DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN FREE AND THE COVER IMAGE!
When did he become so built and hot?
He watched the water droplets run down his best friend's skin, sinking into the man's belly button and asking himself how he never noticed Makoto's body like this before. Haruka's best friend had definitely matured and his body was proof of it. Makoto was tall, slightly tan and had muscles in all the right places. The freestyle swimmer tore his eyes away from his best friend's body and dove back into the water to hide his slightly red face.
He swam a few laps before letting himself float around the pool with his eyes closed. He let the water embrace him, calming him and trying to get his thoughts away from the man swimming laps near him. His mind showed him pictures of the man swimming backstroke, water splashing around him, trickling down his body, his strong arms sliding through the water. Another picture showed him leaping from the edge of the pool, back arching and showing off his stomach that showed slight hints of a six pack.
Trying to change his thoughts, the freestyle swimmer sunk below the water. He didn't know how long he stayed underneath the pool's surface, but it only felt like a few seconds. However, he soon felt a strong arm grasping his hand and pulling him up. His eyes opened only to stare into the eyes of his best friend that he couldn't keep his mind off.
"Are you alright, Haru-chan? You were down there for quite a while." Haruka's heart started racing and his face started turning a little red at the care that the man in front of him was showing. Why was he feeling like this? Why does he feel nervous around him, yet safe and secure?
"Stop with the chan already." He quickly turns his head away from Makoto, scared that he might blush if he kept looking at the teen in front of him. He walked to the ledge of the pool and pulled himself out. Seeing Nagisa and Rei still swimming, he realised that the extra practice they scheduled hadn't finished yet. However, as much as he wanted to stay in the water and keep swimming, he couldn't stay near Makoto much longer before he might pin him to a wall and kiss him senseless.
Where did that come from? Since when did I ever want to kiss him?
Haruka decided that now was the time to go. He quickly dried himself off and put his school uniform back on over his swimsuit. He noticed the surprised glances from his other teammates when he left early, but he needed to get away and get himself together.
He quickly arrived home and dropped his bag on the floor before filling his bathtub with water. He took off his clothes (except his swimsuit, like always) and let himself into the warm water. The water soothed him and relaxed his muscles. His mind took over again and he asked himself questions about his behaviour. Why was he having these sudden urges to look at Makoto's body and blush like Gou? Why did he think about pinning the green eyed teen to a wall and kissing him? Why did he suddenly start feeling butterflies in his stomach when he was around the backstroke swimmer? Haruka's blue eyes widened when he finally figured out the answer to his questions.
I'm in love with Makoto.
He was in love with his best friend. This couldn't be happening to him! How was he supposed to act like everything was the same between them when everything wasn't?! He couldn't face Makoto like this. If he told Makoto how he felt, he would ruin their friendship with his one-sided love.
"Haru, I'm coming in."
Before Haruka could stop him, the door slid open and Makoto was standing in its frame. His face showed worry but his body was relaxed. Although the green eyed man was now back in his school uniform, Haruka couldn't help but notice the man's form anyway. He looked away again, trying to hide the light blush dusting his face.
Haruka didn't wait for Makoto's hand like he usually did, but quickly got himself out of the bath and dried himself off. He could feel Makoto looking at him, but he didn't dare to turn around to confirm his suspicions. The freestyle swimmer slipped out of the bathroom and put on a pair of jeans and a shirt over his swimsuit. He could hear the door of the bathroom slide shut behind him and soft footsteps approaching him. He felt a hand on his shoulder, giving it a small squeeze.
"What's wrong, Haru? You never miss an opportunity to be swimming."
"I just felt tired." He tried to sound indifferent, like he normally talks, pulling it off quite well. Noticing that Makoto's hand was still on his shoulder and the butterflies in his stomach were starting to dance, he walked into the kitchen to make himself dinner. This time, he didn't hear footsteps following him and he breathed a small sigh of relief. He didn't know how much longer he could control himself.
"I think it's best if I go," Makoto murmured. It was a lot quieter than his usual voice and sounded sadder. Before Haruka could reply, he heard the front door open and shut, signalling the exit of his best friend. Although he felt relieved, his heart was aching. He had never heard Makoto sound so heartbroken and rejected. Was he the one that caused his friend to sound so upset? He decided to stop dwelling on it and get some sleep. He quickly slipped into his bed and surrounded himself with a warm blanket, letting sleep take over.
The next morning, Haruka found himself in the bathtub again, letting the water embrace him. He had calmed down from last night and felt ready to face Makoto. Although he was nervous, he couldn't stand being away from the backstroke swimmer. He felt addicted to him, needing more every day. He waited for Makoto's hand and cheery voice to greet him like every morning, only to see them absent this morning. Not wanting to be late to school, he quickly got out of the tub and made himself ready.
When he arrived at school, Makoto was already there, waiting for class to begin. Haruka quickly took his seat next to his best friend and waited for the teacher to start her lecture. He quickly zoned out, not hearing a word the teacher was saying, but staring at Makoto. Why didn't he come this morning? Why didn't he say good morning when the freestyle swimmer walked into the classroom? He tried to get Makoto's attention, but the boy kept scribbling notes into his books and listening to the teacher. Haruka sighed in defeat; he would try again at lunch.
