Hey, guys! So I'm starting a multichapter Sharkbait fic, which is crazy because I'm starting one on Saturday, too, but I can't help it! Please note this is set after the joint practice in Episode 3, but some things may be changed. This'll probably be a two-shot. Thanks and please enjoy!
Summary: After the joint practice with Samezuka Rin, who had seen Haru's true skill during the time trials, demands a rematch. That night, Haruka goes off to Samezuka Academy alone afterhours. He plans to just race Rin and let the winner be the winner and the loser be the loser, but his darn cold complicates things.
Disclaimer: I don't own Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, these characters, or any part of Episode 3!
[CHAPTER ONE: "REMATCH AT SAMEZUKA."]
New Message from: Rin.
"It's an hour til 9. Get your ass over here."
Haruka read the text message, blue eyes gazing dully at the blue, lit up screen of his cellphone. Guess it's time to leave, then, The black-haired young man thought to himself, slipping his phone into his pocket as he rose from his bed. He was dressed in dry-washed jeans that neither clung to his form nor threatened to fall off his hips, a white tanktop with a blue jacket thrown on overtop of it, and a pair of red sneakers he hadn't had to wear since the last time he'd had gym. A small beaded bracelet dangled just loose enough not to be too tight off his wrist; it was something Nagisa had given him, apparently because he was sick. Haruka's eyebrows furrowed.
Sick. I'm not that sick, He told himself, turning off his bedroom light as he left the room, heading downstairs. Why was everyone making such a big fuss over him? He just had a cold! Granted, he had been feeling a bit worse since their joint practice with Samezuka, but Haruka was chalking that up to nerves. The fact that he was going back to Samezuka Academy, this time alone and after hours, at that, were the reasons why he'd begun to feel hotter. That was why his hands had gotten a bit more shaky in the last few hours since the practice session with their rival school. That was all.
I might get into trouble, Haruka thought as he left the house, locking the front door behind him. He turned towards the street, just about ready to step off the doorstep, when a breeze blew by that he found particularly cold. Haruka shivered a bit, pulling his jacket tighter around himself, and stalked off towards the train station, which was nearby, thankfully. Has it always been this cold? The athlete wondered as he walked, opting to zip up his jacket before shoving his hands into his pockets to keep them warm. Maybe he should have grabbed a thicker jacket.
Too late now, He told himself, heaving a sigh before pushing himself on, moving forward.
[[FLASHBACK MODE: ON.]]
It had all started just after their joint practice with Samezuka Academy. As everyone was packing up to leave, Rin had approached him, who he thought had left long before. "I saw all that, you bastard," Rin had said to him first and foremost; Haruka can remember how the words stung. "I knew you could do better than you did the other day. Meet me here tonight at nine; I want a rematch." Rin had stated; Haruka didn't know why he'd agreed, and so easily at that.
"Good, now gimme your number," He can remember thinking that Rin was being incredibly bossy, wondering if his pushiness was directed linked to his temper. "so that I can text you later. You're bound to forget." More words that Haru found hurt. Another demand he had agreed to with little-to-no resistance.
[[FLASHBACK MODE: OFF.]]
The reminiscent boy sighed.
So now here he was, taking a train ride to Samezuka, where he was going to hopefully be welcomed and greeted by Rin, if only so he didn't have to wander around aimlessly in the darkness of the school. If it came down to that, he'd probably end up being caught by someone and would get into trouble for the third time since Matsuoka Rin had made a reappearance in his life. He didn't want that.
When he arrived at Samezuka to find Rin waiting for him, arms crossed, his lips set in a hard, straight line, he found himself changing his mind. Maybe he would've done better being left to wander around the school by himself, even if it was unfamiliar territory.
"It's about time you got here," Rin said when he spotted Haruka, red eyes giving his ex-friend and teammate a once over. Then the purplette turned away, motioning for Haru to follow him. The Iwatobi swimmer did, falling into step just behind Rin, letting him lead them to their destination.
The pair walked in absolute silence, save for their footsteps on Samezuka's fancy, well-installed pathways. During their last three encounters — the one at their old swim club, another here at Samezuka after hours, then at their joint practice that afternoon — Rin had made it fairly clear that he was still angry at Haruka, upset with him. And Haru understood that.
