A/N: This story takes place after episode 4 ("You're going to swim for me!" but before episode 7 ("I'll never swim with you again!") so it's a bit of an alternate timeline of sorts. Thar be ANGST afoot!
A/N: Written for myself. But because it's Rinharu, I decided to share it, too. It's written a little differently than usual, for me.
Only You; Only Us
A slither of moon became hidden behind billowy clouds; a scattering of chilled liquid soon pelted the cities beneath in frantic designs. Not many had dared to step foot outside from already hearing of the soggy clime their town was to receive. However, while others with common sense headed home away from the storm, there was one individual who progressed through the opposite. On swift legs, Haruka Nanase jogged towards his destination without giving much mind to the time of night, nor the nature of his bedraggled surroundings. He wore no jacket and held no umbrella; he felt the need for neither. Having the descending droplets break over his skin was a nice reward for his troubles. After all, Rin's house was a bit out of his way.
Once he finally reached the Matsouka residence, he banged on the door twice with the bottom of his fist. As he waited for a response, he saw one of the room lights flicker on. It wasn't long before he was addressed with a distant call from inside. Soon, the front door unlocked then was tugged ajar just enough for Gou's familiar face to peek out from under a still-latched chain. Her bright eyes rounded at the sight of him; she inhaled loudly, then slammed the door shut. The sound of the iron being unhinged then clinked and she swung the door open, "Haruka-senpai?!" the baffled girl blurted in awe and without reserve, "It's after 2100 hours and-" Her boisterousness muted immediately while her attention scurried over his entirety, scrutinizing him from his sodden shoes to the mop of a mane atop his head, "Haruka-senpai! Y-you're SOAKED!"
'Wet things tend to be...,' he quipped silently to himself. Perhaps the surprise of his sudden appearance had stolen that common sense right from under her. He didn't bother with a reply right away. Instead, he looked blankly back at her; one eye was eclipsed by a drenched drape of bangs; his mouth was slightly ringed as he absentmindedly expelled soft breaths. "... Is...Rin here..."
"Ah-! My brother?!" The girl's lithe body tensed at the mention of her older sibling and she stood clutching the doorknob with an owlish visage. This situation was odd enough for Haruka to show up here of all places, let alone such a late time of night. And on top of that, he was looking for Rin? She had heard through the grapevine that the two of them arrived at a disagreement and they both needed to forgive and forget. But for Haruka to come all the way here just for that, and through a storm no less- The astonishment of it all stunned her for a good minute, and it was only then that she realized she had been keeping her guest outside. With a quick step backwards out of the way, she gestured for him to come in- to which he did nonchalantly. After shutting the door behind her, she rushed to grab a towel from the kitchen and handed it to her peer. Haruka took the item dispassionately, and kept his cerulean gaze on her as he began to wipe his tresses dry. Although his deadpanned expression feigned disinterest, he actually was earnestly awaiting an answer towards his very reasoning for being here.
Unfortunately, his expectation couldn't be fulfilled in the way he had sacrificed a soak in the bathtub for. The younger gave Haruka a weak smile before she folded her arms behind her back and shook her head; her lengthy ponytail swept along the outline of her back as she did so, "My brother isn't here right now. It isn't a holiday, so he's still at his dorm..." she trailed off in an 'I thought you knew, already' type of manner. Despite the news, her expression remained chipper for reasons unperceived to Haruka. Earnestly, she carried on, "Mom is out visiting relatives for the week, so there hasn't been much reason for him to stay here while it's just me."
"..." Its arrival was faint, but upon hearing that bit of information, Haruka's features faltered. Rin wasn't home and he had ran all this way for nothing. Determining his time now wasted, he turned away from her and sent his vision to a nondescript area of the room. Gou took careful study of his behaviors; warmly, the corners of her mouth curved upwards. 'So he really is interested,' she triumphed quietly to herself. Aside from the needs of his friends there were two things that she knew of that sparked a semblance of emotion from Haruka: one being a certain element, while the remaining was her brother. And Rin's dorm wasn't too far away...
"I could call him and tell him you're here," she considered cheerfully,"Even though he isn't, you're welcome to stay, if you like!"
"..." A noncommittal sound was Haruka's only reply. In fact, he couldn't wait to leave. He pulled the semi-damp cloth from his head and shook the lingering dew from his dark locks, "I'm leaving, now..."
"Huh? Already? Don't you want me to get a hold of him for you?" she wondered, taking the object as it was offered back to her.
