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love me truly (madly, deeply)

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OIKAWA TOORU STRIKES AGAIN: ENDS 6 MONTH RELATIONSHIP WITH COSTAR

Oikawa sighs and closes his laptop, flinging himself down across the couch and on top of Hanamaki’s lap. “Can’t they be more sensitive? They make it seem like I’m some kind of monster. ‘Strikes again?’ Really? It’s not like I do it purposely.”

Hanamaki pats his head placatingly, running his fingers through Oikawa’s soft hair when the man begins to whine. “You’re right. They’re missing out on all your good points,”

Oikawa waits for his best friend of 10 years, manager of 5 years, to continue but Hanamaki just turns his face away and avoids the topic. Oikawa sits up with an indignant groan, “This is where you stroke my ego!”

Hanamaki nods seriously, “Sorry, I got distracted because I was thinking about how well you did in the interview announcing your break up and how soft your hair is and how you just have so many good points even though you are kind of a serial dater and have dated 7/10 of your costars only to realize you didn’t actually like them-”

“You’re hurting my feelings, that is the exact opposite of what I asked you to do-” Oikawa begins to whine even harder and Hanamaki gives him a lopsided grin, patting his shoulder.

“I’m joking.” Hanamaki stands, “I know you genuinely liked them. All your exes only have good things to say about you and you always end on good terms. That’s the reason your rep hasn’t suffered.”

That and because his management buys out any negative press. Not to mention Hanamaki has a sharp tongue and an uncanny ability to stop Oikawa from saying the many stupid things that would no doubt ruin his “sweet boy next door” image.

“Why are you here anyway?” Oikawa asks, shoving his face into his pillow. “It’s your day off. It’s my day off.”

Hanamaki scoffs, “I just want to spend time with my dear friend-”

“You lie -”

“And also beg him to accept a role in a film even though he said he wanted to take a break-”

“My break hasn’t even started yet and you’re already asking me to do another job-”

“Iwaizumi Hajime.” Hanamaki whips out the name with a knowing grin, reaching into his back pocket to pull out a manuscript. There’s a crumpled dollar, a bribe from Hanamaki, stapled to the front and he tosses it to Oikawa.

“I’m in.” Oikawa says without missing a beat. Oikawa has been constantly compared to Iwaizumi Hajime since the moment he emerged in the movie industry. They’re the same age, got casted into major roles around the same time and generally rose to the top of the industry in a similar manner, all without meeting one another.

Oikawa’s first role was a romcom that branded him as the “refreshing boy next door” while Iwaizumi’s first role was more of the “boy next door who would probably bash your head in with a baseball bat but make you fall in love with him at the same time.” They both continued in their respective directions and genres and never got a chance to meet face to face, despite their names always appearing together in headlines and tabloids.

“What’s in it for you though?” Oikawa raises an eyebrow. “You seem particularly invested.”

“I resent that. I’m your manager, I just want to see you succeed.” Hanamaki scoffs, defensive. “And also because I met Iwaizumi-sans manager while picking up the manuscript and I want him to touch me.”

“Are you- are you using me to get laid?” Oikawa asks incredulously.

“Yes.” Hanamaki says without remorse. “Please.”

 

-----

 

Oikawa is a nice person. He's truly a nice person despite all the Hanamaki insists otherwise, and that's why when he meets Iwaizumi for the first time and gets a crotch tingling glare, he tries his best not to take it to heart.

“You're totally sulking.” Hanamaki grins on their way back home from the meeting. Oikawa is staring dejectedly out the window, alternating between sadness and seething rage, seeming to go through the 5 stages of grief from not being immediately loved.

“I'm not.” Oikawa insists despite obviously sulking.

“Stage one: denial.” Hanamaki’s grin just gets wider and wider because he hit it off with Matsukawa, Iwaizumi's manager, immediately while Oikawa’s own meeting was shit.

I'm not .” Oikawa repeats, glaring holes into the side of his best friends head. “That's why Matsukawa looks like he absorbed all your eyebrows-”

Hanamaki stifles his laughter, trying to keep his eyes on the road as Oikawa seethes in the seat next to him. Hanamaki waits for Oikawa to settle down before muttering under his breath, “Stage two: anger.”

The rest of the ride home is Oikawa wailing angrily and threatening to rescind his acceptance of the role.

Oikawa spends the rest of the night like a scorned lover- going through all of Iwaizumi’s social media in a desperate attempt to find something to validate Oikawa’s unjustified discontempt. And because he's such a nice person he forces Hanamaki to listen to him vent all night.

“He didn't even glare .” Hanamaki throws his hands up and exclaims, somewhere at the third hour of Oikawa’s breakdown. “You talked for like five minutes and then immediately started crying that he hated you-”

“He did glare. I remember the glare vividly, Makki. His eyebrows furrowed and his lashes fanned across his chiseled cheeks as he did so-”

“Holy shit, you’re mad because he's hotter than you!” Hanamaki shouts in glee, his interest rekindled. “You totally want to bone him-”

“I do not you shut your eyebrowless face, spawn of satan-”

Hanamaki begins to cackle in earnest, dodging Oikawa's attempts at assault and pulls his phone out of his pocket.

“Holy shit, holy shit- Mattsun is gonna have a field day with this-” Hanamaki wheezes as he punches in the number.

“Mattsun?” Oikawa asks incredulously, “You mean Matsukawa? You already have nicknames for each other? How the hell did you get so close, this is the second time you've met-”

“I'm very charming and Mattsun appreciates my wit-” Hanamaki’s smile is mocking, reminding Oikawa that his own attempts at wooing Iwaizumi failed miserably. “Hello? Mattsun, you're not gonna believe -”

Oikawa tackles his manager to the ground and attempts to put him in a headlock.

 

-----

 

“Stop that.” Iwaizumi demands when Matsukawa gets off the phone and turns to smile creepily at him. Matsukawa doesn't budge, his smile getting bigger and creepier by the second.

“Stop what?” Matsukawa asks through his grin.

That .” Iwaizumi waves at his managers face, waggling eyebrows and all. “You're freaking me out.”

“Speaking of freaking-”

“What the hell kind of segway-”

“Speaking of freaking, a little birdy told me that your co star wants to do some freaky stuff with you-”

“Kageyama?” Iwaizumi cocks his head to the side, genuinely puzzled and Matsukawa feels bad for trying to tease someone who's so incredibly dense. “But he's dating someone, isn't he-”

“Christ.” Matsukawa sighs, palming his face. “You're no fun. Never mind. God bless Oikawa for trying.”

“Oikawa?” Iwaizumi's face twists up, “what's he got to do with Kageyama-”

“You're smart and I love you but sometimes I really want to sock you in the head.” Matsukawa says sadly, cradling Iwaizumi's face condescendingly and getting punched in the gut for his efforts.

“Oikawa doesn't even like me. Did you see the way he looked at me after I greeted him?” Iwaizumi scowled.

“Oh god, this is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. I genuinely thank you for keeping my life interesting, I'm gonna tell Makki-” Matsukawa pulls out his phone-

“Makki? You mean Hanamaki? You already have his number? Isn't this the first time you met-”

“Hello?” Matsukawa puts up a finger to stop Iwaizumi's questions. “Hey boo, you are not going to believe -”

 

-----

 

“He's… playing my love interest.” Oikawa whispers as he bites down on his knuckles. Hanamaki slaps his hand away from his mouth and nods in the affirmative, not looking up from his phone.

“Did you not read the script-”

“What do you think I'm doing right now-”

“Your attitude is stressing me out, young man-”

“He's my love interest -”

“Yes. It's an action romance. Romance. That usually means love, Tooru.” Hanamaki explains slowly. “And it's not like you have a problem with men, one of your most successful failed relationships was with Hina-chan,”

“Shut your mouth-”

“You're really touchy today.” Hanamaki snorts before sobering, “Filming and preparations don't start for another few weeks. Announcements haven't been officially made yet. If you really don't want to play this part, I'll find a way to get you out of the contract-”

“No.” Oikawa smiles gratefully because despite Hanamaki's insistence on making his life hell, he always has his best interest at heart. “I'll do it. But if things get too steamy and I get lost in my character…”

“I'll punch you in the face.” Hanamaki says seriously and Oikawa offers him a nod of thanks.

“But I doubt I will this time.” Oikawa shrugs, “Iwaizumi isn’t really my type.”

Hanamaki laughs for the rest of the night.

Things get hectic after that;   A Shot for Love is announced and the word of Iwaizumi Hajime and Oikawa Tooru finally collaborating on a film spreads like wildfire. Gossip magazines and blogs are lighting up with excitement at seeing two of the most prominent young actors starring in a film together, as star crossed lovers no less. It’s a hot topic, and like most hot topics, it comes with negative press too.

“Tell us a bit about the movie- it’s a bit different from your previous roles, how do you think filming is going to go?” The interviewer asks, shifting on the chair and recrossing her legs.

“I can’t say much about the movie yet, but it’s about the love between a hitman, played by Iwaizumi Hajime, and his target, played by yours truly.” Oikawa smiles, mimicking the interviewers pose and leaning in. “It really is different from my previous roles, but I’m always looking to broaden my horizons and gain new experience. I’ve worked with Ennoshita-san before, he’s truly an amazing director, so I’m sure filming will go smoothly.”

