran across the lobby and threw himself at Iwaizumi. Some of the people working or milling about turned to look as Iwaizumi caught him with a small ‘oof.’

“What’s wrong?” Iwaizumi chuckled, as Oikawa clung tighter.

“I love you. I really love you.”

Iwaizumi continued to laugh. “I figured. You’re wearing my ring, aren’t you?”

Getting home was difficult when Oikawa insisted on remaining an octopus. In the end, Iwaizumi had to shove him off, but before Oikawa could whine about it, Iwaizumi wrapped an arm around his waist and kept him close.

Once they got home, they found Seiji napping across Hanamaki’s lap. Matsukawa was cleaning up in the kitchen.

“Thanks again for picking him up, guys,” Oikawa greeted.

Matsukawa shrugged. “We weren’t really doing much else.”

Hanamaki grinned, and ruffled Seiji’s hair. “Maybe kids aren’t so bad.”

A dish clattered as it slipped from Matsukawa’s hands into the sink.

“Smooth,” Oikawa whispered over a snicker.

Iwaizumi scoffed. “You only think that because it’s our Seiji. Other kids aren’t like him.”

Hanamaki’s face wrinkled. “Ew. Don’t become a boasting, doting father now. It’s gross.”

Oikawa chimed in. “Also, Seiji’s a pretty well-behaved toddler. All kids start out as babies.” Oikawa hated how hard this conversation was hitting close to the thoughts he had earlier.

Hanamaki’s face wrinkled further. “Ugh. Nevermind.”

After Matsukawa and Hanamaki left, and Seiji was tucked into bed, Oikawa sat at the table across from Iwaizumi.

“So, what did you want to talk about, Iwa-chan?” Oikawa began.

Iwaizumi fiddled with his thumbs for a minute. “Well, my rut is coming up.”

“Oh.” Oikawa wasn’t sure what else to say. He was aware of his eyes widening to the point of probably looking like complete circles, but he wasn’t sure how to stop.

“...How do you want to go about this?” Iwaizumi hedged.

“Huh?” Oikawa asked.

“I mean, we’re a couple. And ideally I’d like to share my rut with you. It’d make things...easier.”

Oikawa relaxed a bit. “Of course, Iwa-chan. You helped me with my heat, so it’s only fair Oikawa-san returns the favor right?”

Iwaizumi smiled for a second, before turning somber. “But...I don’t think we can keep Seiji for the week. My ruts have always been pretty intense, since I’ve been single for so long and I don’t use medication or tools to help. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep my aggression and possessiveness in check...and I’m worried about scaring Seiji.”

Oikawa laid his hand over Iwaizumi’s. “Iwa-chan, it’ll be ok. Our parents or friends can watch Seiji. Are you sure?”

Iwaizumi stared at their hands for a while, and then nodded. “It’s gonna be miserable to be apart, but I’d feel more assured.”

Oikawa smiled. “Whatever makes you more comfortable.”

Iwaizumi smiled back and shifted his hand so their fingers could lace together.

***

Oikawa frowned as both his mother and Iwaizumi’s mother put picture after picture of venues to get married. Thankfully, Iwaiuzmi was by his side this time, running his thumb comfortingly across Oikawa’s palm and lifting his left hand to kiss the ring there. It helped Oikawa relax, if only fractionally.

“Well, mom,” Oikawa began, “and mother,” he said, addressing Iwaizumi’s mother, “it was kind of you both to bring up suggestions, but I think Iwa-chan and I will handle finding the venue.”

Oikawa wasn’t particularly a fan of the fact that all the venues their mothers brought up were wildly outlandish and wildly out of budget. It was obvious they were trying to one-up each other, and Oikawa was tired.

Iwaizumi frowned at the pictures too. “Okaa-san, what’s with these locations? Tooru and I can’t afford this.”

Iwaizumi’s mother smiled magnanimously at them. “Not to worry. I’ll pay for it.”

Oikawa resisted gritting his teeth. “I appreciate the offer, but that isn’t quite what we agreed on.”

When the wedding plans had begun, Oikawa and Iwaizumi’s parents had given them a lump sum to add to their own budget, and had agreed to help then plan things out. But at this point, they were just meddling.

“The boys are right, Iwaizumi-san! You can’t force the boys into an expensive hall just for nice photos!” Oikawa’s mother said.

Iwaizumi’s mother glared back. “What about your suggestions, then? They’re just as expensive!”

“Well, naturally, if the boys needed it, I would help pay…”

“That’s what I said earlier!”

Oikawa tuned them out as best he could while feeling his own blood pressure rise. Iwaizumi continued to hold his hand and squeeze it reassuringly, but it hardly helped anymore.

“Tooru, what do you think?” Both mothers asked.

“I don’t care,” Oikawa sighed.

Everyone in the room seemed to freeze and stare at Oikawa.

“Tooru...what do you mean?” This time it was Iwaizumi, sounding a little scared.

