Makoto underestimates how much Haruka cares. (Starts when they are young and weaves into teenagehood.)

Accepting prompts to my blog.

xxx

It's almost summer time when the two best friends venture toward the beach. The sun shines down in a golden glow that is harsh to the eye and beautiful at the same time. Waves crash melodically against the shore as people stroll along the sandy plane, hand in hand. There are others beside parked cars near the little shack, readying to leave for the day. It is late in the afternoon and the weather is starting to lose the bite of warmth. Still, the young boys are unable to swim because the cold depths would most likely chill their little bones. Regardless, Makoto can see the desperation in Haru-chan's blue gaze as he looks to the water rippling in the distance.

Smiling at his friend, Makoto can't help his mind from wandering to Haruka. It seems to do that often, all of its own accord.

I wonder if Haru-chan thinks about me. The brunette ponders inwardly, before shaking his head softly. His light brown hair ruffles in the wind and Makoto highly doubts that Haru thinks of anything but being immersed in water. If given the chance, he would probably swim non stop, all the time. It's just who he is.

Everything about Nanase Haruka can be likened to water, and it makes the cheerful youth wonder if he can be compared to something as well. Though, Makoto doesn't mind so much that he is normal like the other kids (maybe a tad less brash). It doesn't matter as long as he can be beside Haru-chan, just like always.

The children have been friends since kindergarden, and for some unknown reason they got along right away. However, it wasn't as easy as he remembers. Makoto is just a persistent person with an infectious personality. Not that he would ever acknowledge the traits himself.

Haruka has always been the quiet boy with an ability to speak to Makoto without words. He has a love of water and a need to swim. It's been this way from the very beginning, and Makoto knows that water was the first thing that Haru-chan has ever connected with. Other people don't understand him and his abrasive nature, veiled by a quietness that exudes an intensity that transcends his age. But Makoto does, because it reminds him of the fearsome sea.

The taller boy does not welcome the rippling blue like his dark haired counter-part - for a plethora of reasons. But, if Haru-chan is beside him, it isn't so bad. It feels like the water can't get him. The terror of the sea still creeps upon him in a swimming pool and he doesn't even want to think about swimming in the ocean, but Haruka creates the illusion that nothing can hurt them. Not if they are side by side, or mostly, lane one and lane two.

The boy beside him seems to jiggle with anticipation and Makoto sighs outwardly.

"I wish you could swim Haru-chan." He smiles brightly, feeling for his friend. Haru does not respond, he just meets his gaze before turning back to the sea.

Their toes mash through the sand and the salty wind whips against their cool skin. They won't be able to stay here long, but Haru wanted to come and Makoto is never able to say no.

"Let's sit." Haruka states suddenly, and his fingers twitch against his clothing that wants to be thrown off to make way for the crashing waves. Still, the nine year old boy plops gracefully to the sand and gazes up with unreadable blue eyes. Then, he is back to watching the waves roll and the people pass.

"Okay." Makoto replies with a vibrant smile. His eyes crinkle and the youth moves to sit shoulder to shoulder with Haru. The cool air produces goosebumps upon his skin, but he doesn't mind. This is nice.

"Those people are holding hands." Haru-chan observes after a long time of silence, the sun is starting to disappear and the two will need to go home very soon.

"What about it?" Makoto asks, looking toward the kissing couple upon the shore. They look very happy as they continue on their way. Though, he is surprised that Haru even noticed their presence.

"They care for each other." The ravenette speaks again and his tone holds a lilt of question, despite being a statement.

"Hai. I suppose they do." Makoto smiles, turning to gaze at the people that are slowly becoming blips in the distance. He is very happy in this moment, but they really do need to leave.

Swivelling his head back to Haruka, the words upon his lips fall away when he realises their proximity.

"Haru-chan -" Makoto begins, staring into blue eyes only an inch or so away.

Then, Haruka's lips are upon his own just as his hand is being held. The granules of sand from the ground cause friction between their palms and it is a stark contrast the the soft closed lips touching him. Taking a short moment, the boy squeezes back and presses forward, returning the gesture.

"What was that for?" Makoto questions dazedly as Haru pulls away. His blank expression shows nothing, nor do his eyes hold some hidden meaning.

He does not reply, but as the stoic boy stands Makoto realises his mind set.

They care for each other… Floats through his head and he is unable to stop a smile from creeping upon his face.

It's nice to know that Haruka cares.

xxx

Years later. Training camp. Stuck in a light house lodge.

The rain still hasn't let up, but their stomachs are filled with mackerel and pineapple, and the small group are dry at least. Makoto feels much lighter now that his fear of the sea has been aired. He was worried that he couldn't talk about it, but Haru's presence made him feel strong. Thank Kami for his best friend.

The game continues on though as the rain falls against the building harshly with unforgiving droplets, and Makoto slowly begins to feel better, more free.

