The Silly, Little Book of One Shots

One Shots! One Shots for All! All Fandoms, All Ships! Drop Me a Comment and I'll See What I Can Do!

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9. FREE!: Once (Haruka x Rin feels and a smidgen of Haruka x Makoto cuteness)

**Hahaa, oh gosh, this is gonna make me sound so weird! So, I - for some reason - got to listening to 'Teardrops On My Guitar' by Taylor Swift (I know, horrid), and it made me wanna write this. It's totally, unnecessarily feelsy, I hope. It's a bit of a new writing style for me though, so let me know what you think of it! I also rely mainly on dialogue in my other fics, so this was really challenging.**

 

Rin swam past the harsh aching in his thighs and biceps. He couldn't stop. NopeNo way. Stopping would give his mind the opportunity to work. And that just wasn't an option. Not now. Definitely not. Thinking meant seeing it again. The image was so clearly engraved in his mind. And forcing himself to swim through the pain seemed to be the only thing that pushed it away.

Slamming his arms into the water harder with each stroke, he moaned into the liquid. It hurt, but it blocked out the words from his mind. He wasn't ready to hear those words again. Not yet. Not ever.

He swam butterfly, of course. Breaststroke was too gentle to push the pain away. And he couldn't even contemplate doing either form of crawl. That wouldn't work. That was the opposite of he wanted. He wanted to keep his mind on the pool, not... Them.

Nitori had entered the pool about half an hour ago, begging Rin to go to bed. He left when Rin ignored him for ten minutes. Sleep? Really? How could he ever sleep again now?

But now he began to tire. Rin had never been a long distance swimmer. He hated even the idea of it. So this didn't really come easily to him. And soon, he was clinging to the side of the pool, panting heavily. He bit deeply into his lip, needing more physical pain to explain the tears that streamed steadily.

Closing his eyes, he buried his face in his arms, moaning quietly. The images came back quickly. The boy he loved more than he thought possible, the one he fell asleep thinking of, the one whose paralyzing, blue eyes were always a little too empty, but in that perfect way that only he could work so well. The boy who he would do anything for. That boy, in the arms of someone else. Someone who didn't deserve him. No one deserved him. Ever. Not even Rin, he knew that.

Blinking his eyes open, Rin looked out the windows at the top of the room into the night. The stars taunted him, somehow. Everything seemed to be teasing and mocking him right now. Rin who wasn't sweet enough. Rin who wasn't fast enough. Rin who wasn't strong enough. Rin who never had and never would be good enough.

His breath had somehow become trapped in his throat the first time he had seen them together, their hand interlinked. Rin assumed this must've been initiated by Makoto. Haru didn't really do that kind of thing. Or maybe he did, and Rin was just never the person who got to see that side of him. He was smiling when Rin saw them. Haru - his Haru - smiling. Genuinely grinning. And laughing. Even thinking about it now caused a small sob to form in Rin's throat, which he pushed away quickly.

They'd been dating for a few months now. Meaning Rin had been spending less and less time with them. Of course, Ai and Nagisa had kept on bugging him about joint practice until he gave in. They obviously couldn't see it - the lifelessness in Rin's eyes when he watched Haru swim now.

But today had been the worst. There was no doubt. Because today, Haru actually spoke to him. Properly. More than the pointless pleasantries they'd exchanged previously. It was unexpected.

They'd just been in the changing rooms after practice when Haru had taken a soft hold of Rin's arm. The contact had almost been enough to push Rin over the edge of insanity on its own. They were totally alone in the room, and Rin had wondered if Haru could hear the way his breath hitched every time the boy with the blue eyes made even the slightest movement. Thinking about it now, Rin took a deep breath and dived under the water, sitting on the bottom of the pool to shut himself off from the world.

 

"Rin, I need to speak with you." He had begun, his tone slightly clipped, harsher than usual. Not at all like how he spoke to Makoto, Rin had thought to himself.

"Go ahead." Obviously, Rin had made a conscious effort to afford eye contact at all costs.

"Makoto and I-" as usual, Haru had been perfectly awkwardly when discussing his relationship and (even though he hated himself for it) Rib found it unbelievably adorable. "We're... More serious now."

"Great." It had not sounded remotely sincere, despite how hard Rin tried.

"I came to ask if you told anyone about our night together." Rin had closed his eyes, sighing when Haru spoke.

"No." He replied a little too bluntly.

"Thank you." And with that, Haru had turned to leave and, without thinking, Rin had reached for his hand, taking it gently. Haru had shot him some sort of accusing look.

"Do you love him?" Rin had asked, his voice barely a whisper. Haru paused for a moment before answering.

"Yes." He had replied simply and Rin had had to put everything he had into not show how the word tore him apart in every way.

"Okay." He hadn't even been sure Haru could hear him. His voice was so weak. But still, he forced his eyes up to lock with Haru's. "Do you... I mean... Did you ever love me?"

"Rin," Haru had sighed gently, and Makoto had taken that moment to enter the room and sweep Haru into his arms, kissing him.

"Hey, you ready to go?" The brunette had asked, provoking a perfect smile from Haru. That smile. The one only he got. Haru nodded quickly up at Makoto and was rewarded with another gentle kiss. Rin had rolled his eyes, making a small sound of displeasure, as if their kiss meant nothing more to him than an inappropriate PDA. Makoto had flashed him an oblivious, apologetic smile.

"See you later, Rin." He had spoken cheerfully, taking Haru's hand and heading for the door with him. "Don't leave it so long next time, yeah?"

Rin couldn't speak, so instead chose to nod silently, staring at the ground. He had just wanted to shut off the world. Everyone and everything in it.

"Rin." Haru's firm tone surprised Rin and caused him to look up, their eyes meeting, taking Rin's breath. "Once. But now..." He trailed off, shaking his head the smallest amount in answer to Rin’s previous question, before Makoto had tugged him from the room.

Rin's legs had given out at that point and he had fallen back against the lockers, slipping down them to the floor, where he had cried alone for a couple of hours before taking to the pool.

 

And that's what had led to him being where he was now. Alone. Under the water. His tears invisible behind the rest of the liquid. His heart racing, body aching and lungs tightening slowly. Pushing up, he emerged from the water with a gasp.

It took him six attempts the actually drag his broken, aching body from the pool, at which point he stumbled to the showers. That didn't help. Not at all. That's where they had first kissed. That night when Rin actually had a taste of what it might be like to have everything he'd ever wanted.

It had been about a month or so before Haru and Makoto had gotten together. Rin had invited Haru over for a late night swim. It was romantic and perfect, and somehow the memory made Rin smile for a moment. He had been trying to make Haru laugh in the showers that night, maintaining the idea that it couldn't be that hard. It hadn't worked, but instead, the pair ended up making out up against the tiles. Rin had had to force himself to stop to smiling like an idiot. It was perfect. Sousuke had been visiting family that weekend, so Rin had suggested they go back to his room and had been totally stunned when Haru had agreed.

Rin had been with a good number of people - guys and girls - before Haru. But that night was different. It was romantic and relaxed and felt perfectly right, like every night should be that way.

But more than anything, the morning was what would always be etched into Rin's memory. Waking with a sleeping Haru in his arms, snuggled up close to his chest. It was everything he'd dreamt of. He had spent almost two hours that morning stroking and kissing Haru's hair, watching him sleep and occasionally whispering gentle 'I love you's until the other boy awoke.

And now, sat against the tiled wall, his legs hugged to his chest and the tears streaming as steadily as the water from the shower above, Rin realized just how much he'd lost.

He could've had it - everything.

Haru - his Haru.

Once. But not now.

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