I'm totally in love with Haruka/Makoto! Their relationship is just the type I love best, so for the first time in years I felt inspired to write a fanfiction, and decided to post it here, in hope other MakoHaru fans could enjoy.

* There are some references to the novel, no big spoilers.
* I'm not a native English speaker and the story is not beta'd, but I hope there are no outrageous mistakes.
Please let me know what you think :)

The Dolphin Dreams of Dry Land

Chapter 1: Free?

"I'm sick of you fussing over me like a big brother," Haruka said brashly, raising his eyes to look at his friend's face. As expected, the taller boy had an awkward, apologetic smile on his lips. He didn't get it at all, that idiot. Haruka huffed and narrowed his eyes. "I'm sick of you. Won't you just leave me alone already?"


"Stop saying my name all the time, it's annoying." Haruka didn't want to hear his voice. "The truth is, I've never even liked you. I only hung around with you because you didn't have any friends and I felt sorry for you," he added coldly. The smile disappeared from Makoto's face. He was probably confused, trying to asses if Haruka was serious or not.

'Just figure it out and go away already' Haruka thought. He didn't want to continue this conversation, it was tiresome and he really couldn't stand looking at Makoto anymore.

"We're already seniors, we can't do these pointless things anymore. For now, let's not see each other again, or I'll really grow to hate you."

Makoto folded his lips into a thin line. Haruka knew that expression well. He was trying not to cry. As big as he was, he was such a child sometimes.

"Sorry I bothered you, I'll go," Makoto finally uttered and turned away, his broad shoulders slumped. He stepped out of Haruka's house, sliding the door shut behind him without looking back.

Haruka sighed. Finally he was free.

The thing about growing up with someone is they become such a constant in your daily life routine, you no longer know what to do when you're on your own. Makoto wasn't just a normal best friend; they've been together since kindergarten and lived close by. Haruka couldn't even remember his life before Makoto, they've done everything together – Makoto knew him better than his own parents did. And it was thanks to Makoto that Haruka fell in love with the water.

And there were all the firsts too. The first kiss – Makoto stole that one. He said it was just a joke, but Haruka knew better. The first sexual experience – it was Makoto's fault too, noticing things he shouldn't have. Haruka blushed as he remembered. They were entering puberty and still took baths together; that one was his own fault too. The first time they went all the way – As usual, Haruka was just going along, but he couldn't deny it felt good. And Makoto actually improved with time - at first he was too forceful, just like the way he is with his swimming.

'Stop it.' Haruka commanded his brain. 'Stop thinking useless things, it's over.'

But it was strange going to school alone. That Makoto, even if he had to take his younger siblings to their school, he would go all the way back to go with Haruka to school. It was probably to make sure Haruka didn't decide to skip school again and stay in the bath all day, but Haruka really hated it when he'd done that. Haruka's mother did ask Makoto to look after him before she left to join her husband, but Makoto didn't need to seriously take her role.

Dragging his feet all the way, Haruka barely made it to class before the bell rung. He slumped down on his seat and yawned without reserve. Then, as usual, he glanced to his side, intending to ask Makoto to copy his homework. But the person sitting behind Makoto's desk was not Makoto. It was a girl, Haruka couldn't bother remembering her name. She smiled at him and said Makoto asked to switch seats with her, blaming his bad eyesight.

Haruka raised his head, searching through the class. He spotted Makoto, sitting on the opposite side of the class, first row next to the wall. It was the first time they had not been sitting next to each other in how many years?

'Oh well, who cares. That works.' Haruka thought and folded his arms behind his head.

Makoto didn't show up for club activity after school either. Nagisa was all upset, bombarding Haruka with questions.

"I told you I don't know!" Haruka growled and quickly jumped into the pool. Rei was already swimming his second pool.

The cool water embraced his body gently like a lover's soft touch. At least that could never change. He could only feel at peace right here. Becoming one with the water, there was no need to think or worry or talk, and the water accepted him just the way he was. As he finished his crawl, he reached out his hand as he had always done. Usually, Makoto's strong hand would grab him and pull him out of the water, but as Haruka raised his head, he remembered Makoto wasn't there. He leaned on the pool's wall and clutched his right palm into a fist, staring at it for a moment. It was just one more thing he would have to get used to. Makoto wasn't going to do that forever anyway, was he?

"How come you don't know where he is?" Haruka was shaken out of his thoughts by Nagisa, who arrived at his side inside the pool. "You're always together, aren't you?" The blond stared at him in suspicion.

Haruka scowled. "We're not. I told you I don't know, I don't know!"

"Guys, this is bad!" They heard their manager's voice and looked up to see her slim legs dashing towards them. They raised their heads to the rest of her body, she was clearly out of breath and waving a paper in her hand. Rei also stopped swimming and turned to look at her.

"Makoto is quitting the club!" She yelled, looking directly at Haruka. "He just gave me his resignation form!"

"EEEEH?!" Both Nagisa and Rei let out at once. Haruka just huffed and turned around, intending to continue swimming, but Nagisa grabbed his arm.

"What's going on, Haru-chan?" he asked. "Did something happen? Mako-chan wouldn't just quit."

Haruka pulled his arm away from the younger boy. "He's free to do whatever he wants."

"But there's got to be a reason, did he say anything?" Rei asked, looking up at Gou.

The red haired rubbed her chin, holding the paper close to her chest. "Well, he said since he's a senior now, he wants to focus on studying and won't have time for club activities."

"Well, that makes sense, doesn't it?" Rei tugged at his goggles. "He needs to study for the university entrance exam."

Gou sighed. "Well, that's true, but…"

Nagisa wasn't as easily convinced. "Haru-chan also needs to take that exam, no?"

The three looked at Haruka. He turned away from their gaze.

"What are we going to do about the relay without Mako-chan?" Nagisa continued and then slammed his hand in the water, splashing. "I know! Let's scout first years! There's gotta be some that are interested in swimming!"

Haruka huffed and pulled his goggles back onto his eyes. All the useless talking. If he could only swim and forget about the rest of the world, it would be for the best.