when tadashi has a bad day kei drives them to the nearest ikea.

it’s tadashi’s favourite place. his eyes light back up again when they roam the exhibit rooms, his voice gets confident again when he plans out their future apartment, +
and when they pass by the children’s section, he does not think twice before adding yet another stuffed animal to their ever growing collection.

it soothes kei’s heart to see tadashi’s mood uplifting, slowly but gradually—
but nothing beats the smile that spreads on tadashi’s face when they sit down in the cafeteria by the window and eat köttbullar together.

(kei transfers his swedish flag toothpick onto tadashi’s plate. and if he sneaks an extra meatball on there, that’s nobody’s business)
it’s a few years later when they take another well routinised trip to ikea — only this time, there’s something up with kei.

tadashi doesn’t say anything, not yet. he’s not upset, he can tell, but something’s bothering him.
he doesn’t press. instead, he takes his hand he lets ikea work it’s magic.

like so many times before, tadashi expects the colourful and comfortable displays to wash away the worries, but the opposite is the case today.

kei is anxious. more anxious than ever.
when they get to the cafeteria, he’s practically buzzing with it. tadashi is worried, more than a little now, but he doesn’t want to make it worse so he instructs kei to catch a table while he gets their food.

he watches him across the hall, tall and awkward as he is-
and tadashi can tell from here that kei is about to have an aneurysm when their usual table is taken by a family with two kids and an overwhelmed mother.

it’s endearing, the way he has to right himself and go to their second favourite table instead,
checking his shirt and his hair like he’s about to have a job interview.

it’s just ikea.

tadashi loves him for it.
he loves how serious kei takes these trips. he knows how much they mean to him, to both of them, and even if he’s a little tenser than usual today, tadashi is so, so, so happy to be here, to be allowed to have this with him.

he’s utterly in love.
when he finally gets through the lines of hungry shoppers waiting for meatballs, fills two glasses with cranberry juice at the station and avoids at least four trip-sized toddlers, the table kei secured for them is like coming home.
“here,” he announces, setting down the tray, “finally. i’m //staaarving//.”

kei nods and starts setting up the table. one plate for tadashi, one for him. the two glasses, filled to the brim with bubbly lemonade. two knives, two forks, two napkins.
two swedish toothpick flags.

tadashi knows what’s next already.

he pretends he doesn’t notice, but he is very aware of kei’s habit of sneaking the flag over to his plate with an extra meatball.

it makes him happy, so he lets him.
what tadashi doesn’t expect is the shiny ring of metal sitting atop the meatball that is placed in front of him, secured by the ikea pick.
“tadashi. will you marry me?”
the ring has sauce on it.

it’s the most beautiful thing tadashi has ever seen.

he wipes it clean with a napkin, slips it on his finger, pops the meatball in his mouth, and chews.

it’s so good. it tastes like comfort. like home. like kei.
“i thought you’d never ask.”
/// the end.

they go back to ikea every year for their anniversary. their ikea plushies are very much present at their wedding. köttbullar is still both of their favourite food, but tadashi will never let kei live down that his engagement ring came with a side of gravy.
and before you ask yes i only wrote this because i’m craving köttbullar

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More from @messymiso

21 Jul
yamaguchi who joins a dating show along the lines of the b/achelorette for money and because he didn’t have anything else to do and tsukishima who gets thrown in there because someone (bokuro) sign him up for it behind his back
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“no you don’t.”

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a live reaction thread
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give me tsukkiyama’s first time but they’re extremely clumsy and even if they did their research they don’t really know what they’re doing and it’s awkward and not what they expected at all.
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