When Oikawa doesn’t look where he’s going and falls head-first over a handmade plaque advertising a street wide snowball fight, he and Iwaizumi take it as a sign. Sure, this probably isn’t where a date with Nao-chan might have ended up, but they’ve known each other so long that neither boy even needs to speak to affirm that this is where they’re going to spend the next few hours.
“It says we’ve got to sign up at the Tetsuro residence,” reads Iwaizumi, and Oikawa elbows him.
“Iwa-chan! You didn’t tell me you knew how to read!” He laughs to hide how mean he feels, when all he’s been doing since the incident in the coffee shop has been making snide comments to Iwaizumi. Honestly, Oikawa thinks he’s being so sharp to avoid properly thinking about the kind of things he really wants to say to Iwaizumi. The thing is, though, how can he tell Iwaizumi that he thinks he loves him, when Oikawa can’t even really accept it himself?
At least snowball fighting, they probably won’t have to talk that much. And that way, there’s so much less chance of Oikawa ever giving himself away.
That’s one thing that he’s decided on, at least: Iwaizumi absolutely cannot know how he feels about him. Not when there’s such a high chance that he’ll never feel the same way; not when he’s so positive he’s straight, and Oikawa’s becoming more and more unsure.
“Weird,” Iwaizumi comments, as they approach the address scrawled on the sign as the Tetsuro’s. There are no cars in the drive, and the snow sleeps spread eagled across the front lawn, so deep that a person could hide his dreams beneath it. “It doesn’t look like anyone’s in.”
“Maybe the snowball fight’s already started,” says Oikawa, and does his best to cover up his disappointment. “It’s a pity- but probably lucky for you, anyway. I’d have beaten you by so much, you’d have been begging for mercy.”
“Beaten me?” Iwaizumi raises an eyebrow. “Wouldn’t we have teamed up?” It’s unspoken, but Oikawa still hears the next words, ringing in the aftermath. Don’t we always team up?
Yet here goes Oikawa, trying to push his Iwaizumi away because he can’t quite cope with the longing to be more than just best friends.
“Um,” says Oikawa, and for once, he’s at a loss for words. Iwaizumi looks at him expectantly, raking a hand through his spiky dark hair- and Oikawa has this stupid, insatiable urge to throw in the proverbial towel right here and now and let Iwaizumi and the whole world know that he’s gorgeous and talented and brave and his eyes are the same black that rims the full moon and his skin is soft and perfect as infinity.
But Oikawa doesn’t. Of course he doesn’t. “Um…” starts Oikawa, again- and then he doesn’t say anything as a heap of snow hits him square on the mouth. He staggers back and falls to the floor over-dramatically, spitting out the cold like you might a nasty surprise.
Iwaizumi turns, mouth slightly open in shock (and god, is it a sin that Oikawa wants to kiss it closed?). Half hidden under all that snow heaped up on the Testuro’s front lawn are two boys that Oikawa recognises from volleyball- one the Fukoradani ace with the ridiculous hair, and the other the Nekoma captain.
“Surprise!” shouts Fukoradani, and high fives Nekoma. “That was your initiation into the street wide snowball fight. Your sign up – or whatever we called it on the sign-thingy – your sign up is complete.”
Nekoma stands up from out of the snow, shaking it from his clothes. “We were beginning to think no one was going to show up. Bokuto was practically crying from disappointment.”
“Shut up!” shouts Bokuto, and pulls Nekoma back down into the snow. “You weren’t supposed to tell them that!” he hisses, and Oikawa supposes that he’s not meant to hear- as unlikely as it seems when Bokuto’s ‘hissing’ sounds really more like yelling into a megaphone.
He coughs. “I’m Oika-” he starts, but Nekoma cuts him off.
“Yeah, yeah, I know who you are. From volleyball. I’m Kuroo and this is Bokuto and-” He breaks off, staring at Iwaizumi. When he speaks, his tone is hushed. “No way.”
Bokuto looks at Iwaizumi, then back at Kuroo. “What?”
“Iwaizumi Hajime,” says Kuroo, as if that clarifies everything.