Oikawa suppressed a growl as he stood up. “What I mean is, I don’t care what you two do anymore! You don’t care about my or Iwa-chan’s feelings, given how many time you’ve both bulldozed over them! And our fathers don’t have any spine to intervene! I’m tired of this! Do whatever you want!”

Oikawa stormed out of the house without waiting for their reactions and sniffed in the chilly air. He stomped into the field by their house and stared ahead. This was the same field from his dream, and it made him feel worse. He sniffled again, and his eyes felt watery.

“Tooru,” Iwaizumi called behind him.

Oikawa turned to see a breathless Iwaizumi, holding a teary-eyed Seiji.

Oikawa turned back around and grimaced. “You probably think I’m being a brat.”

Iwaizumi moved to stand next to him. Seiji reached up and Oikawa took him into his arms, where Seiji clung like a koala.

“I don’t think you’re being a brat. I think this is stressing you out too much. I told our mothers we were going home for the day. Are you alright?”

Oikawa looked over and noticed Iwaizumi was carrying all their things. He looked back into Iwaizumi’s concerned hazel eyes, and gave a weak smile.

“Yeah. I think I just need a break. Let’s go home.”

***

There was a wolf whistle as soon as Oikawa pulled back the curtain of the dressing room.

“Shut it,” he snapped at a grinning Hanamaki, who was obnoxiously spreading himself on the ‘entourage’ couch.

“Somebody’s testy today,” Hanamaki laughed as Oikawa stomped onto the pedestal surrounded by mirrors.

“You look nice, Oikawa-san,” Akaashi said pleasantly.

Kenma was curled on the couch next to him, and nodded in agreement.

Oikawa sighed and turned from them to look in the mirror. He was wearing a fitted three piece suit, and the jacket had long coattails that added some flare.

Oikawa adjusted the light blue vest he was wearing, and turned about the pedestal a bit more. “You don’t think my waist looks too small in this?”

“It looks fine, Tooru,” Kenma yawned. “You look great in everything.”

Oikawa soured, not wanting such flattering, useless feedback. He wasn’t sure if he should expect any better from Kenma, though.

“The pants really bring out your ass,” Hanamaki supplied.

Oikawa was on the verge of killing him in this godforsaken wedding apparel shop.

Akaashi, quick to pick up his mood, changed the subject. “Have you decided on a tie or bowtie?”

Oikawa sighed, looking back at his reflection. “No. We’re not even sure what colors we’re going for. It’s definitely a shade of blue, but we haven’t picked from the entire spectrum of powder blue to teal…” He glanced back at them. “Plus, Iwa-chan and I have to match. Probably.”

Oikawa’s mother and Iwaizumi’s mother had finally come to an agreement, of sorts. A modern wedding, but carried out as traditionally as possible. Meaning, Oikawa and Iwaizumi weren’t allowed to see what they were wearing to the wedding until they met each other at the altar. So, Iwaizumi was off across town at another wedding garment shop, with an entourage of his own.

It sounded like a big waste of time and effort to Oikawa because after all, they had done so many things non-traditionally, and he grumbled as much, but Iwaizumi had elbowed him to not ruin their mothers’ cooperation.

Kuroo was keeping Oikawa updated on Iwaizumi via text, and Kenma was doing the same with Iwaizumi. Oikawa went back into the dressing room and pulled out his phone to ask Kuroo if Iwaizumi found a blue shade he liked yet. But Kuroo had texted him first.

Let me see what dresses you’re trying on, cutie ;)))

Oikawa resisted the urge to gag and rolled his eyes.

Not a chance. Iwa-chan might see.

In response, he got a text full of broken hearts and crying emojis. Then, another.

You almost done, though? Think your hubby-to-be is about set over here. How do you feel about a baby blue, with undertones of green as the wedding color?

Oikawa squinted at the text to make sure he was reading it properly.

...did you just describe light teal?

His phone pinged back almost instantly.

I prefer the term, seafoam green ;)

Oikawa sent a selfie with a middle finger in the frame, careful to leave the suit he was wearing out of it.

Kuroo replied with a picture of a tie in the color he had described.

Oikawa looked at the mirror in the fitting room, and brought the phone up to his face to see how it looked with his complexion. He shrugged.

Tell Iwa-chan that color is fine.

Roger that, captain ;) looks like me and the boys are done here. Kuroo texted back.

Oikawa tried not to sigh at the fact that he’d probably be stuck in this shop for at least a few more hours. His sister was running late, and Sugawara was still in the restroom after volunteering to take Seiji.

He turned to the other suits that were hanging up in the dressing room with him. Maybe they should have done a shinto style wedding instead. He’d have less indecision about what he wanted to wear.

He began unbuttoning the suit he was wearing, when the curtain behind him began to rustle.

“I swear to god if that’s you again, Makki…” Oikawa warned. But looking back, he actually saw a small hand lift the curtain from its end, and Seiji duck underneath.

“It’s me!” he declared.

Oikawa laughed, pausing in undressing, and turning around to pick Seiji up. “I can see that. Where’s Suga-chan?”

Seiji grinned proudly. “Left in the dust!”

