The room had fallen silent, and Rin had stormed out. The air was thick with tension, and even Captain Mikoshiba couldn't think of anything to say. It was eventually Nitori who broke the silence.
"That was… really fucking weird, actually." he murmured. Thirty heads turned towards him and he blushed under the sudden attention. Seijuurou frowned.
"Why?" he asked. Nitori flushed deeper red.
"Well, Rin has no problem with… that sort of stuff, so…" he trailed off. Gou frowned.
"He had a crush on some singer from a boyband once." she mumbled.
Makoto's vice-grip on Haru's hand loosened and Haru felt him un-tense slightly. He still looked puzzled as ever, but gears were turning in Haruka's head. A few gears clicked.
"Fuck." he said, and sprinted out.
He followed the trail of damp footprints - swimmers were easy to find. It led him out of the pool, past the changing rooms, and out into a corridor lined with dormitories. The number plate on the door of room 31 was swinging as though the door had just been slammed shut, and it probably had. Haru recalled Nitori saying that room 31 was his and Rin's room.
Haru rapped twice on the door.
"Fuck off." Rin snapped from inside.
"No." Haru said.. "Rin, what the hell was that?"
"I could ask you the same thing!" Rin yelled. Haru winced - Rin must be right on the other side of the door.
"Open the door." Haru said. His voice remained perfectly level, in stark contrast to Rin. When the door flew open, his face was red and his teeth were bared. A vein stood out on his forehead, and his hair and swimsuit were still damp.
"Why did you yell out earlier?" Haru asked. Rin growled.
"Because it's fucking disgusting, that's why!" he snarled. "Faggots."
Haru winced, but so did Rin.
"You just flinched!" Haru snapped. "That's bullshit." Rin opened his mouth to speak again, but Haru cut him off.
"No, I've seen the way you look at Nitori. Don't lie." Haru said. He stared Rin straight in the eye. "What's the real reason you were angry?"
Rin opened his mouth slightly, closed it, chewed his words, and swallowed them. He made to shut himself back in his room but Haru shoved his foot in the way.
"You can tell me." he pressed. Rin glared.
"No I can't!" he growled. Haru stared at him and Rin crumpled.
"You can't tell anyone, do you understand me?" he said.
The two swim team changed in an awkward half-silence. Nitori and Nagisa whispered gossip to each other, and a few other boys had quiet conversations, but that was it. It was weird and tense.
Rei was the first changed - his immaculately folded clothes and methodical towel-drying meant he always dressed faster, and left almost immediately.
"I'm going to walk back to my house. It's not far from here, so don't worry too much, Makoto-senpai." Rei chuckled. His straight face returned quickly. "But please text me if Haruka-senpai comes back. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned."
Rei left without another word, and wound his way back through the maze of corridors and out of the extensive school grounds. Rei was thinking so hard as he walked back, that he almost walked in front of a car. As he recovered from this, heart pounding, he looked back at the school grounds, and saw Haru and Rin walking, deep in conversation and deeper in thought. Spying time. Rei pushed up his glasses and began to observe their body language. Haru gave small reassuring touches, in some kind of sympathetic action, and Rin was wringing his hands every now and then, not meeting Haru's eyes. Occasionally they snapped at each other - the air was likely tense.
Rei gave himself a moment for his deductions.
Rin was possibly confessing something to Haru. The two were still damp, and apart from Rin's Samezuka blazer thrown on over the top, both were still dressed in their swimsuits - they'd not stopped to change or dry off since running from the pool. Rin clearly felt hesitant, so whatever he was confessing must be in some way important or significant, and Haruka looked distinctly uncomfortable but was attempting to reassure Rin (probably) that it was fine.
Rei gave himself another moment to admire his brain, and then had an idea.
What could Rin be confessing to Haru that was important, made Haru feel uncomfortable, but also sympathetic?
"Oh." Rei said, and yanked out his phone to text Makoto.
"You can't tell anyone, do you understand me?" Rin said. Haru nodded solemnly. Rin yanked his arm to the side and began power-walking through corridors.
