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(Fire-fighter! Makoto x Girlfriend! Reader)

*rrriiinng... rrriiinng...*
“Hello?” You asked groggily. Whoever called you first thing in the morning better have something important to say. You were dreaming of your precious Makoto and this caller woke you up. Great.

“Happy second Anniversary, (name).” That made you get up from your bed, as if someone shot you an espresso coffee. So it’s been two years. Your boyfriend isn’t the type to forget these kinds of important events, and that’s one reason why you love him.

“Good morning to you too.” You say.
“Aren’t you going to greet me as well?” he asked. You can’t see him but he’s probably smiling.
“Happy Anniversary. So where’s my ‘Good Morning’?”
“Good Morning. Did you sleep well?”
“Yes, actually.” You paused. “I miss you.” You say. You know that you do. He rarely meets with you because of his work.
“I miss you too. I’ll make it up to you, though. Let’s have dinner.”
“Really? You’re serious?” You can’t believe it. Does he really have time now?
“Yes. Let’s meet up at your favorite restaurant later. My boss let me take a half – day today. Let us celebrate our Anniversary. Is it okay with you?” he asked.
“Of course, it is! I’ll see you later. Even if it’s the end of the world, no one can go against your dinner date for tonight.
“Bye. I love you.” You blushed. Even after two years of being together, you’re still not used to him saying ‘I love you’.
“I... I love you too.” You replied. Then you heard the alarm from the other side of the line.
“Well, I have to go now. There’s an emergency going. See you.” Then he hung up. It has been like this even before. The lives of others always come first for your hero. And you, the ‘leading lady’, just come second. Not that you doubt Makoto’s feelings for you. Even in his tight schedule, he really goes out of his way just to see you or even have a date with you. But sometimes you wish that there will be a time that you will be the only one for him. That he doesn’t have to “save the world” or something. That it would only be the two of you, alone, watching the sunset by the beach...maybe with your future kids...

The alarm clock goes off, as if reminding you to go back to reality. It’s time for work. You sighed. You’re just going to have to finish work early so you can go on time for your date.

Night came. It’s finally here. You managed to convince your boss to let you off early, but there’s no time to lose. It’s already 6 pm. You hurried home, took a quick shower, then you got dressed. You wear your favorite dress that you have been saving up for special occasions like this. You pulled your (hair length) hair into a cute hairstyle that will definitely get noticed by Makoto. You put on some light make up and you’re done. It’s almost seven, so you went to the restaurant. You were already thinking up of an excuse to say why you were late, but when you got there, your boyfriend isn’t there yet, surprisingly. He isn’t the type to get late or to forget an appointment. So what you did is take a seat and you waited.


... And waited.


... And waited.


The restaurant is about to close, and he still didn’t show up. You can’t believe you have been stood up. Just then, you had a call.
“If this is about you not showing up, then you better have a good excuse.” You said, trying to suppress your anger.

“Actually, ma’am...” someone else’s voice started to say. You look at the number and it was unknown. Suddenly, you feel so nervous.
“Who is this?” you asked warily. Why won’t your heart stop beating so fast?

“I’m Rin Matsuoka, Makoto’s friend. I’m a policeman. I think... you should go to this address, quickly.”

You don’t know what’s going on, you have no idea what happened, but you know that you have to trust that policeman when he said to go to a certain address. You hailed a taxi and went to the place. This isn’t good. You’ve been having a bad feeling that something’s wrong.

You arrived, paid the taxi fare, and then quickly took off. There you stood, seeing a house all burned up, the smell of smoke still lingering from the house through your nose. A police officer came to you. “Hello ma’am. I’m the one who talked with you on the phone. – “
“What happened?” You didn’t actually want to ask it. In fact, you don’t want to hear it. You don’t want to know.

“Mr. Makoto Tachibana... died after saving a family that got trapped inside this house during the fire.” He said while staring at the burned house.
Tears fell down to your face. You already expected something bad has happened, but not as bad as THIS.

“Everything was burned down...including him...but the way his body was positioned, it seems that he was protecting something from the fire. We were able to find this underneath him.” The officer – Rin – handed out something that is inside a zip lock. It was Makoto’s cell phone. And the other one was –

“I guess it’s yours now. We won’t be taking it as evidence. Well then if you’ll excuse me...” Rin left.

Along with Ma – his cell phone, (even just his name alone causes you pain,) is a box. You took both of it from the zip lock. You opened the box and inside of it was a ring. It was an engagement ring, but not anymore. More tears came down to your face. You didn’t want to open the phone after all this, but it’s as if someone is urging you to. So you opened it and what you saw first thing is an unsent message. There it says:

Dear (name),
I hope you got my present for you. I have wanted to give it to you, but now that I have found the right time, well... I just wish for you to be happy. If you ever read this message, please don’t cry. I love your smiling face the most. I guess it’s late, but I just want to do this right. I love you (name). Will you marry me?
I’m sorry I can’t be by your side during the wedding. Goodbye, my one and only Mrs. (name) Tachibana. Thank you for loving me as well.
Happy Anniversary, my love
I am SO sorry (notsosorry) for this. No, I disagree! It's because I can only think up of reader insert feels when it comes to "Free!" (or Freels. lol.) I still hope you guys enjoyed it though. Sweating a little... 
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"Now do you understand it, Nagisa-kun?" you asked, putting down your pencil. It was after school and your boyfriend came over to study, since his grades were slipping up lately.

"Yeah, I got it. Thanks (Y/N) -chan!" he gave you his adorable cheeky smile that just makes your heart skip a beat.

"You know, your really smart. You understand everything in like 10 minutes. Your great at studying, but all you wanna do is swim!" you chuckled.

"That's because swimming is more fun than studying!" he pouted, lying on your bed. He gave a big, over dramatic yawn. "I'm sleepy." he rubbed his eye.

"You're tired already?" you laughed, but then you noticed him staring out you, with a little spark in his eyes that made your body temp. go up a few degrees.

"W-what is it?" you stuttered.

"Come over here (Y/N)-chan!" he asked, smiling. You walked over to him, and he grabbed your hand pulling you on the bed.

"Owww, that hurt!" you winced. You opened your eyes and there was Nagisa hovering on top of you with that spark in his eyes again. You blushed realizing the situation you're in.

Nagisa leaned close to your face. "(Y/N)-chan, having dirty thoughts?" he whispered, sending chills down your whole body.

"O-Of course not! Pervert!" you glared at him. But he only leaned closer to you, your faces only centimeters apart now. You really wanted to kiss him, but you were way to embarrassed.

"Why are you being all shy? You don't have to hold back~" he whispered with a dirty grin. The boy read right through you.

"I'm no-!" you were cut off as his lips crashed onto yours, his tongue sliding in your mouth. You both fought for dominance in the kiss, which Nagisa won easily. He explored your mouth, when your mother came in the room. Awkard Silence.....

"Well, looks like you two are studying just fine (Y/N). Go ahead, feel free to continue the lesson <3" your mother winked and walked out of the room.

"Wait! It's a misunderstanding!" you sat up and glared at Nagisa.

"Thanks a lot!" you pouted.

"Whats the matter? She said we could continue! <3" he pinned you down on the bed and started kissing your neck. This caused you to blush a mad red.

"Nagisa, you pervert!!" you screamed, but he ignored you, and kissed your neck even more! <3
THE END
very bored, and school is starting soon (DARNIT!!!) so i just wrote this enjoy!
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You were innocently wasting the beautiful day away on your laptop when you were interrupted by the buzzing sound of your cell phone. You turned your attention towards it and picked it up. When you saw that it was your friend Makoto that had texted you, you couldn't help but smile.

The text read, "Going to have a snowball fight. Want to come?"

Your smile widened when you read the text; Makoto was always considerate and liked to include you in the swim team's activities despite the fact that you were barely there to cheer the team on or to watch their practices—you still showed your support of course, but since you were almost always there for their out of school activities, you managed to form a close bond with the team. It was all thanks to your childhood friend, Makoto.

"Alright, sure. Where?" you texted back.

You placed the phone down on your lap and glanced back at your computer screen. It was only a few seconds until your phone buzzed again, notifying you of a new text. Your eyes scanned the words displayed on the small screen.

"Iwatobi Park. Meet you in 15 minutes."

Iwatobi Park wasn't that far from your place. It was only about a five minute walk. You changed into comfortable clothes and put on your winter attire before heading out the door. The snow crunched beneath your boots as you walked towards the park. Your pace was easy and slow since you still had a lot of time left before your designated meeting time. You hardly went outside during the winter break since it was cold and there wasn't really much to do, so you took this as your chance to admire winter's beauty. Delicate icicles formed on trees and edges of roofs; a perfect blanket of white snow lined the streets, almost begging to have somebody make footprints on it; and the sidewalks glistened with ice that hasn't been salted yet. Eventually, you found yourself at your destination, and you were greeted by the swim team, plus Rin.

"Great!" Makoto exclaimed upon your arrival, "Now that [Name] is here, the teams are now even."

"I want to be on Haru-chan's team!" Nagisa shouted, raising his hand and running to said swimmer and clutching onto his arm.

"I want to be on sempai's team too!" Rei shouted immediately after Nagisa, claiming his spot.

Makoto chuckled and turned his attention towards you and Rin. "I guess we're in a team together then."

Both you and Rin nodded in acceptance of this team. Makoto then gathered everyone's attention.

"This is how we'll set the fight up up; each team will have 5 minutes to build a fort and get a head start on ammunition. After that, the team to call truce loses," Makoto explained the rules. "And just to be safe, rules are that you can't aim for above the neck nor can you make a snowball with ice in it. Doing so will disqualify the team. Is this fair?"

"Yessir!" everyone chorused.

Rei spoke, looking at his wristwatch, I'll keep time."

"Alright."

"And..." Rei paused for a second," Start!"

The group quickly dashed away and wasted no time in making their forts. You helped Rin and Makoto build a tall and thick fort. You knew with the amount of time, the fort will end up having a rather small width and space, but the other two didn't mind. Your eyes glanced towards the other team; they were focusing on getting as much width and space as possible, meaning that they would have to either crouch or lie on their stomachs for cover.

"Time!" Rei called out, signalling the end of five minutes.

No sooner than when Rei called time that snowballs went flying in the air. You ducked behind the snow fort as snowballs whizzed towards you. It was a barrage of snowballs; you didn't have time to throw even one without the risk of getting hit. Eventually, the amount of snowballs died down. The other team was losing ammunition.

"Now's our chance!" you heard Rin say.

The young man grabbed hold of one of the snowballs your team made in advance and threw it across the park. You followed suite, as did Makoto. This time, it was your team's turn to be on the offensive. As you threw, you realized your snowballs weren't getting as much distance or power as Rin's or Makoto's.

"I'm not that good at throwing," you said to Makoto. "I think it's better if I make the snowballs and you and Rin throw them. This way, we won't stop on our attacks."