He waited at their usual eating spot, only to realise that Makoto should have already arrived. Lunch was halfway over and the green eyed man still hadn't shown up. Looking over the rail, he noticed a figure swimming in the pool. Considering that only the swim club had access to the school's pool and he was swimming backstroke, Haruka immediately knew who it was.
"Are you alright Haru-chan?" Nagisa asked after noticing Haruka staring down at the pool.
"I told you to stop calling me chan," the freestyle swimmer replied. Nagisa frowned at the reply. He normally wouldn't mind, since that was always Haruka's answer. Today, however, he knew something was different. Haruka and Makoto didn't come to school together, Makoto was swimming instead of sitting with the group and Haruka seemed more quiet than usual. He had known both the boys long enough to realise that something happened between them. Makoto never left Haruka's side and he could see the effect it had on the freestyle swimmer to have his best friend not near him.
"Haru-chan, I think you should talk to him." He didn't need to mention his name; they both knew who Nagisa was talking about. He quickly nodded his head, grabbed his bag and walked towards the pool. When he was near enough, he could hear the splashes of water and see Makoto swimming in the cool water. The blue eyed man quickly took in a deep breath, telling himself to calm down and not stare at Makoto's body or blush like a fanboy.
He walked to the deep end of the pool, waiting for Makoto to see him. Makoto quickly noticed the new shadow, but acted as if he didn't see Haruka and kept swimming. The freestyle swimmer quickly got impatient and stripped, revealing his swimsuit underneath. He quickly dove into the pool, swimming to catch up to the other male. He quickly grabbed one of Makoto's legs, making him come to a stop. When Haruka let go, Makoto let his feet touch the bottom of the pool and took off his swimming cap and goggles.
"You're avoiding me." It had hurt to think that Makoto might have been avoiding him, but saying it hurt even more. It felt like someone just tried to stab him in the heart. When Makoto didn't deny it, the knife made its way right through his heart and his head dropped. Tears were threatening to spill and he was trying hard to keep them at bay.
"Why?" Haru asked. He had expected yelling or for Makoto to completely ignore him, but neither happened.
"Isn't that what you wanted?" Haruka's head snapped up in surprise. When did he ever say that he didn't want his best friend near him?
"What? Why would you think that?" Makoto's brows furrowed and he bit his lip; a sign that he was debating whether to tell the truth or not. His eyes looked lost and distant.
"Because you were trying to get away from me at your house." He had noticed? In his nervous state of figuring out that he loved Makoto, he forgot that the backstroke swimmer was his best friend; the one person who could understand him without having to say a word. He must've noticed how different Haruka had behaved.
"I'm sorry. I just needed to stay away from you for a while." The blue eyed boy couldn't look at the teen in front of him. He had hurt his best friend and he couldn't forgive himself for that.
"Because I-" he quickly stopped himself before he could blurt out that he loved the backstroke swimmer in front of him.
"Because you what?" Makoto was curious and he needed to know why Haruka had avoided him. Makoto didn't feel hurt very often, but yesterday had felt like someone had punched him hard.
"I can't tell you," came the softly whispered reply. Makoto was even more curious than before. Haruka wasn't one to keep secrets from him.
"Please, tell me. What did I do wrong?" The freestyle swimmer stared wide eyed at his best friend. Why was he assuming that it was his fault?
"You did nothing wrong. I just...nevermind." Haruka still couldn't bring himself to confess to the man in front of him.
"I thought you trusted me enough to tell me what's wrong. You can talk to me anytime, Haru." Makoto couldn't stay near Haruka any longer without bursting into tears. He had always trusted Haruka with all of his secrets and feelings, yet his best friend wasn't able to do the same. He felt betrayed when he thought that the blue eyed teen didn't trust him after all their years of friendship. Makoto hopped out of the pool and left Haruka with his thoughts. As soon as he was far enough away, the tears erupted and Makoto cried until the bell signalling the end of lunch chimed.
Sitting in their usual seats, Makoto ignored Haruka while the freestyle swimmer tried to get his attention. Haruka had realised his mistake and had seen the betrayal on Makoto's face after not telling his secret. Out of all the years he had been friends with the teen sitting next to him, he had only ever kept one secret: meeting Rin and beating him in a race. He had always told Makoto everything else until now. How was he supposed to explain that he had realised he was in love with the backstroke swimmer? He sighed, knowing that he needed to tell the green eyed boy to try and mend their friendship.
The bell chimed, releasing the students for the day and letting them go home. Normally Makoto and Haruka would walk together, but Makoto had already left before Haruka could even grab his bag. Knowing that it was silent signal that the backstroke swimmer didn't want to walk home with him, Haruka walked home himself. After dropping his bag inside his house, he changed into some more comfortable clothes and made his way over to Makoto's house. He needed to fix this before Makoto would stop interacting with him completely. He wouldn't be able to bear losing his best friend and the person he loved.
