Paige: Sometimes, I randomly get inspired to do stuff. This is one of those times. I'm totally counting this for my Camp NaNoWriMo word count though (if you didn't know, NaNoWriMo is this writing program that is every November. But, there's camps in April and July. Try it sometime, it's challenging…)

Set after episode two, because that's all that's out right now so…

Warnings: Drabble-ish, and stuff that will probably become invalid later on. That's what always happens when I jump the gun and write fanfics too soon.


Haruka watched the other boy on his knees, his face hidden in the shadows. Faintly, he was able to make out the tears that were streaming down the others face. He knew that they were his fault. All because he beat Rin. They were the reward he got for beating him, which he didn't even want to do, mean to do. Haruka just wanted to swim, that's all. He didn't care about times, or beating others, he just wanted to be in the water. Enjoying himself.

But kneeling in front of him was a boy he hadn't seen in ages. One that vowed to be friends with him and the others forever. He felt fully responsible for the tears that he had caused. Rin had traveled all the way to Australia to train at some private school. And when he came back to Japan to try and beat Haruka, the result was still the same.

His hand reached down towards Rin, wanting to, in some way, comfort the other.

But it was too late.

Rin was already on his feet and walking past him, leaving him behind once again.

Haruka stood there for a minute before their old coach had to shoo him out of the building so that he could finish closing it up for good. Eventually, he was clothed once more and was slowly walking to his house. Somewhere along the way he got to thinking, and he kept thinking.

This was all his fault.

He knew that even if Rin had stayed there, and he had got the chance to comfort him, he couldn't. Whether it be because of his overall personality, or the fact that he didn't know what to say, he didn't know. He couldn't say sorry though. That would have only made Rin even more upset.

Still, even though it wouldn't have helped at all… Haruka would have at least liked to say it. If only once.

And now that Rin was gone once more there was nothing he could do. It was then that he decided to stop swimming competitively for good. He hadn't cared about times and such before, and it wasn't as if he couldn't ever go swimming again if he quit.

Maybe it was for the best. So that he wouldn't have to see Rin's face like that ever again.

In front of his doorstep, he stopped, his eyes getting a bit watery. He wiped at them, but they kept spilling out the unwanted tears. Haruka stood at his doorstep, letting all the tears flow out before he walked inside. At one point, he faintly heard himself whisper one word under his breath.


Paige: The ending is kind of 'meh', but it'll do. I just wanted to tie up the title with the fanfic. I WROTE THIS IN TEN MINUTES. I APOLOGIZE FOR SUCK-AGE. ALSO, IT'S THREE IN THE MORNING. I AM SORRY.

Thanks for reading though! I'm not sure if I'll write some more Free! stuff, but if I do, I'll probably wait until the anime is finished so that I won't be afraid that my fanfic will be completely wrong… Thanks again!