"Oi, Nanase-kun! Let's go to the beach today! It's finally warm enough to swim again."
The younger boy turned to him, nearly expressionless, but the sparkling gleam in his ocean blue irises spoke of piqued interest. Haruka gathered his belongings, as did Rin, and they raced each other all the way to warm sand.
At the tide licking around his ankles, Haruka already stripped down to his swim trunks, gliding in as soon as it was deep enough. Rin laughed and laughed, breathless before he even entered the water because sometimes Haruka was just so predictable.
"What are you waiting for?" Haruka asked, gliding back onto the sand along with the tide like a beached whale, but much more elegant. Rin just sat before the water, toes buried. He scrunched his eyes when the sun reflected off the surface too brightly and breathed in the familiar salty air.
"Haru." He grinned at the other boy, who stared up at him, confused. When there was no protest, Rin continued.
"Nanase-kun is a mouthful, so I'll call you Haru from now on! Is that okay with you?" Haruka felt his neck heating up, but not at all from the beating sun. He turned his gaze away from Rin's openly delighted face before the heat could reach his cheeks.
"Do what you want, Matsuoka-kun."
Before he could submerge back into the water, he noticed Rin puff out his cheeks in a pout.
"Haah! See what I mean Haru!" Now he was just taking every opportunity to call him that. "It's too many syllables! Might as well just call me Rin, yeah?"
Haruka held an internal struggle with himself, feeling something like butterflies assaulting his stomach before he made up his mind. He mumbled something under his breath, enough that Rin could hear but not understand.
"What was that?" Rin quirked his lips into a tiny smirk knowingly. Haruka was blushing to the tips of his ears now. He rose from his place in the sand to stand before Rin.
"What is it, Haaaruuu?"
He took Rin's arm and flung him into the water.
Rin spluttered and splashed in the water, laughing and coughing until Haruka joined him. For the rest of the day, they raced and swam as deep as they could go, and when they finally grew exhausted, they simply floated, bumping against the other as they let the flow of the water take them wherever.
"Haru, it's time to go home." Rin grabbed his hand and dragged him to shore. He waited for Haruka to move, but he looked too peaceful to disturb, so he waited a little longer.
When Haruka wouldn't get up, he placed a towel over him and smoothed his hair back. Haruka closed his eyes and nearly fell asleep from his touch. Rin chuckled quietly to himself. He had an idea.
"Haru," he whispered right into his ear. He noticed eyelashes twitch and lips purse. He didn't notice a blush settle into Haru's cheeks.
"Haruuu." Haruka turned over and covered his ears. He left his sides unprotected.
Rin pushed fingers into his sides, causing Haruka to squirm uncomfortably. He pounced on Rin the moment he let up his prodding. A tickle fight ensued. Rin was relentless, but Haruka won when he pinned Rin down and alternated prodding his ribs and neck.
"Haru, it's time to go home," Rin repeated. Haruka's felt his face burst into flame and pushed it into Rin's chest.
"Don't wanna," he mumbled. But it was getting late, and he and Rin had to go home. His grandmother would get lonely.
They quickly dried off and put their clothes back on. Rin slung an arm around Haruka as soon as they were finished. Haruka cleared his throat.
"Um, Rin. Thank you, for today… I had fun."
First Rin grinned. Then his smile slightly faded as a blush replaced it.
They walked in silence, both faces turned away in embarrassment. Rin was the first to break the silence.
"Haru, you're kinda cute sometimes, huh?"
"Shut up, Rin."