"Too much effort," Haruka drawled, already facing the way he came. Without Rin, his trip was meaningless—not to mention his discomfort being in the same room alone with his sister. One of the things Haruka recalled clearly was how overprotective Rin would become over Gou. It was his brotherly duty, after all. Haruka had no family as they did. He had Makoto, a best friend for the rest of his life, but Haruka felt he still would not understand the similarity. Those of what he could comprehend were not standing in front of him, nor flowing beneath him. They had their places; Haruka found neither in this one.
"...You know..." Gou began, a hint of mischief frolicking in her dispute, "my brother has a pool in the backyard that only he used whenever he trained in grade school..."
Haruka's hand halted at the doorknob; his breathing quieted as his ears drank in this information. Knowing she had his attention now, Gou merrily tempted Haruka further, "It used to be our father's. Ever since mom first showed it to my brother, he hasn't allowed anyone else to use it and it's been covered up since he's been gone. But, if it's you... he shouldn't mind too much! Right?"
"..." Touching story, but Haruka still didn't have enough persuasion—but Gou certainly did. Pleasantly, she resumed, "It's 25 meters long~~~"
" And it's got 2 swimming lanes..."
"..." This had to have been too good to be true. Pools in general weren't exactly thrifty buys, and having one of that size seemed nearly impossible in the neighborhood. However, he didn't bother to question the lure until he had witnessed it himself. Entirely bribed, Haruka spun around with a hand already raising his shirt by its hem, "Show me."
Gou hardly had time to unveil the thing before she obtained an eyeful of her comrade shedding his clothing, save for a favorite pair of swimwear. Even through the veil of the sopping climate, a light smile blossomed about her lips at the ritual she had seen many times during club activities. The fluidity of muscle beneath taut skin was a treat for her and she watched him dive in with perfect poise.
"Ahhh~~~h such spectacular triceps! The be~~~st!" she gushed in admiration.
Whether Haruka heard her or not was unknown. With his body now captive to the enveloping aqua, its tranquility quelled all disquieted feelings and bestowed respite to his very core. The formless entity surrounding him, and the promises being consumed by it held, was all he needed right now. In short, Haruka was in bliss. With him distracted, Gou decided it time to return into the house. She couldn't contain her excitement for what her brother might have to say about a Haru being in his pool.
"He's... WHAT!? GOU, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" Rin vociferated through the phone. His incredulous shout attacked her so sharply, Gou had to yank the device away from her ear with an abrupt yelp. To ease the clamoring in her ears, she placed the mobile device down atop a cushion and selected it to be on speakerphone. She should have known things would have turned out this way! Apparently, it would seem that Rin wasn't the least bit amused by the message she had sent:
" \Hey, big brother guess what? Haruka is here looking for you! He's out back in the you-know-what, waiting. I think you should come over right away! *hearts*/ "
Clearly, his exasperation was not unfounded.
"GOU!" Rin growled, elongating the vowels.
"I can HEAR you! Don't shout so loudly!" she shot back in an strained whisper that mimicked a hiss more than anything else, "I told him he should wait!"
"WHY is he there to BEGIN with? You're home alone, aren't you?!"
"I can take care of myself, big brother! It's you I'm worried about! You haven't seen him since last week! What happened? You two were just starting to get along and be friends again...!"
A jagged groan came from Rin's side and Gou could tell he was raking an aggravated hand through his fandango-hued fluff, "...Gou..."
"Whatever it was, I'm sure it wasn't his fault! He really cares for you. He was even going to leave when he found out you weren't here! You should just say you're sorry and make up already! You two need each other!"
"Gou-!" Rin's voice ascended again, but it quickly hushed to a lower, more secretive, volume, "Not so loud...! I don't want him to hear you!" He then paused, "And it WAS his fault. You don't know any of the details, do you?! Don't just take his side, I'm your brother! And, I still don't want to see him right now...!"
"...Yeah. Really... ...He knows where to find me if he wants to say he's sor-"
"... Big brother..."
"I think he likes you...!"
Rin sputtered in a way that could double for a partial laugh as much as it could a sound of disbelief, "And he told you that?!"
Gou shook her head despite not being able to be seen, "It's in his eyes. He looked really disappointed when he didn't see you."
"...He always looks like that..." Rin surmised flatly.