The interviewer nods a few times before grinning and moving on to the next topic, “Iwaizumi Hajime- he’s a beautiful man and everyone knows that beautiful people are very much your type-”

Oikawa thinks he hears Hanamaki snort from behind the cameras but he schools his expression into one of lighthearted interest.

“Since he’s playing your love interest, do you think love might ignite between you two in real life as well? You thinking about going in for the kill?”

The more the interviewer talks the more Oikawa wants to slam his head into the wall. Instead, he grins prettily and cocks his head to the side, “Love isn’t something you can predict. What happens, happens. But between you and I,” Oikawa leans in and the smile on his face is nothing short of feral, “You’re much more my type.”

Hook, line, and sinker, the interviewer goes beet red and stutters through the closing segment while Oikawa grins cheerily in the background. Hanamaki is shaking his head forlornly.

“You have to admit he’s pretty good at smooth talking people.” Matsukawa says around a slice of pizza, watching the lady on the television fluster over Oikawa’s whispered words. “He completely deflected the topic.”

“Why couldn’t he just say no?” Iwaizumi is staring forlornly at the pizza. He’s on a strict diet to bulk up for the movie and has to watch what he eats. “Literally all he had to say was that there was no chance of us dating.”

“You never know.” Matsukawa hums, “You might get immersed into your role… end up falling in love…”

Iwaizumi snorts and rolls his eyes. “Oikawa is the only actor to have that problem. It's not that difficult to differentiate acting from real life.”

“That's because you don't have a heart-”

Matsukawa’s been giving Iwaizumi shit about his lack of a love life for years , Iwaizumi's heard it all before and knows to leave when his friend gets started. Dating and love in general is just not a priority for Iwaizumi at the moment.

“You need to learn to work out some other muscles,”  Matsukawa hollers as Iwaizumi flees the room. “You have such wonderfully delicious arms and beautifully dense thighs, but your heart muscle is limp and sad-”

“I hate you.” Iwaizumi calls back, smiling when Matsukawa’s loud guffaw follows.

 

-----

 

Iwaizumi expects a lot of things from Oikawa. He’s an obvious playboy and from the few behind the scenes video’s he’s seen of Oikawa shamelessly flirting with costar’s, Iwaizumi can’t help but be wary of him.

All these thoughts get thrown out the window when Oikawa begins to read his lines. Iwaizumi is captivated. It’s a cold-reading, the first read through of the script, and no one has had time to speak to the director about what is wanted for their characters but Oikawa reads his script like breathing. Every tiny inflection and intonation is carefully thought out and Iwaizumi is momentarily stunned.

He doesn’t realize that it’s his turn until Oikawa glances up curiously from his script and catches Iwaizumi’s gaze. They hold eye contact for a moment before realizing they’re still in the middle of the reading.

Iwaizumi closes his eyes, inhales, and lets himself go, abandoning his earlier monotone reading and speaking his line, “ I don’t deserve forgiveness.

It wasn’t your fault. ” Oikawa whispers. “ You were under orders-

That doesn’t change anything. ” Iwaizumi’s lip curls up in disdain. His hands clench subconsciously around his script. “ I killed people.

But you saved me. ” Oikawa doesn’t hesitate. There’s a moment of silence and his voice drops to a near murmur and everyone has to strain their ears to hear. “ Why?

The entire room is deadly silent, waiting for Iwaizumi to say his next line. There’s a split second where Oikawa begins to think that Iwaizumi’s forgotten to read his part again but then he speaks, voice broken and full of emotion, “ I don’t know.

Oikawa nearly swallows his tongue and he almost falters-

“Holy shit.” Hanamaki mutters from where he’s sipping coffee in the back of the room, breaking the mood and then immediately apologizing, bowing deeply in rapid succession. Matsukawa snorts at him but comes to his aid, “Same though.”

Ennoshita laughs, “I was going to stop them anyway. Thank you for that timely interruption, Hanamaki-san.” Hanamaki gives a two fingered salute and Ennoshita continues, addressing Iwaizumi and Oikawa. “I was originally going to go over what I wanted from the characters, but I’m scrapping that plan. I want you to just go for it. Your own interpretation. When we start filming I want you to just go for it, like you did today.”

Iwaizumi gapes. It’s his first time working with Ennoshita but he’s heard rumors- the director is a stickler for characterization. He goes over every detail of the characters lives and makes sure that the actors do it right.

“Are you sure?” Oikawa seems just as surprised.

Ennoshita nods, shuffling his papers around. “Whatever chemistry you two have is working. Keep it up.”

Iwaizumi and Oikawa are so stunned that they finish the rest of the script reading in a haze but the small pleased smile never leaves the directors face.

“That was different.” Matsukawa hums as they exit the building. “You realize that was a cold reading, right? You didn’t have to go all out.”

Iwaizumi stays silent.

“He pulled you in at his own pace.” Matsukawa continues.

“I know.” Iwaizumi finally speaks. Oikawa had managed to drag the characterization out of him. Iwaizumi walked into the meeting fully expecting it to be the same stagnant read throughs that he was used to but Oikawa shattered that. He spoke and Iwaizumi reacted. It was instinct and instantaneous and it was completely unexpected.

 

-----

 

“He made you break character.” Hanamaki says tentatively.

“No he didn’t.” Oikawa denies despite vividly remembering the way his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth when Iwaizumi spoke. If Hanamaki hadn’t interrupted, Oikawa would have surely stuttered.

“Yeah he did.” Hanamaki glances away from the road to look at where Oikawa is staring out the passenger side window.

“I know.” Oikawa’s voice tapers off into a frustrated growl.

“It’s not bad.” Hanamaki says softly, “It just means you’ve met your match. Someone who can actually respond to you.”

Oikawa nods. He considers himself to be an actor that is easy to work with- he can adapt to his costars and he can mold himself to them. He just never really expected someone adapting to him . It’s new and different and Oikawa isn’t sure if he likes it yet.

 

-----

 

Oikawa shows up at his apartment. Iwaizumi opens his door and Oikawa is standing there with his hands in his pockets, Hanamaki trailing behind, and he has a stupid grin on his face and a bottle of wine in his hand and Iwaizumi quietly shuts the door in his face.

“Iwa-chan,” Oikawa's whine is muffled behind the door.

Issei, ” Iwaizumi starts but Matsukawa shushes him.

“I wanted to see Hanamaki so I invited them over,” Matsukawa explains as he unlocks the door and leads an unfazed Oikawa inside. Matsukawa shares a sly grin with Hanamaki and they both wiggle their eyebrows and Iwaizumi hates them both.

“Iwa-chan, you have a nice place,” Oikawa compliments as he looks around, hands behind his back. He has on the most atrocious plaid board shorts on and an even worse shirt and Iwaizumi is so shocked by his fashion sense that he can’t even protest the nickname.

“You get used to it.” Hanamaki says around a mouthful of chips. He’s made himself at home on Iwaizumi’s couch, sitting so close to Matsukawa that he’s nearly on his lap. “Once I tried to throw out all his clothes but he went out and bought more and they were even worse than the ones before. He’s a lost cause.”

“You talkin shit?” Oikawa whirls around, “I’ll have you know that this is custom made-”

“That’s even worse ,” Iwaizumi interrupts and Hanamaki laughs so hard he chokes on a chip. Mattsun is way too ready to rub circles on his back. “What are you doing here anyway?”

“How come you’re not questioning Makki?” Oikawa crosses his arms and flings himself across both Hanamaki and Matsukawa’s lap. Hanamaki is unfazed and Matsukawa doesn’t question it, just adjusting themselves so that Oikawa’s elbows aren’t digging into them. “Ennoshita said he likes our chemistry. If we get to know each other more, our chemistry will be even better. I just want to go over lines and stuff.”

Iwaizumi sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Only an hour. When my trainer gets here, you have to leave.”

Matsukawa snorts and Iwaizumi narrows his eyes at him, “You too.”

“What!” Matsukawa exclaims in mock outrage, “Are you denying me a chance to see you thighs? I'm not going.”

Oikawa perks up at the word thighs and his eyes immediately trail down Iwaizumi's body. He's unabashedly staring, nodding his head appreciatively everytime he comes across something he likes, which means he's nodding non stop. Iwaizumi is so His Type, beautiful and strong and slightly dangerous, that Oikawa sighs at his own predictability. “I wanna watch too.”

“No.” Iwaizumi rejects immediately and then spends the next hour arguing with all three men that they are not allowed to stay. They all end up staying anyway and when Daichi enters the apartment he finds Iwaizumi sadly sitting on the floor while three large men squish onto a couch and watch him happily.

“Are they…” Daichi trails off, placing his sports bag on the floor and approaching Iwaizumi slowly.

“The audience.” Oikawa hums, his voice dropping to a whisper. “Front row tickets to the gun show.”

Iwaizumi lunges at him and Matsukawa and Daichi have to hold him back as Oikawa shrieks and Hanamaki laughs.

