A/N: Had to write this one because Haru cooking in an apron. That is all.
Pairing: Makoto x Haruka
Warning: Guys kissing, slight OOCness
Disclaimer: I don't own Free!/Swimming anime
The sound of fish sizzling on the grill could be heard all throughout the kitchen, the smell wafting all around the nearby area. Haruka stared blankly at the grilling fish, watching it cook slowly. Occasionally, he'd poke the fish with his set of chopsticks before flipping it over to cook on the other side. It was nearing lunchtime and Haruka had decided that staying inside was a much better option instead of going out to eat. He had planned on eating alone that day, but like always, Makoto turned up sometime earlier that morning to spend the day with him. Not that Haruka minded that his friend came to visit him. It was quite the opposite. He...really liked it whenever Makoto came to visit him on a day when they weren't in school.
However, there was something different about Makoto that day. It hadn't really been that obvious until he had come into the kitchen to cook. Makoto had trailed after him, like he always did. But instead of hanging over him, watching him cook, he took to walking back and forth behind him. Every few seconds, the sound his footsteps would mingle with the cooking noises, drowning it out for a moment before softening in volume. Haruka paid no attention to Makoto as he paced back and forth in his kitchen for several moments, his full attention focused on the fish in front of him. At least, his full attention had been on the fish for the first few minutes or so. But the more that his friend walked by him, Haruka found himself gazing out of the corner of his eye to catch a look at him.
There was a thoughtful expression on Makoto's face every time that he turned around to begin another round of pacing. It made Haruka narrow his eyes a bit before returning his attention back to the fish. It didn't a genius to figure out that something was bugging Makoto. He had been silent the entire time that they had been in together in the house, save for a few words here or there. Usually, the other male was talking up a storm, trying to draw Haruka into a discussion about anything. But now, it felt like pulling teeth just to get Makoto to answer back. And to be honest, it set Haruka on edge a little bit.
It was always easy to figure out when something was bothering his friend. Makoto tended to act much different and would, given the situation, withdraw himself completely from everyone else. Haruka actually liked that about his friend; he was easy when it came to figuring out his emotions. The hard task came with actually getting him to admit that something was wrong and getting him to talk. For some reason, Makoto had some weird complex about letting people help him. He preferred to help people, as opposed to letting them help him.
Eyes flickering back and forth between Makoto and his fish, Haruka shook his head and gave a small smile. Whatever it was, it looked as though Makoto was at his wits end either way. He'd end up hearing about his problem when they went to eat lunch. And if not, then he knew how to get Makoto to talk. There were plenty of cats around his house to bribe him with.
Noticing that the fish was finally finished, he took it off of the heat, placing the pieces of fish into a plate. But instead of placing another fish on the grill to cook right away, he just stood there for a moment. Staring down at his grill for a moment, his eyes flickered to the next piece of fish that needed to be cooked. It was best to go ahead and cook everything before the grill got too hot. However, something was holding him back from starting to grill those pieces right at that moment. His eyes narrowed a bit.
He vaguely noticed that Makoto's pacing ceased for a moment, making the soft sizzling noise of his makeshift grill the only noise in the kitchen. Haruka gazed out of the corner of his eye to try and spot his friend, not wanting to alert Makoto that he had been watching him. However, due to his current position, he couldn't see him. That meant that Makoto was behind him. It took him a moment to realize that the strange feeling of his hairs standing on end wasn't just a coincidence. Makoto was staring at him. That thought made Haruka's heart skip for a moment before settling down. Taking a deep breath, Haruka licked his lips and went back to grilling his fish.
The silence, save for the sizzling of the fish, continued to float around the kitchen for a few more moments before the Makoto began walking again. But this time, he walked closer to Haruka. As the footsteps stopped right behind him, Haruka felt himself unconsciously stop breathing for a moment, waiting to see what Makoto would do.
