.

.

He's… glad. Maybe even thankful.

(But how to say this… to someone who doesn't even speak his language?)

Rin disappears for the men's lockers, nudging Haru's shoulder and flashing a toothy, brilliantly wide grin. Everything seems to be sinking into perspective now, and Haru sinks along with it, letting his entire body hover towards the pool's bottom, arms gently floating upwards.

No panic, no expectations or fears in the pressurized space of underwater. His eyes remain open, unblinking and gazing up at the shiny, fluorescent lights trembling above him.

He trembled once. Haru's resolve — his love of swimming and deep-rooted understanding of the water surrounding him.

But not anymore.

The man… with golden hair, much finer and duller than Nagisa's curls… he's the one to push Haru forward. To show him the way to a new dream, and without so much as trying to.

For showing him a sight Haru has never seen before.

Haru could pick out a few of the English words then, but while tinged in the Australian accent, he took to staring back in polite, faint bemusement. The other swimmer lowered his goggles, emanating self-assurance and amiable competition, jerking his chin towards the water.

It's unlikely Haru will ever see him again… to thank

The pool shimmers and vibrates against his face, bubbles cascading into view. Haru snaps back to attention.

Another person swims down towards him, their form powerful and ever-reaching.

Curls, like burnished gold, lift away the swimmer's forehead — the Australian — and Haru can't tell him, can't tell him so deep, deep in the water without his senses going waterlogged further. The other man appears to be examining him with a noticeable smirk.

Pruney, broad fingers slide against Haru's face, cupping so gently it's like a whisper.

Those meadow-flower blue eyes drift as if they mean to close.

He never expects the other man's lips to press over his, parting so, so slowly, and Haru mimics him, in hands and eyes and mouth. Haru's fingers crawl and grip themselves into the swimmer's curls on impulse, pulling slightly and feeling a rumble of an escaping laugh, instead of a wince or aggression.

Haru can admit he's never tried kissing someone in a pool before, let alone while completely underwater. It feels like his heart wants to pound straight out of his ribcage, but it's safe, he thinks. All of his nerves flaring to life and heating pleasantly.

It's been a little longer than a few minutes since Haru dived in, and his lungs twinge with the initial protest for air. He lets go of his companion with no warning, pulling out of the curious and lighthearted kiss, not bothering with a glance and kicks to the surface.

The chlorine does burn inside his nostrils. Haru gasps through his mouth, wiping off his face and eyelids with his forearm quickly. His fingertips touch against his tingling lower lip.

Haru protrudes it unconsciously, stroking his littlest finger across it.

Suppose… he doesn't need to thank him any longer.

.

.


Free! isn't mine. I don't even know, guys. I thought the potential for Haru/Australian Guy would be kinda sweet but also kinda hot. xD Plus someone requested it on the Free! Kink Meme so here is me trying something new again! Any thoughts/comments would so so appreciated!