This was originally going to be a one-shot. I wrote it a couple months ago, but I thought I would upload it now. Essentially, it is five hardly related one-shots examining Makoto and Haruka's relationship through the years, mainly Haru taking care of Makoto Hopefully I'll polish and upload the other four. Anyway, the first one is through the eyes of Haru's grandmother. Haru is quiet and keeps to himself as a child, but he'll definitely protect those he loves.
1. Your Responsibility
Nanase Sakae hummed to herself as she carefully stitched up the rip in her grandson's school pants. The second grader had a bad habit of stripping off of his clothes and forgetting them. This particular pair of pants had become a dog's chew toy after an unfortunate incident that ended with her having to coax Haru out of the duck pond.
Sakae's son and daughter-in-law traveled often for work, and when they were home, stayed at the office until late at night, leaving Sakae to look after their son. She occasionally wondered, with a twinge of guilt, if her grandson's indifferent, stand-offish nature was from a lack of attention when he was small. She loved the boy desperately, and sometimes wished his parents would pay more attention to him. She knew her son and daughter-in-law never wanted children. She tried her best to give Haru the love his parents wouldn't, but sometimes she wondered if it was enough.
The door to the house was opened and Haru wordlessly sulked in, staring at his toes. He dropped his school bag unceremoniously onto the kitchen floor and slumped into a chair. Sakae raised an eyebrow. Her grandson was quiet most of the time, it wasn't abnormal for Haru to go an entire day without saying anything at all. However, she knew him well enough to know there was something off about his demeanor today.
"Hello, Haru-chan, how was school today?"
Haru wrinkled his nose and shrugged. "Can we go to the pool?"
Sakae chuckled. She should have anticipated that. The boy would spend every second of his life in the water if he could. "Not today, Haru-chan. It's too cold out. It's supposed to warm up next week, so maybe I'll take you and Mako-chan to the beach then." Makoto was a shy boy who lived down the street from them. He was also Haru's best friend, who she knew her grandson cared for very much.
Haru tensed and looked away. He grabbed a piece of paper and a blue crayon and began to doodle a dolphin.
"Is something wrong?" Sakae asked softly. It was mostly to be polite, something was obviously on Haru's mind.
"No." Haru answered.
Sakae smiled gently. "It is better to talk about your problems, Haru-chan. It's not good or helpful to keep them inside."
Haru sighed. "Makoto cried today…"
Sakae paused in her sewing. That wasn't all that surprising. Makoto, unlike Haruka, was very emotional. She'd seen the little boy cry on more than one occasion. However, Haru had never seemed this upset at any of the previous occurrences. "Why was he crying?" she asked softly.
Haru frowned and didn't say anything, but his crayon fell out of his small hand.
"Haru? You know you can tell me, no matter what it is," she coaxed.
"There are older boys that always pick on him. Today they…. got really mean and he started to cry," her grandson answered softly.
"Haru, come here." Haru looked up at her, averting his eye when he caught the stern expression on her face. Nevertheless, he climbed into her lap after she patted her leg encouragingly. "What did you do when these boys were being mean to Makoto."
Haru hung his head.
"Haru?" she repeated, a firm note in her voice.
"Nothing…" Haru sighed.
"Why didn't you do anything?"
His eyebrows knit together guiltily and he bit his lip. "I don't know…"
Sakae frowned. "Haru-chan, you care very much for Makoto, no?"
Haru nodded, though his face was obscured from view by his bangs. "Haru, look me in the eyes." The boy reluctantly glanced up and held his grandmother's unyielding gaze. "You must always remember this. It is the responsibility of every member of the Nanase family to do whatever he must to protect the ones he loves. That is how you bring honor to the family."
"I'm sorry, Obaa-san," Haru mumbled, his expression unreadable.
She shook her head. "Don't apologize. I'm not angry. But, actions speak louder than words." Haru finally looked away from her hard gaze. He crawled out of his grandmother's lap and headed for the bathroom. Sakae watched him go, pursing her lips in concern.
Sakae was more than a little surprised when she received a phone call from Haru's elementary school requesting she come to school to discuss disciplinary action. Apparently, Haru was in trouble for fighting, which was so unlike her grandson she found herself more confused then furious.
When she walked into the Dean's office, she found Haru sitting there with his arms crossed, bored. He had a split lip, but it was nothing compared to the state of the three older boys in the room who all sported black eyes and several band aids. They all appeared to be at least two years older than Haru. Surely, he couldn't have done that?