When Iwaizumi finally stops trying to murder Oikawa with his bare hands, Oikawa finally gets out a proper introduction.

“I know who you are.” Daichi snorts as he follows Iwaizumi to the barbell setup at the back of the apartment. “You tried to court my husband. You sent flowers to our house and I fed them to my goat.”

“You have a goat?” Oikawa cocks his head to the side before his eyes widen, “Ah! You're Suga-chan’s husband! I stopped when I found out he was married, sorry about that.”

“You have a goat ?” Hanamaki is still stuck on that, inching closer to Daichi. “Can I see it?”

“Do you...” Daichi seems at a loss for words, “Do you think that I just carry an entire goat with me?”

“Fair point. Anyway, how is Suga’s new movie going?” Hanamaki’s voice drowns out because Oikawa is suddenly riveted by the way Iwaizumi’s arms flex when he lifts the weights. There's a single bead of sweat forming on his neck, dripping down and pooling at his collar bone.

“You are totally being objectified right now.” Matsukawa says in awe, glancing back and forth between Iwaizumi and Oikawa. “Makki, tell your actor to stop staring at my actor.”

Oikawa sputters, tearing his eyes away from Iwaizumi and turning bright red, “I am not-”

Iwaizumi raises an eyebrow and drops the weights, stalking over to Oikawa and reaching out. Oikawa freezes and squeezes his eyes shut, holding his breath. When he peeks an eye open, Iwaizumi is reaching for the towel behind him and he has a smug smirk on his face.

“Iwa-chan, you're teasing me.” Oikawa gasps.

“Don't call me that.” Iwaizumi rolls his eyes and turns away. His ears are red and suddenly Oikawa finds purpose in life. He wants to see the rest of him turn red and he wants to be the cause of it.

“It's cute.” Oikawa tests and the flush spreads to the back of his neck. “It suits you-”

Iwaizumi whips around and lunges again and Daichi sighs, holding him back with one very well toned arm.

“Alright, you guys have to go. He’s too distracted and I'd like to actually get some work done with him today.” Daichi orders and they all pout but don't argue with him.

They trail out single file, Matsukawa with them, and Iwaizumi lets out a sigh of relief until Daichi turns to him with a wide grin, “You like him-”

“I will throw this barbell at you.” Iwaizumi pinches the bridge of his nose. Even if he does throw the barbell, Daichi would likely catch it between his thighs. Iwaizumi momentarily hates him.

 

-----

 

“You like him.” Hanamaki sounds like a teasing elementary school student and Oikawa would deck him if he wasn't completely right.

“He's so cute.” Oikawa whispers in disbelief and Matsukawa guffaws, patting him roughly on the back.

“It takes a very brave person to call Iwaizumi cute to his face.” Matsukawa commends, “Stupid too, but brave.”

 

-----

 

In the weeks leading up to the official start of filming, Oikawa spends copious amounts of time at Iwaizumi’s apartment. Most of the time he’s not invited, but iwaizumi never actually turns him away so Oikawa takes that as his own personal invitation. “Are you ready for our first formal interview together?”

Oikawa is currently gripping Iwaizumi’s ankle and being dragged across the ground. “I’m not doing the interview. I wasn’t scheduled.”

Iwaizumi shakes his leg, trying to dislodge the Oikawa shaped parasite. “Please.”

“No.” Iwaizumi remains stubborn.

Oikawa releases and snorts when Iwaizumi stumbles at the sudden lack of resistance. He ignores Iwaizumi’s glares, “Please please please please we need better press and you’re never in interviews maybe if it’s just this one time-”

“He’s right.” Matsukawa says from the couch, “If you do this press conference, maybe the company will go easier on you when promoting for the movie starts.”

Iwaizumi sighs and already regrets his choices, “...fine.”

Oikawa leaps off the floor with a happy screech, lifts Iwaizumi off the ground and twirls him, dodges Iwaizumi’s flying fist and then tackles Matsukawa to kiss his cheek before being pried off by a jealous Hanamaki. For some god awful reason, Hanamaki and Oikawa have been coming over Friday night to practice lines and watch movies. It usually ends in bickering and scenes very similar to the one happening right before Iwaizumi’s eyes.

Iwaizumi sighs for the thousandth time since meeting Oikawa, but this one is mixed with fondness.

 

-----

 

The thing is, Iwaizumi doesn’t like press conferences. He’s good in front of the camera when he’s pretending to be someone else, but in all other cases, he turns into a silent and nervous mess. His image of being a “stoic faced mystery” is not because he’s actually a mystery, but because he’s so bad with interviews that his management rarely schedules them. Press conferences are hell but Oikawa somehow makes it better.

“Just be yourself.” Oikawa suggests, patting Iwaizumi’s back. He had walked in on Iwaizumi glaring at himself in the mirror and immediately sensed his nervousness.

“That’s not going to work.” Iwaizumi groans, gripping his head. Matsukawa is busy stalling the staff until Iwaizumi is under control, “Being myself in front of the camera never works. I have to pretend to be someone else.”

“Then be Iwa-chan.” Oikawa hums, “The Iwa-chan that yells at me every time I come over unannounced but still offers me tea. The Iwa-chan that tries to pour the scalding tea on my lap but then brings an ice pack to make up for it.”

“You’re the only person I act like that around because you’re irritating.”

Oikawa laughs and tugs Iwaizumi into a standing position. “Well, I’m here and I’ll be sitting next to you, I’ll be sure to irritate you so much that you won’t have time to get nervous.”

Iwaizumi stops Oikawa before they head on stage. “Thanks.”

“What are friends for?” Oikawa smiles, small and genuine and Iwaizumi feels a pull at his gut.

The press conference goes great. Iwaizumi is at ease and is able to speak freely and whenever he gets overwhelmed, Oikawa steals the attention and directs the topic somewhere else. Their legs are pressed together, Oikawa’s thigh a heavy and steady weight against his own and Iwaizumi is reminded of how charismatic Oikawa can be. He’s reminded of his ability to pull people along at his own pace, and it’s both exhilarating and terrifying.

Right before the press conference wraps up, an interviewer gets one last question in, “You two seem pretty close, is there perhaps something going on? Has Oikawa managed to grip you in his clutches?”

Oikawa laughs but Iwaizumi can see the uncomfortable tenseness around his eyes so Iwaizumi takes the mic, overestimates his ability to diffuse a situation and simply says, in the most deadpan voice possible, “No.”

Oikawa laughs the entire way off stage. “Iwa-chan, you’re so chivalrous.”

“I was being honest.” Iwaizumi’s entire face is too warm and he tries to turn away but Oikawa keeps a grip on his arm. He leans in and presses a soft and gentle kiss on his cheek before grinning cheekily and prancing away.

Iwaizumi is left gripping his face while Matsukawa pats his back sympathetically. “That was more than a friendship kiss. That looked a lot like an Iwaizumi-should-ask-Oikawa-out kiss.”

“It wasn’t. ” Iwaizumi says stubbornly. “And you know I wouldn’t start a relationship with someone like him.”

“Like him?” Matsukawa raises an eyebrow.

“Don’t give me shit, you know what I’m talking about. I’m not going to ‘fall victim’ or whatever the hell these tabloids keep saying. We’re just friends.” Iwaizumi’s voice sounds defensive, even to his own ears.

Matsukawa lets out a sad sigh but drops the subject.

 

-----

 

It’s a completely different experience watching Oikawa act on screen and witnessing it in person. The moment the cameras start rolling, Oikawa is a completely different person. Iwaizumi can’t even speak to him because he’s so immersed in his character, so completely focused, and Iwaizumi suddenly understands why Oikawa is such a respected actor.

“You’re staring.” Hanamaki wanders over, handing water bottles to Iwaizumi and Matsukawa.

“Yeah.” Iwaizumi doesn’t even try to defend himself because he’s not ashamed. Everyone else in the vicinity is transfixed and Iwaizumi momentarily feels bad for the minor character acting along side of Oikawa. His presence is so loud and demanding that the accompanying actor keeps flubbing his lines. Despite it, Oikawa never once breaks character or loses patience. He remains steady until he’s once again dragging the potential out of the other person. “He’s different than I expected.”

“Different than how the media portrays him, you mean?” Hanamaki gives Iwaizumi a knowing smile. “It’s true that he’s a flirt,”

Iwaizumi snorts because he’s constantly on the receiving end of that relentless flirtation.

“But,” Hanamaki continues, “He’s not the serial dater that the media likes to pretend. He’s a genuine person and had genuine relationships with the people that he dated.”

Iwaizumi watches Oikawa walk across set, even his gait adjusted to portray his character. His face scrunches as he holds back tears and embraces the man who is playing his brother, lips trembling almost imperceptibly before his eyes spill over and he lets out a watery goodbye, hastily wiping his face before pulling away.

Iwaizumi has the script in hand, reading and comparing the way that Oikawa acts out his parts. Every single line he speaks is weighted with emotion, every facial expression and physical motion carefully thought out, effortless but realistic. Oikawa is a work of nature and it’s completely fucking cliche but Iwaizumi wouldn’t mind being caught in his whirlwind.