Makoto's siblings answered the door and happily let Haruka in. Haruka had always loved Makoto's younger siblings and often played with them or helped bring them to bed if Makoto's parents were away or still working. He made his way to Makoto's room, knocking on the door when he arrived.
"What is it?" Makoto asked before he had finished opening the door and seeing Haruka in its frame. The backstroke swimmer's eyes widened in surprise and recognition when he saw who his visitor was.
"We need to talk." Makoto nodded and opened his door wider, letting the blue eyed boy in. He had been in this room often and he let himself sit in the chair next to Makoto's desk. Makoto sat on the edge of the bed, eyes on the other boy, patiently waiting for him to start talking.
"Makoto, you're my best friend and I trust you more than anyone else." Makoto nodded and waited for the freestyle swimmer to keep going. Haruka took a shaky breath, trying to figure out how to continue. His mouth opened but nothing came out. He tried again, but the words he wanted to say still didn't come out.
"I'm sorry. I just can't tell you what's going on." He could see the heartbroken look in Makoto's eyes and he quickly looked away. Haruka already felt guilty about not telling his best friend that he was in love, but that rejected and betrayed look on Makoto's face made his heart clench. He did this. He made Makoto upset. He heard Makoto take a deep breath before the green eyed boy started speaking.
"Would you like to stay for dinner? I'm sure Ren and Ran would appreciate it." When Haruka looked at him in surprise, Makoto was smiling at him. However, it wasn't his usual genuine smile; it was a forced smile that made Haruka feel more guilty than before. He nodded in affirmation, knowing that Makoto's siblings had taken a liking to him after knowing him for so long. Makoto stood from his seat on his bed and left to check on his siblings. Haruka decided to stay in the bedroom and looked around. It looked the same as when he was here last time, except for a few books covering Makoto's desk. A small green notebook caught his attention quickly: My Journal. His curiosity getting the better of him, he flipped to the most recent entry and started reading.
I don't know why Haru suddenly felt like he couldn't trust me anymore. We've been best friends for years and told each other everything. What happened? He told me I did nothing wrong, but if he can't tell me why he's avoiding me, then how am I supposed to believe him that I didn't do something to upset him. Maybe he figured out that I love him and now wants nothing to do with me? Did I ruin our friendship because I fell in love with him?
Before Haruka had the chance to keep reading, Makoto entered the room and sat on the edge of his bed again. When Makoto saw the notebook in Haruka's hands, his eyes widened in recognition. Before he could say something, Haruka beat him to it.
"You're in love with me?" Makoto looked at the floor, wondering how to answer. Haruka already knew the truth anyway, so there was no point in lying. He simply nodded but his eyes still didn't look up from the floor.
"Why did you never tell me?"
"I thought it would ruin our friendship and that you wouldn't want to talk to me anymore."
Makoto's eyes still didn't lift from looking at the floor. His hands clenched into fists, his knuckles turning white, waiting in anticipation for Haruka's reaction. He was waiting for Haruka to leave in disgust and never talk to him again. Makoto was surprised enough that the freestyle swimmer hadn't left as soon as he had read what was written in the green journal. A soft gasp escaped his lips when he felt a strong force on his shoulders, pushing his upper body onto the bed and blue eyes staring into his green ones. The other boy was straddling the taller one's lap, his hands still on the other's shoulders to keep him pinned to the bed.
"H-Haru," the backstroke swimmer stammered, trying to say something. Before he could continue, Haruka's lips attacked his and Makoto let out a gasp of surprise, letting the other boy slip his tongue into Makoto's mouth. Both let out a moan of pleasure before breaking away for some much needed air. Their breathing was heavy and eyes wide; for one in lust and the other in surprise.
"Isn't it obvious?" Makoto looked at the boy above him. Those sapphire eyes looked loving, but that smirk looked like he was teasing the boy below him. When the backstroke swimmer understood the hidden message, he gave the other boy a genuine smile that made the butterflies in Haruka's stomach dance again.
"You're in love with me?" Although he was sure of the answer, he needed to check. When he received a nod and a small peck, he was certain that Haruka loved him.
"I love you." Although the freestyle swimmer already knew of his feelings, it felt good to say it aloud and know that his feelings were reciprocated.
Haruka stayed for dinner, like he had agreed and then accepted the offer to stay for the night. He played video games with the twins and Makoto, enjoying his time. After putting Makoto's siblings to bed, both boys went back into Makoto's room. Instead of bringing out the extra bed like usual, Haruka lay on the bed next to Makoto. They didn't need to tell each other that this new system felt warm and comfortable. The backstroke swimmer wrapped his arm around the smaller boy's waist, pulling him closer. The blue eyed boy in return snuggled closer, finding warmth and security. He nestled his head into Makoto's chest, sleep slowly taking over him.
"Good night, Makoto."
"Good night, Haru." His words were accompanied with a small yet affectionate peck on Haruka's forehead and a loving smile. Haruka let sleep take over with one thought left on his mind:
I wish I would've read that journal sooner.