"Sounds like a plan," Makoto smiled at you before turning his attention back to the fight.

Your cheeks flushed slightly before snapping yourself back to reality and making work of creating ammunition. While creating the snowballs, you would occasionally glance over to see how the snowball war was faring. This one time, you looked up and you saw Nagisa get hit in the chest with a snowball. The scene after that was like a parody of all those movies you've watched.

"I've been hit!!" the young man announced to the world before dramatically falling to the ground.

Haruka and Rei immediately went to his side, and Rin and Makoto stopped shooting snowballs. It was a merciful and kind act on their part, so that they could give the two their time to say their farewells to their fallen comrade. You too stopped making ammunition as you were too engrossed in this tragic and hilarious scene.

Rei was holding onto Nagisa's hand as he begged the young man not to go. You saw a weak smile on the fallen boy's face, but his eyes looked like he was just about ready to burst into laughter. You didn't quite hear what his 'final words' were, but you clearly heard Haruka and Rei repeatedly call out Nagisa's name before turning their attention back towards you and your team.

"Revenge!" the two shouted simultaneously as they began their furious assault of snowballs.

---

You huffed for breath as soon as the snowball fight was over. Your team was able to overpower the other, and they had called truce, making you and your team claim victory. After catching your breath, you all shook each other's hands and congratulated one another.

"Well, that was fun," you said.

"Indeed it was,” Rei replied.

Nagisa grinned and nodded in agreement, "Yeah, you're right!"

"We should definitely do this again sometime," Makoto suggested.

The others nodded, "I agree."

"Next time, I'll beat you again," Rin looked at Haruka with challenging eyes.

"We'll see about that," Haruka smiled, his eyes just as fierce as Rin's.

"Say, do you guys want to come over to my place for some hot chocolate?" you asked, inviting the guys over.

"Sure!" Makoto grinned, "That sounds lovely."

"Great!" you chirped. You turned your attention towards the other boys, waiting for their answer.

"Oh, sorry [Name]. I'd love to, but I need to do some stuff back home," Nagisa answered.

"Same here," Rei said. "Sorry."

You shook your head in understanding, "It's okay." You now waited for Rin's and Haruka's answer. "Well?"

"My coach wanted to talk with me about some stuff, so I can’t," Rin replied.

"I see. And you?" you asked, looking at Haruka.

Haruka didn't answer right away. He glanced towards Makoto before answering, "Maybe some other time."

"Alright then," you replied, not questioning what the young man's reason was for not being able to come over; although, you were curious as to why he hesitated upon glancing towards Makoto. "In that case, I'll see you all some other time?"

"Yeah. See you."

"Bye, and happy holidays!"

You all said your farewells as everyone asides from Makoto went on their own separate ways. As soon as everyone was gone, Makoto turned to look at you.

"Shall we go?" he asked, the usual kind smile on his face.

You nodded, unable to find yourself to reply with words. You turned on your heel and started heading towards the direction towards your house while Makoto walked beside you. The young man has visited your house many times before, but never alone. He usually came with a friend, or your friend would have been there or something like that. You started to grow self-conscious.

"What if my house is too messy for him? What if I act weird in front of him? What if I say something stupid? Oh my god..." you panicked, your thoughts in a complete whirlwind.

You were so engrossed in your thoughts that you didn't notice the icy patch beneath you, and you slipped. Makoto tried to catch you, but he too slipped, and the both of you fell hard on the ground.

"Ow," you winced, rubbing your lower back.

Makoto had already stood back up and was offering you his hand. "You okay?"

You nodded as you grabbed hold of his hand, "Yeah, I'm good. Thanks."

"Sorry I wasn't able to stop you from falling," the young man apologized.

"It's okay; don't worry about it," you offered a smile, feeling guilty for being the reason to have Makoto wear such an expression.

The two of you continued walking towards your house, exchanging small pleasant talk. Within a few minutes, the both of you found yourself in front of your house. You opened the door and gestured Makoto inside. You closed the door behind you as both you and Makoto took off your winter attire, letting out a blissful sigh upon the warm welcome of the heater.

"I'll go make the hot chocolate now," you said, making your way towards the kitchen. "You go take a seat."

"Okay."

You glanced behind you for a second before entering the kitchen to see Makoto sit on the sofa. You hummed a quiet tune to yourself as you worked around the kitchen, making the hot chocolate; it only took a few minutes. As soon as it was done, you walked back to where Makoto was and handed him the drink.

"Thanks," Makoto smiled at you as he graciously accepted the cup.

"You're welcome," you replied, plopping yourself down beside the young man with your own cup of hot chocolate.

"Today was a lot of fun," Makoto commented.

"Yeah, it was. Thanks for inviting me," you answered.

"It wouldn't be the same without you," Makoto replied cheerfully with an honest expression.

You blushed slightly at the comment and offered him an awkward smile, uncertain on how to reply to that. You directed your attention towards your cup of hot chocolate as silence filled the space between you two.

"So, what are your plans for the holiday?" Makoto asked, breaking the silence before taking a sip from his drink.

You shrugged, "I don't know. Probably sleep or something."

"You should come over to my house," Makoto suggested.

"Is that really alright with you?" you asked. "I mean, I wouldn't want to intrude..."

"You're not intruding!" Makoto answered almost immediately. "I would love to have you come over. Besides, the others are coming over as well, so even if you were intruding, you wouldn't be the only one."

"Well, if you insist..." you replied.

"Though, knowing the others, they might try to get us under the mistletoe..."

It was only a whisper as Makoto was mumbling to himself, but you heard that comment nevertheless. Your eyes widened slightly, and you looked at him. Makoto didn't realize that you heard him, so his eyes were curious when you gave him your full attention.

"I-I'm sorry, what was that?" you asked.

"What was what?" Makoto replied to your question with another question, feigning ignorance.

"You said something just now, didn't you?" you said. "I didn't hear what it was."

Makoto became flustered, "O-Oh, it's nothing! Don't worry!"

Your lips pressed together in a firm line as you set your cup of hot chocolate down on the table in front of you. You then shifted around so that you were directly facing Makoto, and you stubbornly crossed your arms over your chest. Your cheeks puffed slightly, and your eyes narrowed, urging the young man to repeat what he said. Of course, you had a faint idea of what he said, but you wanted confirmation, but even so, you couldn't stop your heart from beating so fast.

Makoto just stared at you, a small, amused smile on his lips at how adorable you looked at the moment. He poked your cheeks, but you stood your ground. There was no way he was going to back out of this. Eventually, the young man set his cup down beside yours before lacing his fingers together.

"Fine," he admitted defeat. "I said that Haru-chan and the others might try to get us under the mistletoe."

"W-Why?" you asked, heat rising to your cheeks.

A slight blush formed on Makoto's cheeks as he turned his head to the side, avoiding your gaze, "I-I'd rather not say. Maybe some other time."

"..." you said nothing and just continued to look at Makoto.

His eyes occasionally glanced over to you, but he would quickly look away soon after. You had a guess as to what the reason was, but you wanted to see if Makoto would say it now. Apparently he wasn't ready to tell you just yet, and to be honest, you weren't ready to confess your feelings yet either. But that was alright. It will happen soon enough.

You let out a sigh of defeat and brought down your defenses and offered Makoto a kind and understanding smile. You then leaned against him, and you let your shoulders droop as you felt comfortable and safe by his side.

"Alright then. I won't force you to tell me," you said, "but... I want to know eventually, okay?"

Makoto chuckled, "That's fair."

"Good," you replied before mumbling, "Because I wouldn't mind being under the mistletoe with you..."

"Neither will I."
Gift for :iconrenakuxrawrz:

Oh goodness, it's been a while since I last wrote a reader insert. I might have gotten a bit rusty, for a lack of a better word. Also, my first time writing Makoto! I hope I didn't make anyone OOC. Dx This was a lot of fun to write though. I kind of procrastinated and wrote this around 1AM to 3AM last night (technically this morning, but meh), so...hopefully it makes sense. x'D

If you see any mistakes, please tell me so that I may fix them right away!

Free! (c) Koji Oji
You belong to yourself
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"You okay now?" Makoto asked after (Name) calmed down.

(Name) felt herself get red. She didn't mean to cry in Makoto's arms. In fact she didn't even expect herself to cry at all. "I-I'm sorry," she said, rather embarrassed. She pulled herself away from Makoto.

"Oh, it's fine," Makoto said. "It's okay to let out your feelings." He smiled.

(Name)'s heart skipped a beat. "Uh... Um... I think it's getting late, right? And your friends are waiting, right? So, maybe I should go..."

"You don't have to," Makoto said. 

"N-no," (Name) said, about to explode. She had to get away from Makoto. She was too embarrassed. "I'll leave. I forgot to feed my cat." She slipped by and rushed down the dirt stairs, not looking back, even though Makoto called her name over and over again.

------------------

"You didn't have to go home!" Kou complained on Monday after school.

"Sorry..." (Name) said, feeling shameful. 

"You should have stuck around," Kou pointed out. "And maybe you two would have walked home together, in the dark, and then you two would have kissed..." 

"K-Kou!" (Name) said, her face burning. "Don't say ridiculous things!"

"You know you wanted that..." Kou said, smirking.

"M-maybe..." (Name) replied, looking away.

"OH HEY, MAKOTO!" Kou said suddenly.

(Name) made a slight yelp and hid behind Kou. Then Kou started to laugh. "Wow, you actually fell for that, senpai?"

"Y-you tricked me..." (Name) said, suddenly embarrassed.

"You see that? You're trying to avoid Makoto again, aren't you?" 

(Name) nodded.

"Look, you shouldn't be embarrassed about saying you feelings. It's your feelings for him, and if he has a problem with that, he can deal with it! Right?"

"Y-yeah..." (Name) said.

"Good. Oh, hey Makoto," Kou said.

(Name) jumped. She turned around, and this time, Kou was for real: Makoto was walking towards them, his hands in his pockets. 

"Hey," Makoto said casually. "Mind if I borrow (Name)-chan real quick?"

"Nope, take her," Kou said, smiling.

"Wait--" (Name) said.

Makoto gently took (Name)'s hand. He started to walk, and (Name) followed. His large hand was warm, but not sweaty. She felt like she was being fried like bacon. (Name) realized that Makoto was leading them both to the art room. As the both entered, the room was empty. The sun was still high up in the sky, since it was still summer. Makoto turned to (Name), his hand still holding (Name)'s. 

"You're avoiding me again, (Name)-chan," Makoto said, almost sad.

(Name) gulped. He looked like a little puppy that was thrown into the street. "I-I haven't..."

"Why do you do that?" Makoto asked, taking both of (Name)'s hands. "Why do you not want to be with me?"

"I'm just really embarrassed, okay?" (Name) fired back, looking down at the floor. "Saying that I love you... In such a situation... I was really nervous!"

"So you were avoiding me, thinking I don't feel the same way towards you?"