"Okay then, I think he REALLY likes you! Aside from Makoto, you were the one closest to him all those years ago, right?" She took note of the sudden change in her brother's breathing at the mention of Haruka's best friend, but she continued on, "I think the two of you should talk everything out and put this problem, whatever it is, behind you."
Rin sucked his teeth and muttered boyishly, "I said it was his fault...he should come to me to beg for forgive-"
He sighed, "If you knew what happened, you wouldn't be on his side!"
"I'm on both of your sides! And if you think I don't know, why don't you explain it to me?"
"Then, I won't let you get away from this! Besides, I know you reaaaallly want to see him..."
She giggled, "Makoto told me he got a text from you that was meant to be for Ha-"
"SGDHJSGFSGBSIDONTWANNAHEARTHIS" Rin erupted, stringing his frustration together to form some sort of new language. His intonation then shrank to a self-derisive whisper, "...So THAT'S what happened to it-!"
"He's still here. And the weather isn't getting much better. Hmm... Have you had your daily run today, yet?" Gou wondered in an innocent tone that doubled as an insinuating one.
"... … …. …! …..!" A tarnished sentence, that would have been coherent had it not been delivered so lowly, seeped through the receiver. It would seem her brother was running out of options, "You're not going to drop this, are you..."
"...Ughsuchapain... … Fine... … Look, I'll be there in 15 minutes. Try to keep him there until then."
"Okaaay!" she trilled. Well, that wasn't too difficult! Rin was the type to outwardly boast himself to be this unbreakable wall, but after digging just an inch under that, it was easy to realize what a caring and loving individual he really was. Gou wished that one day, Haruka would be able to witness that side of him as well, "See you later, big brother."
"Y...e...h..wt...vr..." Rin mumbled, dragging his words in a rebellious manner that decimated the clarity of his answer. He ended the call soon thereafter and Gou literally leapt for joy. She knew her brother had a great fascination with Haruka. Ever since they were in primary school together, Rin could never stop prattling on and on about the boy he admired who only swam freestyle. It actually amazed Gou that her brother hadn't just stepped to Haruka and demand that they begin going steady together. The intensities between them were far too extreme to not be explored more deeply. However, recently there had been a bit of a rift between them. She hadn't uncovered all the details, but she was aware of the gist of what happened by word of mouth of a "trusted source". During a training meet, Rin's dorm-mate Nitori was able to see Haruka swimming up close, as he did a decade prior, and was truly captivated. Her brother didn't like how someone who was studying under him had the attention that should have been for him ripped away. It was true that Rin had often told Nitori to focus more on his own circumstances rather than be so infatuated with his own, but Rin had felt as if Haruka had imposed upon all that he had labored for yet again. Effortlessly, just by being himself, Haruka obliviously encroached something Rin felt he, himself, had earned. That almost seemed to be the story of Rin's life. His and Haruka's friendship had already been strained, but after that incident, Rin distanced himself even farther.
Foolish? Yes. Childish? Absolutely. Rin always felt as if he could never win against Haruka in anything. In the end, it wasn't just about Nitori—it was talent opposing hard work in Rin's eyes. Or maybe, there was something of more substance lurking behind that reasoning that Rin was not yet willing to admit to.
Gou didn't understand why her brother couldn't just admit his jealousy, get past that, and tell Haruka how he truly felt. She was positive that the confession would not go unrequited.
The sky had not relinquished nor slowed its downpour, but Haruka thought nothing negative of it. The contrast of cool against the warmth of the pool relaxed him. Idly, he floated on his back. As his inner musings quieted, the name of only one feathered through his mind.
Gradually, blue crystals revealed themselves from beneath heavy lids. It was then that he realized the passage of time- the previous torrent had lessened into a peppered mist that tickled his irises. His peace disturbed, he repositioned himself and swam in a random direction. As his body maneuvered, his mind strayed into an earlier discussion he had with Makoto.
"Hm?" The reply was bland, crafted while deep in rumination. He stood in the bathroom, one of the walls supporting his weight as he leaned against it. His house phone was nestled between his shoulder and the side of his face; a bored expression harbored his features.
"Are you falling asleep?"
"No," Haruka returned tersely, "After you go to bed, I'm taking a bath." Inwardly, he apologized to his friend for seeming so snappish. He hadn't exactly been in the best of moods. The misunderstanding with Rin earlier in the week dissuaded him from obtaining any kind of high spirits. Haruka was uncertain of what it was that he had done wrong to upset his other, however. Not being clear on the reason unnerved him. But, what he hated more was how it made him drift into aimless pondering like this.