When two hands placed themselves on his shoulders and forced him to turn around, Haruka's eyes widened considerably before he found himself looking right at his friend's face. There was a serious expression on the taller male's face, one that he rarely saw on his face. Haruka's mouth fell open for a moment, about to ask Makoto was doing when warm lips were suddenly pressed against his own. If it was possible, his eyes widened even more and he stared at Makoto in surprise. However, his friend just continued kissing him gently, not seeming to see how shocked he was. Makoto's eyes were shut in calmness and one of his hands moved to the back of his neck while the other slowly moved down from his shoulder and down his arm.
Feeling the hand grasping his own, Haruka's heart skipped another beat before he felt himself shiver for a moment. He had no idea what was going on with Makoto. His friend...he had never done anything like this before. Even though he had a crush on him, Makoto never made a move. Because while Haruka may act blissfully ignorant, he was anything but. He wasn't exactly blind when it came to seeing that Makoto liked him. He had noticed the lingering gazes and touches, not to mention how different his friend seemed to act around him compared to everyone else. It was subtle, but noticeable.
But that wasn't what confused Haruka. What confused him was why Makoto was suddenly acting on his feelings. It had been years, more than likely, that Makoto had liked him. But not once had he acted on those feelings. The other male always came across as being content with their current situation (which Haruka didn't quite believe, but he never really worked up the courage to call Makoto out on it). Something must have happened to make him suddenly decide to kiss him out of nowhere. Haruka knew that his friend didn't act on impulse. He tended to think out his options before doing something. Which, now that Haruka thought about it, would explain all the pacing.
The feeling of Makoto's hand tightening around his brought Haruka out of his thoughts and caused him to gasp softly. He noticed that his friend was no longer kissing him, but was instead looking at him with a look of worry. Haruka blinked for a moment, not quite sure what to do or say at the moment. A strange feeling blossomed in his chest and he felt himself flushing slightly. What was he supposed to say when his friend kissed him?
Seeming to recognize his inner turmoil, Makoto moved his other hand down to grasp his free hand, clenching it tightly before looking back up at him. Then, just like before, he slowly moved towards him. The only difference this time was that Makoto was looking at him with a hesitance that he hadn't seen in a long time. It was almost as though he was giving him a way out if he didn't want this. That made the feeling in his chest erupt even more and he pierced his lips together before taking in a deep breath.
Haruka swallowed thickly before he moved forward the last bit, pressing his lips against Makoto's once again. Hearing his friend gasp, Haruka felt himself slump against Makoto as his friend pressed against him with a bit more certainty. He couldn't help but smile a bit into the kiss, slightly amused by Makoto's antics. Just a few seconds ago, the taller male had been a nervous wreck, almost as though he had been expecting him to attack or snap at him. Although, given the situation, he could understand the fear. Sighing softly, Haruka pressed back against Makoto, shivering as he heard the pleased groan from Makoto mouth.
If it wasn't for the fact that they were currently in the kitchen and the counter was digging into the flesh of his back, they probably would have continued kissing. But alas, that was not the case and he finally parted away from Makoto's lip, breathing in deeply and staring at his friend for a moment. A faint grimace came to his face as his lower back twinged for a moment in pain, but he quickly schooled his expression as the pain faded. Makoto stared right back at him, a bright gleam present in his eyes. The makings of a grin was starting to appear on Makoto's face before he started laughing softly.
A smile of his own came to Haruka's face before he stilled. Something didn't...seem right. More specifically, something didn't smell right. Turning his head a bit, a bitter smell overcame him and his eyes widened before he quickly turned around to see the fish that he had placed on the grill burning. Eyes widening, he pushed himself out of Makoto's grip and turned around, shutting off the grill before looking down at the burnt fish. A deep frown came to his face and a bit of a sour atmosphere settled over him. Well, that was a waste of food. He hated wasting food, since he didn't have a lot of money as it was. Huffing in annoyance, he picked up the piece of burnt fish before glaring at Makoto. He didn't have to say anything to his friend, who already seemed to know exactly what he was thinking. Makoto gave a sheepish laugh and scratched the back of his head, apologizing quickly and bowing his head.