(Name) blinked. She looked up to see Makoto rather serious looking, only his whole face was red. He looked like a toddler upset about not getting the right Christmas present. "You don't like me... Right?" (Name) managed to say, trying to handle his adorable features.

"I don't like you, I love you," Makoto said, his eyes glassy. "Why don't you understand?"

(Name) froze. "Wh-wha... No... You don't." 

"I do, (Name)-chan!" Makoto demanded, a tear trickling down his cheek. His green eyes were filled with tears. His grip on (Name)'s hands loosened.  

"H-hey..." (Name) managed to say out of shock. "Why are you crying...?" She moved her hand up to Makoto's and wiped his tear away. 

"C-C-'Cause," Makoto sobbed, "Y-you're so nice. But y-y-you think you're n-not."

(Name) smiled hopelessly. "Thanks. I didn't know I was such a good person."

Makoto smiled, tears still flowing. "N-now you do." He was slightly blushing still, his green eyes twinkling in the sunlight.

Without thinking, (Name)'s lips were on Makoto's. It was a sweet, gentle touch, like two innocent first graders. Makoto's lips were soft and angelic. As (Name) pulled away, she saw Makoto's bright red face. His green eyes were widened. 

"Uh... I... Um... I wasn't ready..." Makoto started to mumble in shock.

(Name) blushed at his adorable actions and interrupted his mumbles with another kiss. This time, Makoto seemed to be ready. He kissed back, trying his best to be gentle. He pulled (Name) closer, and he wrapped in his arms as the kiss became more rough. Makoto moaned slightly as (Name) slipped her tongue in his mouth. He continued to whimper as the kiss became rather passionate, while (Name)'s arms dangled around Makoto's neck. 

(Name) pulled apart for air. She panted and saw how lustful Makoto's eyes seemed. 

"One more time," Makoto begged, his green eyes shining with pleasure.

(Name) blushed. "Alright. Only one more time, though."

However, the two continued about five more times.

And the swim club waited and waited... But Makoto did not come to practice that day. 
OH SHIEEET.
Crappy writing, hell yeah. :highfive:

I think this is the last chapter...
I have no idea.
I might make an epilogue ;w;
Thank you for reading, y'all!

Part 1 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 2 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 3 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 4 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 5 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 6 Here! ^^
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Chapter 2
Swimming Club



At the end of your first day, you sent a text to your parents, informing them you might be late home, in case they arrived home early first. Doubtful, but you needed to be sure of every possible outcome. As you grabbed your school bag, heading to Makoto and Haruka who were standing out the classroom waiting for you, you received a text back.

That’s alright Honey, have a great time. We won’t be back till late, take your time. Just be back before dark. Mum, xxx

You smiled at the text, putting your phone away.

“Ready to go?” Makoto asked, smiling kindly at you again. You nodded, walking between the two of them as they led you to the pool. You met up with Nagisa and Rei on the way there, and were introduced to a girl with long red hair and red eyes. You learnt her name was Gou, but she preferred being called Kou.

“So, [first name], I don’t suppose you have a swimsuit, do you?” Rei suddenly asked, making you come to a stop. That was one thing you didn’t have.

“U-Uh…” you started, noticing they’d all stopped to look at you. Kou suddenly jumped into the conversation, putting an arm over your shoulders.

“Don’t worry, we have a spare male and a spare female one in the back room. You can borrow that till you get one of your own” Kou stated, winking at you. You smiled in gratitude, walking alongside Kou as she led you to the female change rooms. The boys went to the male change rooms. As you stepped in and Kou began looking for the swimsuit for you, you began taking off your jacket and tie.



“Here it is!” Kou announced, pulling out a navy blue, sports swimsuit one piece. You smiled at her in gratitude, then began taking off the rest of your clothes. Kou sat down, waiting for you to finish changing when she gasped. You froze, wondering what had startled her.

“[first name], is that a birthmark?” Kou asked and you instantly turned to hide your back from her. You had always felt ashamed of the large birthmark on your back, just in the small of it near your pelvis. According to people it looked like a clam, or some sort of sea shell.

“O-Oh… sorry… I shouldn’t have said anything…” Kou said, sensing your awkwardness and fear. You had always been very self-conscious of your back, but you didn’t think Kou would say anything mean about it. That still didn’t change how you felt about it though. You put on the swimsuit, thankful the hole in the back of it that was part of its design was on the upper back.

“It fits you just right! I thought that swim suit would fit” Kou stated, jumping to her feet. You smiled back at her, thankful she hadn’t brought up the birthmark again. Kou then grabbed your wrist, pulling you out towards the pool. You managed to snatch a towel, putting it over your shoulders as you were dragged along. The boys were already out and gathered along the edge of the pool.

“Wow! [First name]! You look amazing in that!!” Nagisa suddenly shouted when he spotted you. The boys all looked at you, and they all went a little pink in the face. Nagisa jumped to his feet, running to you and suddenly hugged you tightly. You froze, blinking in shock.

“Wow, your skin’s so soft! Hey guys! Her skin is so soft! Come feel!” Nagisa suddenly shouted to the boys as Kou grabbed his ear, pulling him away. The other boys had become really awkward as you looked at the ground, blushing.

“Ow! Ow! Gou, that hurts! That’s my ear!” Nagisa shouted in painful protest as Kou pushed him into the pool.

“It’s Kou, not Gou!” she yelled to him, then dusted off her hands, walking back to you.

“Sorry about him [first name]. Is there a particular style of swimming you do?” Kou asked, giving you a smile.

“U-Um… I kinda swim all styles…” you responded, giving her a shy smile back. Kou grinned, pulling out her stop watch.

“Alright! Time to record how fast you swim in each stroke!” Kou declared, giggling. You sighed, walking to the edge of the pool. You stepped up, getting ready to dive in.

“Wait!” called out Makoto suddenly, making you turn to look at him. He approached you, holding his hand out.

“Here, you can borrow these while you swim” Makoto offered, handing you his goggles. You looked down at his hand, accepting the goggles then smiled at him. Your smile must’ve startled him because he blinked in shock, his cheeks tinged with pink, before he smiled back at you. You put on the goggles, adjusting them a little for your smaller sized head, then made sure they were on correctly. You leaned forward, getting ready to dive in. Luckily Nagisa had fished himself out the pool and was now sulking over his soaked jacket.



“Alright! 100m Breaststroke! Ready, set, GO!” Kou shouted as you dove into the pool, beginning to swim breaststroke down the lane. You couldn’t hear much of anything due to the water in your ears, so you focused on where you were going and moving your legs in the correct movements. When you reached the turn off point, you turned, kicking off the wall and began swimming back up to where Kou was. You could see all the boys were looking a little shocked, but they looked impressed mostly. When your hands hit the wall, you stopped, letting your head out the water.

“Impressive [first name]! Really great for your first try! Here, have some water!” Kou stated, leaning over the edge of the pool and offering you a bottle of water. You accepted happily, guzzling a little before inhaling deeply.

“Thanks… I forgot how tiring swimming can be. Anyway, what’s next?” you asked, pulling yourself up out of the pool.

“Alright, I think the next one should be backstroke. Then you’ll do freestyle, then butterfly, okay?” Kou explained. Sounded reasonable enough, so you nodded in response. After a few minutes break, you put down the bottle of water and returned to where you stood before.

“Alright, 100m backstroke. Are you ready?” Kou asked as you jumped into the pool, grabbing the pole and resting your legs up where they needed to be. You held onto the wall in a crouched, crab position.

“Alright, ready, set, GO!” Kou shouted as you launched from the wall, curving your back and swimming along to the wall on your back. Again, you couldn’t hear anything due to the water in your ears. You swam as fast as you could, touching the wall and launching yourself off it again, swimming back. You tried to imagine a shark or some other dangerous animal was chasing you, giving you incentive to swim at your fastest. You touched the wall, standing upright.

“Wow that was fast! You’re really good [first name]!” Kou stated, looking at the boys as they all nodded in approval.

“So, the next one’s freestyle, right? Just give me a minute to catch my breath” you said, hoisting yourself up again. You downed some more water, putting it aside. As you stood and got ready to dive again, you noticed Miss Ama sitting in a chair with a parasol, watching over everyone.

“Alrighty, 100m freestyle, ready, set, GO!” Kou shouted, making you dive in. You kicked your legs, moving your arms and began swimming towards the wall. It wasn’t long till you reached it, then turned, launching yourself off the wall. A few kicks later and you were swimming back towards the others. You hit the wall, standing up and began breathing heavily.

“You’re really good, but so far breaststroke is your fastest” Makoto said as he stood beside Kou, looking at the sheet of times she’d written. You gave them a smile, attempting to pull yourself out the pool, but your foot slipped. All of a sudden you were waist down back in the water. You sighed, pulling yourself up again. This time you succeeded.

“I’m tired… guess I can go one more though…” you said, drinking about half of the water you had in the drink bottle. You stood, returning back to where you dove in.

“100m butterfly, ready, set, GO!” Kou yelled, signaling your dive. You dove in, quickly raising both your arms up out of the water at the same time. You made it to the wall, a little slower than normal, kicking off and propelling yourself forward. Repeating the same process, you hit the wall and stood up.

“Not as fast as your other times, but you’re really good!” Kou said, leaning down and smiling at you. You panted heavily, taking off the goggles Makoto had lent you. You tried to pull yourself up, but didn’t even manage to lift your legs. You just stood there, holding the wall as you tried to regain your strength. Soon, a hand was extended to you. You looked up, seeing Makoto offering you a hand. You blinked, looking up at him as he just smiled kindly back at you. You went to go accept his offer when another hand appeared alongside it. You looked at the other owner, seeing Haruka offering you a hand as well. You giggled, accepting both as they worked together to pull you out the pool and to your feet.



“So, what do you think of the club so far?” Rei asked, approaching you. Nagisa also rushed to you, suddenly grabbing and hugging your arm happily.

“She loves us, doesn’t she!?” Nagisa exclaimed, laughing. You couldn’t help but laugh.

“Nagisa, that’s for her to decide, isn’t it?” Rei asked, crossing his arms in disapproval. Nagisa let go of your arm, pouting at Rei.

“But Rei…” Nagisa whined, now clinging to Rei’s arm. You found the scene hilarious and began cracking up laughing. You clutched your stomach, doubling over a little from laughing so much, tears forming in the corners of your eyes.

The boys became silent, watching you, then began laughing quietly to themselves as they smiled at each other in accomplishment.

“I’d say with how you all get along that it’s a definite yes” Kou stated, smiling at them all as she added, “And with your times [first name], it’s a definite yes from us!”

“Okay, I’ll join. Please look after me everyone” you said, finally calming down enough to talk. As you turned from looking at Kou, a towel suddenly landed on your head and around your shoulders. You turned to look at the culprit, seeing Makoto smiling down at you. He was about a head taller than you.

