Haru's eyes followed Rin as he paced across the room. He was really jittery for some reason that Haru couldn't place. He had ran into Rin on his way to finish some errands, and decided to take him back to his house instead of continuing his errands.
"Rin, you can sit down you know."
"I know that," Rin snapped at him. Haru flinched slightly and lowered his head. Upon seeing the reaction he had caused, Rin wavered, and with a click of his tongue, sat down across the table from Haru.
Haru immediately perked up when he saw that Rin had sat down, "Why are you so agitated anyway, Rin?"
"I haven't had a lot of time to swim lately... by the way, that's why I was jogging."
"I could tell, your outfit gave it away." Haru looked Rin up and down, clearly checking out his jogging attire. "But why haven't you been able to swim?"
"The pool at Samezuka needed to have some work done, so we can't have swim practice for a week. It's really annoying."
"Why not come swim at Iwatobi?" Haru cocked his head as he asked the question.
Rin sighed and rested his head on his hand, "I thought of that, but when you take into account the amount of people we have on our team, and the size of the Iwatobi pool, it's pretty much impossible."
"Then, Rin why don't-"
"Haru?" Haru's sentence was cut off by someone's voice. "Haru?" The voice got closer and the door slid open, revealing Makoto, holding a bag of... something.
"There you are... oh, Rin's here too." He seemed surprised by the other male's presence in Haru's home.
Rin flashed a peace sign at him, "Yo,"
Makoto smiled, "Hello. Oh right, Haru. Here." He placed the bag down in front of Haru.
"What's this?" Haru slightly opened the bag and peeked inside.
"You were sick right?"
Rin's ears pricked at the word, "Sick?"
"It was just a slight fever. Nothing to worry about." Haru closed the bag and handed it back to Makoto.
"No way! A fever that goes untreated always gets worse." Makoto shoved the bag back to him. Haru frowned but finally relented and took the bag from him. "Good. By the way, did you go the doctor, like I told you to?"
"No, something..." Haru glanced over at Rin as he continued, "something came up."
"Well it's fine. I figured something like that would happen, that's why I brought that medicine."
Haru sighed and then seemed to remember something, "Oh right, Rin-"
"Oh! I know, I'll make you some food! Something easy for the stomach."
"Wait, Makoto. Don't bother, I can do that myself." Haru began to get up but Makoto gently pushed him back down.
"Nope. Sick people need to rest, so you just stay right there and not worry about it." Makoto gave Haru a soft smile. He sighed but decided that there was no point in fighting against Makoto on this and let him do as he wished.
Rin fidgeted in his seat, watching the interaction between the two. "A-actually, I think I should be going. It's getting late."
"Rin?" Haru watched with a slightly hurt expression as Rin got up.
"You're going, Rin?" Makoto came back out of the kitchen, tying his apron behind him.
"Yeah, I didn't fill out a form to let me stay out past curfew. I'm cutting it pretty close as it is."
"Oh well, be careful."
"Wait, Rin, I'll walk you halfway,"
"Oh no you won't," Makoto grabbed Haru as he began to walk after Rin. "Sick people need to rest."
"I said no."
"I'll be fine," Rin was calling from the front door, "See ya."
"Rin..." Haru quietly called out to him, but the door clicked shut, proving that he hadn't heard him.
"Haru-chan!" Nagisa came flying at Haru the second he saw him come out of the changing room.
"Haruka-senpai, are you feeling better?" Rei came from behind Nagisa and looked at him with a worried look in his eyes.
"I was fine to begin with." Haru was trying his best to make Nagisa let go of him, but it seemed to be futile.
"Makoto-senpai said you were sick so you couldn't swim."
"I was fine."
"You were not fine." Makoto came out of the changing room after Haru.
"I could swim."
"A person with a fever shouldn't be swimming."
"Wait, Mako-chan, you're the reason Haru-chan hasn't been at practice the last few days?" Nagisa seemed shocked by this.
"He was sick." Makoto protested. "As president I couldn't just let him swim."
"I'm bored of swimming here," Nagisa suddenly let go of Haru and began to poke at the water in the pool.
"What a sudden change in pace..." Rei sighed as he watched Nagisa pout.
"Oh, I know! Let's go to Rin-chan's school!"
Haru was immediately interested. "Samezuka?"
Nagisa nodded with a wide smile on his face, "Yeah! I haven't seen Rin-chan in a long time. Let's go, let's go!"
"Nagisa-kun, what on earth are you saying?!" Rei seemed surprised by this sudden outburst.
"I don't know... Haru, what do you think?"
"Let's go." His response was immediate.
Even though it had come out of the blue to everyone else, Haru did have a reason. Ever since the day that Makoto had come over and Rin had left, Haru hadn't heard from him. He had tried to call him and even text him, but he hadn't responded at all. He was starting to get worried that something might have happened to him.
