A/N: Rated T for language, mild violence, and some light shounen-ai if you squint. Anyone who gets offended by any of that, turn back now.
To whoever are still left, happy reading!
Makoto's been acting weird lately. This morning, he had slammed the door of his foot locker a bit too quickly, giving Haru a forced smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. Last Friday, he had forgotten his textbooks at home and had to share with Haru. Haru doesn't mind, but it bothered him because the last time Makoto forgot his textbooks was when they were in elementary school and he had stubbornly come to school despite a blazing fever. That is to say, it was very uncharacteristic of Makoto and when Haru mentioned it, he simply looked away and mumbled something about being up late the previous night because of some assignment that Haru didn't even know they had. It had only been a week since they entered high school and there were hardly any urgent deadlines to be worrying about.
Makoto probably assumed that Haru wouldn't notice because of his propensity to stare off into the distance, but when it came to Makoto, Haru was always watching. Or rather, he was always aware of Makoto, whether he was physically looking at him or not. He couldn't describe it, really, but he supposed it's kind of like the way a dropped pebble sends ripples across the surface of a lake. The lake feels every ripple, even the ones the pebble doesn't know it had caused. Or something like that. Haru isn't very good with metaphors.
Anyway, if he thought about it, Haru could trace Makoto's strange behaviour to that day a few weeks ago when it had been raining on their way to school. As per their custom, or rather as per Haru's utter lack of inhibition with anything related to water, Makoto had shared his umbrella with Haru as they hurried to school since Haru didn't even know if he had an umbrella.
By the end of that day, Makoto had a brittle smile on his face and, for the first time in a long time, he didn't walk home with Haru. He had just told him to go on ahead without really giving him a reason.
Ever since then, although they had resumed their normal routine of walking to and from school together, Haru could tell that it was no longer the same, easy pace they had established over the years. It was tense and strained, and Haru did not like that at all.
"Do you mind, Haru-chan?"
Haruka turned to look at him in confusion, a bite of tamagoyaki halfway to his mouth.
"You weren't listening, were you?" Makoto sighed with a resigned shake of his head. "I promised to help Suzuki-sensei in the library so I was asking if you would rather wait for me or just head home after school."
Haru considered his options as he chewed. He didn't really mind waiting, but on the other hand, he wanted to soak in his tub as soon as possible. He spared a sideways glance at Makoto.
Maybe it's high time he confronted Makoto about the way he'd been acting these past few weeks. Haru hadn't really found the right time; there was always someone interrupting them during the lull in between classes and it seemed wrong somehow to bring it up on the way home. Besides, Haru was holding on to the hope that Makoto would just bounce back from whatever funk he had fallen in on his own. It was selfish of him to think that, but words just were not his forte.
He wasn't looking forward to it, but it had to be done. Haru nodded slightly, biting down into an octopus weiner resolutely. He didn't bother voicing his choice; he knew Makoto would understand.
"Okay, Haru-chan," Makoto laughed. "Wait for me by the lockers? Or would you prefer to wait by the school gate? But I guess that would be weird if you just wait there by yourself..."
Makoto nodded in confirmation. "By the lockers then. I'll try to be quick so you don't wait too long."
Haru leaned against the cool metal of the lockers. Most of the students had gone home; the sound of various clubs practicing outside is a muted hum in his ears. He sank down, sitting on his haunches, and prepared himself for a long wait because he knows that even if Makoto tries to be quick, he won't leave until everything is done and that would most likely take a while.
"Can you believe that Tachibana?"
Haru's fingers twitched. As far as he knew, Makoto was the only Tachibana in their relatively small school. He tried to place the voice but came away with nothing other than the speaker might be his classmate.
"Did you see his face when he saw what we did to his locker?" a different voice sniggered. "Fucker couldn't close the door fast enough."
Sharp laughter, cruel and biting, rang out, and Haru clenched his fist against the urge to run up to those two and make them hurt. Makoto had always been the type to suffer in silence so it wasn't hard for Haru to imagine that he would hide something like because he didn't want him to worry.
He stood up quietly and started fiddling with the knob on Makoto's locker. He knew the combination Makoto used back in elementary and decided to try that. Makoto was a creature of habit so Haru hoped that meant he still used the same numbers.
An almost inaudible click signaled that he was right. With trepidation, he eased the slightly rusted metal door open.