“No way.” Bokuto’s mouth hangs agape, and 1) it’s kind of annoying and 2) Oikawa starting to get a bit miffed that he’s not getting the attention he’s used to. Bokuto nods enthusiastically, as if he’s not quite sure what Kuroo’s on about, but is planning on going along with it anyway.
“Wha-” begins Oikawa, but Kuroo waves a hand impatiently. He and Bokuto emerge from the snow and take turns pushing each other out of the way to shake Iwaizumi’s hand.
“It’s an honour, Iwaizumi-senpai,” Bokuto tells him, Kuroo nodding his head earnestly. Iwiazumi looks at Oikawa helplessly, shrugging.
“Um… Wha-” starts Oikawa, but Kuroo cuts him off, again. Oikawa’s starting to hate the guy. Aoba Josai had better thrash Nekoma in volleyball.
“Shhhh,” whispers Kuroo. “This is a sacred moment. We’re shaking Iwaizumi Hajime’s hand.”
“Um… What are you doing?” asks Iwaizumi bemusedly, and Oikawa can’t fail to notice that Kuroo lets him finish speaking. “How the hell do you know me?”
“You’re legendary, Iwaizumi-senpai,” breathes Bokuto.
Oikawa would be the first to admit that Iwaizumi is amazing at volleyball, but neither of them are used to people congratulating him with quite such reckless admiration. Usually, if anyone, it’s Oikawa who receives all the compliments.
“Ah,” says Iwaizumi, and he turns the same colour red as the sunrise. He’s not used to this kind of attention. “Um. Why?”
Kuroo looks at Oikawa pointedly. “There are rumours that you’ve managed to put up with Oikawa for years, and haven’t even tried to murder him once.”
Bokuto nods in agreement. “Truly legendary.”
Oikawa squawks indignantly. “That’s not a wise thing to say when we’re about to have a snowball fight. If I hadn’t gone into volleyball, I’d have had an Olympic career in throwing lumps of snow at my enemies.”
“Hmmm,” says Iwaizumi, kicking snow at Oikawa’s feet teasingly. “It is impressive that I’ve gone so long without getting sick of you.”
Oikawa rolls his eyes and pretends to faint. “Now even you’re against me, Iwa-chan? So cruel!”
And Iwaizumi laughs, but Oikawa can’t help but stare at him out the corner of his eye and wonder whether Iwaizumi really does find him that annoying. “It’s hard for people with as many flocks of admirers as I have to remain so humble and charming all the time,” he pouts, knocking his shoulder into Iwaizumi’s. Even that one touch is enough to make Oikawa shiver- and it isn’t because of the cold.
Kuroo pretends to scan the horizons. “What admirers, Oikawa-san? I don’t see any around here.”
Oikawa scowls and reaches to scoop snow into the palm of his hand. It’s freezing without any gloves- his fingers are numbed almost instantly, their nails bleaching the same white as sea foam or school shirts or clouds on a sunny day. There’s no time to think about this now, though- before anyone can react, Oikawa hurls the snowball into Kuroo’s face where it splatters out in satisfaction.
Oikawa laughs delightedly, tipping his head back. “You deserved that.”
“Nuh-uh! You did not just snowball my bro when the fight hasn’t even officially started yet!” Bokuto shakes his head in a mocking state of aghast. (Actually, Oikawa privately thinks it doesn’t look much different to his usual owlish expression. Or maybe that’s just him being biased because Bokuto called Iwaizumi ‘senpai’, but not him.)
Iwaizumi smirks. “Bro?”
Kuroo splutters, wiping snow from his mouth in indignation. “It’s us against them, my Bokubro.”
Oikawa can’t help his cackle. “Bokubro?”
He stops laughing when Kuroo aims a snowball at his head, only narrowly missing when Oikawa ducks out of the way. Iwaizumi yells at him to run for cover, and they trample through the snow as fast as they can, adrenaline propelling them forwards. Oikawa stops behind a dustbin, gesturing to Iwaizumi to crouch beside him.
“We can ambush them from here,” Iwaizumi whispers, and Oikawa nods, helping him to scoop and stack snowballs.
“Exactly what I was thinking… my Iwaizumate.”