Sighing, Haruka inspected the fish for a moment before he frowned. It was too burnt to really be salvaged. And as much as he wanted to just go ahead and feed it to Makoto for making him wasted fish, he just couldn't do that. So, he walked over to the trash bin and threw away the burnt food.
Heading back over towards the grill, Haruka picked up the plate of already cooked fish before holding it out for Makoto to grab. It was a good thing that he had already cooked enough for both of them to eat anyway. "Set the table. I'll join you in a moment," he said, leaving no room for arguments, not that Makoto would argue with him about that anyway.
His friend gave him another sheepish smile before taking the fish and disappearing in the dining room. He could hear Makoto shuffling around in the other room, setting the table quietly. Good. That left him with a few minutes to get his thoughts in order. Coming a hand through his hair, he huffed and thought back to the moment that had just happened a few minutes ago.
Haruka narrowed his eyes and clenched his fists. He had no idea what had suddenly changed between them, but he would get down to the bottom of it. Something had pushed Makoto to finally make a move. But what was it?
Snapping out of his thoughts, Haruka gazed over his shoulder to see Makoto standing in the doorway, looking right at him. Just like before, there was that bright light in his eyes and that gentle smile, all directed towards him. If anything, that made him even more confused. Why was Makoto holding himself back? Why didn't he say anything?
Why didn't he just tell him his feelings out loud?
Pushing himself off of the counter, Haruka just shook his head and took off his apron, draping it over the counter to put up later. He walked into the dining room and took his usual spot by the table, watching as Makoto settled across from him. They both gave a whispered blessing before they began eating their lunch. Without Nagisa there, the room felt so much smaller and quiet. But for both of the individuals in the room, they didn't seem to mind.
The meal passed by quietly, the occasional clatter of their chopsticks colliding with the bowl breaking the silence every so often. Makoto and Haruka focused on their meals, sneaking glances at each other when the other wasn't looking. Their sneaking glances didn't last more than a few seconds, not wanting the other to catch them staring. But there was only so long before one of them ended up getting caught in the act.
As Haruka finished up with his meal, he licked his lips and gave a content sigh before looking up at Makoto. He stilled for a moment as he realized that his friend was already staring at him, those insufferable eyes glittering in an emotion that he couldn't quite distinguish. But apparently, he didn't expect for Haruka to look at him all of a sudden, because a faint blush came to his cheeks before he bowed his head.
"Makoto," Haruka said suddenly, causing his friend to look at him with slight surprise. He stood up and walked around the table before setting himself down on the floor next to Makoto. He stared right into his surprised eyes, trying to gauge his emotions right now.
"You're not telling me something." Just as simple as that. He had never been the kind of person to beat around the bush with conversation. And honestly, he didn't have the patience to do so.
For a moment, Makoto sputtered, blushing even more. He gave Haruka a look of embarrassment and apprehension, almost like he didn't expect for him to say anything. Not that that deterred Haruka. He didn't sit around waiting for answers that he could just figure out himself. And when it came to Makoto, it was better to just confront the other male than to let him fester. Makoto had the habit to letting his needs fall behind everyone else's, and Haruka didn't like it.
"H-Haruka...what are you-" Haruka interrupted Makoto suddenly by getting closer to him, resting his hands on his friend's thighs as he stared right into his face.
Makoto's breath hitched and his blush slowly extended up to the tips of his ears. At this point, Haruka would think that his friend would pass out from embarrassment or something, given how red he was. So, deciding to put him out of his misery, he leaned forward and pressed a quick kiss to Makoto's lips, watching as he began sputtering again.
"H-Haru...w-why did you...why did you kiss me?" he stammered out, seemingly surprised by what Haruka had done. But even as surprised as he was, he still moved closer to him.
Frowning, Haruka's eyes flickered back down to Makoto's lips for a moment before he gazed back up at his eyes. "Because you like me. And I like you."