“T-Thanks… and thanks for these…” you thanked, handing him back his goggles. Makoto just smiled at you more, giving you that bright, warm, motherly smile.

“Anytime. We’re here to help, and I hope by now, we’re friends” Makoto responded.

“I see [first name] as my friend! Definitely!!” Nagisa suddenly shouted, launching a fist up at the sky.

“I agree, we could learn to be good friends!” Rei added, adjusting his glasses on his face. Haru smiled, nodding.

“Well, I guess that makes us a little swimming club family” Makoto added, putting a hand forward. Nagisa laughed, adding his hand on top as Rei added his. Haru smiled, adding his hand in, then the boys looked at you. Kou giggled, dashing to you, grabbing your hand and placing it on the pile as she then proudly put her own on top. Everyone began smiling and laughing with each other. You looked around at them all, seeing the happy smiles on their faces.

“We’re a team, every member is irreplaceable” Haru stated, smiling at you. You felt a smile grow on your face and a warm, fluttery feeling growing in your chest. You’d never felt so accepted before in your life, not at your old school, or at home. You closed your eyes, still smiling, then nodded in confirmation.

“That settles it then! Miss [first name] [last name] is the newest member of the Iwatobi Swimming Club!” Miss Ama said from her chair as she twirled her parasol happily.

here's chapter two of my new story. Not much is really going on in this, so I hope you'll forgive how slow it is, but I assure you, it will get more interesting in the next few chapters. I hope you'll stick to the story and bear through with this boring chapter, heck, even I think it's boring, but unfortunately it was a crucial chapter.

 

Chapter 1 - fmakhr102.deviantart.com/art/H…

Chapter 3 - fmakhr102.deviantart.com/art/H…

Chapter 4 - fmakhr102.deviantart.com/art/H…

MC's appearance - fmakhr102.deviantart.com/art/M…

Enjoy and be nice please, comments are appreciated!

 

 

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"(Last-Name)-san!" (Name) heard across the noisy hall.

(Name) turned to see a rather shorter girl running towards her. She had burgundy colored hair tied up in a pony tail. She looked like a first year. "Sorry, I know you're busy going home and all, but do you mind teaching someone how to swim today?"

(Name) froze. "And why would you want me to teach, exactly?" she asked, forcing a smile.

"Well, I was looking through some old school files last night (please don't ask how I got them) and I saw that you broke the prefecture record for swimming 100 Free your freshman year. I was rather impressed, not knowing there was a legend at our school. So, please teach a fellow classmate! I beg you!" She clasped her palms together and slouched, closing her eyes wishfully.

(Name) didn't know what to say. She didn't want to refuse, since she wanted to give a classmate an opportunity to swim. "Sure," she answered. "But where are we going to teach this person how to swim?"

"I was thinking the school pool, I just hope the club members would allow such a sudden notice," the girl replied.

The school pool. "Alright," (Name) said, still not okay with the idea. "Let's see how bad this person is."

------------------

On their way to the swimming pool, (Name) found out a few things. First, she found out that the girl that had requested a swimming lesson for a classmate was Gou Matsuoka (or Kou... (Name) called her Kou to avoid being yelled at), a freshman at Iwatobi High. Second, the person (Name) was going to teach swimming to was a swim club member. 

When Kou and (Name) arrived at the swimming pool, (Name) knew she should quickly think of a back-up story to get out of the place: Makoto and the other swim club members were there, already half-naked and in their swim gear. (Name) prayed that she didn't have to swim in front of Makoto, hoping he wouldn't find out "Nadare" was actually (Name).

"Oh?" One of the members asked. He had wavy blonde hair and pink-ish eyes, and very fair skin. (Name) hoped he wore sunscreen to protect that smooth beauty. (Name) remembered his name was Nagisa from elementary school and how he used to hang out with Haruka and Makoto a lot. "Gou-chan, who is this?"

"This is (Last Name)-san, and she's here to help Rei swim!" Kou said rather proudly.

"Wait," Makoto spoke up. "(Last Name)-san, you can swim?"

(Name) wanted to say, "So you think I can't?" but that would just be plain evidence of why she didn't have friends. "Yes, yes I can," she replied.

"Are you sure you can teach me how to swim?" another member asked. He had dark-violet-ish hair, his eyes the same color. He had glasses on, and he was rather handsome, just like the rest of the swim club members. (Name) guessed that was Rei. "Even Haruka-senpai couldn't teach me the basics (even though he taught me butterfly)..."

"You can swim butterfly?" (Name) asked. She was surprised. In her opinion, butterfly was the hardest stroke to master, having the fact that you had to move your whole body to do this stroke. 

"I suppose..." Rei said, like it was no big deal.

"You're going to swim again?" Haruka asked. (Name) knew Haruka rather well, having the fact that they were in the same class since preschool. But she slightly forgot that Haruka knew (Name) used to do competitive swimming ever since middle school. Makoto probably didn't notice that (Name) was competitively swimming since he barely pays attention to anything but being nice to people and his friends' needs.

"Wait, Haruka, you knew she could swim?" Makoto asked, suddenly confused.

"Sure," Haruka replied in his regular careless voice.

"Okaay," Kou interrupted the conversation. "Getting back to Rei's problem."

"Problem..." Rei repeated, rather offended. "Anyway, she's right. I hope you can teach me, (Last Name)-senpai!"

"You can just call me (Name). Well, how do you want me to teach you?" (Name) asked bluntly. She honestly wanted to get this over with, since she didn't want to hear her heart beating so hard being near a shirtless Makoto.

"I was thinking maybe you can swim and see how you swim."

Maybe you can swim. (Name) froze. This was something she didn't want. This is what she feared. She still hadn't thought of a master plan to get away from the place. I don't want Makoto finding out I'm "Nadare".

------------------

When (Name) changed into a swim suit (Kou had one "just in case"), she made sure her hair was up. When she got out from the locker room, Kou's face brightened. "Wow, (Name)-senpai!" she said, fascinated. "Your deltoid muscles are very defined for not swimming for a whole year!"

"Is it?" (Name) said, not sure if she should take that statement as a compliment.

(Name) felt uncomfortably embarrassed, having the fact that she was wearing a skin tight suit in front of four very handsome boys, but she felt more embarrassed thinking the fact that one of them was Makoto. She put a swimming cap on and her goggles on her head, her hands shaking. 

(Name) got on the diving board and looked over to the bench where everybody was watching from. "You ready to watch, Rei?" she called.

"Yes, Senpai!" Rei called back.

(Name) nervously bent down on the diving board. Her legs were shaking, which made her feel like a freshman all over again. Her toes on her right leg gripped on the edge of the diving board. Her left leg bent behind her, her foot ready to pounce into the water. Then, she leaped. First things first: stream line. She dolphin kicked her way to the surface until Splash. She felt the rush of air on her arms and immediately started to stroke. She did two strokes before breathing and made it a pattern. She was beginning to reach the other end of the pool. About two meters prior, she quickly did a somersault in the water and successfully did a flip turn. She kicked off the wall and stream lined once again. When she looked out of the water to breathe, she saw Makoto. Since everything was a blur, she didn't pay attention to his facial expressions. But she knew he had figured it out. Somehow.

(Name) slapped the wall. She was done. She splashed out of the water and hoisted herself up. 

"Impressive, (Name)-senpai!" Kou said.

"That was beautiful!" Rei said, his eyes glittering.

"You're like an otter, (Name)-chan!" Nagisa said joyfully.

(Name) hesitated. "Th-thank you." She wasn't used to getting compliments about anything. She took her goggles off and rubbed her eyes and looked up. She saw Makoto, his eyes wide, like he just realized that his favorite female actress was a slut. Not a very pleasant look.

"You're..." Makoto stuttered. "You're her."

Everyone turned to Makoto, wondering what was so surprising. (Name) knew. And she was shameful. She looked down and walked back to the locker room, never wanting to see Makoto's face again.

AAaaaannndddddd It's up! Chapter 3!

I really REALLY don't want to rush this fan fic. But it sounds like I am. AND I DON'T WANT TOoooooo
Sorry, writer problems. Or maybe it's just me? lol. ^^;

Part 1 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 2 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 3 Here! ^^
Part 4 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 5 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
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The sun was just finished painting the skies in a reddish – orange hue, gracing the Earth with its radiant rays.

A few of them successfully reached your apartment’s window and illuminated your humble adobe. This scenery would have been perfect to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea and a substantial breakfast, if it wasn’t for the fact that you were currently pouring your heart out to a certain green – eyed male.

No better way to start off the morning, right?

Makoto and you were up all night. You, telling him all the things that happened to you and all the things that troubled you, and him, listening ever so carefully. There were a few times, when you started crying again and then frantically apologizing; blowing and wiping your nose, to which he took both of your hands in his, and started to comfort you in a low whisper.

And you didn’t mind this action. At all.

His big hands enveloped yours, squeezing them in an encouraging manner; his thumb, occasionally swept over your knuckles on your shaking, dainty hands. You didn’t know if this was selfish, but it felt so good, that he was here with you, listening to you, consoling you, his attention only focused on you. ...No wonder why he was nicknamed as the ’Gentle Giant’ by your classmates.

However, he seemed to tense up at the part, where you told him all about Katsuo. You could swear his jaw was clenched quite uncomfortably, his expression changing from worried to neutral. He didn’t look you in the eye either; his gaze rather observing your kitchen and the floor, his brows furrowing from time to time. You guessed it made him quite angry that a male co – worker is harassing a female one at work.

But then again...maybe you were imagining all this, given how your eyes were hardly open from exhaustion.  

Well... you were right. He was angry about that, no doubt.

...

...What you kinda missed, was the fact, that this certain, harassed female happened to be you, and that’s what made him this cross as two sticks.

But Makoto being himself, suppressed this anger for now, deciding that listening to you was more important.

”...So, as you can see, I’m really under the weather.” You said, drawing imaginary patterns on your coffee table’s surface with your pointer finger.

”I was never this lost before...”

Ending your sentence with a quiet sigh, you continued with your fidgeting; your sentence hanging over both of your heads.

The silence that followed afterwards gave him time to let this all sink in. Makoto watched your finger’s movements, looking grim and gloomy at the same time. Meanwhile, you were trying to somehow make the suffocating dryness vanish from your mouth and throat, by taking long gulps. Your voice was already throaty from speaking so much, and not to mention gruff from all the crying and sobbing. Taking in a shaky breath, you were glad that you managed to finish all this before losing your voice or passing out.

But to say that you were glad, would have been an understatement. Words could not describe the relief you felt, after you told him everything. You literally felt your chest heave with much less effort, your lungs embracing oxygen as they were supposed to do. And to think, that for a moment, you thought this was a bad idea... You don’t know where you’d be now mentally, if nobody consoled you. Even though you were far from being through everything, you somehow felt, that you took a first step on solving your problems, by telling your worries to Makoto.

...