Thankfully for him, Makoto was wise to his patterns,"Ah, so you were thinking."
"..." Sometimes, it really agitated him that his best friend could read him, and his habits, with innate precision. Annoyance knitted his brows and his eyes tapered down to the dolphin figure situated atop the edge of the sink.
"...Hmmm~~~ Have you talked to Rin, yet?"
Haruka's eyes winced slightly at the mention of the name, but the majority of his expression remained uninhibited, "...No. I don't have anything to say to him right now."
"You haven't forgiven him?"
"I said, I have nothing to say. If he's bothered so much about whatever happened, he knows where to find me."
Makoto sighed faintly, but Haruka could tell his friend was smiling, "It can go both ways, Haru."
"Then, you go talk to him." His patience with the entire ordeal was ultimately wearing.
"Now, now, Haru, don't be that way. The sooner you forgive him, the faster you can both move on."
"..." Neither agreeing or opposing, Haruka confessed to nothing; his delicate eyes traveled over to the filled liquid in the bathtub before him. It beckoned him to sink himself into its healing volumes and be freed from all his problems.
"All right. I'm hanging up now. If I stay here too long, Ren and Ran will never let me go until they've talked to you for hours," Makoto laughed sweetly, "Goodnight, Haru."
Voicelessly, Haruka swore to himself. His problem was Rin's mistake, anyway. Why did he have to go and listen to Makoto and play the good guy? Maybe he shouldn't have bothered. Whatever Rin's issue was, he could just as simply deliver it to him directly, right? It never stopped the hot-headed teen before. Speaking of him, where was he? Was he still on his way here or did he decide otherwise? Or maybe he was doing something with that apprentice of his... What was his name? Nitori? Perplexity flashed over Haruka's eyes at the musing. Where had he heard that name before...
"Get out of my pool."
All matter of process ebbed, causing Haruka to immediately freeze mid-stroke. A pang of wariness tensed his body, and he threw an expectant glance behind him. With hands in his pockets, amongst a tank top and tussled strands both disheveled with sweat, stood Haruka's only meaning for thrill. A heavy grimace marked Rin's features, accompanied by the light rhythm of his respiration, making his chest rise and fall. Haruka's eyes widened without his realization of it. Had he really ran all the way here, too?
"Get out. No one is to use that but me."
"Your sister said it was okay," Haruka answered back speedily, without thinking first. In response, Rin sucked his teeth and stepped closer to the edge, "You're really pissing me off, Haru..." he addressed dismissively in a wispy breath. From the delivery of that nickname, something within Haruka softened and a bit of relief flowered in his chest. Maybe Rin wasn't as upset as he thought he was. Of course, Haruka wasn't one to show this on his face at the moment, even though Rin usually was the main culprit to visibly pull some emotion out of him. In sincerity, Haruka birthed an inquiry, "Why didn't you come to see me?"
Rin snorted, "And do what? Apologize?! Ha! That's a laugh! I had no intention of giving you that satisfaction over me. You always think you're better than me, don't you..."
Instead of answering, Haruka dipped his head and submerged himself. As he swam for Rin's direction, the spiteful shark beheld Haruka's movements with both awe and irritation. Just as all those years ago, Haruka stole his breath, and heart, away with his motions and all Rin could do was watch. Upstaged and outdone; those were the ways he felt. It wasn't fair. He was the one who wanted to show Haruka how much he had learned, achieved and changed. But compared to Haruka, who didn't care anything about what was the lifeblood of his Olympic dreams and could effortlessly best him in any challenge, Rin felt lost––lost within the adversary he had pined for. Until he moved away from his obsession, he couldn't accept himself as his own individual. Beating Haruka would make him see himself as someone who wasn't in anyone else's shadow... Not his father's, not his rival's, no one's. Rin believed that he'd be able to make Haruka proud of him. He'd go beyond his failures; he'd show everyone all that he was truly capable of.
With a subdued splash, Haruka's head broke the surface and he faced Rin directly. Both their eyes lingered within the other's until the lesser spoken of the 2 made his concern heard first, "You're wrong. I don't even know what happened to make you so upset."
"I won't tell you either."
A sudden "sploosh" sounded as Haruka pushed himself away from the sight of the immature adolescent before him and displayed his back to him. "...What a pain..." He groaned with a roll of his eyes.