At that point, Makoto really looked as though he was going to faint. His face was permanently red and his eyes were flickering back and forth all along Haruka's face. His mouth opened and closed, but no sound came out. It happened for a few more seconds before Haruka rolled his eyes and decided to put his friend out of his misery. He didn't want Makoto passing out on him before he figured out what was going on.
Leaning forward some more, Haruka continued to stare at Makoto. "You like me, but you weren't planning on telling me. But something happened that made you think differently. What happened?"
A groan left Makoto's mouth and his eyebrows furrowed in what appeared to be distress. However, Haruka didn't let up at all, staring at his friend with a raised eyebrow. He wasn't letting this go until he got to the bottom of this. They stared at each other for several more seconds before Makoto finally sighed and bowed his head. He shut his eyes for a moment and Haruka watched him, backing up a little bit to give his friend some room.
"I stopped by the old swim club building yesterday," Makoto said suddenly, wringing his hands in his lap. "It's finally been torn down."
Breath hitching in surprise, Haruka felt his eyes widen for a moment and for a moment, he stopped breathing. The swim club building...torn down? After all these years, it had finally been destroyed...Haruka's heart clenched a bit. While he knew that the building would be torn down eventually, he was still surprised. A part of him was still attached to that part of his life, still attached to the childish memories that remained there. And now...now that was gone. The memories were still there, of course. But the source...it was gone.
Something on his face must have tipped Makoto off to his sullen mood, because the other male scooted a bit closer to him. Warm hands rested on top of his own and he gazed down for a moment to stare at their hands. They just laid flat on top of each other before the other male slowly turned their hands over to that their palms were resting against each other. Fingers entangling with each other, Haruka sucked in a harsh breath before releasing it, shutting his eyes for a moment. Opening them a few moments later, he looked up into the Makoto's eyes. A heavy weight settled over him and Haruka could do nothing other than slump his shoulders and sigh. Just when he had thought that he had put that part of his past behind him...
"What happened there? That doesn't explain why you're suddenly acting differently today," he mumbled underneath his breath. Not wanting to linger in his memories, he sought some way to change the direction of the conversation slightly so that those memories didn't drag down his mood.
Tension came back to Makoto's body for a moment before he frowned. "I-I...I saw coach there...it seems like he's a part of the construction crew or something...," Makoto trailed off, not quite sure how to continue.
Haruka said nothing, choosing instead to just let Makoto go ahead and tell him what else was on his mind. At this point, he pretty much figured that pushing the other male into talking would just make the entire process take much longer, so he kept quiet. Not to mention, Makoto was actually letting him inside of his mind for once, so he wasn't going to mess up his chances with that. However, to try and calm down Makoto a little, he found himself rubbing the back of his friend's hand with the pad of his thumb.
A faint smile came to Makoto's face and he shined a look of gratitude to Haruka before taking in a deep breath and continuing. "Coach...he mentioned the race that you had with Rin...before...before he left..."
A look of surprise came over Haruka's face for a moment, but not for the reason that Makoto was probably thinking. Based on how he was talking, the other male didn't know why Rin had left in the first place. That actually caught Haruka by surprise, because he had thought that he had known the reason. Makoto did kind of act like the mother hen of the group, after all, and he always seemed to know when something was wrong. Even when they were little, his friend always seemed to take care of all of them. So, to see him out of the loop for once was a bit disorienting.
"And he said...you really looked upset afterwards...and that that's probably why you ended up giving up competitive swimming," Makoto finished, mouth pressed in a hard line.
For a moment, Haruka could do nothing more than stare at the other male. He could tell that something had soured Makoto's mood a little bit after he had told his little story, but he just couldn't figure out what it was. The atmosphere around them turned tense very quickly and Haruka watched as Makoto's shoulders tensed up.