"Let's go. Right now." Haru was ready to go.
"But we've already changed..."
"We can put our uniforms on over our swimsuits, let's go."
Nagisa jumped up with his hand held high, "I'm with Haru-chan!"
"We should at least tell Amakata-sensei..."
"It'll be fine. Let's go!" Nagisa grabbed both Makoto and Rei and began to pull them along.
"Wait, our uniforms...!"
"You can change on the way!"
The four Iwatobi boys stood outside Samezuka's pool building. The door was locked and all the lights inside were turned off.
Nagisa had his face pressed against the glass to try and see inside the building, "What's going on? No one's inside."
"Rin had said something about the pool being closed due to some maintenance..." Haru said, but Nagisa was too absorbed in looking in the window to hear him.
"Nagisacchi!" A loud voice called out to them from a distance.
"Momo-chan!" Nagisa unglued himself from the window to greet the younger boy with a high-five.
"Momo-kun, wait a moment please!" Ai ran up to his younger teammate and stopped to catch his breath.
"Ai-chan, too!" Nagisa's smile grew wider upon seeing Ai approaching them.
Ai recovered upon being called that, "Don't call me Ai-chan!" He took a deep breath, "Anyways, what are you all doing here?"
"We wanted to swim, but it seems like that's not an option," Rei explained, motioning towards the pool.
"Ai, Momo. Why have you two stopped... oh." Sousuke came up to them with the rest of the team right behind him. "Everyone, take a break."
"Yes, sir!" The team responded as one and began to disperse.
"What are you guys doing here?" Sousuke's eyes looked at each of them and stopped at Haru, staring him down.
"We came to swim with you all since we haven't in a while but it seems like that's not possible."
"Oh yes, the pool was set to be fixed next week but the times got messed up and they did it this week instead." Ai explained.
"Oh right, next week is Golden Week... do you guys not have practice?" Makoto asked him.
Ai shook his head, "Most of us are going home so we'll be taking that week off."
"What are you guys doing if you aren't swimming?"
"Land practice." Sousuke nodded to the team that was now stretching on the grass around them. "While water practice is important, so is land practice. If anything, land practice might just be more important."
Nagisa peered between the Samezuka boys who were in front of them, "Wait... where's Rin-chan? I don't see him anywhere..."
"Rin's not here?" Haru joined Nagisa in looking around for Rin.
"Rin-senpai hasn't been coming to practice since the pool shut down."
"Why? Is he sick?" Haru's worry was beginning to rise.
"No, no, not at all." Ai was quick to soothe Haru's worry.
"Then where is he?" Makoto asked, slightly confused.
"He's taking classes." Sousuke responded.
"Classes?" All the Iwatobi boys echoed his words.
"Ah, his family is leaving to go overseas soon."
"In the middle of the week?"
"Since the pool is shut down, his mother decided that they should leave and take a two week vacation instead." Sousuke sighed and rubbed his neck, "He's forcing all the work on me. It's a pain."
Rin never told me he was leaving... Haru couldn't help the thought from floating around in his mind.
"Oh, it's about time for Rin to be done," Sousuke checked his watch and began to walk away.
"Wait, Yamazaki-senpai, where are you going?"
"To give Rin his running clothes. I'm sure he'll want to go for a jog or something."
"But you just got finished..." Ai drifted off as Sousuke turned and waved to him as he walked away.
"Yamazaki-senpai will do anything for Matsouka-senpai, huh?" Momo said as he watched him walk away.
Do anything for Rin... The words echoed around in Haru's head. His chest began to hurt as he thought about it, but he couldn't understand why. Shaking his head, he turned to start to walk away from the group.
However, Makoto noticed him walking way, "Haru? Where are you going?
He paused, and with his back turned to Makoto, responded, "Just getting something to drink."
"Wait, I'll go with you..."
"Ah! Mako-chan! You have to stay here!" Nagisa grabbed Makoto as he started off after Haru.
"Uh... uh... Rei-chan, tell Mako-chan why!"
"Eh?! Um, well..." Ai and Momo watched as Rei and Nagisa desperately tried to distract Makoto from going after Haru.
Haru had walked quite the ways away from the rest of the group. He was alone and he couldn't seem to stop sighing.
I never realized how big Samezuka was... Haru looked around him. There was no one around, and all he could hear was the sound of the wind blowing through the trees. He sighed again, "I want to see Rin..."
No sooner had the words passed his lips, then did he spot the redhead coming out of one of the buildings. Rin.
Rin stretched his arms above his head, "Ah man. That sucked."
Haru took a step closer, and just as he opened his mouth to call out to him, another voice called out instead. "Rin,"
"Oh, Sousuke." Rin smiled upon seeing his friend and teammate. He greeted him with a fist bump once he was close enough, "What are you doing here? What about the team?"