"Hey! Don't you dare turn your back on me!" Rin exclaimed with a lot more bite than he intended. He hated when anyone he considered important did that to him. And when Haruka would, it boiled his blood and parched his throat. '...Look at me...!' he cried in his mind, aiming the plea at the one retreating from him. Trepidation licked at his spine, and a clawed hand grasped at his chest. "Haru..." he whispered, the airiness of the name floated from him but went unheard.
His father was stolen from him, his mother pitied him and he felt as if Haruka practically abandoned him in the past. Haruka always seemed so cold to him—so frigid, yet Rin couldn't understand what qualities others found in him to flock towards this boy. Even he had fallen for Haruka's inverted personality and learned that the other was capable of many great things. Being near Haruka made Rin feel as if, although he didn't possess the same natural talent that Haruka had, he could do more. It irked him that Haruka seemed to possess neither any idea or care towards his influences on others. Without him there, Rin had become prone to thoughts of worthlessness. He couldn't progress on his own until he proved to himself he didn't need anyone else next to him. If he couldn't be the best with Haruka, he would have to do so without him.
But now that his "opponent" was so close to him—literally a few feet away, every emotion Rin had stressed to contain were rapidly leaking out. 'Don't...' he warned internally, removing his school jacket, '...don't you ever leave me again or else, I swear, I'll never forgive you...' And he meant that. From the desperation of needing the attention of the one before him, and against his better judgment, Rin began to remove his shirt.
If Haruka wouldn't face him, Rin would just have to force him to.
Haruka stilled himself as he heard the sound of something weighty dropping into the waves near him. His first instinct was to face it, but he knew it was Rin and didn't bother. If Haruka wasn't going to be given the answers that he deserved, what did they have to discourse?
"Look at me." Rin demanded, a drop of deepness rounding his order. As if he felt a chill instead, Haruka flinched. He tilted his head to a profile, neither looking at or acknowledging Rin's souring expression on purpose. "What. There is nothing for us to talk about," he stated, which was "Haru-language" for "Just let me stay in your pool, but go do something else by yourself if you won't open up to me."
There was something about the one in front of him that made Rin's chest palpitate fervently and roused him to anger easily by the second. All Haruka had to do was breathe and something about his very existence would render Rin furious—aggravated—avid... Whatever Haruka possessed over him, it drove Rin into frenzied bouts of needing more of it. He was drunk off Haruka and he hadn't even had a taste of him, yet.
Wait, why was he even having thoughts like this?! Whatever the reason, he blamed his sister for her attempts at trying to get them closer together! There was nothing close about them. Nada. Nil. Zip. At least, it was that way opposed to what it could have been, or should be, now. And every day Rin would reflect on as to why. What would it take to have Haruka gaze at him and him alone? What measures would he have to resort to in order to have those glacial eyes fixated into his fervid own?
With no heed to caution, Rin's hand lashed out and he forced Haruka to acknowledge him. A crash of ripples scatted amongst the both of them from the action; the only voice that did not belong to the flux of aqua was a gasp from Haruka. But, he didn't stop Rin. Instead, Haruka allowed the rough handling and gave his assailant direct eye contact, "Stop doing that...!" Was the only retaliation. Rin ignored it and pressed his victim to the wall of the pool, "I'm sick of being regarded so coldly by you! Why can't you respect me or what's mine?"
What was his? What was he talking about? Although he was greatly puzzled, Haruka's visage showed no such thing and all Rin felt as if he were being mocked. His grip tightened and his fingers bit into Haruka's shoulders. That elicited a bit of a response, a cringe, but that wasn't enough to sate the agony that fueled Rin.
"...Rin..." Haruka uttered unevenly. He was actually juggling the idea of pushing the unwanted grasp away or just letting Rin get his feelings out. He looked terrible. A mess of bangs hung over his glaring eyes; a small puff of breath fluttered from his mouth as he grit his teeth. Rin was obviously pained and from how convincing it was, Haruka couldn't help but feel a stab of guilt for being the cause. He felt even worse by those searing eyes being partially hidden from him. This appeared to hold no effect on Rin. He paid it no mind. With the one he sought after in his clutches, automatically, Rin began to deplete the anguish held within.
"...Don't you feel anything...!? I thought I was more important to you...!"
' ...More than you'll know.' Haruka responded mentally without missing a beat. Outwardly, his expression falsely exhibited the opposite. Rin despised it.
"You always act like nothing ever bothers you! Even right now! You never care..."