Seiji must have learned that phrase from one of his hero shows, Oikawa thought, just as the curtain was ripped open, and a panting Sugawara stood there.

“There…! You…! Are…!” Sugawara gasped.

Seiji giggled, jumping from Oikawa’s arms and dashing away again.

Sugawara groaned, and Oikawa leaned out of the dressing room. “Seiji! Don’t run off and make trouble for Suga-chan or the workers here! Sit quietly on the couch with your uncles!”

“Ok!” Seiji called back, and Oikawa hoped one of the other three wrangled him onto the couch. Then he set his attention on Sugawara.

“You ok, Suga-chan? You’re looking a little ragged,” Oikawa asked.

Sugawara wiped sweat from his forehead and had his other hand braced on his slight baby bump. “Yeah, I’m alright. Your little terror of a son ran straight out of the bathroom and started pulling dresses! I asked an employee for help catching him, but she misunderstood.”

Before Oikawa could ask how she misunderstood, the employee appeared behind Sugawara.

“Are you Seiji-kun’s mother?” the employee asked with a bright smile.

Sugawara politely stepped aside, and Oikawa realized his shirt was half unbuttoned, exposing his entire chest.

He cleared his throat to hide his embarrassment. “I am.”

She clapped her hands. “We’ll bring the dresses into your dressing room.”

Suddenly, three other girls popped out from behind her, each with a heap of dresses piled on their arms. One by one, they went in, hung dresses, took the remaining suits, and hung more dresses. It wasn’t until the last one, that Oikawa realized that the original employee had left to get her own heap, so now Oikawa had four heaps of dresses piled into his room.

He turned back on Sugawara accusingly.

“D-Don’t look at me!” Sugawara exclaimed. “Seiji picked them! Not me!”

Oikawa continued to glare.

“O-Ok, I might have picked a few…” Sugawara admitted.

Oikawa was about to call an employee over to take at least half these dresses away, when his sister burst into the store.

“Am I late!?” Oikawa heard her yell from the store entrance. “Please don’t tell me it’s over!”

“No,” he heard Hanamaki answer her. “Your brother’s been holed up in his fitting room for a while now.”

Then he heard his sister’s stomping coming closer. “You’ll want to head back to the couch,” Oikawa warned him. “If my sister catches you distracting me, she’ll bite both our heads off.”

Sugawara nodded and rushed away. Just as he vanished, Himari rounded the corner to the dressing rooms. She brightened when she saw her brother.

“There you are! I was worried you were already finished!” she said before sweeping Oikawa into a hug.

“Uh, no, just tried on a few suits…” Oikawa admitted.

His sister pulled back and looked at him like he was a stranger. “Suits? You’re not wearing a dress? You, Tooru, who used to ‘secretly’ raid my closet every week?”

“Mom told me I could take the clothes that didn’t fit you anymore!” Oikawa protested.

“Tooru, what’s wrong?” Himari asked.

“Nothing!” Oikawa said, perhaps a bit too quickly. “I like suits too! And Iwa-chan doesn’t care whether I wear skirts or not anymore. Why should I force myself to wear a dress on our big day?”

Himari raised a brow at him. “If memory serves, you were wearing skirts way before you and Iwa-chan got together.”

“Yeah, but…” Oikawa started.

“AND,” Himari continued, “I’m pretty sure you did it for yourself. Because you liked wearing them, and no one else’s opinion mattered.”

“Well, things are different now,” Oikawa mumbled.

“How?” Himari asked. She pushed Oikawa back into the dressing room, and yanked the curtain closed behind her. She took stock of all the dresses hanging in the room and raised her brow higher. “How?”

Oikawa felt cornered. “It’s...It’s just...I think maybe I wore skirts too often after Iwa-chan and I met again, and we were, uh, pursuing each other.”

“You mean that stupid near year you spent dancing around each other because you’re both terribly, emotionally constipated?” Himari corrected.

“Yes,” Oikawa whispered.

Himari sighed. “And you think Hajime is desensitized, or something?”

“M-Maybe,” Oikawa admitted. “I think he just doesn’t care, so why should I bother anymore? We’re a couple now, he’s the only person I’m going to be dressing up for.”

Himari sighed louder. “Tooru. Of course you can wear whatever you like to your wedding. A suit would look great on you. But don’t you feel you’re forcing yourself, just a bit?”

“A white dress wouldn’t suit me. I’m not a blushing bride after all,” Oikawa argued.

“So pick one that isn’t pure white,” Himari countered. She was already sifting through the dresses and pulling out the offensively white ones.

Before Oikawa could bring up a counterpoint, Himari was leaning out of the curtain, calling for an employee to take the dresses away.

“Nee-chan, I really don’t think this is necessary. I’ll just match Iwa-chan and be done with this whole thing.”

Himari paused. Then she turned around and met Oikawa with a knowing look. “I see what it is. You’re tired.”

Oikawa was confused. “Yeah, I guess?” It had been a long day for him, he supposed.

“No, that’s not what I meant. You’re tired of the situation,” Himari said. “Our mother and Hajime’s have been giving you the runaround. You’re feeling insecure with Hajime. You just want to to skip ahead to the part where you’re married, right?”