He also understood that the aura radiating off of Rin now was different; much worse. It was dark, vengeful, warped. All those other times Haru had felt frustration and desperation pouring from the other male, but now he sensed Rin's hatred towards him, felt it to it's full extent. He hadn't realized it was at that level; that Rin's anger had dug that deep over the years. Haruka felt his stomach do a half somersault, a wave of nausea rolling through him. If Makoto were here, he'd swear it was from his cold and that the best thing for Haru to do would be to sit down for a moment, but Haru felt differently. He knew it was from anxiety; a feeling the stotic boy rarely ever knew.
Speaking of my cold, though, The boy paused, wrinkling his nose up slightly as he felt a tickling sensation running through it. Haruka tried to hold it back, but he sneezed anyway, cringing. I think I just popped my shoulder, The ill boy commented to himself, glancing forward to find Rin had either ignored his outburst or was too deep in thought to have heard. It could have been either. Haruka continued to follow in silence.
As soon as they reached Samezuka's indoor pool, Haruka was pleased to find that not only did the entire area smell like chlorine, but the bad vibes Rin had been giving off had also died down considerably. Haruka watched as the purple-haired swimmer walked forward, starting to take off his shirt. He followed suit, though he started with his pants out of habit. Before either knew it, they were both stripped down and geared up, each standing atop their own starting block.
Is it chillier in here at night? Haruka found himself wondering. He sure that when he'd been waiting for his chance to swim in Samezuka's pool earlier in the day there hadn't been quite such a draft in the room. He had started to further ponder this when he heard Rin speak up, asking, "Ready?"
"Yeah," Haru replied with a nod, peering through his blue-tinted goggles at the water below as he bent down, touching the tips of his fingers to the starting block. "Ready..." He heard Rin begin. They wouldn't have a timekeeper this time around, but that was fine. They'd both know when the other had finished, whether it was before or after themselves. Haru braced himself, ready to fully submerge himself in the water; eager to feel the water's gentle caress. "You'd better give it your all," He heard Rin say in a warning tone. Then...
"Go!" Rin exclaimed and Haruka propelled himself forward, diving into the water that had been waiting patiently for him to return once more.
Rin's dive gave him the advantage. Haru heard his fellow athlete splash into the water at least a few inches ahead of him. That was okay. He could catch up; Rin wanted him to give it his all, so he would.
And he did. Haruka managed to catch up with Rin and stayed neck-and-neck with the other boy through the first two turns. He was happy to feel the water all around him, guiding him and caressing him, accepting him as he was. It felt warm sliding across his skin and Haruka wished he could stay there and swim forever. He'd already moved all thoughts of the race to the back-burner, so to speak. He just wanted to think about swimming; feel the water.
About halfway through said race, however, he was starting to forget about the water and how it made him feel, too. Actually, he was starting to wonder why the sensations the water and swimming brought to him were changing, straying from the norm. He was beginning to feel weak, like his arms and legs were very heavy, rather than weightless and feather-like like they normally did. His chest felt tight and his head hot. For a moment he worried that he was about to throw up.
My... cold? Haruka pondered to himself, wincing as he came up for air, getting some of the water into his mouth with his abnormal amount of splashing. He caught a glimpse of Rin far ahead of him. He was going to beat him; Haruka wondered if he'd be satisfied with his victory this time. Probably not, with the way he was lagging behind.
I told him I'd give him my best. The blue-eyed swimmer reminded himself, conjuring up all his strength and willpower. Nevermind his cold and the affects it was beginning to have on him. He had hurt Rin once in the distant past, then again just a few days before. I'm not doing that again, Haruka told himself, refusing to hurt the purplette a third time. He forced his head back into the match, demanding his arms and legs to work with him as he kicked through the water, slowly but surely catching up with Rin. He'd closed the gap a bit, at least.
Rin still beat him, though.
"Whoo!" The Samezuka swimmer cried out, giving a brief whistle as he grinned to himself, placing his hands onto the starting block and heaving his body out of the water. Rin turned and faced the water just as Haruka's hand hit the concrete wall of the pool. The Matsuoka boy smirked.
"You were giving it your all that time, I could feel it," Rin said as Haruka pulled off his goggles and cap, the taller of the two grinning from ear-to-ear. He watched as the other boy stared up at him, black locks drenched and pouring water down his face, looking up at him with a breathless expression. For once Haru restrained himself from shaking out his hair; he feared that if he did he might puke. Rin took his behavior differently.