'I care about you... It scares me when I think about how much...'
"Do you remember that race we had during the first year of middle school? That day...I wanted to win...! I had to! I wanted to show my dad that I could carry on his dream after he was taken from me...! Do you have any idea how crushing it was to do my best and still lose to someone who wasted time not wanting to improve!?"
'But that wasn't my fault...'
"And then what do you do?! After you beat me without even trying, you quit swimming for good! Are you that full of yourself you have to make me feel useless because I didn't have the talent that you did?!"
"It's not about talent. You chose to keep swimming recently, didn't you?" Haruka at last located his vocality. There was no reason to withhold his words now and he made certain to articulate his points, "You can't blame me for things you chose to do yourself! You shouldn't live your life in the mold of someone else."
That was one thing Rin could not handle hearing and he acted on impulse. Swearing coarsely, he pushed Haruka so brashly, that the shorter had to bend backwards so that he was partly laying atop the outer foundation of the pool. Rin loomed overhead and had he not known better, Haruka would have thought Rin would have tried to strangle him here. Instead of something so dramatic, Rin just glared down at him with both hands still tautly fixed about Haruka's shoulders. "Don't act like you know me! If you talk badly about my father I'll-!"
"Stop it!" Haruka shot back. In the shock of his victim showing a bit more backbone, Rin removed his grasp and watched Haruka push himself up. He muttered something about how uncomfortable the position was, then put all his focus on Rin. "First of all, if you're going to accuse me of abandoning you, you were the one who left me! You went to Australia without telling anyone about it until the last second! When middle school stared, you came back and challenged me to a race. I won and you cried! Then, you left me behind all over again...! But, fine. I get it. If you were doing all this for your father you should have told me..."
"I don't owe you any explanation!" Rin huffed, recoiling as if Haruka had told a very tasteless and horrible joke.
"That's what friends do!"
"What do YOU know about friendship?! All you do is turn your back on people when they need you most! I had to practically beg you to swim again!"
"I only started swimming again BECAUSE of you!"
"Pfft please! As if I'd believe that!" Rin turned away and made himself laugh. Half of him believed Haruka's words while the other only wanted to. With a scoff, he returned his attention back to Haruka and made a face, "What did you need me for? You've got your Makoto and your Nagisa. The two people that always held you back!"
"I held myself back!" Haruka retaliated hotly. He hated that this is how their reuniting was turning out. What he disliked even more was the difficulty he had with seeing all of Rin's face. Impetuously, his hands lifted on their own; two fingertips of each touched the center of Rin's forehead and before the redhead could react, Haruka parted the slicked fringe and eased them behind each ear. A sharp inhalation quivered from Rin and all understanding ceased for an entire second. For someone, that he perceived to be as cold as Haruka, the sudden contact was rather ardent and welcoming. Under any normal circumstance, Rin would have yanked himself away from the action but, because of who it was, he felt compelled to stay put and observe.
In Haruka's case, he couldn't decipher the exact emotions and thoughts scampering across Rin's features in that moment. To ground them, Haruka placed both hands to Rin's face and made it so their vision were fixated on, and intermingled with, the other. Like a switch were hit, the frenzy along Rin's expression calmed immediately and his breath caught in his throat. Luckily for him, he couldn't tell how undoubtedly swayed he was; his infatuation with his rival had more power than he allowed himself to take realization of. In a voice the both of them could hear over the soft patter of the precipitation, Haruka finally revealed something that he, himself, had kept hidden for so long.
"I stopped swimming...because of you. That day... I hurt you. I hated myself for it. When you went back to Australia...when you left me for the second time... I quit. I never swam competitively again."
"Why..." The question hardly was given any audibility.
"... I couldn't bear the sight of you giving up something you enjoyed because of me."
"Because of..." Words suddenly became lost on Rin. When he returned to Australia, he had avoided swimming for years. He had put aside the desire to make his dad proud of him through the beloved sport because of his childhood loss. But when Haruka became a part of his life again, he just had to prove to himself, as well as Haruka, that he was no longer the same failure he once was. He desired for Haruka to see him as a winner—as someone better—as someone important. Rin had planned to showcase just how much he had progressed, only to leave Haruka behind in the same manner he felt like he had been dealt.
But now, with Haruka bestowing attention to only him and embracing him like this, he wasn't all too certain with what he wanted. They had both given up something equally important, albeit for different reasons-although, the duality of those reasons both contained each other.
