Makoto caught himself staring at Haruka again. He sighed and turned his vision to the front of the classroom once again. It was a really bad habit that he seemed to be unable to shake. Watching Haru started out just as a hobby to keep his best friend on track, but now it was just necessary. Makoto couldn't even remember the last time he wasn't trying to pull Haru away from bodies of water he wasn't meant to swim in. He had to be even more vigilant now that Haru had caught a cold from his stunt the day before when they finally filled the pool.
Sometimes it felt a little one-sided though. Especially right now when I'm the only one thinking these stupid thoughts and Haru is probably just gazing at the ocean.
Makoto peeked over at Haru and almost jumped out of his seat when he met Haru's blue eyes. Makoto quickly looked away, blushing from the intense and almost concerned stare he was receiving from Haru. I'm not imagining it right? He looked at Haru again and was still receiving that unnerving stare.
Makoto cocked his head slightly with a questioning look at Haru who just turned back to stare out the window again. Makoto sighed and decided to ask Haru later why he had been staring at him.
It's not like Haru was slow or uncaring, it was just that the main thing that drove him was swimming so it was strange to see him interested in something else. Well, it's probably related to swimming anyway.
With a sigh, Makoto began to pay attention to the lecture again, attempting to catch himself before watching Haru again. It didn't work very well since it just made him fidget uncomfortably.
At break, Makoto tried to focus on shaking the thoughts of Haru from his head, but didn't get a chance to since Haru came to stand in front of his desk as soon as the teacher left.
Startled, Makoto looked up to Haru's usual blank face. "Do you need something, Haru?"
"I want to talk." Simple and to the point, that was Haru's way with everything.
Makoto plastered on that smile of his despite his confusion and got up to follow Haru out the door. Haru peeked around corners and corridors until he found an empty one a little ways away from their homeroom.
"Hey, Haru, don't you think we're a little too far away from the classroom?"
"It's fine." He averted eyes for a moment before looking at Makoto in the eye. "It's about your staring."
Makoto felt a moment of panic and refused to meet Haru's eyes as he tried to explain. "I-it's just because I care for you and don't want you to get in trouble. I'm so sorry; it's just habit now and I-"
Haru stopped Makoto's babbling by pulling his face down to touch their lips together softly. There was a jolt that went down Makoto's spine when they kissed and it made his whole body feel lighter. When Haru pulled away, he sneezed, bringing Makoto back to reality. Haru getting sick was one thing, he always bounced back quickly. Makoto on the other hand…did not.
That, however, was put aside for the time being since Makoto had more important things to bring up. "…Haru, I-um…what was that?"
"I know it was a kiss!" Makoto flailed, a little happy to see Haru answering normally. "But what does it mean?"
Haru paused for a moment to think and Makoto stopped himself from smiling at that familiar look of concentration. He wanted to be as serious as possible in this situation. Kissing another guy wasn't something that you do out of the blue and especially not swim-obsessed Haru.
"Makoto." That brought Makoto out of his own thoughts fast. Haru hardly ever called to him by his name since Makoto was always the one to begin talking first. What surprised Makoto even more was the slight blush on Haru's cheeks and the look in his eyes was almost the same as the way he thought about swimming. "The kiss…it means I want to date you."
Makoto forgot to breathe for a moment after hearing that from Haru. It was shocking; Makoto couldn't believe that Haru, his swim-obsessed Haru, was asking him out. Haru wasn't slow or unfeeling, it was just that swim was his biggest love and Makoto had convinced himself that Haru would never return the feelings he had developed for his best friend.
"I-I umm, yeah. Let's date!" Makoto smiled brightly, but inside he was collapsing. How did it even come to this?
Haru offered his hand out to Makoto with a slight blush on his face. Makoto stared at it like an idiot before realizing that he wanted him to hold it. Makoto's heart beat faster as he wrapped his fingers around Haru's and squeezed, smiling like an idiot. How am I so lucky?
I am not lucky. Makoto blew his nose for the umpteenth time that day in class. He kept as quiet as he could, but still some students around him looked annoyed. It didn't help that he couldn't concentrate properly since his head seemed to be swimming. Haru kept shooting him these looks that were concern despite Makoto telling him earlier when he picked him up from his house that he was fine. Of course Makoto didn't usually go to school when he was sick because his parents were adamant about the kids staying home when they were sick, but Makoto was able to sneak out of the house without notice of his condition.
During break, Makoto was approached by his teacher. He sniffled, "Ama-sensei?"
"Tachibana-kun, I admire your dedication to school and your club, but you look like you need rest more than anything else. You should go see the nurse and go home for today." She smiled kindly at Makoto.
"I'll take him to make sure that he gets home." Haru came over with a look of determination that made Makoto think that Haru was mad at him for some reason. That's ridiculous. Why would he be mad at me for coming to school?
Ama-sensei smiled at Haru. "I appreciate the offer Nanase-kun, but you should stay at school since you seem to be feeling perfectly fine."
Haru shot Makoto a look saying help me and Makoto just sighed, "Ama-sensei, my parents are working right now and won't be back till later so I would have to walk home…"
She sighed, clearly a little irritated. "Fine, Nanase-kun, take Tachibana-kun home and make sure that he rests. I expect to see you in class tomorrow, Nanase-kun. Tachibana-kun, don't come back to class until you feel well enough. Please feel better soon!"
After checking in with the nurse, Haru and Makoto were on their way to Makoto's house in silence. Well, almost silence. With Makoto sneezing every couple of minutes, it wasn't exactly quiet.
"You know, I wonder if you think about someone enough, it's the same as talking about them." Haru broke the silence with a strange thought.
Makoto blew his nose into another tissue before replying. "What are you thinking about Haru?"
Haru looked pensive as usual. "You know that saying I told you and Nagisa the other day, about sneezing when someone talks about you?"
"Yeah, but I don't see…oh!" Makoto blushed when he realized what Haru was hinting at and refusing to say. "Y-you've been thinking about me?"
"Oh." Makoto blushed and couldn't find anything to say for once.
The silence stretched out until they came to Makoto's door. He thought that Haru would just go home to take another bath or something, but he came in when Makoto opened the door.
"I'm making sure that you get into bed okay."
"Thank you, but that's not-"
Haru gave Makoto an impatient look. "I didn't ask to go home with you to just leave you here. Get changed and I'll make you some soup."
"Haru, that's oka-"
Haru huffed and closed his eyes, clearly irritated. "I'm the one that got you sick so I'm going to take care of you until your parents get back."
"Okay." Makoto knew better than to argue at this point and just smiled as he headed to his room. He was feeling light-headed, but knew that he should probably eat something before trying to sleep off the cold.
As he got dressed, Makoto mused on things. I can't believe that Haru is actually thinking about me a lot. I would have never imagined that ever happening. Yesterday… it just feels like all of this was just a dream.
Fifteen minutes later, Makoto was under his blankets sitting up while Haru brought in some soup he made. Makoto expected for it to contain some sort of fish or animal from the ocean, but there was none of it in there.
He was grateful from the bottom of his heart despite only being able to eat half of the bowl. "Thank you Haru, really thank you..."
Makoto was drowsy; he was falling asleep as he laid back on his pillows. I didn't realize how tired I was.
"Good night, Mako-chan." Haru whispered and Makoto almost felt Haru's lips on his cheek, but he wasn't quite sure; he was too far gone already. He slipped into unconsciousness with a huge grin on his face.