Makoto is around Haruka's apartment a lot. Nagisa stops by often, too, but it often seems like Makoto is just part of the apartment. It's pleasant, really, because no matter how cold Haruka seems, he can get lonely. But never with his friend around. Even when nothing is said, the company speaks for itself. Makoto's there, with a small grin, a constant in Haruka's world for as long as he can remember. When Makoto's around, he's home.

They're just friends, of course. Best friends. Not quite brothers, but something a little different. Haru can't quite put his finger on it. He just knows Makoto means a lot to him, and Haru's confident he means a lot to the other, as well. This is how it has been for years. Through swimming summers and long boring school days and the coming and going of friends and troubles and opportunities, he has always had Makoto. He always will have Makoto. That's just the way it works. Like waves that can't ever ignore the shore, the two are a pair.

Haru realizes this as he sits back in his bath and sneezes. Makoto stopped by quite early this bright Sunday, and since then he's been subtly worrying about Haru's cold. It's sweet, really. Although he's not is good a cook as Haru, Makoto's made them both a warm breakfast, and gone on to tidy the place. He's out there now, Haru knows, wanting nothing more than for him to return to perfect health.

Haru sneezes again. Stupid cold. It's never too early to go swimming. Never. End of story. And again. Dang it.

Makoto walks in, uncaring of Haru's naked state, takes a knee next to the bath, and hands him a box of tissues and a cup of tea with a smile. "How do you feel?"

"Cold," Haru responds, taking a long sip of the warm drink with a grateful sigh.

"If that thermometer is accurate, the water shouldn't be cold."

"It's not the water's fault," he says with a cough, gliding his hand along the smooth, clear surface. It runs serenely under his touch.

Suddenly, Makoto's hand replaces the water, and he's pulling gently. "Come on, let's get you out of there and warmed up." As much as Haru doesn't want to leave the precious embrace of water, he knows it's for the best and shakily steps out. When he gets his clothes on, he comes out to find that his bed has been made.

"Thank you, Makoto," he says quietly as he lays down.

Makoto pokes his head in from the kitchen. "Hmm?"

"I said thank you. For taking care of me, I mean." As much as Haru knows it's important to show how grateful he is, being friendly has never been his specialty, and it all sounds so cheesy to him that he has to struggle to look his companion in the eye.

Makoto's smile widens, and Haru hopes he will attribute his responding blush to being nothing more than a side effect of the fever. Makoto walks all the way in, plopping down beside the pillow and looking incredibly pleased with himself. "No problem. That's what friends are for. I'll always be here for you, okay?" What a very Makoto thing to say, Haru figures, and Makoto can read him easily, anyway, so he shouldn't have to say those kinds of things out loud. He decides not to worry about it further as he sneezes.

Always be there, it seems, is actually pretty literal. For the first time, Haru starts noticing how few hours they spend apart. On average, 6.5 per day after the first two weeks. After these two weeks, Makoto gets into an argument with one of his housemates, and stops by Haru for comfort. To most, quiet and harsh Haruka wouldn't be the most ideal candidate for comfort, but Makoto has always found him helpful and soft. Just, cold soft, like an ice pack. When it all ends with dinner, it only seems natural for Haru to offer, all while not looking away from the fish he's preparing, "Why don't you stay here?"

"What do you mean?" Makoto asks, his voice suddenly tense. "Like, to stay?"

"There's enough room." All Haru can do is hope that Makoto can read him as well as they both think he can, enough to know that he's actually saying, "I'll always be here for you, too, my more-than-friend, so let's live together." "You don't have to." Haru adds, confidence suddenly deflating when Makoto doesn't answer.


And only Makoto could make the great and aloof Haru stammer, but he does. "I mean, just because you pretty much live here anyway, so I just thought-"



"Yes, I will live here. I said I'll always be here, so why not?"

And for a moment, as the fish starts to get cold, both men try to stare at one another and avoid eye-contact at the same time. Haru can feel himself blush. Looking back on the past few moments, it feels weird to have asked him to move in. What if Makoto doesn't understand? What if they're on different pages when it comes to this bizarre, close relationship they share?

And then Makoto grabs Haru's hand under the table, and knows that it wasn't weird.

A/N- Well, this didn't work out nearly as well as I had hoped.

Anyway, I'm taking one-shot requests. So, message me or leave me a review with a pairing (really any combination of these five fine young gentlemen), and a prompt or topic if you want, and wait around for me to make it. It'll be up soon.

So, I'm in on the Free!. For once, I'm not waiting 8 ½ years to join a fandom. I'm there, as it premiers, drooling enough to fill a pool for Haru (not really…. Okay yeah really). And what's with this exploding fandom? It's crazy! (It's blowing up like the ovaries! /dies) It's so freaking massive so suddenly. Three episodes and this absurd amount of fanart! It's beautiful….

Disclaimer: SOLIPSISM!