In "Stupid Wakatoshi", there is a kink scene that appears to occur without negotiation or discussion. I plan to show how, in fact, the scene is carefully negotiated and discussed, but within the parameters of the personae that each character assumes during the scene (whiny brat for Oikawa, collected stud for Ushijima) and actually, safety and consent are fully guaranteed before anything is started at every step in the process.
The negotiation starts in the entryway, when Oikawa says, "Don't think you're in charge here for a second." Why would he bring up power dynamics here, if not to set up some sort of power exchange? It may be reading too much into this line, in fairness, especially since character-wise, Oikawa is trying to assert some sort of control over a situation in which his feelings make him feel helpless.
There are hints of this assertion of control (dominance?) throughout the sex scene that follows, notably in the exchange:
"Your turn," Ushiwaka says, unashamed, cock hanging out proudly…
"My turn?" Tooru asks. "This is my house, so it's my rules."
The choice of words for Ushijima – "unashamed", "proudly" – show his complete confidence and comfort in the situation he finds himself in, which is appropriate since the set-up is of two characters only one of whom is suffering from an inner conflict. The Oikawa point of view where he takes refuge in pique to downplay his attraction is carefully contrasted, through word choice and body language, with Ushijima's complete satisfaction with the status quo. Even Ushijima's undressing quickly ("what idiot just strips when told?") contrasted with Oikawa's reluctance to undress is symbolic: Ushijima is 'at home in his own skin', not uncomfortable being exposed, while Oikawa is taking refuge in metaphorical layers – layers of clothing, layers of annoyance – to avoid confronting his real feelings.
Tooru frowns and stands up. "Lay down," he orders, pointing to the bed. Ushiwaka does so, lying down in the middle of the bed, looking relaxed. Tooru hates it. He turns to his nightstand and rummages for his supplies. It looks like Ushiwaka will do whatever he says. Good. He turns back to Ushiwaka, who is watching him with those patient, intense eyes. Tooru glares at him and pulls off his shirt after tossing his supplies onto the bed next to Ushiwaka. "You're not allowed to touch unless I say so," he says on a whim.
This paragraph reinforces the attitudes referred to above while continuing to introduce the concept of power exchange. Oikawa "frowns" and "orders" while Ushijima "l[ies] down" and "look[s] relaxed." The contrast between the tension of frowning and the physical gesture of lying down points up the difference between Oikawa's attitude, at odds with himself and taking refuge in anger, and Ushijima's confidence in the outcome of this situation and dismissing Oikawa's posturing for what it is without taking it seriously.
"You're not allowed to touch until I say so" is the first explicit phrase whereby Oikawa asserts a sexual power exchange (the previous commands were not explicitly sexual). Ushijima signals that he is comfortable with this by agreeing easily (the word 'easily' is not used, but the body language, "putting his hands behind his head", is a universal shorthand for being relaxed and at ease). Oikawa then feels the need to reassert his dominance – "Remember, no touching" – and for the first time, the hint that he is seeking a sexual game, that he is seeking opposition to his assertion – "He's going to make Ushiwaka break. It won't be hard to do." Regardless of who ends up having the power, the fact that Oikawa sees the sexual encounter as a game where one of them will capitulate signals a sex game with power exchange as a main element.
"Oikawa," Ushiwaka says, frowning in concern, arms coming from behind his head.
"No," Tooru says firmly, fingering himself. Ushiwaka freezes. "No touching," he reminds him.
"You're pushing yourself too fast," Ushiwaka argues, but he still hasn't moved.
Tooru rolls his hips, Ushiwaka's cock dragging against him. "Don't tell me what I can and can't do."
Ushiwaka rolls his eyes . "I never said you couldn't. I don't want you to hurt yourself." Tooru scoffs and rolls his eyes. "Maybe I could help," Ushiwaka suggests. Tooru stares at him. "My fingers are thicker and-"
"Admitting defeat so soon?" Tooru teases, a smug smile on his face. He continues to stretch himself.
Ushiwaka frowns in confusion. "This isn't a competition…"
"Sounds like something a loser would say," Tooru points out.
Ushiwaka's jaw tenses, but he makes a show of putting his hands behind his head again. "Fine. I'll just lie here and enjoy the show."
"As you should…"
This exchange establishes that – at least for now – Ushijima's and Oikawa's attitudes toward the sexual encounter are different: Oikawa is seeking a power exchange while Ushijima "This isn't a competition…" is not. Oikawa is managing to invite (goad?) him into the power exchange game when we see his "jaw tense"… and, of course, it could be argued that Ushijima's ostentatious show of being comfortable and relaxed is, in its own way, a display of power. Oikawa certainly realizes this, which is why he is so piqued.