It’s not until the director yells a pleased “cut” that Iwaizumi speaks again, “Why are you telling me this?” Iwaizumi doesn’t pull his eyes away from Oikawa, who is still standing in the same spot, still immersed in his character.

“Because I think you’d be good for him.” Hanamaki’s voice is uncharacteristically serious, showing a side of him that Iwaizumi wasn’t aware existed.

“You’d be good for eachother.” Matsukawa corrects. Iwaizumi rolls his eyes and tries to ignore the uneasiness in his stomach, brushing it off as nerves from having to act out his first major scene with Oikawa. They’ve shot smaller scenes days earlier to get the ball rolling, but none that were integral to the plot of the film. Ennoshita made sure to give them a few days to decide how they wanted to act out the turning point of the movie, where Iwaizumi’s character begins to fall for Oikawa’s, and even though Iwaizumi says he’s ready, he can feel the pressure in the back of his eyes.

Predictably, Iwaizumi gets dragged into Oikawa’s presence. There’s no trace of the flirtatious and playful Oikawa that Iwaizumi is used to, in his place stands a completely different person- a broken hearted and hesitant boy who unknowingly has a price tag on his life. As soon as Iwaizumi steps onto set, he slips into the mindset of a morally ambiguous man who has killed more people than years he’s been alive. He exhales and centers himself.

Iwaizumi matches Oikawa beat for beat, the script no longer feeling like a script when Oikawa flinches away from his touch. He covers it up with a smile but there’s a pained undertone and Iwaizumi reacts so viscerally, face falling for a split second before being replaced by a determined scowl and muttering his line that no longer feels like a line, “ I’ll protect you.

How? ” Oikawa asks in an exasperated way that portrays every single conflicting emotion that is no doubt swirling through his brain. “ You realize you’re supposed to kill me, right?

A beat of silence. Iwaizumi swallows. Again, repeated with more intensity, “ I’ll protect you .”

When Ennoshita quietly ends the scene, the entire set is silent. It takes Iwaizumi longer than usual to shake his character. Matsukawa seems to sense this and leads Iwaizumi off set while Hanamaki retrieves Oikawa, who still has tears flowing freely from his eyes. Iwaizumi tries to ignore the way his body twitches is towards him, instinctively wanting to comfort.

“You okay?” Matsukawa asks, rubbing circles onto Iwaizumi’s back.

Iwaizumi doesn’t answer. There’s still that surge of protectiveness swimming through his veins and Iwaizumi doesn’t know if it’s coming from him or his character.

Acting with Oikawa is terrifying and Iwaizumi suddenly realizes how Oikawa and his costars always end up thinking they’re in love.

“It’s not real.” Iwaizumi mutters to himself, a reminder. It’s not real .

Matsukawa sighs, gripping the back of his best friends neck until the tension drips out of his shoulders.

The rest of filming that day goes smoothly and when they part ways and Oikawa’s hands linger a little too long, his stare a little too heavy, Iwaizumi grits his teeth and reminds himself that Oikawa’s just trapped in his character again. That Iwaizumi isn’t special. That it’s not worth it to get dragged into his pace and be dubbed as another one of his ‘victims.’

It’s a bit harder to convince himself of this when Hanamaki and Matsukawa are constantly trying to play matchmaker. It’s even harder when Oikawa texts him every goddamn minute and seems so genuine and that everything that Hanamaki said about him is true.

 

-----

 

The interview starts off fairly innocent. They’re asked about other projects, Oikawa announces he’s thinking about accepting the role for another film, Iwaizumi says he just wants to focus on A Shot for Love and everything is okay until it’s not anymore.

The most dangerous interviews are the ones that are comfortable. The ones where the interviewer is easy to talk to, the camera’s aren’t completely overpowering, and the atmosphere is calm and playful.

With Iwaizumi by his side talking freely, Oikawa completely forgets that the cameras are rolling and becomes stupid.

“So, it’s safe to say that you wouldn’t mind marrying Iwaizumi?” The interviewer asks with a laugh.

“Of course not! I’d love to.” Oikawa doesn’t notice how Hanamaki is wildly flailing his arms in the background, telepathically begging him to shut the fuck up. “He’s good at cooking and even though he’s rough around the edges, he’s very kind to me. I’d marry him tomorrow if I could.” Oikawa also doesn’t notice the way Iwaizumi winces.

The stupid off hand comment gets twisted out of control and ends up plastered on every god damn magazine cover and tabloid.

 

“ OIKAWA TOORU THINKING OF POPPING THE QUESTION TO CO STAR IWAIZUMI HAJIME?“

 

“How did it even turn out like this?” Oikawa whines as he enters Iwaizumi’s apartment and shoves the paper towards Matsukawa who hands it to Iwaizumi.

“Because you’re stupid.” Iwaizumi sighs.

“Don’t be mean. All I said was that I wouldn’t mind marrying you-”

“That’s stupid .” Iwaizumi reiterates, tossing the magazine roughly onto the living room table. “Why would you even say that in the first place, especially with your track record-”

“My track record ?” Oikawa’s posture goes defensive immediately, “Nevermind, I don’t care. The interviewer asked if I would marry you and I answered! It was an innocent thing. You’ve been in this industry as long as I have, you know how it goes.”

“I’ve never been part of rumors.” Iwaizumi points out. The only times he’s been on the front page are when he’s part of a large movie or on the occasions he wins awards- he’s really good at keeping out of the news and that’s what protects his whole mysterious image. He sighs, rubbing a hand over his face and gratefully accepting the cup of coffee Matsukawa hands him. “Why didn’t you just deflect the question like you always do-”

“Because I really wouldn’t mind marrying you-”

“What?” Iwaizumi nearly drops his glass of water but Hanamaki plucks it from his fingers before it could drop.

“What?” Oikawa echoes, not seeing anything wrong. “I really wouldn’t! I like you-”

“Friendship doesn’t equate marriage-” Iwaizumi completely ignores the last part of Oikawa’s comment.

“Don’t ignore that last part, that was an important part-” Oikawa tries again.

No .” Iwaizumi says, more firm. “You gotta go.” Iwaizumi herds Oikawa towards the door, “You shouldn’t come here so often, there’s paparazzi everywhere and I don’t want to add fuel to the fire.”

“Iwa-chan,” Oikawa whines but Iwaizumi closes the door in his face. Hanamaki has to reopen the door to follow but he gives Iwaizumi a sad, disapproving stare before he gets the door closed in his face too.

“You could have at least heard him out.” Matsukawa says, “That could have been your chance.”

“He says he likes me every time we hang out.” Iwaizumi rolls his eyes, “It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Yeah, but does he also say he wants to marry you?” Matsukawa wiggles his stupid eyebrows and Iwaizumi frowns.

“I’m shit at cooking.” Iwaizumi says after a moment. “I’ve never cooked for Oikawa in my life. Only on screen.”

Matsukawa winces.

“He really likes you, you know? Hanamaki complains about it constantly.” Matsukawa reassures. “You both had just finished a full day of filming and went straight to the interview. It’s understandable if he got a bit jumbled. Cut him some slack. Give him a chance.”

“It’s not the right time.” Iwaizumi shakes his head.

“So if it was the right time, you’d consider it?” Masukawa pushes.

Iwaizumi shrugs. It doesn’t matter.

 

-----

 

“You really shouldn’t take this job.” Hanamaki advises as he drives Oikawa to the destination. “You have enough on your plate with the movie you’re filming with Iwaizumi. If you take this one too, you’re not going to have time to rest. You’re the one who wanted to rest in the first place.”

“I did. But now I want to work.” Oikawa says.

“Does it have anything to do with wanting to avoid Iwaizumi?” Hanamaki asks cautiously. Even though Makki jokes around a lot and teases constantly, he saw the way that Oikawa’s face fell when Iwaizumi brushed over his confession. Oikawa’s been drowning himself in work ever since and there’s most likely a correlation between the two.

“No.” Oikawa says stubbornly. He grits his teeth and stares out the window. “I’m thinking about taking the other movie offer because Hina-chan is casted as well. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen him.”

“Really? So it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Iwaizumi didn’t take your feelings seriously.” Hanamaki raises an eyebrow as he turns into the parking garage. “You weren’t hurt by that.”

“No.” Oikawa furrows his brows before sighing and giving in, “Yeah. He doesn’t believe me. Which, I get it, I really do, I know that I have a terrible track record when it comes to dating, but I honestly and genuinely like him, Makki. And it’s not because I’m acting or because I want to sell my character. He’s cute and he can match me word for word when we’re on set. He never breaks character and he respects me when I work. He’s the only person to not get weirded out when I can’t break character after the scene is cut. He’s impressive and I want to get to know him better but he doesn’t believe me .”

Hanamaki reaches out to run his fingers through Oikawa’s hair. “So what are you trying to solve by taking another job?”

“I’m trying to give him space. Maybe if I play another character and prove that I don’t fall in love with every co star, he’ll believe me.” Oikawa says, determined.

Hanamaki snorts, “You’ve already fallen in love with Hina-chan once. And he’s currently dating Kageyama so there’s no chance of you dating him now. Isn’t that cheating?”

Oikawa doesn’t answer because he’s been trying not to think about that. His feelings for Iwaizumi are real.