"They're done for the day. Here, I brought you your running clothes." Sousuke handed him a gym bag.
"Thanks, Sousuke! You always know exactly what I need." Rin's smiled brightly. Haru wasn't able to look away from that bright smile.
"Of course I do, I know you the best after all." Sousuke's smile was soft, but his eyes were looking directly over to Haru. It was clear that he knew that Haru was there.
Haru's chest grew tight again and his face became hot. He turned on his heel and walked quickly away from the two of them. He was just about to walk out of the school when he remembered that he should tell Makoto that he was leaving. So he pulled out his phone and sent Makoto a simple text, saying, I'm going ahead.
"Coach Sasabe." Haru entered the pool that their old Coach owned.
"Oh, Haruka-kun. What's up? It's late." Sasabe seemed surprised to see him there.
"Can I swim here?"
"Sure. But we're gonna be locking up soon."
"That's fine." Haru walked passed him and entered into the pool area. He quickly shed his uniform and jumped into the pool, where he just swam from one end to the other.
He swam like that for a while, before Sasabe called out him. "I remember when you were little. You refused to swim any other style but free."
Haru stopped swimming and looked over at his coach. He was looking off into the distance with a soft look in his eyes, "Although, I suppose that hasn't really changed. But then... Rin showed up. At first, you two couldn't get along at all. Always butting heads. Even though you two never saw eye to eye, you were so close."
Haru swam over so he was closer to Sasabe. He had his eyes shut, remembering the past. "Then the relay came up. By then, you, Rin, Makoto and Nagisa were good friends. Rin wanted to swim with you, but you refused. He asked you over and over and over again, but you always refused." He opened his eyes and looked down at Haru who was still in the pool. "What made you change your mind?"
Haru stared up at Coach Sasabe. They stared at each other in silence before Haru slowly closed his eyes, "For the team."
Haru opened his eyes. They were shining brightly, "For the team. Rin wrote that when we were in elementary school. It made me think 'I want to swim with this person.' So I agreed and I swam the relay."
"I see." Sasabe nodded. "He's your light."
"You could also see him as a key. Sure, you would say you only swim free, but was that really true? When Rin arrived, up until then, I don't think I had ever seen you swim more freely. During that relay too, you seemed to swim so easily because of Rin."
"I don't get it." Haru's confusion was evident on his face. Sasabe laughed.
"Think of it like this. You were locked in a cage, Rin showed up, and unlocked that cage. He was the key and the light that showed you the way out." Sasabe smiled and reached down to ruffle Haru's hair, "Don't ever lose that shining light, Haru."
As Sasabe said that, images of Rin throughout the years popped up in his head. From the days of their childhood swimming to just the other day. Each one was brighter than the last, but every time his smile appeared, Haru's heart throbbed painfully. Just by hearing those simple words, Haru realized his feelings.
He looked up at his coach with bright eyes, "Coach Sasabe..."
"Well, it's time to lock up now." Sasabe stood up straight. He looked down towards Haru, who was still in the pool. "You should going, too."
Haru nodded and climbed out of the pool, "Thanks, Coach Sasabe."
"Sure," Sasabe smiled and watched Haru as he left the pool.
The next day, Haru was getting ready for practice when Nagisa and Makoto entered the changing room.
"Hi-hi, Haru-chan." Nagisa greeted him cheerfully.
"Haru," Makoto nodded to him in greeting. Haru nodded back and continued to unbutton his shirt.
"Oh! Gou-chan wasn't here at all today."
"Oh? I guess they must've left already... Haru?!"
Haru had ran out of the training room. His shirt was half unbuttoned and he hadn't bothered taking his jacket with him.
As he ran, he pulled out his phone and dialed Rin's number. Please answer, please answer, please answer!
The phone just rang and rang in his ear as he ran. He was halfway to the station when he heard the click, and then "Hello?"
Haru came to a full stop. He was breathing heavily into the phone, catching his breath. "Haru?"
He fell to the ground immediately, "Thank you, Rin."
"Thank you, for answering. I'm so glad... so glad I got to hear your voice again."
"What do you mean? We talked on Monday."
"That was Monday though,"
"Huh?? I really don't understand you..."
"Rin... where are you right now?" I want to see Rin.
"Why? We saw each other on Monday, too!"
"Onii-chan, is that Haruka-senpai?" Haru heard Gou's voice.
"Are you at the airport right now? I'm going there too, wait for me."
"No! Absolutely not! You can't go the airport!" Rin yelled into the phone.
Haru flinched, "Why not?"
"Because I said! Now don't go to the airport, all right? Absolutely do not go the airport!" Click. Rin hung up. All that was left was the dial tone in Haru's ear. Disheartened, Haru shut off his phone and began his slow trek back to his house.