Oikawa tried to come up with an argument against that, furrowed brows and everything, but he drew a blank and felt tears dripping down his face before the gravity of his situation really sunk in. Himari wordlessly pulled him into a hug, and Oikawa sobbed into her shoulder when he discovered, he was exhausted. He just wanted to be happy, settled, and married. Not...not all of this nonsense his family was putting him through.

When he was finished, Himari had a huge wet spot on her shoulder and Oikawa’s eyes were a swollen red. Himari said nothing about the dampness she was now sporting, but kindly dabbed his eyes with a handkerchief.

“Alright then,” she said with a gentle clap. “Let’s get you in these dresses.”

“How did you know?” Oikawa asked, after Himari zipped him into the first dress. It was more or less a beige ball gown.

“That you’re miserable?” Himari snorted. “Please Tooru, I got married before you. Our mom fought with my mother-in-law too, but she isn’t half as willful as Hajime’s mother.”

Himari spun him around and marched him out and onto the pedestal. Oikawa didn’t get a chance to really look at himself in the mirror, so he fretted with the ruffles of the skirt as he awaited judgement.

There was a patter of feet and then small hands also grasped at the skirt. Oikawa saw Seiji’s face light up, and eyes sparkle.

“You’re pwretty, Mommy!”

Oikawa laughed wetly, and took Seiji’s hands into his. “Thanks, Sei-chan.”

“Now there’s a smile!” Hanamaki cheered. “First one I’ve seen today.”

Akaashi and Kenma nodded in agreement and smiled as well.

Oikawa swiped at his eyes. “I get it you guys...thanks.” He looked back in the mirror. “I don’t think this one is it though.”

Himari held her hand out, and helped Oikawa down from the pedestal and back into the fitting room.

They steadily worked through the dresses hung up, from poofy princess dresses, mermaids, trumpets, and some classy fitted styles. Everyone pitched in for commentary, but it was a bit of the same problem from the suits: Oikawa looked good in everything.

Oikawa was starting to get worried that he wasn’t going to find his dress that afternoon.

“No one finds their dress immediately, Tooru,” Himari soothed, pulling another dress out of its cover.

Oikawa pouted. “Iwa-chan already found his suit though…”

“Hajime always knows what he wants,” Himari said. “You’ve always needed a bit more time.”

Oikawa pouted harder.

Himari patted his shoulders to get him to turn around. “Quit whining. Lift your chin, this dress has a cape.” Oikawa felt something tickle his neck and tried not to squirm. Himari stepped back when she was done and gave a little laugh. “This is very obviously Seiji’s choice.”

Oikawa looked in the mirror in the dressing room. The first thing he noticed was the cape. There was delicate lace wrapped around his neck, embroidered with colorful flowers and petals. From that collar descended a long cape of the same lace, but otherwise plain of design. Oikawa figured this was to showcase the dress.

The neckline of the dress plummeted down to the bottom of his sternum, showing off a lot of chest. Oikawa had to admit he liked the diamond cutout illusion the neckline and cape gave coupled together, like a keyhole to his heart.

The dress itself was stunning. It was a stark white a-line, but on the dress were vibrant flowers embroidered like the collar of the cape. It was as if a field of wildflowers exploded onto this dress, every color Oikawa could imagine in a flower bursting on every inch. Some of the flowers and leaves crept off the dress at the neckline, giving the illusion of the garden growing up onto Oikawa’s skin, towards his heart. He traced the stem of a flower on the skirt as he turned around to get a full view of it.

“It’s beautiful,” Oikawa breathed.

Himari smiled. “Want to show the others?”

Oikawa nodded in a daze, unable to take his eyes off his reflection.

Himari pushed him out of the fitting room and onto the pedestal. The first thing Oikawa heard was a gasp.

“WAAAH!” Seiji said and jumped to his feet. “Mommy! You look like a superhero! Amazing!!”

Sugawara put his chin in the crook of his forefinger and thumb. “A cape fitting the Grand King, huh?”

Oikawa gave him an incredulous look. “Don’t go quoting Chibi-chan...I feel like he’ll suddenly appear, and where he is, Tobio-chan is never far.”

“The flowers suit you, Tooru,” Kenma smiled.

Oikawa looked over to thank him but the unnerving sight of a sweet, smiling Kenma that was furiously typing on his phone without even looking made the words die in his throat.

“The highneck of the cape suits you as well,” Akaashi agreed.

Oikawa struck a pose for him and Akaashi clapped.

Hanamaki grinned. “I particularly like the boob window.”

Oikawa stuck his tongue out at him. “Iwa-chan will, too.”

Seiji was wiggling with excitement, obviously waiting for his turn. Oikawa laughed and crouched on the pedestal, arms open for Seiji. Seiji rushed into them.

“What do you think, Sei-chan? Should I get this dress?”

“Yeah!” Seiji hugged Oikawa around the neck. “Mommy is my superhero!”

Oikawa hugged Seiji closer and laughed with him. Picking Seiji up, Oikawa turned around to gaze at their reflections in the mirror.