Well, okay...but. What’s the next step? It did help you immensely, that you didn’t bottle up everything, but your main problems were still unsolved. Not just that. You didn’t even have any clues how to solve them. It was difficult to think up something, anyway, when your anxieties about your current situation didn’t want to leave your mind.

Considering asking Makoto for any proposition he might have, you opened your mouth,...but quickly shut it.

Were you asking too much now? Maybe he didn’t want to meddle in your business. Maybe he was just only here, to hear you out, but nothing else; fulfilling his duties as a caring human being. Who knows, once he’s done comforting you, he’ll roll his eyes and mutter ’finally’, before leaving.

'Or...what if he was only here, because he thought, doing this is a good thing to do, and not because he was genuinely concerned about me?' You wondered, feeling your heart sink. You certainly didn’t want him to feel as if you hurled all your problems at him; to make him feel as if your issues were his responsibilities.

You peeked a glance at him, from under your eyelashes, all the while making sure that your head was still lowered. Makoto was still watching your fingers, absentmindedly resting his lower arms on your table. His eyes were a bit darker, the somber topic stealing its glint from them. His back was facing the window, so the sun shining through, managed to illuminate his form from behind, making him look like he was  radiating a golden aura. He looked angelic like this; the specks of dust were dancing around him in the ray of sun.

Looking back to your lap, you shaked your head. He wasn’t like this. He never was. One could argue that your relationship with him, wasn’t that close back in high school, so maybe you didn’t know him that well. And this was true, no arguments against that. But even though you didn’t know him like the back of your hand, you were absolutely sure, that he was truly, a caring lad.

And anyway...

Why would he go to such lenghts, such as coming over in the middle of the night and staying up all night, in a crappy apartment, just to listen to you? If he wasn’t truthfully concerned, then what other reasons would he have to fake it? It’s too much of a bother, for a false façade...You doubted anyone would be so desperate.

Also... it would be enough to just look at his eyes and smile, to tell that he doesn’t mean any harm. His expressions were too sincere, they held too much feeling. You had to smile.

’I guess, that’s the way he really is. Always concerned about others. Caring and helping, without expecting something back in exchange.’

A picture of a certain someone’s grin flashed in your mind, making you frown again.

’...Not like some other people...’

But let’s not ruin your line of thought, by interjecting a jackass in them. Let’s just concentrate on Makoto. And, well, you know; your persistent dillema’s. Speaking about Makoto.

By the time you looked up from your lap, you catched him ...looking at you.

...And to your surprise, he didn’t look away. Inwardly, you furrowed your brows.

’Was I so absorbed in my thoughts, that I didn’t even realize, that he was looking at me? Huh. Strange...’

You usually sensed it somehow, when he looked at you...

...but now you were wondering, if this ability of yours was also efficient, when you were deep in thought. This made you slightly curious. You were a daydreamer, after all, meaning that you opted to be in your own wonderland, then to live in the harsh reality. In your inattentive state, you usually wore a hollow expression; eyelids slightly lowered, looking in to the far distance, your lips partly opened, your head resting on your arm, occasionally. Of course, it didn’t take too long for your environment to notice this, and you were often scolded by your family and friends, - even teachers – because of your absent – minded nature.

Does that mean, that Makoto was perhaps always wathcing you, if not often...? And you just didn’t notice it..? But, why though? Does he do this with others too? If only you could remember what he was like back in high school...

’Damn, I really should be more aware of others.’

However, the silence combined with his gaze on you, were starting to become a bit uncomfortable. He seemed to notice your restlessness, so he took it upon himself, to start a new conversation. Quietly clearing his throat, he asked the next thing that came to his mind.  

”What about your parents? Can’t you go back to their house and live there til you find another place to live...?" It may go without saying, but he was a bit hesitant to ask this. Since your encounter, you didn’t mention your parents or the relationship you had with them. One can never know if something happened between them and you, and it wasn’t uncommon between parents and their child to be cross with each other. This is something he never really understood, given how dearly he loved his family.

A sigh of frustration left your lips. ”Believe me, I thought about that. But...” You looked down at your lap. How does one explain that you’re simply too proud to go back to them? Getting an own apartment was part of your plan to prove that you were a responsible adult, that your were able to stand on your own two feet.

”...I’m afraid they would lose respect for me.” You admitted, blushing a bit. This awkward topic kinda made you uneasy and you had to chew your lips, in order to think of something else than this solution. Or rather, thinking about some other dénoument, because moving back to your parents was not an option! You already cringed just imagining all the judging looks you would get. You doubted that explaining your situation would get you some empathy, either.

Completely absorbed in your own thoughts, again, you continued to assault your under lip with your teeth, oblivious to the look Makoto was currently giving you.

Oh damn. Please don’t do that. Not here, not now.

Taking in a deep breath, he tried to calm himself and it took every ounce of willpower to just stop staring at your lips. This wasn’t fair! But he couldn’t look away. Why did you have to tease him like this? He was supposed to be concentrating, to help you think of something, to come up with a brilliant idea. But how was he supposed to do that, when you were chewing your lips like that...? Your full, delicious lips...!

He shut his eyes and lowered his head. Furrowing his brows, he desperately tried to erase this enticing picture of you (for now, of course) and instead tried to think of a solution.

Well...he already had one. Since the moment you told him about your  difficulties with your apartment, to be honest. All this time he wasn’t really thinking about an idea, but rather tried to get his courage together to tell you his plan. Only... he was afraid of your reaction. It was kind of a bold suggestion, to say the least. Maybe too forward. And he didn’t know how much you trusted him... What if you started thinking of him as a pervert or something the like? Your opinion of himself was crucial, after all. He didn’t want to risk this.

...But on the other hand, you would get a place to live and  you wouldn’t have to break your head over this anymore. He wouldn’t have to see you live every second of your current life full of anxiety and worry. No wonder you looked so pale and fatigued. If this continues, you would get seriously sick, and he was having none of that.

Well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to suggest, right? It’s not like he was ordering you to follow his proposition.

...And hopefully, you wouldn’t get his idea the wrong way.

Deciding, that perhaps his idea wasn’t that creepy as he thought it to be, Makoto opened his eyes and was already about to open his mouth, when a sudden sound prevented him.

Your stomach, loudly growling.

...

For a good moment nobody said anything; both of you staring at each other with wide eyes. After blinking twice, you quickly hugged your stomach with both arms.

’Shoot! I didn’t eat anything since yesterday!!’ Oh, Hell. This was embarrassing. All this series of events made you forget about your stomach. Blushing and sheepishly apologizing, you proceeded to stand up and make your way to the kitchen counter, Makoto all the while reassuring you that it was all right, but not before silently snickering to himself.

You’re so adorable

You took out the Ramen from your bag, and were about to put it in your microwave, when you all of a sudden realized something. Something, that made you a bit ashamed. Hesitating, you traced the edges of the cup with your index finger.

”Makoto...I don’t mean to be rude, but I really don’t have anything else to eat. I’m so sorry, I can’t offer you anything. I hope you don’t mind.” You uttered quietly, warily looking back at him.

A pause.

”You...don’t have anything else to eat?” He echoed your sentence astounded.

”Well, no...I don’t.”

He looked at you, brows drawn together in worry. This is worse then he thought it to be. You have hardly anything to eat, you have no heating, your stressed. At this rate, you’ll definitely get sick.

Or worse.

The sound of his chair scraping against your floor made you jump a little. Makoto stood up and with a few steps, promptly got to his jacket, the zipper on it loudly rattling from his movements, as he took it on. You were suddenly paralyzed with fear, as you watched him.

”W – wait! Where are you leaving?!” You asked, agitation evident in your voice. What is he doing? Did he had enough of you? Did he realize, that you were too bothersome?

Is he going to leave me?

He abruptly stopped and looked at you, eyes wide with compassion. Hearing your voice like this – calling for him like a lost kitten – made his heart churn a little. The look on your face didn’t help either. Standing there, in your sickly form, eyes wide and

...were you trembling?

He quickly got back to the counter, where you were still standing, and rested both of his hands on your shoulders, in a reassuring manner.

”(Name). Don’t worry. I won’t leave you too long. I’m just going to buy you something proper to eat. If you keep eating that,” he pointed with his head to the still unopened Ramen standing on your counter, ” you’ll get seriously sick.” He quietly murmured, fixing his paternal gaze back on your face.

Looking at him with a somewhat hollow expression, your mouth slightly opened. You had the urge to cry. Someone was taking care of you, when you couldn’t do it yourself. When was the last time someone did something nice to you? Probably, when you were with your friends and family...? Who were all far away from you...And at the time when you were with Mrs. Tanaka. Who passed away...

But you wanted desperately to prove, that you could take care of yourself, that despite what happened, you could still stand up. That’s why you rarely accepted help, since you moved out from Mrs. Tanaka’s apartment, falsely thinking that getting help equals weakness and dependance. Like someone decided to lend you a hand, when you stumbled and fell in the middle of a marathon. But, alas, you were unlucky; getting an apartment which was unnecessarily big for one person, (not to mention shitty), and you didn’t find anything better. Apparently, people didn’t really move in the colder seasons. Who’d have thought that? Well, look where your pride got you.  

Still.

As mentioned before, you didn’t want to bother your family and friends, either, since they had their own problems to cope with, anyway. ...But given your current state, you had to swallow your bruised ego and accept the fact, that you needed help. So either that, or you’ll end up on the streets. Yuck.  

Well, no wonder you felt so helpless, when nobody was there for you. Even though, it was partly your fault...

And then he came along

Feeling touched, you only managed to take in a gulp of air, and nod your head shakily.

”Though, are you sure it’s all right? I swear, I’ll pay it back someday - ”

”It’s all right, (Name). I don’t mind the least.”

”Well, then...Just wait here, okay? I’ll be right back for my coat and - ”

But try as you might, you couldn’t move away from him. His hands on your shoulders, which were tightened to hold you in place, didn’t let you move. Raising a brow, you looked at him questionably, to which he only gave you another one of his smiles.

”It’s best if you stay here. You didn’t sleep the whole night, and you’re about to pass out. As I said, don’t worry. I’ll be right back to cook you something. You, in the meantime, should rest. Better yet; sleep.”

Your lips parted, in an attempt to protest, but then they quickly closed. He was right. Your body was too weak. Though, a nagging feeling in your heart scolded you, saying that it would be so rude, to let him go alone, but your rational side was quicker to decide.

”Thank you so much, Mako.” You whispered, tears already glazing over your eyes; not noticing, that you called him by his nickname. Again. Makoto didn’t mind, if anything. A radiant smile adorned his face at your affectionate calling.

After all, giving him a nickname was an indication, that you already felt comfortable with him.

You fished out your keys from your bag, and handed it to him. He squeezed your shoulders in a reassuring way, and after giving you one last, dazzling smile, went to your door  and left your apartment; your door shutting with a soft ’click’.

For a while you stood there at your counter, thinking about how this really was happening, how this really wasn’t a dream. Resting your bum against the counter, you looked down at your feet, and held your head with both arms, as if to shield your face.