"Never stop swimming ever again, Rin. Never deny the way it makes you feel..."
"Haru...ka..." Boy, did he feel rather daft. He didn't have to prove anything. Silently, he closed his eyes in shame, but they snapped back open the moment he felt Haruka's thumbs swipe beneath his lashes. Blinking once, Rin dared to search for the reasoning behind the behavior. A soft and gentle expression looked back at him, but Rin couldn't tell if Haruka were smiling or not, "You're crying..." he murmured.
"... No I'm not.." Rin whispered, inching his face close enough to allow their foreheads to kiss. It wasn't long before their mouths, instinctively, mimicked the same. It only lasted for a moment. The both of them took in breaths lightly with their eyes remaining closed. There was something about their closeness that was all that was needed. Rin was the first to end the sort of silence with a faint chortle, "...Bastard... that was my first kiss..."
Haruka parted his lids slightly, just enough to secretly observe Rin's serene expression. A tender smile drew over his lips, "You want to pretend it never happened?"
"Idiot," Rin spoke up, lifting his head. Casually, he cupped Haruka's hands and lowered them to his own waist. With a boyish grin Haruka hadn't seen since grade school, Rin taunted his other, "I dare you to actually do a better job this time."
"Same to you," Haruka mirrored back. Such was a rare sight, and the most handsome thing Rin had ever witnessed. As their playful banter subsided, another hesitant kiss nestled between them. The more comfortable they grew towards the experience, the more encouraged Haruka's hands became to exploring. His digits barely dipped a centimeter lower before he stumbled upon a startling discovery that caused him to abruptly end the kiss. In a hazed voice, he prompted, "Rin...you're not wearing any..."
"Who cares," Came the swift reply; Rin lifted both his hands behind Haruka's neck and head before guiding him back to his neglected lips.
It was his pool anyway. He could skinny dip in it if, and whenever, he wanted to.
"You're taking a bath together?!" Gou all but shrieked in utter joy from what she had just been told. Wearing just his pants, Rin snatched up two towels from the kitchen and tossed one to Haruka, "I DID NOT SAY THAT!" he shot back to his little sister, "And YOU shouldn't be saying things like that, EITHER! I SAID we were gonna go take a bath! I did NOT say anything about it being together!"
"But, the tub is large enough for the two of y-"
"I SAID NO! SHUT UP ABOUT THAT, ALREADY GOU!"
"I WON'T! THAT IS WHAT YOU SAID! Isn't that right, Haruka-senpai!?"
To this, Haruka simply snorted and stared off in another direction, "Which way is the tub?"
"Awww Haruka-senpai, you're no help!" Gou whined playfully. Then, she laughed, "It's upstairs to the right."
"That's MY room!" Rin growled.
"What's the difference?"
"I'm going," Haruka concluded, already starting to depart from them and up the steps to find the place on his own. Maybe he'd even "accidentally" stumble into Rin's room anyway. He had once heard Rin had "that" type of bed. Haruka wondered if it were actually a fact. Besides, becoming immersed in Aquarius deemed to be more rewarding thought than what a bathtub could offer, anyway...
-I might add an omake to this. Might. But hopefully, it won't be a lemon because I really don't feel like writing one at the moment. My main focus, was to get a kiss scene.
-I later found out there there was a Rinharu prompt for something like this, but I didn't find out until AFTER I had finished. Um, yay?
-Oh oh " 'that' kind of bed" relates to a waterbed, if it wasn't clear haha. I don't know if Rin really has one or not, but it seems fitting, doesn't it?
-"Hair", "water", "rain" were words I avoided using directly, on purpose.
-This story was also a test. I didn't want to use the same word twice, if I could help it. ( of course there are gonna be duplicates of particles, names and conjunctions! not counting those! and not counting character dialogue, either!)
-Makoto really wanted a cameo, but it turned out to be like he was the one setting up things behind the scenes! lol Him and Gou playing matchmaker haha
-I don't know how far Rin's academy is from his home, but he runs really fast sooooo...maybe a train or two was caught along the way! Use your imagination!
-The song "Love Disease ( 사랑이 죽는 병 )" by Super Junior was on loop for when writing most of this. ...But the irony about that is that it's a breakup song! D:
-I am sick of rereading this story! If there are errors or if things sound weird, just tell me! Also, I don't know jack squat about pool sizes, so...yeah! Even in a compact neighborhood, I'm sure Rin's dad would have done something to have some sort of pool in the back yard!