Author's Note: Yes, I'm in the heat of the fandom. The swimming anime has finally been released, and I'm so GLAD to see that my assumptions of what waterbottle-senpai (now known as Makoto Tachibana) would be like!
Super cute, dopey, adorable and just begging to be teased! I'm sure YOUR inner sadist awoke as you stared at him freaking out in the first episode... but this story doesn't have room for such hardcore thoughts. THIS Story is gonna be filled with just fluff and a little fillers on Haruka/Makoto's relationship and their history together.
The anime's just been out so I don't have much material to work with, so I thought I'd just do a little quickie on the cat everyone's obsessing about.
Makoto's pussy. Hehehe.
You can reach me on Tumblr, my name's lususlashout, same for my Twitter! And if it rings any bells, I was the one who wrote the long theory post on how Haruka's choice to only swim freestyle was due to a childhood accident saving Makoto.
I hope you enjoy the story! Feel free to offer me opinions on their characteristics and what YOU think they might be like. I'm all ears!
A quickie oneshot by Rayla West.
"Ah, well. I suppose I could spare a few more minutes before going over to call Haru-chan." He thought to himself.
The brunet sat down on the stone steps, cooing softly to the snow-white cat before him, which was playfully hiding behind the little clumps of grass and field flowers growing in-between the cement cracks. The brunet reached for the bundle of fur, placing her on the step above his.
Makoto smiled as he scratched Kirimi (it seemed like a fitting name) the cat behind the ears, chuckling as she leapt onto his lap, swatting at his fingers. This cat was just adorable, and he really wished he could take her home, but his Mother had a passive hatred for fur on anything and just wouldn't agree to it.
He sighed. He really worried about Kirimi sometimes. Did she have an owner? But there was no collar. And she wasn't in the pink of health, either. Her frame was rather skinny (he could feel her ribs as he held her) and her white fur was mattered with bits of soil around her tail and paws.
If only there was some way to keep her hidden without his mother knowing! Or maybe, he could post up a note on the school's notice board? Maybe there were girls who loved cute little animals like Kirimi, and would be willing to adopt her!
He smiled brighter at the prospect of Kirimi getting a real home! With proper pet food every day, not just a portion of his bento or bread from the convenience store, clean fur and proper bedding! Makoto cooed, holding the snow-white kitten to his face as he nuzzled his nose against hers.
She purred, flicking her tail back and forth lazily, her warm paws soft on his large hands.
"What are you doing?"
The brunet jumped as he heard a monotone voice from above the steps, nearly bolting upright if not for the bundle of fur on his lap (she was getting fur all over his uniform trousers, yeesh!), turning towards the intruder.
"Eh? Haru-chan? What are you doing out of the bath this early?!" He asked, bewildered that his friend had actually managed to pull himself out of the water without someone nagging him to do so. That used to be his grandmother... but ever since she passed on, it had been Makoto's job to pull him out of his early-morning water addiction.
Not that he minded.
He was worried about Haruka.
He seemed lonely and sort of... distant most of the time. Did it have something to do with Oba-chan's death? He acted aloof, but he knew Haruka missed her dearly. She had been like a mother to him, considering how Haruka's real parents had died just a little while after he was born.
Most people thought of it as a bad omen, but his grandmother and Makoto knew better! Haruka was special, he could just feel it!
One day, his best friend would grow up into a strong man and do great things. He'd probably become a pro-swimmer, if he ever got over his aversion to competitive swimming... Ever since Rin left and then returned without a single warning, a show-off and cruel, completely different to the Rin that they used to know...
Well he just didn't know if Haruka would ever be willing to approach a pool again.
He could only try his best to make Haruka feel as loved as possible.
He couldn't let his best friend be lonely, after all!
"Stop it with the chan, would you? I just didn't feel like soaking for a change. I think I'm wearing out my swimming trunks. I'm going to buy a new pair after school." The black-haired teen said.
"I'll come along with you!" Was Makoto's immediate response, a bright smile on his face. Haruka looked away, pink dusting his cheeks. "You don't have to babysit me." He muttered, avoiding Makoto's gaze.
His ocean-blue eyes strayed to the bundle of fur in the brunet's lap.
"What's that? A stray? You could get a disease."
Makoto gasped, offended. He covered Kirimi's ears (ignoring her jolt of surprise), and narrowed his eyes at Haruka. "You'll hurt her feelings!"
There was a pause.
"… Makoto. That is a cat. It can't understand what I'm saying."
The backstroke-style swimmer merely narrowed his eyes further, his lips twisting into what he hoped was a menacing scowl, but coming off as a cute pout. This little glaring contest continued until Makoto finally deflated (incapable of being mean for more than thirty seconds), letting out a sigh as he slumped against the stone wall as he held Kirimi tenderly to his chest.
"Man, I worry about her sometimes. What if she gets attacked by a dog? Or if I fall sick and can't get out of bed to deliver her food? I wish I could take her home…" He whined, eyes droopy and downcast.
Haruka allowed a small twitch upwards of his lips to show at his friend's paranoid musings.
"You're such a girl." He chuckled, flopping down on the steps above Makoto's.