And the rest of the world melted away. Oikawa could see it now, as if the chapel was reflected in the panels of the mirror, and he could almost make out Iwaizumi on the edge of them, holding his hand out for Oikawa to take. The light streaming through the chapel windows, Iwaizumi’s smile warm like the sunlight in that field by their houses. His hazel eyes glowing like the sun they played and raced under.

“Tooru.”

“Tooru?” Himari’s voice cut in, shattering his daydream. “Are you ok?”

“This is it,” Oikawa answered. “This is the dress I’m marrying Hajime in.”

***

Iwaizumi’s rut was something Oikawa couldn’t prepare for if he tried. He knew ruts cycled less frequently than heats, and that most bonded or mated pairs had synched cycles. Otherwise, Oikawa knew nothing except the few times he remembered Iwaizumi vanishing for a week and then reappearing like nothing.

Oikawa fidgeted nervously in the bathroom, staring willpower into his own reflection. He had spent nearly two hours in the bathroom, thoroughly brushing his teeth, gargling mouthwash, and showering. For all his nerves, he managed to make his gums bleed and scrubbed himself pink.

Sawamura and Sugawara had picked Seiji up earlier in the afternoon, because after hearing about Oikawa and Iwaizumi’s predicament of not finding a sitter, they insisted on needing the practice for at least the duration of Iwaizumi’s rut. In hindsight, Oikawa thought they probably should have picked Seiji up the day before, since Iwaizumi nearly bit Sawamura’s head off for brushing hands with Oikawa on accident. Sugawara would have been on thin ice too, if his pregnancy hormones weren’t incredibly soothing.

Now, Oikawa was stalling. Despite sharing heats with Iwaizumi, he was nervous to be intimate with his fiancé, dumb as that sounded. For one thing, they had only gone all the way once, and both he and Iwaizumi hardly remembered it. And while his last couple heats since becoming a couple were fantastic, Iwaizumi never let Oikawa reciprocate. Oikawa understood why, but it didn’t mean that it frustrated him any less. On top of all that, whenever they tried to get frisky between heats, Seiji or wedding planning got in the way.

Oikawa felt horribly inexperienced and out of his element. He didn’t even know what Iwaizumi liked in the bedroom. Oikawa wasn’t even sure he had seen Iwaizumi’s dick hard outside of his underwear.

Oikawa wanted to die.

He got tired of looking at his rapidly paling face in the mirror, and glanced at the offending box on the bathroom counter. Iwaizumi had bought a box of condoms in preparation for this week, in case they wanted to make the cleanup easier. From what Iwaizumi had told (more like warned) Oikawa, there was going to be lots of cum.

Oikawa picked it up and resisted the urge to drop it in the trash can. It was stupid, he knew it, but his jealousy had flared seeing Sugawara today. He wanted a baby.

No, he needed a baby.

Oikawa knew omegas couldn’t get pregnant outside their heats, but there were rare cases when ruts triggered heats, especially in bonded pairs. Just the thought made Oikawa slick in anticipation.

A knock interrupted Oikawa’s thoughts. “Tooru? Are you ok in there?”

Oikawa shoved the box back into its spot on the counter in surprise. “G-Give me just another minute!” he called through the door. Oikawa could see Iwaizumi take a step back in the crack under the door and shuffle his feet.

Oikawa took a deep breath and slapped his cheeks. Enough overthinking. He reached under the sink and pulled out his secret weapon: a lace bodysuit. It was a sweet mint color that reminded Oikawa of his high school team colors, and he thought it would bring out the brown of eyes and hair nicely. Like mint chocolate, or something.

He had seen it in the ‘honeymoon’ section of the store he had tried on wedding attire, and thankfully he knew his size well enough to not have to try it on in front of all his friends and son.

Oikawa stepped into it, and slipped it up his legs, relishing in the feel of the lace on his bare skin. It was a halter top that emphasized his shoulders, and ended with a clasp around his neck. His entire back from the clasp down to his lace covered ass was exposed.

Oikawa frowned at the freckles on his back in the mirror, and didn’t notice the doorknob turning until he saw Iwaizumi’s reflection in the mirror too.

He gasped, but Iwaizumi said nothing, pulling him into a hug around his waist, and breathing deep into his skin. Oikawa could see his face heating up in the mirror, and Iwaizumi’s hazel eyes open halfway, over his shoulder.

“I got tired of waiting,” Iwaizumi offered as explanation, but his voice was so deep he could have said anything, and Oikawa’s knees would be just as weak.

Oikawa watched Iwaizumi’s eyes follow the line of his shoulder up to the choker clasp at the base of his neck.

Iwaizumi’s arms tightened around him and Oikawa felt Iwaizumi’s boner slot against his ass. “I like this.”

Oikawa could hardly breathe, let alone say anything before Iwaizumi licked up the length of his neck. He yelped. Iwaizumi’s lips brushed Oikawa’s ear, and Oikawa shivered in delight.

“Are you done getting ready?” Iwaizumi asked.

