Pairing: Makoto x Haruka

Note: The portion at the beginning might confuse you. It will be explained in the final chapter of this story, if you choose to read it~ This is my first fanfiction, and will be a multichapter project! :) I do hope you enjoy it.

Warnings: Slash, mild language, mild adult content.

Whenever he makes one of these trips, Haruka's mind always wanders, in spite of the waves of remorse and the sour aftertaste he knows were bound to follow suite. It always wanders to Makoto, and it hurts him so much to do so. Even through his overwhelming heartache, thoughts of better times never failed to ghost a smile over his ashen complexion.

Haruka knows that he cannot turn back once he dives off the platform.

The knowledge drags him deeper into contemplation. It is the merciless hand that squeezes the life out of his lungs, severs his access to air, constricting his breaths to short gasps for oxygen. The knowledge, its black tendrils twist and curl around his entire being, suffocating him. Haruka, known to some as the human with gills, finally understands what it feels like to be drowning - all because he has the damned knowledge.

The knowledge of knowing that he can't.

Time goes and passes, and once a moment slips from your fingers, it is lost forever. It is fleeting. Every smile, every laugh, every sob, every tear, every drop of blood, every burst of anger, every moment that you experience is eventually lost in the oceans of time. It will come and depart, changing with the seasons, and float just outside of your grasp, taunting you.

When he closes his eyes, it somehow enhances his hearing, and the words become crisp, sharply cutting through the silence. Haruka can recall everything, and even though he knows he will regret it, he allows himself to remember.


"Come on, Haru-chan. If you stay in the pool any longer, you'll fall asleep in there!"

"Stop with the '-chan' already."

It had been a very long, tedious day at school, and Makoto was absolutely exhausted. He'd been dragged off by Nagisa to try bringing people into joining their swimming club, but in the end, they'd convinced a whopping zero people to even consider it. The whole day, he had fallen victim to the blonde's antics, and he swore he could feel the veins in his head threatening to burst. It was almost evening, yet despite that he was still at the mercy of the elements; the sun's rays were relentless, beating down on him until he could practically feel salt crystals forming on the back of his neck. He had laid his jacket off to the side, loosened his tie and half-unbuttoned his shirt...

But Makoto didn't join Haruka in the water.

He worried about having to come up with an awkward explanation as to why he couldn't, even practicing a fake limp to compliment a fake sprained ankle, but it wasn't needed. Haruka was so focused on the water he would block out the world around him, not giving a care for what was happening nearby, so long as he could feel himself gliding seamlessly through the crystal-clear liquid.

Water, water, water... It was always about the water. This did not come off as a surprise, since Haruka had been like this for as long as Makoto knew him. It had never bothered him before, how infatuated his best friend was with the stuff. A few months ago, when his best friend once again drifted off into his own little fantasy world while floating in the ocean, completely ignoring him, he felt a tinge of... almost jealousy, in his heart. He knew it was stupid, being jealous of a non-living thing – it was water, for the love of the gods.

Makoto initially didn't understand why but then he finally came to realize that firstly, he wasn't exactly straight, and secondly, he'd fallen head over heels for someone of the same gender, his own best friend. He'd been in denial, even trying to stare at Gou (whilst successfully creeping her out) and seeing if he felt even a tinge of affection. She was pretty, he admitted, and the short skirt and large eyes really were the object of perverted dreams that most boys his age had; Yet he felt no attraction at all. This normally wouldn't bother him that much, but when he looked at Haruka? A longing, gentle smile would almost instantly spread across his face. It wasn't that weird, was it? They were best friends, after all... It was normal being happy to see him, right? But...

The notion that had him losing hours of sleep was that sometimes, when Makoto saw the freestyle swimmer swimming, his eyes would more often than not drift down to his well-shaped back, toned muscles, the pale skin on the nape of his neck... and on rare occasions, he'd actually have to gnaw at his lip until he drew blood, letting the pain cancel out any potential problems he'd surely have in the lower region of his body from a few daydream fantasies he'd rather not admit to anyone.

And that was why he couldn't hop in the pool as well.

Haru had heaved a long sigh, but reluctantly accepted the outstretched hand that Makoto held out to him to hoist himself up.

Makoto was having a bit of a day, smiling warmly and affectionately like he always did, lost in thought, brain and body a bit more than fried from the heat. When Haruka had gripped onto his hand, he was so focused on the numbingly pleasant sensation of their skin touching that when he started to pull himself up, the brunet completely lost his balance.

With a yelp of surprise, Makoto desperately tried to regain his stance, to no avail. Even Haruka made a sound and raised an eyebrow, opening his mouth to say something. His voice caught in his throat when Makoto tipped forwards and came crashing down into the school's pool, right on top of him.

...And for a brief moment, as both their heads submerged underwater, their lips accidentally met in a clumsy kiss.

The brunet's eyes snapped wide open at the contact and he pulled away as fast as he could, resurfacing and bringing the back of his hand to press against his mouth. He was a junior in high school, a very friendly, charming man as well, but he had never gotten himself involved in any kind of relationship before, regardless of gender. In other words, this was his first kiss – with his childhood friend, to boot. And Haruka's lips were so soft against his own...

No, no, no. It was hardly the time to indulge himself in those thoughts.

"H-Haru-chan, are you alright?! I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to fall over like that! I-I guess I was daydreaming a bit and lost my balance for a moment -" Makoto started spouting out his apologies. He had turned his head to the side and begun paddling to the edge of the pool, red spreading into both his cheeks. He could only hope his blush hadn't traveled to his ears and become visible to Haruka. "...And we... er, I-I... I didn't... mean to.. kiss..."

Makoto mentally slapped himself as soon as the words left his mouth. The fact that he was making a big deal out of it was probably hinting at his feelings, and the last thing he wanted was for things to get awkward between them because of his unrequited love.

"Mmn, I'm fine, Makoto. Stop panicking so much," Haruka replied nonchalantly, casually bobbing along behind his friend, "...sorry I stole your first, though."

Stole? Makoto was more than ecstatic, sharing his first real kiss with the object of his affection. He wanted so badly to just turn around right now and repeat the same thing, but he wouldn't put their friendship at stake for his own stupid little crush. But he wanted oh-so-badly to have heard even a bit of wavering in Haru's voice, something that would show he wasn't just a good friend to him. Yet his reply was as calm and collected as ever.

"A-ah... T-that, I-"

"If it makes you feel any better, that was my first as well."

Oh. Makoto gave a surprised 'meep' and chuckled before climbing over the ledge, rather awkwardly, and standing up. That certainly sparked a bit of hope in him since Haruka didn't seem to find the fact that the two had shared their first kisses with each other troubling. But then again, Haruka usually didn't care much for anything other than swimming and water...

The backstroke-style swimmer shook his head lightly. He was getting his hopes up, really. He didn't even know if Haruka was into men or not, much less his own best friend. Hell, if he was, it seemed more likely he'd go for Rin-

No, he wasn't going to start getting jealous.

Makoto's blush still hadn't really faded, but he had the glaring heat as an excuse for that. He gripped onto his friend's arm and, successfully, this time, hauled him up.

After both of them had dried off, albeit in complete silence, they began making their way back home.

...Awkward silences were the worst. Makoto could feel Haru's gaze piercing into him and he shifted a bit uncomfortably, staring down at his still-damp shirt while briskly ambling ahead. His face was still flushed a bit from the kiss they shared earlier, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get it off of his mind.

As they approached the intersection where they would part ways, Makoto forced himself to tilt his head to the side and clap Haruka on the shoulder. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow, Haru-chan. Take care of yourself!"

"Eh, you need to more than I do. Don't fall on your way home."

"Hey, I was tired! No need to be mean about it!" Makoto did his best to send him a glare, but since it was completely impossible for him to be mean for more than 10 seconds, it quickly morphed into a childish pout.

"Can't help teasing, you're cute when you're embarrassed." Haruka had muttered under his breath, preparing to walk away.

Makoto raised a fine eyebrow, mouth shrinking into a confused line. "Did you say something...?"

"No, forget about it."

Makoto cocked his head a bit more to the right and sighed. "Alright..." He paused for a moment, giving Haruka one more sidelong glance, "Oh, yes! H-Haru-chan? I'm ... still really sorry about the whole thing with the, um, ki-"

"Stop apologizing already." The raven-haired boy lightly flicked his friend's forehead, "... After all, I don't really mind." Haruka had accidentally let the last part slip from his mouth, but as he was speaking rather quietly, he forced himself to maintain a poker face, glancing off to the side.

What was Haruka saying...? "...Hm? Sorry, I ...could you repeat that?"

"-Never mind, it wasn't important. See you around."

"If you say so..." Makoto waved his hand in Haruka's general direction as a parting farewell, "Bye, Haru-chan."

And as they parted ways, unbeknownst to Makoto, Haruka had brought a finger up to touch his lips, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. He stopped to watch the taller of the two wander off, finally letting a very faint blush spread across his cheeks. Makoto was slightly hunched over, a hand in his pocket and the other seemingly raised to his mouth. The poor thing was probably still flustered.

Haruka's smile widened.

I didn't mind at all, Makoto.

A/N: I'm cleaning up the formatting for this story~ If the portion at the beginning confuses you, it will be explained in the final chapter of this story. Stay tuned.

Also, if that wasn't cheesier than a grilled cheese sandwich loaded with enough mozzarella to last a year, I don't know what is-