Free! is awesome. I have not written consistently in ages. Put these two facts together and you have this collection.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. I wish I owned Makoto, at least.


On the Outside

"Mako-chan?"

Makoto doesn't turn around.

How can he look at the smile on Haru's face - the smile Rin put there - and feel jealousy? How can he look at the way that Nagisa hangs off Rei's arm, chattering freely, and feel cold?

But he's so tired of being the third wheel, and he doesn't know how to explain. He doesn't want to explain; he's disgusted with himself.

But Nagisa doesn't ask for explanations. He slides his arms under Makoto's, wraps them tightly around Makoto's middle. Presses his warm forehead between Makoto's shoulder blades.

"You still matter, Mako-chan," he says.