Oikawa could only nod. God he was so wet. His hole was soaking.

Iwaizumi ground against his ass insistently, and Oikawa finally found his voice.

“I-Iwa-chan...shouldn’t we take this to the bed?” Not that sex in the bathroom was unappealing, but Iwaizumi was pushing his half-hard cock against the sink, and it hurt just a bit.

Iwaizumi stepped back and moved his arms away, enough for Oikawa to notice he was actually holding things in both his hands. Oikawa cautiously turned around.

“Whatcha got there, Iwa-chan?” he asked.

Iwaizumi opened his first hand, which has hiding a butt plug. But not just any plug; Oikawa recognized it from his toy collection. The other hand opened, revealing a folded up white leather collar. Judging by the width of it, Oikawa guessed it could cover up his whole neck.

“So I don’t accidentally knot or bite you,” Iwaizumi explained.

Oikawa felt his heart sink. So there wasn’t going to be any baby-making or mating at all this week, huh?

Oikawa wanted to sigh and pout, but reined it in. This was Iwaizumi’s week to feel catered to. Oikawa wasn’t going to be selfish about it.

Oikawa thought to reluctantly agree with him, but Iwaizumi was already pulling the lace on Oikawa’s ass aside, and slipping two fingers between his cheeks. He stiffened in surprise, and jolted when Iwaizumi poked at his entrance.

“You’re already so wet,” Iwaizumi growled.

“I-Is that a bad thing?” Oikawa asked nervously.

Iwaizumi said nothing, shoving the entire plug straight in. Oikawa gasped, gripping Iwaizumi’s shoulders as he adjusted to the sensation of full, but not enough.

“Th-That was mean!” Oikawa complained, squirming on his feet.

“Sorry,” Iwaizumi said in the most unapologetic voice, using the fingers still in the cleft of Oikawa’s ass to push at the plug and grind it against Oikawa’s insides.

Oikawa felt the plug just brush his prostate, and almost cried. He moaned, aware of a bit of spit spilling out of his mouth, and scratching at Iwaizumi’s bare back.

“You’re not being fair!” Oikawa whined. Another push of the plug made a shock of pleasure shoot up his spine, and his front was sticky with precome. The lace was practically plastered to his dick. “Stop teasing!”

“My bad,” Iwaizumi said in the same nonchalant tone.

Oikawa almost felt like yelling at him, but Iwaizumi pulled his hand away from his ass, and kissed Oikawa sweetly on the side of his neck.

Oikawa was so relaxed after this, he didn’t realize Iwaizumi had slipped the collar around his neck until it was fastened.

“Eh?” Oikawa asked. The collar wasn’t too tight, but because it covered the entire length of his neck, it did feel a bit constricting. The white color did compliment the light mint of his bodysuit nicely, though.

Iwaizumi wordlessly picked Oikawa up, and Oikawa yelped in surprise, wrapping his legs around Iwaizumi’s waist. Iwaizumi dumped him on the bed, and before Oikawa could complain about the harshness of it all, Iwaizumi was already fitting himself between Oikawa’s legs, kissing him quiet.

“Tooru,” he rumbled between kisses, nips, and licks. “You’re mine.”

“Of course, Hajime,” Oikawa said, trying not be overwhelmed by Iwaizumi’s pheromones, his muscles, or his worn, gray sweatpants that hugged the very obvious bulge between his legs, and had no business hanging so low on Iwaizumi’s hips.

Oikawa felt Iwaizumi’s teeth press around his neck through the collar, and drew a sharp breath.

“I want you,” Iwaizumi whispered, sounding so vulnerable and even a little scared.

Oikawa smiled up at him. “You have me, Hajime. I’ve always been yours, ever since we met. Your best friend, your lover, yours.”

Iwaizumi relaxed his weight on top of Oikawa and Oikawa wrapped his arms around him. Iwaizumi was breathing against his ear but not moving, so Oikawa kissed the skin in front of him. After making a hickey, Oikawa turned his head.

“Are you awake, Iwa-chan?”

Iwaizumi kissed him in answer. His tongue slipped in, and Oikawa moaned into Iwaizumi’s mouth, letting Iwaizumi cup the back of his head to kiss deeper.

Iwaizumi’s other hand palmed down his front, appreciating the lace, before moving to pinch a nipple through it.

Oikawa squirmed, feeling his hole clench and dick ooze precome as Iwaizumi continued rolling his nipple between his fingers.

“I-Iwa-chan, I told you they were sensitive!” Oikawa gasped when Iwaizumi gave him space to breathe.

Iwaizumi raised a brow at him, and then dipped his head to take Oikawa’s other nipple into his mouth. He bit it first, then soothed it with his tongue.

Oikawa screamed. His back arched, and his dick bumped into Iwaizumi’s. In response, Iwaizumi growled around the nipple in his mouth, and ground down on Oikawa mercilessly.

Oikawa was pretty sure he was leaving a wet stain on the groin of Iwaizumi’s pants, and his bodysuit was bordering unsalvageable.

When Oikawa let out a weak sob, Iwaizumi switched his mouth and hand so each nipple could be teased red, fairly.