...Because the realization only dawned upon you now, how close he really was to you just a few seconds ago. While it made you extremely uneasy, if Katsuo decided to lean in your face, you didn’t even notice Makoto doing the same thing earlier.

This made your cheeks redden in embarrassment.

Well. At least you weren’t cold anymore.

xxx

Half an hour later, Makoto finished buying everything he deemed to be good for you. A bit uncertain, he took the items in the shopping cart, sincerely hoping that he didn’t pick something you didn’t like. Estimating, that these would last for a week and half, he proceeded to walk to the cashier.

The sky was turning a grayish – white color, the clouds enfolding its blue hue. The wind picked up in strength, and the temperature slowly started to decrease.

A visible change since the crack of dawn, when the sun shined ever so radiant. People were scattering around, the cold air ushering them to pick up their pace, Makoto joining them after he left the shop.

A shiver went trough his body, making him pull his scarf a bit higher and tighter around his neck. His warm breath made itself visible in the chilly air, and although he was wearing winter gloves, he put one of his hands in the pocket of his coat, holding the bag with the other; switching the position of his hands now and then, whenever he felt the numbness overtake one of them.

It somehow felt  like winter was sending its greetings from somewhere far away east, to remind people of it’s soon arrival. And while he had nothing against the cold, and winter in general, all he could think about how this was not only a greeting, but a warning too.

A warning, that it’s probably going to be really cold and frigid, meaning that you would freeze to death in your heating less  apartment. And by the feel of it, winter isn’t that far away.

A sigh of apprehension escaped his lips.

He already failed two times before to tell you about his plan, and the courage he used to collect, in order to actually utter them to you, seemed to dissipate in no time. Sparing one more glance at the sky, he decided that he’ll tell you today.

...


Somehow.

xxx

He tried to be as quiet as he could be, while entering your front door; afraid that you might be sleeping, and he didn’t want to wake you up.

Upon entering your kitchen, he didn’t see any sign of you, the Ramen still standing on the kitchen counter, completely untouched. He took the plastic bag, and placed it rather gently on your counter, while attentively listening, if he could maybe hear where you were.

But after a while of not hearing or seeing any sign of you, he decided to look for you, hoping that you wouldn’t mind or get angry at him, for walking around your apartment. After all, he didn’t mean to snoop around, he was just curios (and a bit worried) where you might be.

The atmosphere in your apartment was starting to get a bit eery, the weather outside not helping at all to ease this feeling. Not to mention, it was quite cold and your place still looked really crammed and messy. The fact it was also a bit dark, (there has to be some other lamps here, beside the kitchen one, right?) made it also seem like this place was abandoned.

At this observation, he became more watchfull, the scenery strangely reminding him of that of a horror movie’s one.

His steps quietly echoed throughout your apartment, his hawk like gaze searching in every corner.

...But it didn’t take him too long to find you.

His heart missed its usual, rhythmic pace, as his eyes landed on your peacefully sleeping form, wrapped in blankets from head to toe. He found you in your bedroom, his hand still resting on the knob, as he watched you behind the half – opened door.

Your lips were slightly parted, eyes were closed shut, and a few locks of your hair decided to rebel, by escaping their usual form and instead framed your face. He could even hear your soft snoring from where he was standing.

Slowly resting his head against the frame of your door, his gaze never leaved your figure. A small smile appeared on his lips, as he observed the rise and fall of your chest.

You looked so fragile. So delicate.  Lovely.

Like a little bird, who’s wings have been damaged, and was now finally able to rest from all the hardship she had to endure. He never saw you sleeping, so he took the time to memorize this idyllic scenery of you. For a moment, he wondered what it would like to be waking up to this every morning, but quickly shook his head, once he comprehended what his brain just whispered to him.

And as much as he loved to just get closer to you, to take a better look, to lie down beside you and hug your form to his...

... he instead opted to slowly walk back to the kitchen, leaving the door ajar, as it was. He wanted to start cooking as soon as possible, so you could eat something healthy.

...

...Though, he couldn’t stop smiling as he was preparing lunch.

xxx

The scent of something delicious caressed your nose, making you wake up from your short slumber.

While you tried to open your eyes to see what it was, you briefly wondered if you were home. Only your family could make something that smelled so good. Looks like your parents came home...?

Or was it Mrs. Tanaka? Maybe she had some spare time to cook, before she went to tend to her little garden on the balcony. It would be the right time to tell her, that winter is on the corner, and that her plants will freeze if she doesn’t take them back indoor. You wondered if she perhaps needs help with something. Better go and see...

...she always had problems carrying heavy things, since she had problems with her ba –

...

...

But you weren’t home nor at Mrs. Tanaka’s apartment.

You only realized this after you fully opened your eyes, and recognized the furnitures in your small room. There were the distinctive cracks on the wall your were currently facing, the window beside your bed creaking as the wind hurriedly passed it, and of course, a few unopened boxes were still lying on the ground, some completely disorganized, some unopened.

You surely would have shed a few tears, if you remembered that your family was far away in Iwatobi, and that Mrs. Tanaka wasn’t alive, if it wasn’t for the sudden realization, that someone was in your kitchen. Slowly propping yourself up from your bed, you owlishly glanced at your half opened door.

The sounds of tableware clinking againts each other could be heard from your kitchen, the distance making them sound a bit muffled.

Oh. That’s right.

You carefully stood up, and after making sure that you wouldn’t fall, made your way out of your room and in to the kitchen. Openig your door with a little creak, you momentarily shut your eyes, the sudden light assaulting them. With slow, careful steps you managed to reach your kitchen’s door frame and after your eyes got used to the brightness, you opened them fully.

At your counter was Makoto, his back facing you, and was currently vey busy with something you couldn’t see, but figured was food. The whole place smelled heavenly, and you could swear it was much more warmer now. In fact, your whole kitchen seemed to transform in to some welcoming place, and you briefly wondered if you two were really in your apartment...or were you dreaming again? This picture of him, standing there cooking, wasn’t absurd, either. If anything, it looked...natural. It even felt natural. Like it already was a habit for him, to cook for you, while you slept.  
 
...!

’Just what am I thinking?!’

Embarrassed with yourself, you looked down, and took a few steps backwards, trying to soundlessly make your way back to your room. With little success.

Halfway there, you accidentally hit your foot against a chair, a sudden hiss escaping your lips. At this sound, Makoto abruptly turned around, a surprised expression on his face.

” (Name) – chan? Oh, you’re awake...,” he said, more like stated it to himself. Sheepishly smiling, you turned around in order to face him, and brought your hand behind your ear, fidgeting with a few locks of your hair.

”Y – yeah. I just woke up... and heard movements from the kitchen...so, I came to see and...,” Your slight stuttering was more like mumbled, and you realized that you were wording your thoughts a bit incoherently. Blame it on the sleepyness.

” A – anyway. What are you cooking?” You asked, your neck craining a bit as to see what he was busying himself with. He chuckled and slightly moved over, so you could see for yourself, but not before adding:

”Noodle soup, Omurice and Mirukurepu.”

Your mouth was watering just from hearing him listing these dishes, but it practically transformed in to a waterfall when you saw that he was actually preparing them on your counter. You had the urge to pinch yourself, not remembering the last time you ate these.

”These are all my favorite...! How did you know?” You asked, still not believing that you’d get to eat something other than Ramen.

”You told me back in highschool, remember?” he asked, happy that he could make you revive a bit from your depressed state.

You only looked at him, mouth slightly open. ”I did...?” It was like ages, and he remembered what you told him back then? Woah... You begun to wonder what else he remembered, if he knew little details like this about you. Or did he maybe remember things like this about other people as well...?

”Yes, you did,” he answered, while turning back to the half – finished meal. ”We were on the roof eating lunch, when Nagisa started asking us what we enjoyed eating the most. I remembered how you told us that you really like noodle soup, because it always warms you up. How you enjoy eating Omurice, and you could eat yourself sick from it. How much you love Mirukurepu, because you have a very sweet tooth...”

His voice drifted off, and you didn’t see, but he was softly smiling to himself at this memory. He remembered how it was a very nice spring day. How you wore your hair free, and how the wind eagerly played with it. How you were in a good mood, for getting a really high score on your biology test, so you were always smiling, your eyes were constantly shining...

The sound of the refrigerator opening startled him out of his train of thoughts.

Turning his head to the side, he saw how you were currently leaning in your refrigerator, eyes and mouth wide.

”Holy Goodness, Makoto! You bought so much food!” you said, marveling the content of your cooler. It was packed with milk, joghurt, cheese, butter, some vegetables... and was that rice pudding?! It was awhile since you last ate rice pudding! You never saw your fridge this full! Oh, and the smell...! Your fridge never smelt this good! The urge to just stuck your head in there forever was becoming stronger and stronger, but your logical side managed to suppress it. Meanwhile, Makoto had to chuckle at your actions. He was glad, that the old you was slowly showing itself underneath all that layer of anxiety.

Closing the door of your fridge, you straightened yourself up and looked at him, sincere gratitude reflecting in your eyes.

”I...don’t know how to thank you! Words can not describe how thankful I am. If only I knew how to repay this all...” You said, lightly blushing and looking down at your feet.

Makoto looked at you, the gentle smile never faltering from his face.

”I don’t mind, really. This is the least I can do for you. After all...what are friends for? ” He asked, his eyes intently locked on yours.

...You were pretty sure that it was only because it was a bit dark, that you believed to see a courious emotion pass behind his eyes....something reassuring? As if he knew something you didn’t...

He tore his gaze away from you, and continued to stir up some egg yolk, the enigmatic smile not faltering from his handsome visage. You, all the while, were still standing before your fridge, and tried to read his expression.

’Huh? What’s with that smile?’

It wasn’t scarry, or intimidating – you doubted Makoto could even smile like that – but somehow, it was different from his usual smiles. This wasn’t the first time he shot you those, either. They usually accompanied his intense gazes, like they did last week, and in high school...

Hmm.

You couldn’t shake off the feeling, that they held a deeper meaning.

... Or did he smile like that at others, too? Is this a normal behavior of him...? Damn, now you really wished that you payed more attention to him while you had time. Maybe next time try observing his eyes, instead of looking away flustered. They were practically open books! Surely you could read something out of them...

However, you realized all too late, that he noticed you staring at him and all of a sudden turned his head towards you, his face holding mild surprise. This startled you, not anticipating him to look at you, while you were deep in thought.

”Is something the matter, (Name) – chan?”

’Damn it, I should have looked down at the floor or somewhere else but not him! I forgot to look away!’

Quickly pulling yourself together, you managed to come up with something to save your skin.

”I ah...! I was just thinking that it’s not fair to let you cook everything on your own, since you already went out to buy everything. ...Let me help you?” You half asked – half stated, your voice wavering a bit from uncertainty.