"Says the guy who always gets mistaken for one!" Makoto huffed, crossing his arms. Kirimi meowed cutely and hopped up onto his shoulder, staring at Haruka curiously.
He returned the gaze, raising an eyebrow at those cute, shining eyes aimed at him.
"Cute, isn't she?" Makoto grinned, stroking Kirimi's fur gently.
Haruka paused. He stared off to the side, mumbling softly. "You're way cuter."
Makoto sighed, completely missing what Haruka had said.
"Ah! It's about time we left for school, right? It's good that you're early today, that way we can have some extra revision time before that test in Literature… I still don't get what sensei is saying most of the time." He said, remembering Ama-chan (a nickname they had given their oddball teacher) and her weird quotes.
They never did relate to the situation, at least not in a way he could understand.
Makoto raised an eyebrow as Haruka stared at Kirimi again. Then, to his utter surprise, his water-obsessed best friend picked up Kirimi gently in his arms, stroking her back softly.
"I'll take her home," He said blankly, staring into Makoto's emerald-green eyes. "Does that put your ridiculously sensitive heart at ease?"
The taller of the two blinked.
Haruka was offering to take Kirimi home?!
"But don't you hate cats?" Makoto asked, his eyes wide. "I thought you said they were unfriendly, cold creatures with a hatred for water, something you'd never understand! Then you told me that getting a pet goldfish would be better for a bumbler like me! When we were seven!"
See, Haruka knew sweet and considerate Makoto wasn't capable of knowingly or willingly inflicting hurt on people. But that didn't prevent the stab of guilt at his conscience as he recalled Makoto's devastated face after those words, back in elementary school.
The seven-year old Makoto had ran home crying, to Haruka's shock. It had taken three days of sulking and stubbornness (and Grandma's persistent nagging) until he finally gathered the courage to go apologise to his starry-eyed friend... and the result was an incredibly overjoyed Makoto squealing into his shirt, about how they'd never ever ever fight again and if they did he'd die.
Makoto hadn't changed that much emotionally since he had been a child, Haruka mused to himself.
"I… don't hate cats. I just don't like them leaving fur everywhere… but I guess it'll motivate me to do more housework since Grandma's gone."
Makoto stared, and… stared.
Then tears of joy began brimming at the edge of his eyes…!
And before Haruka could say anything about it, Makoto had enveloped him into a bear hug, the backstroke swimmer's face buried into the shorter's shirt, Kirimi on the back of his neck (she had skilfully managed to switch positions when Makoto glomped him).
"Thank you! Thank you thank you THANK YOU! Haru-chan, you're amazing!" He – there was no other word for it – squealed into Haruka's shirt, a big dopey grin on that handsome face.
The blue-eyed boy snorted, poking the former on the cheek. "You're such a dobe."
Makoto's only response was to laugh, reaching for Kirimi and taking her into his arms, delivering a tender kiss to her forehead full of fur.
Haruka blushed as he watched his friend give that intimate form of affection to a cat.
How nice would it be to be on the receiving end of one of Makoto's "love-kisses", he wondered.
Makoto's pecks of affection were called "love-kisses", dubbed by Nagisa when they were kids.
Rin had slipped after getting out of the pool and gotten a bruise on his knee...
"Ow! Darn, it hurts!" Rin whined, swinging his legs back and forth as he sat on the tall bench.
Haruka merely snorted. "You shouldn't run at the poolside."
"I just wanted to get to the water! I was thirsty!"
"… There's water in the pool."
"I don't drink pool-water, yuck!" Rin made a face, sticking his tongue out at Haruka.
The latter merely gave him a blank look in return.
"It's probably gonna bruise, Rin! You should get the teacher to put some ointment on it or there'll be a big ugly black mark!" Nagisa said, as matter-of-factly.
"There's going to be a bruise either way," Rin replied. "And it can wait till I get home! I'll ask Mom to do it, with my Ultra-Man plaster!"
"Brat." Haruka mocked.
"Fish." Rin shot back, just as easily.
"Now, now!" Makoto butted in, before they could continue their insult match. "Rin, do you know what's a get-well-soon kiss?"
Makoto tilted his head. "Your Mom never told you? Oka-chan does it a lot for me, since I bruise easily."
"That's because you fall over practically EVERYTHING!" Rin laughed. Nagisa and Haruka joined in, albeit a little more silently. Rin just had one of those loud, bursting laughs that startled everyone in the room.
Makoto pouted. "Do not! Anyway, I'll show you!"
And with that, the brunet leaned down and placed his hands gingerly on Rin's injured knee, delivering a soft kiss to the kneecap, where it had been hit.
"There! Now it won't hurt as much!" Makoto said, pleased with himself. Rin grinned back, poking his friend in the forehead. "Thanks, Mako-chan!"
Nagisa crossed his arms, smirking. "It's Makoto-chan's magic love-kiss!"
Haruka smiled. "The name fits."
"Haru-chan!" Makoto grabbed his best friend's hand in his. "Let's go! We can bring Kirimi to your place before school, can't we?"
And how could Haruka say no to that face?
"... Why not?"
The two hurried up the stone steps, Makoto holding a purring Kirimi in his arms as Haruka trailed behind silently, his heart feeling lighter than yesterday.
Maybe having this cat around wouldn't be so bad after all.