By the time Haru got to his house, the sun had long since set. He hadn't even turned his phone back on, so he didn't know if Makoto had tried to contact him since he had run out of practice.
He walked up the steps to his home and unlocked the front door, opening the door. "I'm home." He slowly took off his shoes and entered the house. He slid open the door and flicked on the light. "... Rin!?"
Rin was asleep next to the table. When Haru turned on the lights and called out to him, he woke up. "Oh, Haru. Welcome back." He yawned, sat up and rubbed sleep from his eyes.
"Is it really you?" Haru fell to his knees in front of Rin.
"Huh? What do you mean? Whoa, Haru-!" Haru had reached out and wrapped his arms around Rin. The unexpected action, however, caused Rin to fall over onto his back. "Ow..."
"It really is you..." Haru hugged him tighter and rubbed his face against his chest. "It's really Rin's scent..." He nuzzled closer and deeply inhaled.
"Wha-! Haru, wait a second! Time out!" Rin pushed Haru off of him. He was no longer on top of him, but was more or less leaning over his lap. "What is up with you, seriously...?”
"How did you know?" Haru's eyes looked eagerly into Rin's ruby red ones. However, unlike his own, they wavered in confusion.
"How did I know what?"
"That I wanted to see you."
"I was just thinking 'I want to see Rin' and then you showed up at my house. Wait a second, why are you at my house?"
"Shouldn't that be your first question!?" Rin shouted, but he quickly sighed. "We're more alike than I thought."
He smiled bashfully at Haru, "I wanted to see you, too, so I told my mom and Gou I wouldn't be going with them. I'm staying here."
"Rin...!" Haru was so happy tears formed in his eyes and threw his arms around his neck. "I really wanted to see you. I wanted to hear your voice..."
"Mm..." Rin hugged Haru back just as tightly. "Haru?"
"I... no, never mind." Haru pulled back slightly so he could look into Rin's face. He was blushing from ear to ear and refused to meet Haru's eyes.
"Uh, could you... um, not look at me?"
"Why not?" Haru just peered closer.
"It's embarrassing..." Haru just cocked his head slightly. "Ah, man!" Rin then switched the tables, and fell into Haru instead. When Haru opened his eyes, Rin was leaning over him, his hands on either side of his head.
Rin shut his eyes and let out a deep breath. After a beat, he opened his eyes and looked directly at Haru, "I love you, Haru!"
Haru's eyes went wide, "What?"
"I know what you're gonna say, but I just couldn't hold it back anymore!" Tears were starting to form in Rin's eyes. "Ever since we were little... I...!"
"Rin," Haru reached up and gently wiped away the tears. "I love you, too."
"Eh?" Rin looked directly at Haru.
"I didn't realize it before, but Coach Sasabe showed me. He let me see what you meant to me, what you've done for me." He captured Rin's eyes, "You're my shining light, Rin. My shining smile… my shining world. You're everything that's bright. Everything that makes me happy."
"Haru..." Rin fell and hugged him tightly. Haru responded by wrapping his arms around him in return. They stayed like that for a while before Rin leaned over him again. "Hey, Haru?"
"Hm?" He leaned into Rin's hand that was gently caressing his cheek.
"Can I kiss you?" At those words, it was Haru's turn to turn red. He looked away quickly.
"Don't ask something like that."
"Then I'm just gonna do it, all right?" Rin leaned closer. Haru could feel his warm breath against his lips. Haru shut his eyes as Rin got closer. He felt the soft, gentle touch of his lips against his. It lasted only a moment, but it felt like it lasted for much longer.
Haru slowly opened his eyes. Rin's face was bright red, but Haru could feel that his was the same way. He grabbed Rin and buried his face in the space between his neck and shoulder. "I really do love you, Rin."
Rin patted his back and kissed his hair, "I know. I really love you, too."
Haru lifted his face from his neck and they stared at each other for a moment. Haru's eyes drifted shut and Rin kissed him once again, but instead of the sweet softness of their first kiss, this kiss was filled with the heat, love, and passion of the past 18 years of pent up feelings that each party had kept hidden.
"Now that I have you, I don't ever want to let go." Rin whispered between kisses.
"Then don't. Stay with me, forever."
"Is that a proposal?" Rin rained kisses over Haru's face and began to trail kisses along his neck.
"Then I accept." He came back to his lips and gave him a gentle kiss. He rested his forehead against Haru's, "Hey… Haru?”
“Which do you love more… me or water?”
Haru thought for a moment. He had never though to compare the two, because water was water and Rin was Rin. Both of them together was really his ultimate love but… if had to choose… "… it's even split."
Rin couldn’t help but laugh and the smile that lit up his face made Haru’s heart melt, "That’s not the answer I wanted but I can deal with that... for now."