’Gosh, now he must think I’m bonkers.’ You thought begrudgingly.

But to your surprise, he just smiled at you and stepped one step away in the opposite direction from you, as if to give you place at the counter.

Blinking twice, you stepped right beside him, while trying to hide your reddening cheeks with your hair.

However, his soft chuckle made you look up at his face in shock.

”W – what? What is it?” You asked confused.

He just shook his head, still grinning and said nothing, turning back to his cooking. You continued looking at him with a baffled expression, just to look back to the counter, softly huffing.

Little did you know, that he saw your blush.

Sometimes you’re just too adorable.

xxx

Your small kitchen was filled with heartful laughter and giggles, making it look quite lively.

The atmosphere was anything but tense. You two were having a grand time cooking and talking, and just all in all having fun. Oh, it felt just like you were home at your family or at Mrs. Tanaka’s place. Incredible, how he could make you feel so much better.  Your stomach and face already started hurting from all the laughter, your cheeks were still colored rosy and your eyes were twinkling.

And Makoto could have hugged you and kissed you then and there, for seeing you like this.

Yes! This is the (Name) he knew. You weren’t lost, you were still yourself. All the hardships didn’t succeed in taking away your personality; they didn’t crush you. And he was more than happy to know, that it was him who could cheer you up like this.

There were times, when he shortly closed his eyes, when you weren’t looking, and enjoyed your laughter, reliving the times when you two were younger. Like sweet bells, your giggles echoed in his ears.

He only realized it now, how much he missed your laughter.

Lunch was just about ready, and you two were currently setting the table, albeit you had to sometimes watch your hands, so as they wouldn’t drop anything, because they were shaking so hard from your chuckling.

”  -  And remember how in 3rd grade, Hideki fell asleep in class and you drew a little heart on his cheek, when the teacher wasn’t looking?” Makoto asked, grinning widely at the memory. You, on the other hand, errupted in to yet another laugh attack, briefly grabbing on to your stomach to ease the pain.

”Hahaha, yes! Of course! How could I forget that?”

”Poor boy didn’t know what hit him when he woke up,” he said still smiling, while laying the plates on the table.

”Poor boy?! He had it coming!” You returned, jokingly huffing. ”He was teasing me the whole week!”

”He was?” Makoto asked a bit surprised, looking you in the eyes. ”Yeah, pff. I got a lower grade then he on our chemistry test, and he tought it would be funny to rub it in my face, since he never got a higher grade then me. He was practically acting like he won some kind of competition against me.” You finished with a little smile, while helping Makoto serving the food. He didn’t reply nor look at you, just continued laying down the silwervare beside the plates.

Your kitchen fell silent again; only the sounds of yours and his movements could be heard. The weather outside remained windy and cold and the clouds were still suspiciously grey. You promptly got to your stove, to get the saucepan filled with noodle soup, but you didn’t even arrive at your table when you noticed something odd.

How Makoto grew quiet.

He seemed to be in deep thought, sitting down at your table and looking down on its surface.

Strange.

He was just grinning and laughing a few seconds ago with you. Did he remember something? Or did you say something wrong? Is he not feeling well? Argh, he is full of secrets...

Deciding to ask him about this, you slowly got to your table, saucepan in your hand and then abruptly stopped, looking at him worriedly.

”Makoto...? ”

At first he didn’t look up, only locked his eyes on yours; his expression was strangely serious. ...And a bit weary?

You slightly cocked an eyebrow at him, not understanding his sudden change in behavior, to which he slowly straightened his head, eyes never leaving yours. The noodle soup in your hands was still warm, but you were currently too focused on Makoto, so that you forgot to put it on the table.

Meanwhile, his heart was beating erratically, despite his calm facade, and after a while took a shaky breath, hoping that his voice wont fail him now, of all times. After mulling over how he should forms his question, he parted his lips.

”(Name) – chan... I was thinking, that ...if everything fails you in order to somehow get rid of your problems with your apartment...”  

He paused and gulped, while you slowly put the saucepan on your table, your gaze intently locked on his, and carefully listening as to what he had in mind. His voice was quiet and uncertain, almost mumbly, so you made sure that you heard everything. But just in case you would hear something that would shatter you, again, you steadily sat down, facing him from across the table.

He sighed, before continuing.

It’s now or never

”... Maybe you could...move in with me?”

...

...

The little trail of steam leisurely made its way upwards from your still closed saucepan, the interaction between you two not blocking its path at all. Other than that, nothing really moved after he managed to utter those words to you.

Literally.

You two didn’t even dare to breath, only succeeding in looking at each other; him, sporting an expression that was a mix of nervousness and earnest, and you, wearing a dumbfounded one.

If only you knew how much courage it took him to suggest this. Even now he was really afraid what you would answer. His heart sank at the thought of you rejecting his idea, and maybe start thinking of him as a pervert. Oh, hell. What if you will start shouting at him, or worse; laughing at him for such a stupid idea? Maybe he should’ve kept his mouth shut!

You, only sitting there and not reacting, didn’t help him either. You were still staring at him, as if he told you something unbelievable.

Wait. Was this proposition that unimaginable...?

Just as he was about to regret this choice, your quiet voice interrupted him.

”...Moving in with you?” you echoed breathlessly, lowering your hollow gaze on your table.

It’s not that the idea abhorred you or something. It’s just that it was kinda...unexpected. From your part, at least. Sudden and...huh. This is something you had to think through. Like, really think through. Not that you had anything against Makoto, oh no. In fact... it sounded like a very great idea, and you could imagine that living with Makoto would be anything but unpleasant...

But.

You felt a bit uncomfortable. Wouldn’t you bother him...? Well, ...you guessed he wouldn’t suggested it, if you did, right? But, does he really mean this? You sure hoped he didn’t say this only because he pitied you or thought this to be the good thi –

Wait.

You’re doing this again! There’s no way the Makoto would  propose this idea and not mean it. You should seriously start trusting him a bit more. I mean, when did he ever let you down? ...or anyone, for that matter? And to be honest, this idea was the most realistic and best one yet. You could just move in with him, til you find a better place to live. You’re not a bad roommate, anyway. You were responsible and managed to keep your place relatively clean.

Your eyes briefly swept through your kitchen.

...

...Your current apartment doesn’t count,of course, because it’s crap. And even this crappy apartment, one could give you some credit for keeping it in tact, despite it being...well, crap.

You looked back at an anxious Makoto, and tried to say something that would somehow reassure him, that you weren’t creeped out by his idea. Because the poor boy looked like he was on the edge of having a panic attack; fidgeting with his fingers, looking nervous and tapping his foot.

Clearing your throat, you looked him in the eyes.

”Makoto... I’m really touched and I appreciate your offer...but - ”

Ah, yes. There it was again. Your pride.

”...I think, I’m going to try to solve this all firstly, by gathering enough money or searching for another roommate.”

He frowned a bit, completely misunderstanding your answer as a kindly put rejection, and was about to apologize, when you interrupted him, knowing all too well what he was going to say next.

”No, don’t apologize. I’m immensely thankful for everything you already did for me. But I don’t want to come off as someone who doesn’t know how to stand on their own two feet. Let me at least try...”

You looked down at your empty plate.

”...I can do this. I have to do this.” You murmured melancholically.

Makoto only looked at you, a worried expression on his face.

”You do not come off as someone who is unresponsible, (Name) – chan. Please don’t think that just because I want to help you, you’re automatically deemed as incapable of living. Things like these happen to everyone; It’s how life works. I’m just merely trying to help you. You can’t live your whole life rejecting help, thinking that you’re going to manage coping with your problems alone. There were countless examples of individuals who acted like you, and they all ended up either going mad or commiting - ”

His voice died down, not finishing his sentence, but he didn’t need to finish it, because you know what he meant.

Sheepishly, you lifted your head a bit, but not straightening your upper body fully, and looked at him from under your eyelashes.

”Won’t I bother you if I move in with you...?” you asked with a meek voice.

Makoto had to blink twice to comprehend what you just asked, only to start softly chuckling. So cute...

”What are you talking about, (Name) – chan? You were never a nuisance to me...,” he said softly, while longingly gazing at you, the slight trace of a smile visible on his mouth.

Meanwhile, you were trying to even out your breathing, eyes widening a bit.

’He seriously doesn’t notice himself.’ You thought confused, wondering how many people misunderstood his actions as something romantic. Still, his gazes were slowly getting to you, and you had to blush.

”Are you sure?”

He grinned at you, and firmly nodded.

”My house is actually really empty and quiet. I have two guest rooms, so I figured we could transform one of them in to your own. And anyway...”

He looked down at his plate, his eyes suddenly reflecting something sad.

”...I wouldn’t mind some company, either,” he whispered sorrowful, a sad smile gracing his lips.

Oh...

You felt your heart churn, brows furrowed in worry and sympathy. You remembered again, how he told you about his friends and family one week ago, when you two first rejoined, suddenly realizing something.

The weather seemed to match both of your current moods; the wind still stiffly blowing, rattling the glass in your windows, the sky turning a darker shade of grey.

You would have loved to rest your hand on his, figuring that it would make him feel better or even just stand up and hug him, but instead you just dared to break the silence with your words.


”You’re lonely...”

...

This sentence was unequivocally stated, not asked, in a somewhat quite whisper that hanged over both of your heads. It seemed that he nodded at your statement, but you weren’t really sure, since it was quite an uncertain move of his head. But regardless of that...you knew that this silence equaled consent.

A sad little sigh escaped your lips.

”Let me think about it, okay?”

He looked at you, smiling gently and nodded – more firmly than the last time; you, mirroring his action. A few seconds passed with only you two gazing at each other, before you broke the moment by glancing down at the saucepan.

”Oh, we should probably start eating before the food goes cold,” you said with a little giggle, already reaching for the soup – ladle.

He also chuckled quietly, before adding:

”Yeah... you’re right.”

xxx

Lunch lasted approximately one hour, given how you two were not just eating but also talking from time to time.

The food you two prepared not only smelled heavenly, but it also tasted like that. Your eyes were practically shining as you devoured everything on your plate, occasionally giving little ’hmm’ noises as you shoved the spoon in your mouth, indicating how much you enjoyed your dish; all the while Makoto quietly snickering at your adorable antics. You couldn’t stop praising him and thanking him at the same time, to which he only reassured you that you were welcome.

Oh, if only you know how very

However, it seemed that eating all this at once after a long while of not eating anything else but instant soup, your stomach begun to, for lack of a better word, warn you.

In other words: you were full.

Leaning back in your chair, a content little sigh escaped your lips and you closed your eyes, while rubbing your tummy.

”Oh, this was so delicious! I almost forgot what it feels like to eat a lot, heh,” you finished with a little giggle.

Parallel to you, Makoto was also finished, however he seemed fine, his stomach handling the dish way better than yours. He stood up and begun to clean the table, taking the table wares and empty plates to your sink.