Furrowing his eyebrows, Haruka removed one of his hands from his friend's grasp and placed it on his forehead, lifting his head up so that they were looking into each other's eyes. "And that's why you...kissed me?" he asked curiously.
Makoto's eyes narrowed for a moment and he hesitantly nodded his head. "I...I guess I just...I never knew why you gave up swimming at the swim club. So when I heard that it was because of Rin...I...," Makoto trailed off again, a huff of irritation and frustration leaving his mouth.
Staring at his friend for a moment, Haruka felt his eyebrows lift up on his face. Was...was Makoto...no. There was no way. There was no way that Makoto was jealous, even though he sounded very jealous at the moment. The irritation on Makoto's face only helped to prove his point, but Haruka found himself staring at the other male in surprise nonetheless.
Makoto...was jealous. Of Rin, it sounded like. That was...almost unfounded, since his friend wasn't usually one to let himself get jealous.
Blinking for a moment, Haruka moved a bit closer to Makoto and chuckled softly before pressing a kiss to his friend's lips. A flinch went through the other male's body for a moment before he responded to the kiss. Their hands clenched together as both males moved closer together. A gasp was swallowed into the kiss as Haruka found himself suddenly being pulled into Makoto's lap, all without the kiss being broken.
However, the kiss didn't last quite that long, with Makoto drawing away almost reluctantly. Humming curiously, Haruka stared at his friend as he looked at him with a strange look. It could probably be described as a mix between worry, confusion, and adoration. "Haru...why...why did you kiss me...again?" he asked hesitantly.
"I told you. Because I like you," Haruka answered simply.
"But you obviously don't like me-," Makoto cut himself off all of a sudden, staring at Haruka with impossibly wide eyes. "W-wait...what?"
Rolling his eyes, Haruka brushed his fingers through Makoto's hair. "I said, I like you."
A bright flush came to Makoto's face and if Haruka was seeing correctly, he could have sworn that the other male's eyes were tearing up. Before he could react, he found himself with an armful of Makoto. Grunting at the impact, Haruka gasped as he suddenly fell down on the floor, the other male's weight pressed against his chest. Wincing a bit in pain, Haruka slapped Makoto on his shoulder. "Makoto, get off of me."
Makoto only ignored him though, nuzzling his neck and whispering words of happiness to him. "Haru-chan, I'm so happy! I had thought that maybe you liked Rin, but to hear that you like me...-"
"What? You...you thought that I liked Rin?" Haruka asked, pushing himself up and balancing himself on his elbows. There was an incredulous look on his face as he looked at Makoto.
A sheepish expression came to Makoto's face and he ducked his head down, slowly nodding his head. Haruka stared at Makoto for a few more seconds before he rolled his eyes and flicked the other male on his head. "I don't like Rin that way and he doesn't like me that way. We're just...friends." He wasn't quite sure if friend was the right word when it applied to Rin, but nothing else seemed to really fit. They weren't enemies, acquaintances, or rivals.
Eyebrows furrowing, Makoto slowly nodded his head before biting his bottom lip. "Then...what are we?"
"We're just us."
It was just that simple. They didn't need a label for their relationship, because it was much more complicated than one word out make it seem. Plus, Haruka didn't really like labeling things. They felt confining to him. And thankfully, his answer didn't seem to bug Makoto as much as he had been expecting. Perhaps because they had been friends for a long time and the other male knew how he was.
The bright smile on Makoto's face hadn't left at all. If it was possible, it had actually gotten brighter. Frowning a bit, Haruka just huffed as Makoto started nuzzling his cheek and jaw. "Makoto, will you stop? You're heavy."
There was no heat behind his statement and unfortunately (or fortunately), Makoto realized that. The other male just chuckled and continued on with his ministrations, nipping Haruka lightly on his jaw. Sighing softly, Haruka left himself fall back down on the floor, his eyes falling shut. A faint smile came to his face and he found himself chuckling softly.
A/N: Wow, finally finished this one. This has been sitting in my documents since...after the second episode aired, I believe?