"Haru-chan!" Nagisia exclaims, "No answers about waterfalls this time." The blonde points in the stoic boy's direction seriously and Makoto can't help but grin in response.

"I don't know if that's possible Nagisia." The brunette says laughingly and Haruka gives him a blank look that speaks agreement.

Nagisia huffs a little but smiles broadly. "Iv'e got it!" He states, raising his index finger in the air in cheeky knowing. "Haru-chan." He all but cackles. "Have you had your first kiss?"

There is a small pause before the expressionless teen replies, "Yes." Then he goes back to looking at the rain through the glass in silence.

"Hey! Don't be so stingy." The smaller boy crows, and Makoto secretly agrees. The taller teen glances at his best friend from the corner of his eye and his mind automatically goes to a memory from long ago, where Haruka's lips were upon his own. Surely he couldn't mean that kiss, right?

Who was it?

Pushing away a frown and the beginnings of jealousy, Makoto doesn't completely succeed. However, Nagisia is doing a good job of stealing the attention with his loud tittering. Rei watches the blonde with a dubious expression, before finally opening his mouth. He hasn't been very vocal since his 'mortifying' story.

"It wasn't an open question. The fault is yours." Rei points out but he still looks appalled with the entire debacle.

"Oh drat!" Nagisia frowns. "Rei-chan. I should run my questions through you first." He sighs.

The game continues, but the rain stops before Nagisia can get to Haru's next question. The group move out into the shining star light and everyone forgets about the question of the kiss.

Everyone except Makoto…

Nevertheless, he is unable to stop a smile from rising to his face as he gazes upon his team amongst the sparkling night.

xxx

It has been days since the training camp, and Makoto can't seem to forget about Haru's first kiss. He knows that his friend couldn't be referring to him when he said yes. Although he himself considers it his first kiss, it was probably just another moment of friendship to Haruka.

Sighing lightly, the brunette lets his head loll back against the wall. He sits upon the bathroom floor with bent legs. His forearms rest on his knees and Makoto feels positively lazy. It has been very busy lately.

The water bubbles in the tub, followed by the familiar sound of gasping air. Haru appears from beneath the surface with dripping hair and a serene expression covering his pointed face.

Makoto isn't sure how long they have been in here, letting their Sunday afternoon tick by slowly.

It would all be very relaxing, and a perfect way to spend the weekend, except for the jittering within his chest that refuses to go away. Makoto has tried to rationalise it, to say that he doesn't care about the kiss, but it is clear that he does.

Whether it is because Haru didn't tell him, or for another hidden reason, he does not know.

Sighing again, and feeling very much like a broken record, the boy decides to speak up.

"Haru-chan." Makoto says tentatively, lifting his head to look at the drenched teen properly.

Haruka watches him with a look that says – Yes? His head cocks almost imperceptibly and the suddenly nervous boy suppresses a gulp.

He isn't sure if this is the right thing, if he is prepared for the answer. Regardless, Makoto says rather vaguely,

"I didn't know that you've kissed someone…" His tone is light despite the heaviness of his gaze and he realises that Haru knows, that he has been caught with one look.

Makoto might be able to read Haruka's thoughts, but the connection goes both ways. (A fact that is easy to forget.)

Then Haru asks with a hint of confusion, "Why would I tell you?" His factual tone makes the blow hurt even more and as his heart sinks into his stomach, Makoto begins to understand the hidden reason.

He wanted it to be him…

"You were there." Haruka states with piercing azure and as quickly as his heart plummeted, it shoots upward and his head suddenly feels light. Though it takes his mind a moment to catch up…

I was there…

"You were talking about me?" He questions disbelievingly, leaning forward in the process. His mouth is slightly agape and he probably looks like a fish.

Slight irritation crosses Haru's astute eyes and he fixes Makoto with a direct stare.

"I haven't kissed anyone but you." He says, like it is the most obvious thing in the world. It feels like Haruka is annoyed that he already didn't know but Makoto is still in shock.

What does this even mean? His heart is beating much too fast and he has to force his hopeful green orbs away from the lips only a meter or so away.

"Do you -" He stammers, "Do you want to?" Makoto still looks surprised but the serious note must be evident. Surely Haruka wants to try kissing another person. The thought worries him, but it is only a natural assumption.

"No. I'm fine." Haru replies tonelessly and his emotionless gaze moves from Makoto to directly ahead. The water ripples and he takes in a deep lungful of air as he disappears beneath the waters surface.

It's probably a good thing too, because a smile has suddenly found its way to Makoto's tanned face, growing in proportion by the second.

Leaning his head back against the wood again, the teen notes that his negative jitters are gone completely. In its place, is something new and not unwelcome.

Makoto is happy.

xxx

I apologise for any wildly ooc moment. I am using High Speed! and Free! as a reference and the characters are true to my interpretation of those two pieces.

Anyway I hope you like it.

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Ja ne!