Iwaizumi sprays snow in Oikawa’s face, trying to supress a grin. “Don’t even go there, Shittykawa.”
“Ouch. A low blow, Iwaizumofo.”
“That barely even work- Shhh. They’re coming.” Iwaizumi has three snowballs ready in his arms, the smile across his face as huge and colourful as if he regularly bathed in water sourced at the beginning of the rainbow.
Somewhere down the street, Kuroo is chanting ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are!’ to the tune of ‘All the Single Ladies’. Oikawa puts a finger to his lips, signalling at Iwaizumi to slowly edge forwards.
All of a sudden, Kuroo’s singing cuts off. “Aw, no fair, right, Bokuto? The enemy are hiding behind their home.”
Oikawa looks to his right and sees the dustbin they’ve stopped behind. He rolls his eyes. “They’ve spotted us.”
Iwaizumi nods. “Only one thing for it.”
They run from behind the dustbin together, as a team, snowballs heaped up in their arms. Iwaizumi throws first, and it hits Bokuto on the side of his head. Oikawa yelps in the kind of excitement that you can’t supress, nodding at Iwaizumi in encouragement.
Bokuto and Kuroo are ready for them, though, and surge forwards, feet sinking deep under the soft snow. There’s a flurry of shrieking and giggling and beautiful, flaking snow, Oikawa dodging and ducking and twirling around snowballs as if he’s caught on the wind. He finds himself back to back with Iwaizumi, frost obscuring half his vision as Kuroo sets snow to land on his head and drip cold, icy kisses down his back.
Oikawa and Iwaizumi are winning, but just barely.
They shout triumph to each other between gasping, panting breaths, advancing as Bokuto and Kuroo are pressed backwards to the Tetsuro home. While Bokuto and Kuroo have a rapidly depleting stash of snowballs (mainly because of Bokuto’s reckless panicky throws that never seem to hit anything), Oikawa’s power and Iwaizumi’s aim are resulting in a more and more obvious outcome to this battle.
Bokuto turns to Kuroo, pretending to wipe a tear from his eye. “This is the end of the line for us, Tetsubro.”
“It’s been a nice life, bro. But it’s been made nicer because you’ve been in it.”
Bokuto clutches at his heart, ignoring the couple of snowballs which tumble out of his arms. “Bro!”
Oikawa smiles in anticipation as Iwaizumi curls his arm back to throw, his muscles hard and defined. And then, as Bokuto and Kuroo brace for impact-
Iwaizumi slips, face planting the floor.
Bokuto cheers, clapping his hands together in victory as Kuroo pelts the fallen Iwaizumi with snow. Oikawa bends down to help him up, dropping his snowballs as he does so- but Kuroo turns on him before he can haul Iwaizumi to his feet, advancing on Oikawa. He stumbles backwards through the snow, leaving a messy trail in his wake as he frantically scrabbles at the ground to make more snowballs- but his numbed fingers just don’t seem to cooperate, and now it’s Bokuto and Kuroo against him, two on one, and-
Iwaizumi rolls between Oikawa and the others, grabbing his hand. They don’t have the time or the energy to speak- and so Iwaizumi gets to his feet and then they run, giddy and panicked and out of breath. They collapse not too far away, on someone else’s front lawn that they aren’t supposed to be on, but they’re much too tired to care.
And they don’t break hands, not once.
Oikawa can barely believe it, actually. He and Iwaizumi have gone years and years without holding hands, and then twice in a couple of hours, here they are.
It makes his heart feel as soft and malleable as the snow that surrounds them, blanketing their bodies and combed through their hair like white halos.
It’s only minutes before Bokuto and Kuroo collapse down in the snow beside them, but to Oikawa – lying here, Iwaizumi’s fingers entwined in his – it feels like centuries.
“We won,” Iwaizumi tells the new arrivals matter-of-factly, despite the fact that both he and Oikawa would both be too exhausted to do anything about it if Bokuto or Kuroo hit them in a surprise attack right now.
Oikawa nods, and then winces as the snow wriggles down the back of his neck. “You’re my favourite team mate, Iwa-chan.” It’s not a lie. It’s just, it’s not the full truth, either. Iwaizumi’s not just Oikawa’s favourite team mate, right now he’s also his favourite person, full stop.