Oikawa was starting to feel dizzy from the tingling numbness of Iwaizumi’s bites on his chest, and all his blood rushing to his lower half to be pressed and rubbed against Iwaizumi. He was so distracted, he hadn’t realized Iwaizumi had stopped cupping the back of his head, and the hand was creeping down his side, and behind, to flatten against the small of his back. Iwaizumi used this hand to lift his hips up, and pull Oikawa right into his lap.

Iwaizumi’s dick was pressed against his ass, and Oikawa desperately wanted it inside. Fuck the butt plug. Oikawa had half a mind to rip it out. He blindly reached back there, but only succeeded in grabbing Iwaizumi’s dick by mistake. Oikawa froze.

It’s hard as a rock! Oikawa thought. He experimentally reached a bit more. And it’s huge. How did this thing not split me in half when we were eighteen?

A snarl interrupted his thoughts. Oikawa yanked his hand back and looked up to see Iwaizumi’s eyes bleed alpha red, his teeth bared and gritted. Oikawa shrank back a bit, feeling his own eyes begin to glimmer omega gold in response. Unconsciously, he tilted his neck, offering Iwaizumi freedom to mark his scent glands, if it wasn’t for the collar.

So this is alpha dominance, Oikawa thought in the back of his mind.

Iwaizumi leaned back, pulling his sweatpants down low enough to let his dick bob free, and Oikawa watched it bounce with wide eyes, like he was watching his first porno and the top had just whipped it out.

Iwaizumi’s other went to Oikawa’s neck, and gave it a brief squeeze. Then, he started pumping himself, squeezing Oikawa’s neck in time to his thrusts through his hand.

Oikawa was surprised to find that he really liked this light asphyxiation. It made his head floaty, but wasn’t so overwhelming that he felt he might faint. Oikawa was able to enjoy this sensation, while watching Iwaizumi’s hand move steadily, precome leaking down his length and over his fingers from the flushed head. Oikawa licked his lips, wishing for a taste.

“So good Hajime,” Oikawa said, voice sounding far away to his own ears. “I love this. Love you.”

Iwaizumi shuddered through a sigh, giving Oikawa’s neck one last squeeze as he gripped the based of his dick, where the knot was already forming.

“Tooru,” Iwaizumi murmured, the want in his voice making it rough. “Turn over.”

It took a bit of team maneuvering, since Oikawa was propped on Iwaizumi’s lap, and also shaking like a baby deer from sensitivity. Iwaizumi ended up lifting Oikawa’s leg up over his head, which almost made him come, and flipped him over. Then, Oikawa was pulled back onto Iwaizumi’s lap.

“Ah, Iwa-chan,” Oikawa groaned, breath puffing against Iwaizumi’s neck. “I don’t think I can take much more of this. I’m really gonna come.”

Iwaizumi kissed his temple soothingly. “We’ll be done tonight soon.”

‘Really?’ Oikawa wanted to ask, but he got distracted by Iwaizumi fitting his dick in the cleft of his ass. Oikawa felt the head rub against the base of the plug, and keened a desperate whine.

Suddenly, Iwaizumi’s hand was on the back of neck, pressing him down into the mattress. Oikawa gasped as Iwaizumi rocked forward, letting his dick slide between Oikawa’s cheeks and tease at the plug nestled there. Oikawa gripped the sheets helplessly, as he let Iwaizumi rut against him, his dick tugging and pushing the plug in agonizing ways. The plug kept tapping at his prostate with every thrust of Iwaizumi’s hips, and the heat of his dick made Oikawa want to melt.

Inside! Inside! Please, Hajime, just put it inside! Oikawa wanted to scream.

“Babe,” Iwaizumi grunted. “We can’t. You’re going to get pregnant. I can’t grab the condoms now.”

Apparently he had been screaming that. Oikawa looked back over his shoulder, and Iwaizumi met his heavy gaze. He didn’t even think about the words he said next.

“Then do it. Make me pregnant.”

Iwaizumi bit harshly into the meat of Oikawa’s shoulder. Oikawa felt the teeth pierce his skin and stilled, moan cut short into a gasp, body so tensed he was worried his hole would snap the plug inside of him. Oikawa felt himself come, dick spurting against his abdomen and dripping out between the lace, and slick leaking around the plug. It made Iwaizumi’s dick slide faster against him, and soon, Oikawa heard Iwaizumi moan low and deep, shuddering as he came all over Oikawa’s back.

Oikawa collapsed bonelessly against the bed, and the last thing he saw before he passed out was Iwaizumi licking his blood from his teeth.

***

Oikawa really let the door slam behind him this time. It gave a satisfying bang as Oikawa continued to stalk away from the house. He wanted to tear his hair out. Really? Really!? Could his mother and mother-in-law not get along for at least ten minutes? They were never like this before the engagement! Did they really just suggest to postpone the wedding, just because they weren’t getting along?

Well, I’M not having it! Oikawa wanted to yell. He was going to march straight to city hall, fill out the marriage registration, and be done with this whole mess! Forget the ceremony! Forget his no-good family!

