A/N: I've been meaning to write a RinHaru story in a while, but my muse just wasn't up for it. Thankfully though, now I got some inspiration to write up one. Now, let's hope that the motivation sticks before Rin ruins my muse like he did for the past two weeks.
Warning: Hurt/comfort, slight OOCness (but it's explained), panic attack,
Disclaimer: I don't own Free!/Swimming anime
"I'll never swim with you again. Never."
Those words were like a vat of cold water being dumped on Haruka's body. His eyes widened slightly and he stared up at Rin, hoping that maybe, just maybe, he had heard him wrong. But the longer that he floated in the pool and stared up at Rin's smirk, the more that his stomach twisted in pain. That smirk just seemed to grow wider the more that he stared at it, almost like Rin was reveling in the pain that he was feeling. A consuming feeling entered his chest, making it harder for him to hold himself together.
Sucking in a harsh breath, Haruka blinked his eyes several times, bringing a hand up to wipe his face. He could feel a tear trailing down his face, but he quickly intercepted it before it could make a full appearance. He then looked around, noticing that a few swimmers were looking at him in what he could describe as pity. The emotion made his stomach twist up again, this time out of disgust. He quickly averted his gaze from all of them, not wanting to deal with any of them at the moment. He hated people pitying him. He had dealt with it his entire life. When his parents left him, people pitied him. When his grandmother died, people pitied him. When Rin left, people pitied him. It was as though someone had thrown a pity party and he hadn't been invited.
Not wanting to deal with the looks any longer, Haruka slowly pulled himself out of the pool. He was standing up and about to head to the locker room when he heard someone running up to him. Glancing out of the corner of his eyes, Haruka saw that it was Makoto coming towards him with his ever present worrying look.
"Haruka! Are you okay?" Makoto asked, walking alongside him and placing a hand on his shoulder.
Instead of stopping like Makoto had probably been expecting him to do, Haruka just continued walking, staring blankly at his feet. He couldn't get the empty feeling out of his chest and it was slowly consuming him. He needed to do something about it before he ended up suffocating. Getting away from the large crowd of swimmers was the first thing that he needed to do. The farther that he walked away, he could have sworn that he heard whispers echoing around him.
"Man, that kid lost by a finger."
"That race was so close..."
"It's too bad that guy lost. He looks so heartbroken-"
Gritting his teeth, Haruka sped up his steps, wanting to be as far away from everyone as possible. Their voices were too loud, too accusing. He needed to get away.
Entering the locker room quickly, Haruka threw his towel down on the nearest bench before heading into the shower. Taking in a deep breath, he leaned his head against the cool wall for a moment, trying to gather himself. His heart was still racing and his eyes were still wet from tears lingering. He wanted nothing more than to just lower his defenses and scream at the top of his lungs, letting the tears fall from his face. But he knew that doing such a thing would only draw attention to himself and cause someone to come running into the locker room to find the source of the noise. And right now, when all he wanted was to be far away from people, that wasn't the best plan.
So, he decided to turn on the shower and let himself try and relax. Showers normally helped him unwind. And although not as efficient as a bath, it would have to do for right now. It was the best option he had, other than leaving. But he couldn't just leave yet, even if he wanted to. He wanted to watch the rest of his friends race.
Clenching his fists together, Haruka stood under the hot spray of water, washing off the chlorine that was on his skin. His hands scrubbed harshly at his skin, trying to wash off more than just the chlorine though. His nails would occasionally scratch the skin of his arms and chest as he scrubbed harder at his body. He wanted nothing more than to just wash away all of his worries, all of his negative feelings and watch them flow down the drain. However, no matter how hard he scrubbed or how much he scratched at the surface of his skin, he couldn't erase the dirty feeling settling over him. In fact, it seemed to just grow worse the longer that he was under the water.
"Your so pathetic, Haru. Did you actually think that I'd want to swim with someone like you?"
Breath hitching, Haruka snapped his eyes open – he hadn't even noticed that he had closed them – and looked over his shoulder. He expected to see Rin standing right behind him, that smirk on his face while he stared at him condescendingly. But instead, the shower was completely empty. The only sounds were his own harsh breathing and the sound of the shower running. Eyes flickering back and forth rapidly, Haruka continued looking throughout the shower for any trace of Rin. But after a few minutes of just standing there with no Rin appearing, he finally turned back around slowly and put his head back under the water.
Shutting his eyes, he sighed softly and slumped his shoulders. Almost as soon as he did that though, the voice from earlier returned, this time twice as loud. "I'm glad that I left your pathetic ass when I left for Australia. Why would I want to hang around with dead weight like you? It's not like you're anything to me."
"No...," Haruka muttered under his breath, his hands moving up to his head.
"Rin...," he trailed off, breathing starting to pick up again and fingers curling harshly into his hair.
"Please, Rin...," Haruka said, growing hysterical by the minute.
"And I'm glad that I don't have to pretend to be your friend anymore."
"Just shut up!" Haruka shouted, pounding his fist against the shower wall before he fell down to his knees.
His entire body was shaking, from his head down to his feet. Haruka had his arms wrapped around his body to try and calm himself down, but it wasn't helping in the least. His breathing had picked up once again and was steadily reaching the point where he could barely get enough air in his lungs. It reminded him of the moment when his grandmother had died and he had gone through that panic attack soon after the funeral. Whimpering softly, Haruka hugged himself tighter and clenched his eyes tightly together, forcing out some of the tears in his eyes.