He's impressed, heh! Rin felt a very much welcomed warmth, a certain sensation of joy, form in his stomach, spreading through his body like a wildfire. In the pool, Haru sucked in a breath, preparing himself to use the last of his strength, before pulling himself up and out of the pool. He felt his other shoulder pop, hearing it this time. He took hold of one of the towels prepared for after the race, drying his hands before reaching into his jeans pocket for his phone.
9:27, Haruka read the screen, beginning to feel a distant throbbing in his head now that he was out of the pool, wet and weak and the perfect target for the cool draft blowing through the area to penetrate. He started to dry himself off, feeling another wave of nausea running through him. He felt himself wanting to hurry up and leave so he could get back on the train and hopefully go home. He was done here.
Rin wasn't going to let him go so easily, though. The purplette stepped up behind Haruka and slapped him on the back. It took everything Haru had not to throw up right then and there.
"It's about fucking time you took me seriously," Rin said, still under the impression Haruka had really been striving to beat him in their race and had come up short for once. Haruka closed his eyes, taking a moment to steady himself, and shrugged to hopefully pacify his companion. Rin blinked down at the boy, then grinned once more, taking the movement as a sign of Haru being a sore loser.
"Hey, it's okay, Haru," Rin said, watching as the other boy slipped his phone back in his jeans pocket and picked up his clothes, taking the towel with him as he went to leave. Even though he was happy over his victory, something about Haru's back to him as the other boy walked away was unsettling. "We can have another rematch soon, if you want!" Boy, isn't he chipper, Haruka thought bitterly, for once not caring to see Rin so happy. He felt bad and all of Rin's gloating and boasting was costing him time. He felt ready to drop to the floor.
And drop to the floor he did. The black-haired boy's kneecaps made a loud smacking noise as his legs gave way and Haru dropped down onto the cool tile of the swimming center. He then proceeded to lurch forward, hunching over like he was in pain. This caught Rin's attention in particular and he stopped grinning.
"Haru?" Rin called, his victory temporarily forgotten, as well as the anger he'd been feeling towards Haru the last few years. The purplette's voice was laced with the slightest hints of concern and he quickly moved to investigate Haru, wondering what was wrong. "You don't have to cry about it, you know," Rin said, taking a guess at what was wrong, thinking back to when he'd lost to Haru all those years ago, then it happened.
Just as the purplette reached the other boy's side, Haru threw up all over the tiled floor, making the worst noise Rin had ever heard a person make when getting sick. It took Rin by surprise and he felt a panicking sort of pitter patter flow into his chest, right into his heart as the muscle began to race, beating faster. Was Haru ill? Was he sick? Did he need help?
"Haru—?" The usually gruff and moody teenager began to say, ready to ask if Haru needed help, when the other boy started to fall forward. "Haru!" Rin exclaimed and lashed out, quickly catching Haru by the arm and jerking the black-haired boy back up into the position he had been in previously. By doing this he successfully saved Haru the humilitation and misfortunate and falling face-first into a puddle of his own vomit. The Iwatobi swimmer's stomach lurched again as he was quickly and carelessly jerked, which lead into Haru getting sick again. The boy emptied more of his stomach's contents onto the floor before falling sideways onto the tile. This time, Rin let him, too surprised and inwardly concerned to have thought about keeping the boy upright. At least Haru didn't fall into his puke.
"H-Hey," Rin stuttered, moving around the vomit to Haru's side once more. He crouched down, shaking Haru lightly. When he didn't get a response he felt the boy's head, finding he had a fever. "Shit," Rin cursed, turning on his knees and starting to grab for Haruka's clothes, bundling them up into a messy ball to help concentrate them. He got up, leaving Haru's side just long enough to grab his own things, then came back. The purplette bent back down, carefully picking Haru up bridal style, as there was no other way to successfully move the boy in this situation. He placed their things cradled against Haru's torso, glad it wasn't a lot of weight on the boy's stomach. The swimmer started to move towards the swimming center's doors, teeth clenched.
"Haru, you fucking bastard," Rin murmured under his breath.
Don't you fucking do this to me.
CHAPTER ONE: END.
This was fun. No, really, this was fun. I'm looking forward to continuing this story. I hope you guys liked reading it as much as I liked writing it and make sure to look out for the next chapter in a few days! Bye now! -PuddinPie.