 

-----

 

Things get busy. Oikawa is constantly going back and forth between sets, hardly getting time to do anything but work, eat, and sleep. He only ever see’s Iwaizumi when they’re filming, but they’re both too in character to talk properly. They get into makeup, act out their scenes, go over things with the director and Oikawa usually jets to his next set within seconds of being dismissed.

“I know I promised lunch tomorrow.” Hanamaki sighs apologetically, phone pressed to his ear. “But Oikawa has to meet with the director for Sunshine Crows. He’s changing something about Oikawa’s character. I’m sorry, Mattsun. Yeah. I know. I miss you too. Bye.”

Oikawa chews on his lip, “I’m sorry, Makki.”

Makki sighs but laughs, “It’s my job.”

“Yeah.” Oikawa sulks. “But you’re my friend before my manager.”

 

-----

 

“It’s boring without them around.” Matsukawa says as he hangs up the phone, “Maybe if you invited Oikawa personally, he’d come over and that way I can see Makki again.”

“Are you using me for your own personal gain?” Iwaizumi raises an eyebrow but doesn’t need a verbal answer. He can tell by the puppy dog eyes that Matsukawa doesn’t care about the Oikawa aspect of it and just wants to see his maybe-boyfriend. “Oikawa’s busy. And that means Makki is busy.”

“It’s your fault.” Matsukawa says.

“How is it my fault-”

“Oikawa only took the job because you won’t take his feelings seriously!”

“I don’t take them seriously because he’s not serious and what does any of that have to do with him accepting a job offer and strengthening his career-”

“Because you hurt his feelings the last time he was over and he’s trying to distance himself? Because he wants to prove that he’s more than just the characters he plays? Something stupid like that, I don’t know. He likes you and you’re being an absolute idiot because I know you like him too.” Matsukawa frowns and turns his face away.

Iwaizumi doesn’t give him a proper response, just replies with, “You’re being bratty.”

“I know.” Matsukawa whines after a second, “I miss Makki. I’m having withdrawals.”

Iwaizumi sighs and flops down on the couch next to his best friend. “I’ll invite Oikawa over to practice lines if he’s free. We have a big scene coming up anyway.”

Matsukawa practically glows, gripping Iwaizumi’s face and aggressively kissing his forehead before reaching into his pocket to call Makki once again.

Iwaizumi goes to bed that night mulling over Matsukawa’s outburst. If Oikawa truly likes him, to the point of taking on another job to prove something, then Iwaizumi wouldn’t really have a problem with that.

 

To: Shitty-kawa

Come practice lines on your next day off. Matsukawa misses Hanamaki and he’s being insufferable.

 

Fr: Shitty-kawa

Yeah, sure, ‘Hanamaki’ misses ‘Matsukawa’ too ;) You don’t have to beat around the bush, Iwa-chan, I feel the same way. I’ll see you tomorrow at 8!

 

-----

 

Iwaizumi has no idea how they went from practicing lines to Oikawa being dragged around the kitchen floor like a mop.

“I’m not going to let go unless you let me practice the kiss scene-” Oikawa has latched onto Iwaizumi’s leg again, what he always does when he wants something and Iwaizumi won't give it to him. Iwaizumi feels like he should be used to this already and have an easier time saying no but Oikawa is extremely stubborn and extremely stupid.

“What the hell kind of logic-”

“I need to practice -”

“Do it with Hanamaki-”

“I will not , that is gross-”

“I’m not kissing you-” Iwaizumi shakes his leg extra hard and Oikawa finally releases his hold.

“It’s just a practice kiss. One kiss.” Oikawa pouts from his spot on the floor, “Our characters are madly and deeply in love with one another-”

“My character also wants to murder your character-”

“Stop interrupting me,” Oikawa interrupts. “Listen. Iwa-chan. I need to know what I’m working with. We’ve got the lines down, everything is memorized, but we haven’t actually rehearsed everything. I mean we’ve gone over the fight scenes with the choreographer, but we haven’t done other stuff. Kissing and stuff. The important stuff for our important scene.”

“You have kissing scenes with Hinata in Sunshine Crows, do you have to practice with him every time, too?” Iwaizumi scowls. “It’s just a kiss! You’ve done it plenty of times-”

“But not with you.” Oikawa says earnestly. “I need to know what it’s like with you.” Just a single kiss- It’s all Oikawa needs to settle all the confusing emotions in his chest. If he falls into character, it’s not real.

Iwaizumi has a headache. Hanamaki and Matsukawa, the pieces of shit, are watching the ordeal with wide grins and popcorn in their laps, pressed closely together.

Iwaizumi’s head is throbbing and he gets so fed up that he grips Oikawa by the collar, hauls him up off the ground, gives Oikawa three seconds to catch on and give a consenting nod before Iwaizumi smashes their lips together with no finesse.

It’s painful and Iwaizumi’s lip hurts, but when Oikawa swipes his tongue over it and lets out a breathy gasp, an improvisation, Iwaizumi can’t feel it because he’s too focused on other sensations. It’s a long thirty seconds before Iwaizumi grips Oikawa’s shoulder, as per the script, and shoves him back. Oikawa looks jarred for a split second before he nods blankly, reaching up to touch his lips.

Oikawa is quiet for a long while, there’s an almost hurt expression on his face that Iwaizumi doesn’t understand, before he twists his lips and quietly speaks, “That wasn’t gentle at all.”

Iwaizumi tilts his head, “Our characters aren’t gentle. That’s the way the kiss goes in the script.”

“Oikawa,” Hanamaki walks up with an awkward little smile, “The timing’s not right. Don’t take it to heart.”

Iwaizumi doesn’t try to decipher the meaning behind their words, just retrieves his gross green smoothie that Daichi had pre made and waves Oikawa goodbye when he announces that he has to leave.

“Are you… are you really that dense?” Matsukawa squints when Oikawa and Hanamaki leave. Iwaizumi stares. “Good god, you really are that dense.”

“It was a practice kiss.” Iwaizumi says slowly.

“Was it?” Matsukawa scrubs his hands over his face in frustration, “You’re not stupid. I know you’re not. Did you forget everything I told you earlier or do I have to spell it out for you? He likes you-”

“I know .” Iwaizumi snaps. “You’ve said it a thousand times. Hanamaki’s said it a thousand times. Oikawa’s even said it a thousand times. I get it.”

“But do you believe it?” Matsukawa pushes.

“I don’t know.” Iwaizumi’s voice cracks embarrassingly. He can still feel the imprint of Oikawa’s lips, can still feel the remnants of his body heat lined up against his own, and he honestly doesn’t know.

“That’s better than flat out denying it at least.” Matsukawa sighs. He pulls Iwaizumi in for a rough hug before walking out the door to presumably follow Hanamaki around.

Iwaizumi doesn’t know, but he wants. He wants to badly for Oikawa to be genuine.

“Shit.” Iwaizumi sighs. “ Shit .”

 

-----

 

OIKAWA TOORU SEEN SNEAKING OUT OF HINATA SHOUYOU’S APARTMENT- IS THIS THE END OF IWAOI AND A REKINDLING OF OIHINA’S OLD FLAME?

 

“It’s a tabloid. They’re spinning the truth, you know how it goes.” Matsukawa says on their way to set.

“Okay.” Iwaizumi says as he exits out of the news app. The picture of Oikawa cradling Hinata’s face, partially out of the door, remains branded in Iwaizumi’s brain. He’s wearing the same clothes as a few days prior, meaning Oikawa went straight to Hinata’s apartment after leaving Iwaizumi’s. There’s an uncomfortable feeling sitting in the pit of Iwaizumi’s stomach and his lips twist instinctively.

“Okay?” Matsukawa glances at Iwaizumi, “Just okay? You’re not misunderstanding, are you? Hanamaki was there too, it’s not like Oikawa and Hinata were alone. And Hinata’s in a relationship, remember?”

“I said okay.” Iwaizumi’s tone forces Matsukawa to drop the subject.

 

-----

 

The dialogue and scenes leading up to Oikawa and Iwaizumi’s final kiss scene go without a hitch. Oikawa remains in character, Iwaizumi remains in character, and everything seems okay. Except that Iwaizumi averts his eyes as soon as the cameras stop rolling and it’s jarring enough that Oikawa doesn’t stay in character between scenes and instead tries desperately to get the attention of the object of his affections.

“The big kiss scene is next.” Oikawa says, nudging Iwaizumi’s shoulder. He applies chapstick and smacks his lips together obnoxiously, waggling his eyebrows and trying to break the tension. Oikawa tenses for Iwaizumi’s predictable shove but it never comes. Instead, Iwaizumi scoots further away.

“Yeah.”

“Iwa-chan, what’s wrong-”

“We’re being called back to set. Hurry up, I want to get this over with.”

Oikawa’s heart drops in confusion and he’s stunned into silence. He wants so badly to find out what he did wrong but Ennoshita is motioning them back in front of the cameras.

For the first time in a long time, Oikawa can’t get in character. Iwaizumi seems to have no problem, the tension slipping from his shoulders to something more confident, his eyes hooded and his stance protective.