Oikawa continues with his show of dominance, giving commands "Put on the condom" but now we get another clue into what has been hinted at before: "If anything, he does want Ushiwaka to snap, but he wants him to snap in a very particular way." Later developments show that what Oikawa is seeking is for Ushijima to act like what is known as a 'power top', using powerful penetration that borders on loss of control. Another clue as to what Oikawa is seeking is given immediately:
"I won't be able to hold back," Ushiwaka moans.
Excitement races up Tooru's spine. Only a little more."
The excitement that Oikawa feels is directly motivated by Ushijima's explicit statement that he "won't be able to hold back", which, although it sounds alarming, is the declaration of a 'power top' as opposed to a rapist, and this is reaffirmed by Oikawa thinking, a few lines later when Ushijima reverses their positions and gets on top of him, that "this is what [he] has been missing for weeks."
The outcome desired by Oikawa – the power game, the power exchange, the goading followed by 'snapping' – is clear. What is less clear is the masterful way in which both participants negotiate the scene before it begins. The negotiation is not couched in traditional terms, nor is it explicit, but it still functions as a kink negotiation before the scene begins. It begins with Ushijima saying "I won't be able to hold back"= 'I will perform like a power top.' Oikawa responds deliberately, "Oh? Should I be worried?"= 'I want you to do that. Here's a challenge to save face.'
"Then, in a flash, Ushiwaka's hands snap to Tooru's hips and Tooru is on his back, Ushiwaka looming [over] him. He swears he can hear Ushiwaka growling. "You tell me," he whispers, getting a grip on his legs and starting to thrust."
"You tell me" is such a subtle phrase in this context: semantically, what it normally means is 'yes, you should be worried', especially coupled with the act of putting Oikawa on his back. But fascinatingly, it also means just what it says at face value: 'Let me know what you want. I am checking in with you before I start to make sure that this is what you want, even though we appear to be adversaries.'
"Tooru moans, hands going around Ushiwaka's back, digging into the skin. It's so easy to get swept up in the sensations flowing through him. This is what Tooru has been missing for weeks. He whines and cries in Ushiwaka's ear, repeating his name over and over again." And this is Oikawa's response. He is giving explicit nonverbal signals, with his voice (can moaning be considered a speech act?) and his hands, that 'yes, this is what I want.'
"Say my real name," Ushiwaka grunts.
Tooru might be feeling lost in the sensation, but he's not there yet. He bites Ushiwaka's ear. "Make me."
Above, with "You tell me," there is a subtle transition from Oikawa giving the orders to Ushijima saying, 'You tell me,' a request/command in its phrasing even though its use is rhetorical. But here, this is the first time that Ushijima has made a real demand, that he has told Oikawa to do something in the same way that Oikawa has been doing since the beginning. This is the beginning of the kink negotiation in earnest. Oikawa is "not there yet." In other words, he wants Ushijima to act more dominantly. And he expresses what he wants with an explicit request: "Make me." In other words: 'Please act like a dominant and subdue me.'
And Ushijima takes this request absolutely seriously. His reaction has as much gravitas as a more traditional kink negotiation outside of the bedroom would have. "Ushiwaka growls and leans back suddenly. He's not moving, looking down at Tooru with an intense expression. "Make you?" The growl is sexual arousal, but what is interesting here is the "leans back suddenly/not moving/looking down" and then he repeats Oikawa's request. So he pauses to give the moment, the request, the respect it deserves, and then he repeats it to make absolutely sure. 'Are you sure you want me to dominate you? Are you aware of what this request entails? Do you give your consent?'
"If you dare," Tooru responds, butterflies in his stomach from anticipation."
Oikawa's response solidifies his consent, but keeps up the pretense inherent in the game by couching it as a challenge. This entire exchange qualifies as 'checking in', affirming consent, making sure that both parties are on the same page. And immediately Oikawa gives his consent, Ushijima manhandles him into a position that's more comfortable (and safe for thrusting) and then, when the scene starts,
Ushiwaka leans over Tooru's back, breath hot against his ear. And… he doesn't move. "Say my name," he whispers.
"Ushiwaka," Tooru says.
"Nope," Ushiwaka responds, placing a heavy hand between Tooru's shoulder blades, pressing his chest into the mattress. He pushes his hips carefully into Tooru until he gets an angle that has his cock as an unrelenting pressure against his prostate. Tooru lets out an undignified noise, hips twitching. "Say my name," he repeats.
"Ushi-Ushiwaka," Tooru whispers.
Ushijima is the one making demands, in a role reversal from the start of the evening. From the conversation and the negotiation, there's no doubt that both parties want to end up here, and Oikawa's final "please, please" confirm the power has shifted from Oikawa to Ushijima—as both parties have discussed and meticulously agreed. This negotiation is exciting in that it is very in-character for these two men to not resort to the language of 'safe sane and consensual', yet ensure consent and agreement through veiled questions and answers couched in the terms of power exchange.