The whole of the inside was plastered with yellow post-its with large, crude characters.
Go suck Nanase's dick, homo.
Haru stood there, quietly seething. Makoto was always nice to everyone; it was probably because of that gentleness of his that he presented an easy target for people like those two boys who enjoyed tormenting people just for the heck of it. Because even if Makoto easily towered over most of the males in their class, he wouldn't retaliate. Because he's Makoto and that's the way he's always been.
He snapped the door shut with a loud clang that reverberated across the lockers. His hand gripped the handle hard.
"Oh, Nanase, you were there?"
Apparently, the sound had alerted the two to his presence. Morimoto, who sat in front of Makoto everyday, and Yamashita from class A. Rage bubbled up, fierce and hot, but Haru kept his face neutral.
The two boys exchanged looks then simultaneously turned to Haruka with grins that were a bit too wide.
"Hey, Nanase. You like water, right?"
Haru stared at them stonily. He didn't bother with the question; it wasn't important and everyone knows the answer anyway. Instead, dark thoughts swirled in his mind, thoughts of watching these pathetic idiots flail helplessly in the water as they fight for breath. Unfortunately, their school doesn't have a pool and the sea is too far. Too bad.
He spotted a flash of metal just behind the last row of lockers and it hits him. The perfect punishment for those who had hurt Makoto.
Haru made his way to the drinking fountain, knowing they would follow since they didn't get the satisfaction of a reaction from him. He simply stood there, pondering on who to go for first.
"Oi, Nanase! You listening?"
Morimoto, the more sensible of the two, looked hesitant. He knew Haru better than Yamashita, being in the same class, so he could probably tell that there was something off about him.
Yamashita took a step forward, an ugly expression twisting his features. Morimoto tried to hold him back, but he just shook him off.
Morimoto didn't even know what hit him. He dropped to the ground, his head hitting the wooden floor with a dull thud. Haru's knuckles smarted a bit from the blow, but he smiled when he noticed the dark red flow trickling out of his nostrils. Because Morimoto was a classmate, and he had tried to stop Yamashita, Haru decided to let him off with just that blow. Besides, he had bigger fish to fry.
"The fuck's wrong with you?" Yamashita's voice quaked, trying to appear tough but failing miserably.
Haru turned to him, a black smile still playing upon his lips. Yamashita tried to back away, but swimming in the ocean for years has its advantages so he easily closed the distance between them.
Haru grabbed his collar, glaring into his wide, frightened eyes. He dragged the boy, squirming and swearing loudly, to the drinking fountain. Haru absentmindedly noted that it's a good thing the school building was almost empty; no one would hear him scream.
He shoved Yamashita down, forcing his mouth over the fountain nozzle. He gagged as it went too far down his throat.
"Hey, Yamashita, was it?"
The boy nodded, tearful and miserable.
"Suck on this."
Haru pushed the lever all the way down. Water gushed up into Yamashita's throat, choking him and making him squirm against Haru's hold. Just as the boy's thrashing started to slow, a voice called out.
"Haru? Are you there?"
Haru loosened his hold and pulled Yamashita off the fountain, letting him sprawl onto the floor. The boy was just barely conscious, but his terrified eyes reassured Haru that he would not bother Makoto again.
But just to be sure, he leaned down and whispered.
"Hurt Makoto again and next time, I won't stop until you drown."
Haru didn't wait to see the effect his words had on the boy.
Makoto was waiting for him after all.
"Hey, Haru-chan? Did you hear?" Makoto sounded relieved, although only someone who knew him as well as Haru did would have been able to tell. "It seems Class A's Yamashita-kun and Morimoto-kun are both transferring out. Weird, isn't it?"
Haru gave a noncommittal shrug. He had told Makoto a heavily-edited version of his confrontation with the two boys in an attempt to reassure the brunet that he no longer had to worry about people vandalising his locker and textbooks. As far as Makoto knew, Haru had only told them off.
"It's so sudden though...I wonder why?"
Haru reached for Makoto's hand and held on tightly.
A/N: Not sure if this counts as romance, but then I figured HaruMako bromance so yeah. De-anon from the kink meme although if someone who knows me sees this, it'd be sort of embarrassing because I might be sort-of-kinda-totally obsessed with Free! TIL I like living on the edge O_o
Review or yandere!Haru will get you~~