“Scene 53, Take 1. Action.” Ennoshita says. The sound of the clapperboard clicking together forces Oikawa into character, instinctual.

You have to go. ” Iwaizumi leads, reaching out to brush his fingers over the bruise expertly applied on his cheek bone. There’s a slight tremor to his hands. “ I don’t want you to get hurt anymore.

I don’t care if I get hurt. ” Oikawa says, face twisting in pain as tears drip effortlessly from his eyes. His voice is warbled, “ I’m not leaving until you promise me you’ll come back. You have to promise-”

Iwaizumi grips Oikawa by the collar and pulls him in close, their faces inches apart. There’s a slight pause, Iwaizumi’s eyes never leaving Oikawa’s bruised lips, before he closes the distance.

The moment Oikawa’s lips press to Iwaizumi’s, he breaks character. When he swipes his tongue across Iwaizumi’s lips, scrapes his fingers against the planes of his back, presses his body closer, Oikawa doesn’t do it for the cameras. He doesn’t even process them. He does it for himself and he knows it’s wrong but he can’t stop it because he’s so desperately in love with Iwaizumi that he completely breaks all of his work ethics.

The kiss scene is supposed to be rough and desperate and broken, a goodbye, but the way Iwaizumi’s fingers linger on his neck feels more like a welcome home.

Ennoshita clears his throat and Iwaizumi pulls away, immediately distancing himself. Oikawa feels cold.

“Uh,” Ennoshita clears his throat again, “Maybe more broken and a little less…”

“Gay?” Hanamaki offers from the side, quiet like he’s not sure if now's the time to be joking but also wanting to break the really awkward atmosphere.

Ennoshita smiles, “Okay, how about we take a ten minute break? Talk it over.”

Oikawa sighs, ignores Hanamaki’s desperate attempts to get his attention, and instead grabs Iwaizumi by the arm to drag him to a more private spot.

“I like you.” Oikawa starts with no finesse. His face is red and he’s squeezing his fists so tight he can feel his fingernails biting into his palm, but he feels the inexplicable need to be honest. He genuinely, wholeheartedly likes Iwaizumi and their kiss- even if it was only for the camera’s- cemented the fact.

Iwaizumi doesn’t react. “Right.”

“I’m being serious. I know I say it a lot and that I joke a lot, but I’m serious-”

“So?” Iwaizumi sounds exhausted, rubbing his fingers through his gelled hair and wincing when he catches a glare from one of the hairstylists.

“So?” Oikawa echoes, hurt. “You can’t give me a proper response, just ‘ so’ ? You’ve been weird all day-”

“I don’t believe you.” Iwaizumi sighs.

“Don’t believe that you’ve been weird all day?”

“I don’t believe that you like me.” Iwaizumi enunciates his words. “You’re a very skilled actor. I don’t blame you for tricking yourself, but try not to drag other people into it, okay?”

“Iwa-chan, I-” Oikawa is genuinely confused, everything seems to be crumbling around him and he can’t find the correct emotion to respond with, “What? I like you-”

“I heard. And I don’t believe you.” Iwaizumi repeats. He’s angled away from Oikawa, obviously trying to keep space between them and Oikawa finally finds the emotion he’s looking for. Desperation.

The tears bubble over before he can stop them and Iwaizumi looks so genuinely shocked that Oikawa has difficulty composing himself. The dam breaks and everything goes to shit.

Matsukawa and Hanamaki rush over immediately and drag them away. Iwaizumi doesn’t realize it’s Hanamaki’s hand around his arm until they’re in the privacy of his dressing room.

“What-” Iwaizumi starts.

“If you don’t like him back you don’t have to reject him like that.” Hanamaki hisses, angrier than Iwaizumi has ever seen. He doesn’t even give Iwaizumi time to respond, just plows on, “Do you know how fucking hard it is for Oikawa, dealing with everyone assuming he’s just some slut who has no control of his emotions? Of all people, I thought maybe you would understand him-”

“I don’t understand anything about him.” Iwaizumi raises his voice, “I don’t understand him, or you, or why everyone keeps trying to convince me that he likes me-”

“Because he does -”

“And how is that my responsibility?” Iwaizumi snaps.

“I was under the impression that you liked him as well.” Hanamaki says slowly after a momentarily stunned silence. “If Matsukawa’s been feeding me lies this entire time-”

“I don’t. I did . I-” Iwaizumi lets out a frustrated sigh, raking his fingers through his hair, stylist's be damned. “ I don’t know . Can’t you just leave it alone? I can’t figure out how I feel about him because everyone keeps telling me.”

It suddenly dawns on Hanamaki that he’s been inadvertently cockblocking the very people he’s trying to set up. “Oh.” He whispers, disbelievingly. “Oh, alright.”

“I’m not going to start a relationship if he’s already dating someone.” Iwaizumi clenches his jaw, refusing to meet Hanamaki’s eyes. He’s jealous and he knows he’s being jealous and he hates that he made Oikawa cry but just the thought of Oikawa even being as friendly towards other as he is with Iwaizumi makes Iwaizumi’s skin crawl.

And Iwaizumi knows that being jealous over this means that he has more than friendship feelings for Oikawa. There’s a limit to how dense someone can be and Iwaizumi isn’t stupid.

He’s terrified, but not stupid.

To Iwaizumi’s complete horror, Hanamaki starts to laugh.

 

-----

 

“I don’t-” Matsukawa starts, hands hovering anxiously around Oikawa, unsure. “Shit, alright, I didn’t think this through-”

“What did I do ?” Oikawa warbles, wiping his face all over Matsukawa’s shirt, “I really like him, Mattsun. I really do and for some reason he hates me-”

“He doesn’t,” Matsukawa shushes, awkwardly smoothing/patting down Oikawa’s hair. “It’s just a really weird time, with filming and everything.”

“But what do I do?” Oikawa frowns, “Because everything I do seems to be wrong. Nothing I do is working and I just really want him. Like, beyond want. I want to be his -”

“Okay this is getting really gay really fast.” Matsukawa interrupts. “My only advice is to get to know him. He’s already opened up to you, believe it or not. You just have to be genuine -”

“I am -”

“Hang out with him without practicing lines.” Matsukawa suggests, “And stop mixing him and his character up- Iwaizumi is shit at cooking, he’s not really as gruff as his character, his favorite color isn’t white like you’ve been telling people and he’s a shit ton more sensitive than you would expect. Get to know Iwaizumi outside of work. Outside of your characters.”

“Isn’t that what I’ve been doing?” Oikawa asks quietly.

“Not really.” Matsukawa responds. “You’ve mostly just been confusing him with his character, confessing your love, distancing yourself and making scandals with other men immediately after a love confession.”

“I-” Oikawa’s mind is reeling, “I did what?”

“Hinata Shouyou? Is this the end of Iwaoi and a rekindling of Oihina?” Matsukawa asks, “Ringing a bell?”

“Oh.” Oikawa whispers. There’s a long pause while Oikawa has realizations before Matsukawa begins let out groaning sounds.

“I’m tired .” Matsukawa whines, “I just want to hang out with my boyfriend but he’s too invested in your love life, my best friend is being passive aggressive and it’s ruining my vibe and I really just want you and Iwaizumi to get your life together so you stop ruining mine.”

Oikawa can’t help the snort that escapes his throat, “You and Makki are a match made in heaven.”

“Right?” Matsukawa smiles, “We’re amazing. But really though, Iwaizumi likes you. You like him. There’s only two weeks of filming left for this movie. Wait it out, see where it goes, if you really can’t figure it out on your own I’ll yell at Iwaizumi.”

“Thank you.” Oikawa says genuinely. He cocks his head to the side, “Also, since when was Makki your boyfriend? He would have told me-”

“I’m asking him today, I’m just practicing calling him my boyfriend for when he says yes.” Matsukawa shrugs with a shit eating grin. “Hurry up with Iwaizumi or I’ll marry your best friend before you and Iwaizumi even get a real kiss in.”

“He can’t marry without my approval,” Oikawa calls as Matsukawa exits the room, “Did you hear me, Mattsun? I won’t give you his hand in marriage-”

The door shuts and Oikawa smiles before sighing and running his fingers through his hair. He has to fix this.  

 

-----

 

“I’m suffering and you have a grin on your face.” Iwaizumi squints at his best friend as he enters his apartment, “Also, why are you always in my house?”

“Hanamaki said yes.” Matsukawa’s words slur together with how fast he’s talking. He’s practically vibrating with happiness and Iwaizumi can’t help the slow smile that begins to build on his own face.

“Did you even think he wouldn’t?” Iwaizumi tosses Matsukawa a drink before plopping down next to him and pulling him into a headlock. “I’m happy for you. It’s gross, but I’m happy for you.”

“I really like him.” Matsukawa escapes the headlock with a grin, trying to fix his hair and failing. There’s a flush to his face and he looks so sappy and in love that Iwaizumi snorts.

“I know. Why aren’t you hanging out with the new boyfriend? Shouldn’t you be celebrating and all that?” Iwaizumi stretches his limbs out with a groan.

