Title: See You Later
Summary: "Haru... What I said that time wasn't a lie... Swimming without you is meaningless to me!"
Disclaimer: Still not owning.
Pairing: Implied/Hinted MakoHaru
Warning: Possible OoC-ness; SPOILERS: set post-episode-7 & pre-episode-8 (aka: written before watching episode 8) also, slightly defers from episode 8 preview; Slightly dialogue-y
See You Later
Makoto's eyes widened in horror as he watched the scene happening below. Being up on the stand, he couldn't tell what Rin was telling Haruka, but judging by how stunned Haruka was and how stiffly he walked back into the building, it couldn't be good. In fact, Makoto was willing to bet that he knew what Rin told him. If it's really what I think then... Haru...! Makoto turned and ran even before he knew it. All he could think of was that he had to get to Haruka as fast as he can; before the raven can be consumed by his own thoughts. Makoto barely heard Nagisa and Rei calling out behind him as he ran, only stopping when he saw none other then Matsuoka Rin coming down the hallway.
"Rin..." Makoto greeted, barely out of breath.
"It's you, huh. Figures." Rin mumbled.
"...Rin, what did you say to Haru?" Makoto asked, well aware of Rei and Nagisa stopping behind him. "...Rin!"
"I won. I won't swim with him ever again." Rin replied.
"...I see." Makoto muttered, raising an arm to stop his juniors' oncoming outbursts.
"That's all you're going to say?" Rin asked curiously.
"You won, fair and square. There's nothing else I can say to you." Makoto shrugged with his usual, easy-going smile.
Rin stared at him quietly before grunting, "Being nice as always, huh." Without another word, the Samezuka swimmer walked off, barely paying any attention to the glares Nagisa and Rei shot him.
"Mako-chan, why?! He said those things to Haru-cha―"
Nagisa was cut off when Makoto slammed a fist into the nearest wall, his eyes narrowed in what can only be described as 'pain'. The breaststroke swimmer fell silent―in all the years he had known Makoto and Haruka, this was the first time he had seen the brunet lose his calm. It was then did he realized that what Rin said did not only hurt Haruka―for Makoto, who grew up with Haruka and knew almost everything about him, to see the raven in such a state was almost as painful as Haruka felt at the moment.
"Sorry. About Haru... Let me go see him alone, okay?" Makoto's voice was soft as usual, but lacked its usual strength."Don't worry. It'll be alright." And, at the moment, Makoto didn't know if he was trying to reassure Nagisa and Rei, or trying to convince himself. (Judging by their worried expressions, it wasn't working. Makoto gave a strained smile before running down the hallway again, Nagisa and Rei standing in their own spots as asked.
Makoto went straight to the shower area the moment he stepped into the changing room. There barely was anyone in the room, given that the tournament was still going on outside, and Makoto was glad for that. Just as he expected, he found Haruka in one of the shower stalls, standing under the shower jet with his swimwear still on as he stared blankly at the ground.
"Haru..." Makoto murmured, slipping through the door.
"I'm fine." Haruka bit out immediately―too quickly, Makoto thought.
"I said I'm fin―!"
Haruka stopped abruptly as Makoto stepped under the shower jet as he wrapped his arms around the freestyle swimmer. Haruka tried struggling, despite knowing that it was futile, and true enough, Makoto only wrapped his arms tighter around him. If Makoto was bothered by the freezing cold water pouring down on them, he said nothing about it―right now, there was nothing more important than Haruka.
"I saw Rin on my way here." Makoto started, feeling how Haruka had tensed up in his hold. "He told me what he told you... at the pool." This time, Haruka was completely still, seemingly unreceptive at all. Makoto's voice cracked just a little as he continued, "Haru... What I said that time wasn't a lie... Swimming without you is meaningless to me!"
This time, Haruka broke away from his grasp and stared up at the brunet with widened eyes. He saw he pain and desperation in the backstroke swimmer's eyes. "...Makoto..."
"Haru... Do you remember...? Back when we were kids, I promised you that I'll never leave you... The promise still stands, you know..." Makoto smiled gently. "All of us―me, Nagisa, Rei... even Kou-chan..―wants to swim with Haruka. That's why we're here today, at this tournament. That's why... We'll wait for you. At the relay. We'll wait for you, Haru."
Haruka's eyes widened with every word that spilled from Makoto's lips; his eyes shining rather suspiciously. He didn't say anything―he couldn't say anything; not without possibly breaking down―and turned back to face the shower wall. Still, Makoto understood that he had gotten through to Haruka; he couldn't undo the damage of Rin's word, but, at the very least, he reminded Haruka that there were people who wanted to be with him, who were waiting for him, and that was, at the moment, enough for Makoto.
Makoto shifted and pressed his lips to the top of Haruka's head before quietly leaving the shower stall.
"Mako-chan!" Nagisa ran towards their captain the moment he spotted him, coming back down the hallway. "...Haru-chan...?"
"He's al― He'll be alright." Makoto smiled.
"Haruka-sempai..." Rei frowned.
"...Don't worry! If Mako-chan says Haru-chan will be alright, then he will be!" Nagisa exclaimed.
"And the relay...?" Rei forced himself to ask.
"He'll be back for the relay." Makoto answered. "Haru will... definitely be back in time for the relay." Makoto smiled. "For now, let's focus on our individual events, alright?"
"Yes! I'll definitely work hard!" Rei replied, a smile blooming on his face.
"Let's go! Let's go!" Nagisa cheered. "Ahh! Mako-chan, hurry! I think it's about time for backstroke!" The breaststroke swimmer gasped, pulling at Makoto's hand.
Makoto smiled as Rei turned on Nagisa and lectured him on something or another, while Nagisa pouted and returned the gestures childishly, even turning to Makoto for 'help', which only brought forth more lectures from Rei about not bothering their captain for everything.
Haru... Let's swim together at the relay, okay? We'll definitely wait for you. See you later.
A/N: If there's any inconsistency with episode 8, I apologize. Like 'I Will Save You', this is just a 'what-if' scene that struck me after watching episode 7 and the preview. I deliberately held off watching episode 8 so I could get this out first. Also, apologies for the sucky quality of this fic; it was rushed.
Well, that's all for this time. Thank you for reading as always. Ciao ciao~