The Dean was very displeased. According to the boys' version of the story, they were playing innocently on the playground when Haru came out of nowhere and attacked them. When Haruka was asked if this was correct he merely shrugged. He sat through the lecture with almost clinical disinterest.
The Dean sighed after it was over and announced that they would not be expelled but would have to stay in for lunch for the next month. Haru looked as if he could care less. When his grandmother demanded he apologize he mumbled an "I'm sorry," that sounded more smug than apologetic.
After they were finally dismissed Sakae herded her grandson out the door. However, Haru stopped and gave his grandmother a meaningful look. Sakae raised an eyebrow at him, but allowed him to turn around face the other three boys and their parents. "Don't go near him again," he growled, his voice dripping with contempt.
Sakae's mouth opened slightly in realization. Suddenly, everything made sense. Haru took her hand and led her quickly away before she could really see the three boys' reactions to his threat.
"Haru-chan, what was that really about?" she asked, even though she already knew.
"They were mean. So I made them stop," Haru answered simply.
Sakae resisted the urge to laugh. Instead, she set her face into a stern line. "Haru, it is never okay to resort to violence. There are other ways to stick up for your friends."
Haru pouted. "I warned them. And Makoto was crying."
Sakae shook her head in exasperation. "Well, at the very least, I don't think they'll be bothering Mako-chan anymore."
Haru nodded, looking pleased. "That doesn't mean I'm happy with you. What would your parents say if they knew you were starting fights at school?"
Haru tensed. "Will you tell them?"
The grandmother examined the boy, knowing the notion scared him. She should tell his parents. However, she didn't want to see Haru punished severely. Maybe it was only because she liked to spoil him, but she wouldn't be able to bring herself to do it. "If something like this happens again, I'll have to."
Haru tossed his small arms abruptly around his grandmother's waist. "Thank you, obaasan…"
She tsked in disapproval. "This better not happen again," she hissed. However, her expression softened when she saw Haru's lips curving up into a smile and she couldn't help but smile back and give his hand a squeeze.
They had barely arrived back home when they heard a timid knock on the door. Sakae went to check, and found Makoto outside, tears in the corner of his eyes, babbling so rabidly she couldn't understand a word.
"Mako-chan, calm down. What's wrong?" she soothed.
"H-Haru is he… is he…?"
"Makoto…" Haru breathed as he appeared from behind his grandma's legs.
Makoto's eyes widened. "Haru-chan, you're okay!" Haru nodded.
Sakae wanted to laugh. She wondered what Makoto's wild imagination had led him to believe had happened to Haru.
Makoto sniffled. "But...you got hurt… and it was my fault. And then you got in trouble."
"I'm fine, Makoto. It wasn't your fault," Haru mumbled, wanting to keep his friend from crying anymore.
Makoto rubbed at his eyes. "Y-yes it was. Sometimes I think maybe you don't like me and I-I..." he cut off, sniffling.
Haru's eyes widened. "I like you."
Makoto face split into a comically large smile. "Haru-chan!" Then, he engulfed the other boy in a hug, his small hands gripping Haruka's shirt. Haru tensed and glanced back at his grandmother in a panic, silently asking for help. Sakae only offered him a knowing smile.
"Thanks for sticking up for me, Haru-chan…"
Haru awkwardly managed to squirm free, a rosy blush visible on his face. He grunted in acknowledgement.
"My mom said you can come over for dinner. We're having fish."
Haru looked over his shoulder at his grandmother and she nodded her head. "Alright," he replied.
Makoto cheered and grabbed Haru's hand, practically dragging the other boy towards his house.
Sakae smiled at them as they rounded the corner. She wouldn't be around forever to look after Haru. Often, she worried about what would happen to the boy after she was gone.
However, watching Haru's expression curve upward into a hint of a smile , she felt assured Haru would never be alone. Not with a friend like that.
That was all she could ask for.
Sooo cheesy oh my God, I'm sorry. Yes, I named Nanase Sakae after possibly the most amazing grandma ever from Summer Wars. I know, I'm a nerd. But you can't have seen that movie without falling for the grandma. Also, I made Haru a little more open around his grandmother then should be in character because first, he's seven, and second, he and his grandmother are incredibly close in my headcannon and he cares a lot for her. I sort of think that after she dies he shuts himself off from the world and omigod angst. Poor baby. Anyway, tell me if I should upload the other four oneshots. There is a fifth, but its almost embarrassingly self-indulgent. Review if you want. Happy Holidays!