Rei rested his arms on the edge of the indoor pool, settling his chin on the back of his hand. He breathed out a noisy sigh and squeezed his eyes shut, allowing his mind to wander off to the earlier practice.
"I'm never going to be able to teach you if you keep calculating everything." The black-haired boy pulled himself out of the pool, lightly shaking away the stray water droplets from his hair.
"Nanase-senpai!" Rei frantically fought against the water to get to the edge of the pool, gasping for breath as he slammed his hands down on the cool tiles. "One more time! I promise I can do it!" He concentrated his gaze on the water. "If I can just calculate the distance-"
"No." The black haired boy grabbed a towel and draped it over his head. He turned his head and glanced back at the distraught boy floating in the water. Sighing slightly, he reached for his backpack then exited the room.
"Dammit!" Rei struggled through a kick in the water. "I just want to swim beautifully!" He ripped his goggles off his eyes and chucked them across the room, groaning as he watched them smack right into a visitor's face.
"Rei-chan?" Nagisa rubbed at his sore nose as he approached the blue haired boy. "Why did you throw these at me?" He crossed his arms, pouting as he looked down into the annoyed eyes watching him.
"I didn't know you would walk in at the exact time," Rei grumbled. He watched as Nagisa frowned while poking at his reddening nose. "Sorry."
"Eh, it's fine!" Nagisa laughed as he crouched down, positioning himself to be eye-level with Rei. "So, practice didn't go so well today?" He watched as Rei huffed. "I saw Haru-chan leaving. I heard him mumble something about stupid calculations." He noticed the way Rei slightly covered his face at the mention of "Haru-chan."
"Uhh," Rei rubbed the back of his neck, "I'm having some trouble with this freestyle stuff." He let his head fall onto his arms, only to jerk it back up at the sound of a large splash. His eyes widened at the sight of school uniform lying in front of him- a school uniform without a certain blond boy occupying it. "Are you-" His words were cut off by a playful tug on his foot. He spun around as quickly as one could while submerged in water, only to be greeted by a splash to the face followed by a high-pitched giggle.
"Rei-chan!" Nagisa shouted between laughs. "You need to learn how to lighten up!" He swam closer to the blue-haired boy and smiled.
Rei swiped away the water drops that were now clinging to his eye lashes, spitting out the chlorinated water that flew into his mouth from the splash. After regaining his composure, he allowed his eyes to fall to Nagisa's legs then back up his bare body. "W-why are you naked!?" He turned away and covered his eyes with his palms. "Go put a swimsuit on!"
"Why?" Nagisa swam to Rei's turned back and placed his hands on the boy's shoulders. "It's more enjoyable this way!" He pushed down as hard as he could in an attempt to dunk Rei. "Ugh, so strong Rei-chan!" He muttered through gritted teeth. After a few seconds with failed effort, he huffed and tossed himself away, floating on his back.
Rei struggled back to the side of the pool, shuddering at the lingering feel of Nagisa's small body pressed up against his back. "How can I lighten up?" He kept his eyes locked on the tiles in front of him, refusing to turn around to face the naked boy behind him.
"You have to have fun swimming!" Nagisa dove under the water, resurfacing after a few moments next to Rei. He shook out his blond locks then leaned his elbows onto the side of the pool, turning his head to smile at Rei. "I may not have a deep love for swimming like Haru-chan does, but I still love the exhilarating feel I get with every stroke." He laughed and directed his eyes to the tile Rei was staring at. "I think…" He stopped, scratching his head as he tried to collect his words. "I think that Haru-chan isn't teaching you how to swim freestyle. Instead, he's just teaching you how to get comfortable in the water." He grinned as he sensed Rei's eyes watching him. "Once you get comfortable in the water, you will be able to develop your own swimming technique that you can master so you will swim beautifully!" He flung his body back, chuckling as Rei flinched from the water hitting him.
"I told you," Rei griped, "I don't understand why it was decided to have a sport in water!" He spun around and watched as Nagisa swam to the middle of the pool. "What are you doing?"
"Swim to me Rei-chan!" Nagisa held his arms out, wiggling his fingers excitedly. "Nuh uh!" He shouted, shaking his head as he watched Rei turning to lift himself out of the pool. "No goggles, no diving! Just swim over to me from where you are!"
"You can!" Nagisa used the water to bob up and down excitedly. "I believe in you, Rei-chan!"
Rei groaned as he watched the eager boy. "Okay, fine." He prepared himself to kick off from the wall.
"Rei-chan!" Nagisa crossed his arms as Rei turned to the sound of his voice. "No calculations. Just swim!"
"Yeah, I got it," Rei grumbled. He turned to face Nagisa, keeping his hands grasped on the edge of the pool and his feet pressed against the side. He closed his eyes and took in a few deep breaths, clearing away all of the formulas that drifted through his thoughts. Feeling calm and confident, he opened and locked his eyes with Nagisa's. He readied his arms and kicked off the side of the pool, jolting forward. After the rush from the kick off, he began flailing his arms as he felt his body sinking, stealing as many gasps of air as he could. He kicked frantically as he rapidly paddled to the blond boy laughing at him, occasionally spewing water flying from his panicked strokes out of his mouth.
After what seemed like hours, Rei felt his head bump into something small and light. He shot his head up out of the water, choking out coughs from lack of breath. "I," he gasped, "I did it!" He threw a fist into the air and beamed up at it confidently.
"I knew you could do it Rei-chan!" Nagisa shouted as he threw his arms around Rei's neck, laughing as he heard Rei yelp in surprise.
"Would you get off," Rei grumbled through gritted teeth as he clumsily pried Nagisa's fingers away from his neck, silently cursing himself as he felt the tip of his ears reddening from the remaining feeling of the blond's bare body pressed against his.
Nagisa allowed himself to be pushed away but kept his hands firmly grasping Rei's shoulders. He met Rei's eyes and smiled softy before quickly moving to brush his lips against his friend's.
"What are you-" Rei mumbled into Nagisa's lips.
Nagisa pulled away and giggled softly before easily maneuvering around Rei and swimming to the edge of the pool. He pulled himself out and scooped up his clothes. "See you tomorrow Rei-chan!" He yelled over his shoulder, waving his hand above his head.
"What the?" Rei whispered to himself as he heard the door shut. He slapped his hands against his burning cheeks and looked up at the ceiling. "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!?"
And a new ship was born! These two were way too cute in episode 3! I had a lot of fun writing this! Hope everyone likes it! Oh, and the italics part is a flashback in case that came off as confusing.
I don't own Free!