Iwaizumi rolls onto his side to face him. “I’m your only team mate, Crappykawa.” He looks down at himself. “And my shirt is ruined. Shit. It must have ripped when I fell.” It’s true- the shirt is torn across as easily as if it were time, mud splattered at its hem like sloppy paint work.
Bokuto looks at Kuroo and then Kuroo looks at Bokuto and they go on like this for a couple of minutes before Oikawa asks them to stop giggling like buffoons and spit it out.
“It’s just,” says Bokuto, “I have a spare shirt that I keep just for occasions like this one.”
Kuroo nods authoritatively. “The height of fashion.”
“It’s meant to be a joke to offer to people at parties after I accidentally-on-purpose spill my drink on them… But, you know, if you’re in need of a shirt then you may as well wear it…” He gets up with a groan and stomps down the road to the Tetsuro house, where he rummages in a bag left by the entrance way.
Kuroo grins widely at Iwaizumi. “Honestly, apparently this shirt once appeared on the cover of Vogue. It’s haute couture. One of a kind. Bokuto could sell it for millions.”
Oikawa arches an eyebrow. Somehow, he really doesn’t believe a word that Kuroo is saying.
When Bokuto presents Iwaizumi with the shirt (“I got it for my sister’s birthday present but she told me she wouldn’t been seen dead in it”), Oikawa knows that he was absolutely 100% right to be suspicious. The shirt is probably at least two sizes small for Iwaizumi, pink, frilly, and with the words ‘Kiss the Cook’ scrawled across in lime green comic sans.
It is a monstrosity, to say the least.
Iwaizumi scowls at Bokuto. “I hate you.”
“Not really though. You love me really.” He pulls the puppy-dog eyes face at Iwaizumi. “I’ll let you call me bro if you wear it? No one’s ever agreed to try it on before, and I spent my own money on that.”
Kuroo shrugs at Iwaizumi. “You know, he’ll go in a mood if you don’t wear it- now that he’s walked all the way back to my house and back to get it for you, and everything.”
Oikawa smiles in what he hopes seems somewhat supportive, and not as if he’s about to burst into fits of laughter. “Um… I think garish pink will really be your colour, Iwa-chan…”
Iwaizumi hits him, and the laugh bubbles out before he can stop it. “Piss off, Trashykawa.”
“And miss seeing you try on that shirt? Never!” declares Oikawa- and what he expects is for Iwaizumi to hit him again, or throw snow, or at least call him a stupid name- but then Iwaizumi’s reaching round and pulling his shirt off by the back of the collar, his chest and torso on full display.
Oikawa knows he’s seen this before- hundreds and hundreds of times, whenever they get changed for volleyball- but somehow he doesn’t think he’s ever truly appreciated Iwaizumi quite like this. His muscles are clear and taut beneath his skin, which glistens slightly wet from snow and sweat. His whole form is... It’s goddamn majestic, the way he’s standing right now. And-
Oikawa forces himself to look away. This… Isn’t right. He’s objectifying his best friend. Shit. He is pretty damn sure that this does not come under the list of things acceptable for heterosexual friends, and yet, shit, it’s exactly what he’s doing.
And if Oikawa had never invited Iwaizumi to be his fake-date, maybe he’d never been thinking like this.
He looks back at the sound of Bokuto creased in spluttering laughter, Kuroo leaning on his back for support. The shirt is too tight for Iwaizumi, his muscles far too clearly prominent beneath the cloth. Also, he looks ridiculous. He didn’t even have to try the thing on for anyone who’d ever seen him to know that pink and frills do not work wonders for Iwaizumi.
“You’re almost as pretty as me now, Iwa-chan,” sighs Oikawa, and despite the horrific shirt, he actually kind of means it. To him, Iwaizumi is beautiful. Iwaizumi is always beautiful, especially when he’s leaning down and the shirt is stretched out against his back, and when he’s extending his arm with something flying from his fist and-
For the second time today, Oikawa eats a mouth full of snow.
“Iwa-chan! So cruel!”