Gasping for breath, Haruka opened his eyes and stared at the blue linoleum of the shower wall. Whimpering again, he brought one of his hands up to the wall while the other one rested on his chest, near his heart. By now, his breathing was ragged and quick and his eyes were wide in panic. No, no no no...he couldn't have a panic attack here! Someone is sure to walk in eventually while he's having one and he didn't want anyone to see him like this.
So, Haruka tried to rack his brain for something that could calm him down. Anything that could at least lessen the panic attack to a less severe degree. But everything that he thought of always came back to the swim tournament and essentially, Rin. Swimming made him think of Rin and how his childhood friend had used him. His friends made him think of their possible disappointment with him losing. Even his little Koi fish at home made him think of swimming, which once again came back to Rin.
Rin...his bright red hair, sharp teeth, predator-like eyes...he truly was a shark. Eating up his prey and spitting them out if they weren't worthy enough. He wasn't good enough for Rin...he wasn't good enough to be a rival to him, let alone a friend. All that he wanted was to finally be let free of the burden of being someone he didn't want to be. But now...now that desire of being free was what had led him to his breakdown.
His vision was slowly growing spotty the more that he stayed on the floor. At this point, his chest was growing tight and he was starting to feel dizzy. Wheezing breaths passed his lips and he felt himself wavering back and forth before he tipped forward, his torso pressed against the wet floor. A groan of pain left his mouth and he curled in on himself.
He couldn't escape...no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't escape Rin and his deprecating comments.
He couldn't become free...He'd never be free from Rin.
Furrowing his eyebrows, Haruka cracked open his eyes, although he couldn't really see much since his vision was blurry. He blinked slowly, spotting a sliver of red standing a few feet away from him. Wheezing, one of his hands tried to reach out for whoever was standing in the shower entrance, but his body wouldn't listen to him. He couldn't even talk or beg for help. He was helpless on the wet floor.
Haruka? Haru, wake up...Haru!
Jaw clenching up, Haruka felt his body seize up and he tried to grab onto something, anything, that could help him ride the random seizes that his body went through. But nothing was nearby other than a cold wet floor and wall. So, he was left shaking and jerking on the floor while he struggled to calm down and breath.
"Haru, you need to wake up! Wake up! Dammit Haru-"
Something collided with his cheek, causing him to tense up once again before he began to black out. His fingers clawed at the floor, hoping to reach the person who was standing in the doorway before he could actually pass out. However, his movements were too weak at that point, so he could only whimper and move his body about an inch or so before he slumped against the ground and blacked out.
A loud gasp left Haruka's mouth and he shot up in the bed, eyes wide in shock. Breathing harshly, one of his hands came to his chest and he looked around the dark room for a moment. His eyes flickered back and forth several times, not quite sure that he was supposed to find. When he felt a calming hand on his back, rubbing his skin soothingly, he let out a sigh and relaxed almost immediately. Swallowing thickly, he took in several deep breaths and shut his eyes for a moment before opening them again. There were tear tracks on his face and he brought a hand up to his face, sighing softly and wiping his wet eyes.
Glancing beside him, Haruka saw Rin looking at him with a concerned look. Staring at the redhead for a moment, his lips pressed into a thin line, memories of his dream coming back to him. He wanted nothing more than to push Rin out of the bed and get as far away from him as he could. However, that would accomplish nothing but making Rin upset with him. There was obviously no ill feelings towards them. Not like his dream had illustrated...Haruka's eyes narrowed and he let out another sigh before moving his attention to the clock on his side of the bed. 2:30 in the morning. It was way too early to be worrying about stuff like this.
Groaning, Haruka let himself fall back on the bed, burrowing under the warm sheets. Beside him, he felt Rin scoot over a bit until they were pressed against each other. One of Rin's hands wrapped around his waist while his legs tangled together with his. It was a comforting feeling, one that he appreciated greatly.
Blinking tiredly, Haruka glanced over to Rin, who was still staring at him. "Do you want to talk about it?" the redhead asked gently, brushing Haruka's wet hair out of his face.
Furrowing his eyebrows, Haruka thought to himself. Did he actually want to tell Rin what he had been dreaming about? He knew that the other male wouldn't judge him or make fun of him for it. Although, it was a bit strange that he would dream about such a thing in the first place, and Rin would probably point that out. The Rin in his dream had been heartless, cold, and only seemed to care about himself. That was nothing like his Rin. The Rin that he knew was calm, nice (when he wasn't provoked), and understanding. Sure, he had a bit of an attitude and had a pretty short temper, but he would never even think about saying the things that the Rin in his dreams had.
Biting his bottom lip, Haruka slowly shook his head, giving Rin a small smile. "...No. It's alright. Just a bad dream."
Rin looked at him as though he didn't quite believe that, but he didn't push Haruka. Instead, he just shrugged his shoulders before laying back down, burrowing his face in Haruka's neck. A soft chuckle left his mouth and he felt Rin's nose brushing over the neck before he got himself comfortable in the bed pulling the sheets over himself. It didn't take long for him to go back to sleep, slowly relaxing against Rin's body and letting his body lull back to the state of unconsciousness.
A/N: Screw canon, it was all just a bad dream. ;A: