The sun hadn't even risen yet early Saturday morning when Rin woke up and dressed in his tracksuit and running shoes. Nitori had asked to do some extra training with him so instead of leaving on his own, he awoke the smaller boy before entering the bathroom. Much to his irritation, Nitori hadn't moved from his bed by the time Rin got out the bathroom.

"Oi, wake up," he insisted, raising his voice. When Nitori still didn't stir, he sighed and propped one foot on the lower bunk to hoist himself up and shake Nitori's shoulder. "C'mon, you wanted to train, didn't you? Wake up!"

Nitori groaned and slowly blinked open his eyes, only to find Rin's face hovering over his own. He stared silently for a few seconds, eyes going wide as he admired Rin's gemlike eyes. "So pretty," he blurted, mesmerized by the ruby red orbs.

"What?" Rin immediately stepped away, taken aback by the seemingly random comment. What the hell was so pretty? Surely not Rin.

"What?" Nitori replied dumbly, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. Now that Rin wasn't immediately in his eyesight anymore, the trance on him was broken and he returned to his groggy, half-awake state.

"Tch. Nevermind," Rin grumbled, looking away as he felt the tips of his ears burn. So the younger boy didn't even remember what he had just said. Was he really that tired? Rin admitted 4:20 am was a little early, but that was no excuse for Nitori tocall him pretty.

As Nitori stumbled down the ladder and into the bathroom, Rin grabbed his jacket and said, "I'm waiting outside. If you aren't down in ten minutes, I'm leaving without you." With that, he went out into the cool dawn air to help calm his heated skin and confused mind.

The next instance occurred a few days later and this time on a Friday night. When Rin left to go for a late night jog, Nitori had been hard at work studying at their desk. By the time he returned, Nitori's head was slumped down on the wood, cheek pressing against his scribbled on pages of notes.

Rin sighed as he took up his jacket and hung it up. He approached Nitori and started to reach for his shoulder, but hesitated, remembering what had happened the last time he woke up Nitori that way. Instead he gave the boy a few quick taps on the arms and called his name before taking a necessary step back. "Go to bed," he instructed, watching as Nitori lifted his head and blinked a few times, dazed.

"Okay," he slurred, almost falling out of his chair as he stumbled over to the bunk beds. Instead of climbing up to the top though, he passed out on Rin's bed, landing face first on the soft sheets.

Rin groaned. "Not there. I meant go to your bed," he clarified, sitting on the edge of his bed and staring at his sleepy roommate.

"But it's so comfy here," Nitori replied, pressing his face into Rin's pillow and taking a deep breath. As he exhaled, he added, "And it smells really good, like you."

Rin stiffened. There it was again. What the hell did that even mean? He didn't understand just what went on in Nitori's brain when he was tired, but the boy obviously had no filter. He stood silently, deciding to switch beds just for the night. He could hear Nitori's soft, even breaths as he changed for bed and climbed up the ladder to Nitori's bunk. It felt odd being on top, but Rin shrugged off the slight discomfort, knowing it was just a one-time thing.

Rin wasn't tired enough to fall out right away, and so he spent the next hour or so just staring up at the ceiling, unaccustomed to the view from there. As he lay there, he thought about Nitori's sleepy quirk. Did he just say random, nonsensical things when he was tired? Or was there something more to it? So far the things Nitori said were… well, sweet. But Rin couldn't be certain if they actually meant something. He had to wait until morning to see if Nitori let something else slip then.

He suppressed a groan. Morning was too far away and he felt restless. Rin rolled over in the top bunk, and gingerly climbed down the ladder. He tiptoed by Nitori's side and stopped there, watching the boy sleep. He looked so peaceful, so innocent, cheek pressed sweetly against Rin's pillow. It made Rin's heart skip a beat and before he knew it, he was leaning in closer.

"Ai," he whispered. He wanted to stop himself, but it was too late. Nitori stirred, cracking one eye open to look at Rin.

"What is it, senpai?" he slurred groggily, more than a little confused and tired. He leaned up on his elbows and slowly blinked both eyes open. He seemed to finally realize Rin's proximity and whispered a breathless, "Oh… Am I dreaming again?"

Shit. Rin's face heated up. He had not been expecting that at all. Again?! That meant Nitori had dreamt about him before. In the night. This close. Rin backed away, bringing a hand up to his reddened face. "Nothing, nevermind. Go back to sleep," he instructed, waving his other hand dismissively.

"Okay." The swimmer was obviously too tired to argue because in the next moment he flopped back down on Rin's bed and fell back asleep. Rin shook his head at the far too precious boy, but didn't move from his spot. He couldn't bring himself to move from Nitori's side after that last remark. Minutes ticked by.

"Aiichirou," he hissed again, this time going so far as to reach out and shake his shoulder. Nitori let out a tired groan of complaint, but responded anyway.

"What is it, senpai?" he asked, rubbing his bleary eyes. "Can it wait 'til morning? As much as I love talking to you, 'm really tired."

Oh, that was it. "Move over," Rin growled, nudging the other's side. "I'm sleeping with you tonight."

At that, Nitori's eyes flew wide open. "Y-You're what?!"

"Tsk, didn't I make myself clear? Make some space for me. We're sharing my bed tonight."

Shocked, Nitori nevertheless rolled over, creating a large, warm space that Rin promptly filled with his own body. He didn't stop there though. Rin reached out and wrapped his arms around Nitori, pulling him in close. He said no more, content with burying his nose in Nitori's neck and inhaling his scent.

"R-Rin-senpai, I-"

"Shhh. Just go to sleep, Ai. You need your rest."

Too tired and ecstatic to argue any further, Nitori allowed himself to succumb to sleep once more, content in Rin's arms.

At least this way, Rin figured, Nitori's sleep-ridden voice would be the first thing he heard in the morning- hopefully every morning from then on.

I don't own Free! Iwatobi Swim Club or any of its characters.

As always, reviews are very much noticed and appreciated~