"We're going outside for this, I need some fresh air." he grumbled. "It's gonna be cold so get ready."
The air was indeed cold, and smelled of flowers. Rin had led them into the garden, behind the school. The only reason they had it was because it made the school look fancy, but it was a good place for a talk. Gardens tended to be.
"So now tell me." Haru said, cutting to the point. Rin shoved his hands into his jacket pockets and glared at the ground.
"Can you promise you won't tell anyone?" Rin asked. Haru decided to go with the honesty route.
"No. But I won't tell anyone who wouldn't've found out anyway." Haru said. "You're acting like a teenage girl. Spit it out." he snapped.
"It's a crush, okay? I've had a crush on you for the longest fucking time and its only nearly gone." Rin spat.
Haru's face could only be described as "surprised."
"Didn't see that coming? 'course not." he muttered to himself. Haru scowled.
"Why tell me now?" he asked.
"Because you were always so wrapped up in your own world, and I didn't want to make things more awkward between us. I know it'll pass. I didn't want to say anything until it did." Rin grumbled. Haru was, admittedly, feeling awkward. But he pressed on with the conversation.
"Why the outburst?" he asked. Rin thought for a moment.
"It was just..." he paused, then sighed. "I wasn't really prepared to see you kiss Makoto. I always knew it was going to happen, but it just really shocked me." he said. "I didn't think you were gay, either. That was another reason I didn't tell you." Haru stayed silent, just patted Rin's arm gently once.
"I've been waiting for a while now for it to go away. My crush on you, I mean." he clarified. "Just since I got back from Australia. I bumped into you and just sort of realised I liked you." Rin muttered. Haru wanted him to stop talking. He was uncomfortable, but Rin probably needed to let it out.
"I get this spark when I see you, you know? But it's competitive. It makes me want to race you and beat you. We'd never work, Haru. I'm not in love with you; I just want to be better than you." Rin said finally. "Emotions are fucking weird."
Haru reflected for a moment before speaking again.
"Is it gone? The crush." he mumbled. Rin shrugged.
"I don't know."
"Do you want to... you know." Haru's eyes flicked to Rin's lips. "Just once, to see. An experiment." he said.
"Once." Haru confirmed, and Rin looked a little better.
Their lips met briefly, a chaste kiss, and Haru felt none of the warmth he felt kissing Makoto. It felt weird, and Haru pulled away quite soon.
"Is it gone?" Haru asked.
Rin smiled. Not a smirk, but the slightly-disappointed half-smile that he used to smile when he'd come second in a race as a kid.
"Almost," he said. Rin's taut muscles relaxed slightly, and Haru gave a small smile before turning and walking back the direction he'd come to dress, and to find Makoto.
It was a warm Saturday evening and all of Makoto's maternal family (about 6 adults, two grandparents, and 7 cousins, ages ranging 6 to 19) were gathered in his garden. His paternal grandparents were there too, chatting happily with his Uncle Kaito and Aunt Michiko. His father grilled some mackerel (Makoto and his mother had giggled about it for five minutes) while Mother prepared salad. Ren and Ran played with a younger cousin, Yoko, and his other cousins talked amongst themselves, or to the adults. Makoto was the only one not talking to anyone else; an unusual occurrence for someone as sociable and easy-going as himself. He was lying on his back on the warm grass, texting away to Haru. One of his older cousins, a 15 year old girl called Nanako with whom he shared his hair colour, plopped down beside him.
"Who ya textin'?" she asks, trying to peek at his screen. Makoto startles and dropped his phone on his face.
"Erm." he begins, but Makoto's mother cuts him off.
"Probably just Haruka." she chuckled, handing some glasses of lemonade around. Makoto's grandmothers cut in.
"Ooh, who's Haruka?"
"Makoto, you've not told us about them!"
"Is she your girlfriend?" an aunt chipped in. Suddenly everyone's attention was focused on Makoto and he found himself feeling uncomfortable.
"He's a handsome boy, and he's as sweet as a pudding. Of course she's his girlfriend!"
Makoto blushed, to the amusement of his relatives. His mother was grinning.
"Er, you could say that, yes." he said. Haruka's girly name was a blessing and a curse at the same time.
"I wanna meet her!" another cousin, Yuumi called out. There was a general, excitable murmur of agreement.
"Bring her over! She doesn't live too far away, does she? Iwatobi is so small compared to Tokyo." Grandfather Tachibana said. Makoto opened his mouth to protest, but his father laughed.
"Haruka lives in that house there," he said, pointing at the house directly across the street. Literally a stone's throw away.
"Bring her over! Bring her over!" two of his younger cousins chorused. They were joined in their chant by almost everyone there. Makoto's parents stifled laughter.
"Alright, alright!" Makoto yelled over the din. "I'll bring her over!"
His family cheered. Makoto's face regained it's red colouration but he began to tap out a text anyway.
you can stop spamming me now, i saw your text haru! but my family interrogated me about who i was texting and long story short, you have to come over. see you in a few minutes xx 3
Conversation resumed among the family, mostly about Makoto's "girlfriend" and how he was "such a handsome young lad." When Haru hadn't showed up within a minute, Makoto sighed and walked up to the fence at the end of the garden. He picked up a handful of pebbles, leaned over, and expertly threw one straight through Haru's open window. Makoto heard a yelp.
"You're not getting out of it this time, Haruka!" Makoto yelled. His family roared with laughter behind him. "Come over, or I'll drag you!"
Makoto heard a door slam shut, and within a few seconds Haru appeared on the steps and flipped him off. He was wearing one of Makoto's old shirts, he noticed.
"Go round the front, it's unlocked." Makoto called down. Ren and Ran immediately sprung into action, and charged through the house.
"I'm kind of excited." Nanako giggled. "He's been mooning over the same person since I can remember." Makoto turned fiercely red again. If she told that to Haru, he'd die on the spot.
There was a sound of footsteps from inside the house, and the screen door was pushed aside. Haru stepped through to the garden, being pulled by the wrists by Ren and Ran, and 21 heads turned towards him.
"I thought you were calling your girlfriend over?" Grandma Tachibana asked. Makoto rubbed at the back of his neck and grinned sheepishly. Haru's head snapped towards him.
"Did you call me by Haruka in front of all of them?"
"It was Mama!" Makoto said, throwing his hands up in surrender. "Nanako asked me who I was texting and everyone got interested. Mama said I was texting Haruka, then Grandma asked if Haruka was my girlfriend and so I went with it."
Haruka gave him a weak glare, then sighed. Makoto's family had listened to this exchange and were now staring at the two with expressions of ultimate confusion.
"Makoto, are you dating a girl called Haruka or not?" Aunt Michiko asked.
"He's dating a boy called Haruka." Haru said, and clasped Makoto's hand in his own. "Surprise."
There was a moment of silence as a few eyes widened. Makoto's parents were killing themselves laughing in the corner.
"I knew it!" Cousin Souta yelled, shrieking with laughter. Nanako joined him, and before long almost everyone was smiling, at the very least.
(A/N) Hey would you look at that, an update!
So this chapter is a little disjointed, sorry. The bit with Rei was where I was going to split the chapter but I decided against it.
I had tons of fun with this, especially planning and writing the last section! I hope you liked that ehehe. But also I hope you liked my portrayal of Rin, I hope he wasn't too sappy. I tried to write him being a little less abrasive, you can't exactly yell at someone when confessing something like that. It's hard enough to say it, I'd know ehehe.
Also here's a little bit that I was going to add in but didn't:
"Did I miss something?" asked Cousin Sakura, walking back from the bathroom.
"Makoto is the gay cousin!" Souta cried, roaring with laughter. Sakura surveyed Haru and Makoto for a moment, then spoke to him.
"Wait. If you're the gay cousin, and I'm the gay cousins, then who's flying the plane?" she said.
Well that's one way to come out, thought Haru.
Yeah I spent too much time on tumblr.
But yeah, how was the chapter? Leave a review below, I also need plot ideas as well as wanting to know what you thought! 3