Haruka sat at his desk, rested his cheek on his hand, and stared out the nearby window. the teacher continued to lecture at the front of the classroom despite the obvious anxiousness of the students waiting for the last bell of the sky was clear and the sun was shining, so Haruka could only daydream about ocean swimming in this perfect weather. He was brought out of his daze by a sudden tap on the shoulder. He turned his head slightly to see Makoto smiling at him.

"Hey, Haru-chan," He whispered, "Do you want to go to the beach with me after school?" Haruka nodded in agreement. Makoto beamed and continued listening thoughtfully. Some would find it odd how Makoto always knew what Haruka was thinking, but they've known each other for so long that, to them, it was completely normal. Haruka kept gazing out the window until the sound of the school bell rang in his ears. The room instantly filled with noise and chatter as students rushed to clubs and made plans with friends. In the midst of this cacophony, however, Haruka rose from his seat silently, pushed his chair in, and exited the classroom. The only proof that he had ever been there was the sound of Makoto's voice wailing: "Haru-chan, wait up!" as he chased Haruka down the hallway. He slowed as he caught up and matched the pace of his friend. They walked side-by-side while Makoto initiated small talk even though he knew haruka wasn't listening. He kept smiling and talking until they reached the beach. As soon as Haruka's feet touched the sand he began to strip off his uniform down to his swimsuit, which he wore under it, as usual.

"Haru-chan, really, do you ever take that thing off?" Makoto whined as Haruka dove between the waves. Makoto, who happened to forget his own bathing suit, sat on shore and watched Haruka rip his way through the salty water. After a solid hour of rolling with the waves, Haruka returned to the shore, shook off some excess water, and planted himself in the sand beside his friend.

"Hey, Haru-chan, can I confess something?" Makoto looked at Haruka with a soft and slightly sad smile on his face. "I've been in love with you for a while now." He turned his head and gazed out at the sea. "I first realized it the day of the relay all those years ago. You were so focused and just kind of sparkling." He laughed. "It's silly, isn't it? But I find more things I love about you every day." Haruka didn't know what to say. Makoto was his best friend, but he never thought of him that way. When Haruka tried to tell him so, he took the words right out of his mouth. "I know you don't feel the same way. I didn't expect you to, honestly. But, no matter what happens, I'll always be here for you." Makoto flashed Haruka a smile and a thumbs up.


"Hmm? What is it?" Haruka leaned over and wiped a tear from Makoto's cheek. "Oh, how did that get there, ha ha." His smile faltered and broke as tears continued to flow down his face. Haruka awkwardly tried to find a way to comfort him and ended up putting his arm across Makoto's shoulders and pulling him into a tight one-armed hug. "I knew how you felt. I was prepared. So why am I so upset?" He croaked through sobs. Haruka brought him closer and held him until his tears had dried and he regained his composure. "I'm fine now, I think." He sighed as he rubbed his swollen, blood-shot eyes.

"Do you want to eat at my place tonight?" Haruka offered.

"Are you making fish again?" Makoto teased.


"Ah, well, it doesn't matter what you make as long as you're the one cooking."

"Is that a yes, then?"

"Of course. Oh, and Haruka-"


"Thank you."