“Hanamaki is busy, but we’re gonna meet up tonight to celebrate.” He waggles his eyebrows and Iwaizumi fake gags. “But I’m happy. And I want you to be happy too-”

“Don’t you start up with me, you meddling gossiping grandma-” Iwaizumi warns but Matsukawa slaps a hand over his mouth.

“I promised Hanamaki this would be the last time I brought it up. So shut up and let me get it out.” Matsukawa keeps his hand over Iwaizumi’s mouth until he nods. “Oikawa is an idiot. But to be fair, you are also an idiot. You’re perfect for one another.”

“He doesn’t like me-”

“I’m just gonna repeat myself and call you an idiot again.” Matsukawa rolls his eyes, “He’s head over heels in love with you. And it’s unfair that everyone has been bombarding you and pressuring you into noticing those feelings, but it’s also unfair that you’re letting rumors mess up your chances at happiness. Oikawa isn’t dating Hina-chan. I even called Hinata to check, he’s dating Kageyama now. He’s also dating Kenma. I’m not sure how that works, but he says he’s not looking to add anymore people to his relationship, and Oikawa was just at his house to practice lines. They’re friends.”

“Why are you so invested in my life?” Iwaizumi asks after a moment.

Matsukawa grins, “Because if you get together with Oikawa, it means I’ll get to see Hanamaki a lot more.”

“We’re just pawns in your sick game-”

Matsukawa cackles and exits the room before Iwaizumi can hurl insults at him.

Iwaizumi is confused but he can feel the dredges of regret bubbling up in his gut. He has to fix this.

 

-----

 

“We’re starting over.” Oikawa announces as he barges into Iwaizumi’s trailer. “My name is Oikawa and I think you’re hot and I want to be friends. Also, nice boxers.”

Iwaizumi freezes, halfway through putting his pants on.

“I wouldn’t have pegged you for a patterns kind of guy. You seem more like the solid and boring-” Oikawa shrieks when Iwaizumi reaches for the lamp next to him, exiting the trailer at top speed.

Iwaizumi chases out of instinct, shirt still missing and pants halfway unbuttoned. He manages to grab Oikawa before he can escape into his own trailer with a wild grin on his face.

“Why’d you chase me?” Oikawa asks as he catches his breath.

Iwaizumi is still gripping Oikawa’s biceps, “You ran.”

Oikawa can’t help the laugh that bubbles out because Iwaizumi is so predictable and for some reason he feels completely comfortable being manhandled, despite the awkwardness looming over them from the last filming day. “But now that you’ve caught me, I want to formally apologize for making things weird. I got yelled at and I’m rethinking my actions.”

“Matsukawa yelled at you?” Iwaizumi raises an eyebrow.

“Kind of? It was more of a lecture and him whining to be honest,” Oikawa admits and Iwaizumi laughs, releasing his hold. They slide down to the floor, side by side, taking a moment to think about their actions.

“Hanamaki yelled at me.” Iwaizumi admits. “Like actually yelled at me. His ears turned red, he was so mad.”

“Oh shit, did he do the finger wag thing?” Oikawa asks.

“Yep.” Iwaizumi winces. “For the record, I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have rejected you like that. It was insensitive.”

“We’re not good at handling things, are we?” Oikawa asks after a moment.

“No, we’re not.” Iwaizumi says quietly, resting his cheek on his knees. “I can’t believe we got lectured by Makki and Mattsun of all people.”

Oikawa smiles, resting his head against the wall behind them. A somber atmosphere falls over them. “Hey, what’s your favorite color?”

“Why?” Iwaizumi hums, raising an eyebrow.

“I’m starting over.” Oikawa says with a shrug. He peeks an eye open to find Iwaizumi staring at him. He closes his eyes again. “Properly this time. I want to get to know you. I won’t get anything mixed up this time, I promise.”

“Okay.” Iwaizumi says after a moment. “Yeah. Okay.”

“And just to clear things up, Hinata is only a friend.”

Iwaizumi blooms bright red, burying his face further into his knees but failing to cover up the way his ears light on fire. “I know.”

“Just to make sure though, you were jealous, right? Because I can work with jealousy. That means you have to kind of like me, right?” Oikawa keeps talking and Iwaizumi slaps a hand over his mouth.

“We should get back to set.” Iwaizumi clears his throat. “And my favorite color is blue. Dark blue, like the deepest parts of the ocean.”

 

-----

 

Things don’t magically develop into a romance and it’s kind of disappointing for Oikawa, but he’s content with his current relationship with Iwaizumi. Filming wraps up and it’s anticlimactic because their scenes go without a hitch. Iwaizumi still captivates Oikawa and Oikawa still leaves Iwaizumi awestruck and speechless.

“I heard yesterday was the last day of filming.” The interviewer begins, “Are you sad?”

“It’s bittersweet.” Oikawa answers, nudging Iwaizumi slightly with his thigh. “I’m always sad when ending a big project, but working with Iwaizumi has been an amazing experience. I’m glad to have finally worked side by side with him.”

“I know there were a lot of rumors at the beginning that you and Iwaizumi-san were dating. Is there any truth at all to those rumors?” The interviewer waggles her eyebrows and Oikawa laughs. 

“We’re friends. Good friends.” Oikawa says truthfully. For now, they’re friends. “Iwaizumi is a tough nut to crack. He iced me out completely in the beginning.”

“You were irritating.” Iwaizumi interrupts.

“You glared at me.” Oikawa protests and Iwaizumi snorts.

“Because you nearly broke my hand when you shook it.”

“I was nervous.” Oikawa whines and the interviewer laughs.

“I’m glad to see you get along. Iwaizumi-san seems a lot more relaxed around you.” The interviewer has a look in her eye that’s dangerous and Oikawa’s bad feelings are proven when she pulls up a picture of Iwaizumi and Oikawa outside of his trailer. Iwaizumi is shirtless and his pants are unbuttoned and Oikawa has a half laugh on his face- it was the day of their anticlimactic make-up.

“What’s the story behind this?” The interviewer asks slyly.

Oikawa is temporarily at a loss for words because in the picture Iwaizumi is staring at Oikawa’s lips and it looks so intimate that he kind of wants to ask for a copy. He has no idea who took or how the picture was taken but he can’t say he’s angry.

“He insulted me and it was instinct to try to kill him.” Iwaizumi says, nudging his knee back against Oikawa. “He caught me while changing and was too slow to outrun me. And I am comfortable around Oikawa because he’s easy to be around, he has a personality that’s kind of impossible to ignore.”

“I can’t tell if that’s an insult or a compliment.” Oikawa finally tears his eyes away from the photo.

Iwaizumi just grins and shrugs.

 

-----

 

“The fans had a field day with this interview.” Matsukawa says in awe as he scrolls through the photos and close up gifs of Oikawa and Iwaizumi nudging thighs. “Holy shit man, look at their attention to detail. ‘ Iwaizumi and Oikawa are obviously in love, you can tell just by how they touch each other ’”

The caption is followed by a gif of Oikawa tapping Iwaizumi’s thigh when he gets distracted during the interview.

“That’s so gay.” Hanamaki says in awe, playing with Matsukawa’s fingers. “You think they’re finally going to get together?”

“Promotion ends soon. They’ve been dancing around one another and I have a feeling Oikawa is going to break soon and end up confessing his love again.” Matsukawa snorts, “And I doubt Iwaizumi’s going to reject this time because he’s been watching Oikawa with this gross look on his face. Literally all they had to do was talk it over, I can’t believe it took this long.”

“God, they’re disgusting.” Hanamaki says as he brings Matsukawa’s hand up to his mouth to kiss. “Truly disgusting.”

 

-----

 

“Today is the last official promotion before the public screening.” Hanamaki hums, fixing Oikawa’s tie. “You excited?”

“Are you my mother?” Oikawa rolls his eyes.

“Yes.” Hanamaki doesn’t miss a beat. He pats Oikawa’s shoulder. “Alright. Get ready.” Hanamaki exits from the other side of the car before circling around to open the door for Oikawa.

As soon as he exits, the camera’s begin flashing and Oikawa is temporarily blinded. When he finally regains his vision, his attention is immediately drawn to where Iwaizumi is talking to a reporter.

He’s riveted.

Oikawa stops waving and smiling to the cameras, instead standing completely still to take in all of Iwaizumi’s form. He’s breath taking, standing confidently but comfortably in his navy blue tuxedo. He laughs at something the reporters says and Oikawa can’t hear anything but the loud pitter patter of his heartbeat. Dark blue like the deepest parts of the ocean. Sinking, sinking, Oikawa understands why it’s Iwaizumi’s favorite color.

Hanamaki has to nudge him to grab his attention again but it’s short lived because Iwaizumi meets Oikawa’s eyes and it suddenly feels like every corny and disgustingly romantic movie that Oikawa has ever acted in. Except this time it’s not acting. This time he knows that he’s not getting mixed up with his character and that the feeling bubbling violently in his chest is definitely not confusion. It’s real and it hurts in the best way possible and if Oikawa wasn’t already aware of how far gone he was, this moment would be the deciding factor.

Iwaizumi, regrettably, is pulled away and Oikawa spends the next hour of photo’s trying desperately to pay attention and not sprint full speed towards Iwaizumi and kiss the daylights out of him. He wants to, so badly. Hanamaki is barely able to stop him from answering the reporter's questions of “how was it working with iwaizumi” with things like “I love him.” It’s a long three hours of photos, an even longer 2 hours of sitting next to Iwaizumi during the actual screening and the longest 4 hours of his life for the afterparty before he finally catches Iwaizumi alone, and even then it’s only for a moment.

“You look beautiful.” It’s meant to come off as a joke, something sarcastic, but Oikawa’s voice catches in his throat and it comes out breathlessly, honestly.

Iwaizumi turns red but rolls his eyes. “Right.”

“Uh-” Oikawa clears his throat once again, “So.”

“Right.” Iwaizumi repeats and the air is so awkward and hesitant that Oikawa needs to break it. He swallows his heart back into his chest and lets a genuine smile slide onto his face.

“We finished. No one got hurt and no major scandals.” Oikawa wiggles his eyebrows and Iwaizumi finally laughs.

“There’s still a week of promotions, I’m pretty sure you can find a way to fuck things up before then.” Iwaizumi snorts.

“Is that a challenge?” Oikawa asks but then sobers, scratching the back of his neck awkwardly. “It really has been great working with you.”

“Why are you saying that like we’re not going to see eachother again? Our best friends are dating, I can guarantee you that I’ll see you sometime next week.” Iwaizumi sighs.

“But Iwa-chan, it’s going to be different now. We won’t be able to see each other everyday. I have to finish filming for Sunshine Crows and I heard you got the lead role in another movie. We’re going to be busy.” Oikawa whines and then whines louder when Iwaizumi rolls his eyes. “Aren’t you going to miss me? You won’t get to see my beautiful face or witness my charming personality-”

Oikawa goes on and on and Iwaizumi tries to ignore how fast his heart is beating and how much he truly is going to miss seeing Oikawa everyday. He wants to kiss him, just once, off set and not practicing and right now seems like the perfect opportunity but there’s still a tiny thread of doubt that’s holding him back from wrapping Oikawa up in his arms. He can feel it pulling taut with every word that comes out of Oikawa’s mouth and that thread is so close to snapping when they’re interrupted by Ennoshita’s intern beckoning them back inside.

“Were you even listening, Iwa-chan?” Oikawa rolls his eyes as they reenter the party.

“Yeah.” Iwaizumi shrugs. “I’m gonna miss it.”

He flees without looking back, not wanting Oikawa to see how red his face is.

 

-----

 

The thing is they do get busy. Their last week of promotions is hectic. There’s no time to really talk, they’re just shipped from interview to interview, making do with fleeting touches and loaded eye contact. Matsukawa and Hanamaki send them pitiful stares the entire time, but keep their word and stay out of it.

It’s not until it’s 3 in the morning and Oikawa is mulling over another script, another role as another person's lover, that he realizes he doesn’t want to wait anymore. He’s going to take another role and that means he’s going to have even less time to see Iwaizumi. And if his time is going to be short, he wants those fleeting moments to be spent together as something . Something other than almosts, he wants it to be real.

Oikawa barges into Hanamaki’s room, not apologizing when Hanamaki rolls out of bed and falls to the floor with a solid thump. “I’m in love with Iwaizumi.”

Hanamaki sits disoriented for a moment before sighing and blindly grabbing for his keys. “I’d usually be cheering since I’ve been waiting for this moment since you two met, but it’s three in the morning and I’m kind of resenting your romance.”

“Matsukawa is staying at Iwaizumi’s apartment tonight.” Oikawa reminds.

Hanamaki is immediately alert, standing and shoving his feet into the closest pair of shoes he can find. “Let’s go.”

 

-----

 

“What.” Iwaizumi’s voice is rough with sleep as he blinks blearily at where Oikawa is standing with a single rose in his hand. He had forced Hanamaki to drive to the nearest house with a garden and stole it from someone’s yard.

“I-” Oikawa starts before shoving the rose into Iwaizumi’s hand. “I don’t know why I brought a flower.”

“It’s nearly 4 in the morning.” Iwaizumi points out slowly, holding the flower like he’s still not processing being awake.

“I know. I’m sorry.” Oikawa winces, “It’s my only free time.”

“Why-”

“I like you.” Oikawa gathers the courage even though he’s avoiding looking directly into Iwaizumi’s eyes. Instead he’s staring at how Iwaizumi’s rough hands are delicately holding the flower. “I know that I’ve said it so many times that it’s lost its meaning, but I’m going to say it again and I want you to listen to the entire thing.”

Iwaizumi is silent so Oikawa continues. “I’m taking another role and I’m going to have a love interest but when I read the script I can only think about you. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get into character with another person because you’ve kind of ruined me for anyone else. I know this is genuine this time. I like you. The Iwaizumi that looks really good in navy blue and the one that looks just as good in sweatpants. Which, by the way, you look really good.”

Iwaizumi lets out a surprised laugh.

“I like the Iwaizumi that is really fucking awkward during interviews but will jump to my rescue if things get difficult for me. I like the way you hold your own when we’re acting and how you react and make me react when we work together. I like that you’re kind of barbaric and your first instinct to someone running is to chase them. I like that you’re kind and even though you complain, you’re always taking care-”

Oikawa can’t finish the rest of his sentence because Iwaizumi is pulling him into the apartment and he’s only an inch away from Oikawa’s face and his cheeks are bright red and his eyes are awake and kind of misty-

“Oh, good, you were so quiet I was afraid you fell back to sleep.” Oikawa whispers.

Iwaizumi lets out a disbelieving laugh, the corners of his eyes crinkling in a way that is so devastatingly attractive that Oikawa can’t feel his legs.

“Please stop talking.” Iwaizumi murmurs, “I’m going to kiss you now.”

“Yes.” Oikawa nods frantically, “Yes, of course-”

Iwaizumi rolls his eyes again but it’s fond and suddenly their lips are pressing together and every last thread of doubt and every fiber of hesitance bursts into flames. It’s gentle. It’s Iwaizumi’s calloused hands across the soft skin of Oikawa’s collar bones, the way Iwaizumi presses closer and closer but leaves room so Oikawa can press back. It’s soft and overwhelming and they have to pull away to catch their breath but Oikawa surges in once again with a bright and happy laugh.

“Oh god, I like you so much.” Oikawa mumbles against Iwaizumi’s lips. “I like like you. I genuinely-”

Stop talking.” Iwaizumi laughs and grips Oikawa’s waist and makes him yelp in surprise.

 

-----

 

They wake up at 1 in the afternoon to Matsukawa and Hanamaki staring down at them with sadistic but pleased grins. Iwaizumi groans and chucks a pillow at Hanamaki’s smug face.

“I told you so-”

“Yeah, I know, shut the fuck up.” Iwaizumi groans but then quiets when Oikawa whines and shoves his face deeper into Iwaizumi’s neck.

“I’m happy for you.” Matsukawa whispers.

“Yeah.” Iwaizumi says quietly. “Yeah, me too.”

 

-- ---

 

{One Year Later}

 

“And the movie award for Best On-Screen Duo and Best On-Screen kiss, a true match made in heaven if you ask me, goes to none other than Iwaizumi Hajime and Oikawa Tooru for their work in A Shot For Love .”

The camera pans to where Iwaizumi and Oikawa are sitting side by side, shell shocked and grinning happily as people clap around them. They walk slowly up stage to the podium to give their acceptance speech.

“Wow.” Oikawa laughs a little breathlessly. “You guys liked us together that much?”

“Just date already!” The host of the awards show, Sugawara Koushi, calls from the side with a devilish grin. He winks when Oikawa raises an eyebrow.

Oikawa just laughs. They’ve been the center of the tabloids all year, photos of Iwaizumi and Oikawa plastered across every magazine cover with headlines of “Hollywood’s New Power Couple?” and questions about whether or not they’re dating. Iwaizumi and Oikawa made the decision to keep it out of the public, to take time getting to know one another before the world got to know them.

Oikawa goes through his speech quickly, making sure to thank Hanamaki and Ennoshita and all of the staff and fans that supported him. He turns the mic over to Iwaizumi whose speech is just as short and sweet.

“-really, I couldn’t have done it without you all.” Iwaizumi smiles his dazzling smile and Oikawa can’t help but blatantly stare. “And lastly, I want to give a very special thanks to a very special someone.”

Oikawa gapes because this isn’t what they rehearsed but Iwaizumi simply continues, “Someone who taught me about passion and persistence, both in front of the cameras and in real life. I couldn’t have done this without him by my side, as he’s also receiving this award with me. To Oikawa Tooru, my lover both onscreen and off, thank you.”

The camera’s begin flashing like crazy and Oikawa is pretty sure he hears Hanamaki and Matsukawa cackling gleefully in the background but he’s too focused on the way Iwaizumi is smiling at him.

“One more time for the cameras?” Iwaizumi mouths and Oikawa immediately jumps into his arms, gripping his face and kissing for dear life.

“I love you.” Iwaizumi says against Oikawa’s lips and it’s like a scene from a movie but it’s Oikawa’s life and he couldn’t be happier.