His mothers fighting all the time, his fathers looking like speechless idiots. Himari, telling him to just let it blow over.

IT’S BLOWING ME OVER! Oikawa wanted to scream. He felt like he was about to fall apart at the seams, shaking with rage and sorrow combined.

He swiped at his eyes and nose. They could go to hell for all he cared. Oikawa was getting married with or without them, preferably without.

In his anger, Oikawa had wandered into the field by his neighborhood, and sighed in frustration. He was never going to get to city hall in time. He let his feet carry him, kicking any stone he saw on his path.

As Oikawa looked up, he noticed that the trees felt familiar. Going further down the path, Oikawa discovered the little alcove he used to hide in when ‘ran away from home’ as a kid.

It was much smaller than he remembered. ...He wondered if he could still fit. Oikawa crouched down, hunched, and folded himself, and it was still a squeeze. He couldn’t help but laugh, with leaves brushing his face, branches scratching his sleeves, and trunks close around him. Oikawa couldn’t even lift his head, so he was forced to stare at his hands.

The sun filtered through the gaps in the alcove, and reflected off his ring. Oikawa looked at it, admiring the way it shined, until tears blurred his vision, and he started crying.

It was ugly crying too, Oikawa could tell from the way his chest was heaving and his nose was completely snotty. He didn’t care. Everything was ruined now.

A crunch of leaves underfoot broke through his wails. He saw knees, and then a head dip down to peek at him.

“Thought I’d find you here,” Iwaizumi smiled.

Oikawa sniffled and frowned. “So? Is the wedding off now?”

Iwaizumi stopped smiling. “What? No, of course not. Why would you think that?”

Oikawa wanted to burrow further into his hideaway. “Because our moms…”

Iwaizumi sighed. “Ignore them, Tooru.”

“I can’t!” Oikawa burst out, shocking Iwaizumi to wide eyes. “I can’t just ignore their feelings! I already did that when I had Seiji, so I can’t betray them again! But it sucks! Nothing is working out and I’m just sad and frustrated all the time! I hate everything! ….Mostly myself.”

It was a while before Iwaizumi spoke. “Tooru? Will you come out of there?” Iwaizumi didn’t wait for Oikawa’s answer, and reached gentle hands in to pull him out of the alcove, and up to his feet. Then, Iwaizumi pulled out a handkerchief, and wiped Oikawa’s face with it.

“Iwa-chan carries a handkerchief? How unexpected.” Oikawa remarked.

Iwaizumi pinched his nose. “Shut it and blow.”

Oikawa’s nose honked as he did so. Iwaizumi rubbed his nose so clean, it was raw. Then he pocketed the handkerchief, and grabbed Oikawa’s head, swiftly pulling it down.

Oikawa recognized that look in Iwaizumi’s eyes, and shut his eyes, bracing for impact. But instead of a headbutt, Iwaizumi gently tapped their foreheads together, and let them stay touching.

“Tell me,” Iwaizumi said into the small space between them, “why you hate yourself?”

Oikawa teared up again, and found himself spilling everything to Iwaizumi. The frustration with their families. The tiredness of all the hoops just to get married. The irrational insecurity about their relationship. And especially, the baby envy.

“I’m sorry,” Oikawa sobbed when he was finished ranting. “I know we can’t.”

Iwaizumi raised an eyebrow at that. “Who said we couldn’t?”

“But during your rut…” Oikawa began.

“That’s before I knew you wanted one,” Iwaizumi said. “You should have told me, Tooru. If you want a baby, let’s have a baby.” Iwaizumi lightly knocked his forehead against Oikawa’s. “Instead of worrying about everything on your own again, just talk to me. We’ll make things work, babe.”

“But we already have Seiji…” Oikawa argued.

“So? He’s gonna be our only kid?” Iwaizumi laughed. “Hate to break it to you babe, but I’m planning on having a whole litter with you. Seiji deserves some siblings, don’t you think?”

Oikawa blushed to the roots of his hair. “Iwa-chan! You can’t just say that!”

Iwaizumi grinned. “Say what? That if I could, I’d keep you pregnant until we have a whole volleyball team of kids?”

Oikawa pulled back and covered his face with his hands. “Hajime!”

Iwaizumi moved Oikawa’s hands away, and kissed him. “I love you.”

Oikawa pouted. “Me too, you big bully.”

Iwaizumi took Oikawa’s hand in his. “I’ve said this before, but you’re not alone. We’re a team. Marriage makes us a team forever, so you never need to get stressed on your own again. From now on, we handle all our problems together, ok? Promise me.”

Oikawa sighed, resting his forehead against Iwaizumi’s with a smile. “I promise.” Oikawa looked back towards their neighborhood. “I guess we should head back home now.”

“Not yet,” Iwaizumi replied. “I promised to distract you for another half an hour while they’re putting together an apology dinner for you.”

Oikawa snorted, and Iwaizumi snickered with him. They stayed outside, holding hands and huddled close, as the clouds disappeared, and the sun finally set.