You would have stood up too, to help him, but you were too full to even blink. And you kinda figured, that he wouldn’t take it to heart.

And he didn’t.

Whenever he passed your table, he observed you from head to toe using this opportunity, given how your eyes were currently shut. You were softly smiling, your face was relaxed and the expression you wore clearly gave away how satisfied you were. It warmed his heart.


After taking everything to the sink, he thought that it wouldn’t hurt, if he did the washing up. It certainly wouldn’t anger you, he figured. You were so comfortably sitting there... he was sure you wouldn’t mind. So, he took the sponge and got to work, hoping that it would take his mind of off a certain someone for now, but not before casting one more glance at your form...

Let me think about it, okay?

He sighed, feeling a bit frustrated.

He was worried about you, and also a bit sad that you declined his offer. It somehow brought him little solace, that your decision was for now, and not for all eternity.

...Then again, that would’ve been too nice to be true; you living with him. He could’ve seen you everyday, talk to you everyday...Just all in all, could’ve made sure that you were all right. But you were too proud, and he had to smile a smile of bitterness. Your pride is going to be your demise one day.

But alas, he certainly couldn’t force you to live with him. And on the other hand... you weren’t repulsed by his idea and you didn’t think of him badly. You even thanked him! That counts as good, so...

He groaned a bit, and shook his head, opting to just finish washing up the dishes.

Briefly looking out the window, he noted how it begun to be darker and darker.

Then, he glanced one more time at you...

...

Was he acting selfish now?

xxx


15 minutes later, he finished cleaning up everything.

Taking a kitchen cloth in his hands he proceeded to wipe his wet hands, absentmindedly looking out the window, only to see that nothing really changed. The weather was still as windy and cold as ever, the winter air not holding itself back at all.  

Though, the weather wasn’t the only thing that didn’t change.

Turning around, he laid his eyes on your figure, only to notice how you didn’t change your position on your chair for a while and your breathing seemed to get deeper; your chest peacefully rising up and down. Come to think of it...it was quite silent. He didn’t hear anything from you, while he was busy with washin up. Maybe the water sloshing around in your sink prevented his ears to hear anything.  

Suddenly putting two and two together, he couldn’t help himself but smile, not even bothering to fight down the blush that accompanied aforementioned smile. Your cuteness didn’t know any boundaries, did it? He quietly chuckled, admiring you. But even though you looked lovely like this...

...he couldn’t let you sleep on your chair, right? What if you fell down and hurt yourself? It would also become quite uncomfortable in the long run, not to mention that i’ts not really good for your spine and back. Well, there’s that.

But he didn’t want to wake you up, either. You seemed to have a really nice nap, one you didn’t have for a long time. Standing at the counter, he rested one of his hands on his hip, and started to ponder as to what he should do, while gazing at your slumbering form.

...

And that’s when it hit him.

He could maybe......take you in his arms and carry you to your bed...

At this he became more flustered, lifting his hand to rest it on the back of his neck, while letting out a quiet, deep breath.  

That...seemed to be the only logical solution, if he didn’t want to wake you up. Well, yes. ...But there’s the possibility that you would wake up, and than he would have a really, really hard time explaining why he was carrying you in his arms, and most importantly: where.
 
His blush only darkened when he imagined how it would feel like holding you in his arms. It would feel really good, he was sure of that, thinking back how it felt to hold you, when he was walking you home one week ago. How your hip and shoulder was pressed against his...And how at one time, you rested your head against his shoulder...

Unbeknownst to him, thinking about this succeeded to gather his courage and motivate him to carry out his plan, wanting to experience that proximity again.

He stepped closer to you and observed you, making absolutely sure, that you were indeed sleeping.

After sighing in nervousness and anticipation, he carefully, very carefully slipped his left hand under your head, and his right hand under your knee pit, his eyes never leaving your face, and watching for any sign that gave away if you were starting to wake up. But after he saw that you didn’t even twitch from his touch, he sighed a sigh of relief, and closed his eyes, gathering the nerve to actually lift up your body.

He began saying a quick prayer and then ...slowly started to lift you up...very carefully...

...making sure your legs didn’t hit the table...and that your head was securely laid on his muscular arm...and that the chair didn’t make any sound...and that his heart wouldn’t jump out of his chest...

...

Just a little bit more...!

...

...aaaaaaand he did it.

Sighing once more from pure relief, he thanked whatever the dink is out there for not failing his luck. He made sure not to move too hastily, so the movements wouldn’t wake you up. ...But he didn’t actually make his way to your room just yet, despite his better judgement.

He took the risiko and just observed you from up close, enjoying the sight of you in his arms. He was kinda surprised how light you weighed, not taking him any effort to just hold you like this. You looked so beautiful and vulnerable like this. And you were so close...he could faintly feel your cool breath on his neck, making him shiver a bit. Your soft sighs resonated in his ears, and for the second time this day, his gaze got stuck on your slightly parted lips....your elegant, petal shaped lips...your full and soft lips...

....If he just stooped down his head a bit he could actually –

...!!

.....!!

Wait a second!

No.

What is he doing?! You would wake up, and than he would die of humiliation! What was he thinking? You could’ve opened your eyes and ...! Speaking about humiliation. Why isn’t he taking you to your bedroom already? If you catch him like this...!  Oh Hell!

Panicking a little, he tried to clear his head with a little shake, and proceeded to walk to your bedroom, at the same time watching that his hands and arms didn’t shake too much from his walking. Pushing against your door with his shoulder, he managed to enter your bedroom.

Carefully walking to your bed, he briefly wondered how he should lay your figure down on your bed.

He took a few seconds mulling this over, biting the inside of his cheek, but then decided to just get over with it. ...Carefully, get over with it.

His arms shook a bit, as they cautiously lowered your slumbering form on your bed, still panicking about the possibility of you waking up at any moment.

...

...

...Then, he carefully took his hands away, but still being ever so observant of your face. After seeing that you were still pretty much passed out, he sighed for the hundredth time this day, and straightened himself up, already on his way to leave your room.

And he would’ve successfully carried through this action...

...

...if it weren’t for the fact that he heard you shiver.

Turning around, he saw how you were slowly curling up like a cat, trembling all the while; teeth chattering, your muscles trying to contract and relax, in hopes of producing some kind of warmth.

Huh. No wonder.

Looking around your room, he saw how dark and small it was; the windows didn’t seemed to be properly shut, given how they rattled every time when the wind was blowing. It probably didn’t help at all, that the cracks on your wall were  letting through the icy air from outside. What made him more worried was the fact, that he didn’t really see any blankets lying around...

So then, with what should he cover you up...? He couldn’t leave you like this. You would surely get sick...

...

Well...

How about...he lies down next to you...and wraps you in his arms...?

...And with that, he’s blush pretty much came back. Shaking his head, he quickly tried to perish this idea. There’s no way he would do that and you wouldn’t wake up. You surely weren’t sleeping that deeply...

He looked back at you.

...or were you?

He bit his lips, while thinking about what he should do next. As tempting as it sounded to lay down next to you, it was too risky. Would you believe him, if you – on the off chance – would suddenly wake up and find him next to you...?

But there weren’t any other choices...There weren’t any blankets around here, and he was afraid of snooping around, searching for them. Searching for blankets would mean opening wardrobes and drawers, which pretty much equals making a lot of noise. There were also some boxes laying around, their contents completely unknown to him. They might have blankets or something warm to tuck you in.

But...there was also the possibility that he might find something completely different...something that would embarrass him, or just something you wouldn’t want anyone to know.

And besides...if you did have any other blankets in your apartment, wouldn’t that mean that you already took them out, especially given how you didn’t have any heating? He was pretty sure that there were already icicles forming on your ceiling. It looks like the blankets on your bed were the only ones you had...

A deep breath escaped his mouth.

So, it’s either him playing blanket or you freezing to death. He would love to, honest to God, he would love to lay there behind your form and warming you up with his body heat...but only with your consent. He was afraid, that what he was about to do could be considered ’taking use of the opportunity’ while you were out. He trembled in disgust.

...Then again.

He didn’t plan on kissing you or doing something the like (not yet, that is, and certainly not without your agreement). But if he’d just leave you here...

Lingering a few seconds in the middle of you room, he observed your shivering form for what seemed to be hours, before slowly going around your bed. You were still sleeping, your breathing was deep...


Well, if it means keeping you warm...then he would do it. He already felt his hands shake just from thinking about it.

He was going to lay down, next to you.

...maybe he could really do it.

Sighing once more, he firstly sat down on your bed, very, very slowly, still praying that you won’t suddenly turn around.  But you gave no reaction.

Then, he took his arm and carefully lowered his body beside yours. ...Still no reaction from you.

Good. So far so good.

But now comes maybe the hardest part: wrapping his arm around you.

He was happy, and nervous and afraid at the same time, his hand shaking from anticipation. He was really doing this. Holding back his breath, he carefully rested his hand on your waist...

...

...

...and then slowly let it slide to your stomach, his fingers brushing against your curves...

Whew

He did it. Unbelievable, but he did it. He already felt a grin blossoming on his face from successfully carrying out this mission. Come to think of it... he was fantasizing about this when he saw you sleeping this morning. ...And now he is actually here, enveloping your form...

This euphoria was, however, short lived.

His heart stopped beating when he felt how your body started stirring, a few whimpers escaping your lips. His eyes widened and he felt his body going tense from fear.

Uh – oh! Where you going to wake up?!

His first instinct would have been to recoil from your form, but he suddenly forgot to even breath, not to mention move. Not knowing what to do, he quickly shut his eyes and buried his face in your soft hair. He didn’t think he could take to see your confused and shocked expression after you discovered him beside you. If you didn’t think of him as some sort of creep this afternoon at lunch, then you would surely think that now, seeing him like this, his arm on your stomach.

But just as he was about to regret sharing his warmth with you ...you stopped stirring.

Not just that.

He took his face away from your locks and opened his eyes, not really believing what he saw, and most importantly; felt.  Not only did you stop stirring, but he only realized it now, that you actually snuggled up to him, your back firmly pressing against his stomach, even breathing out a hum of satisfaction. Your shivering also stopped, and the satisfied expression came back to your face.

He blinked a few times, completely in awe and then rested his head close to yours, burying his nose in your hair to breathe in your scent. His heart was still thumping crazy, and he felt his whole body shiver from feeling your body being pressed against his, so nicely.

This made him feel a bit bolder, and so he pulled you to his chest more firmly, sighing contently. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on the parts where your body touched his (that, being the whole upper body) and just all in all enjoying this spooning position with you. Hearing your soft breathing made him also sleepy, and he already felt his eyelids slowly closing shut. If only you knew how happy he was right now...

Meanwhile the weather outside seemed to calm down a bit.

Glancing one last time out your window, he briefly noted how it began to snow.


xxx
Wow...this is crap. I don't like it. At all. >: (

Oh geez, I would've uploaded this much earlier, but of course I got sick and shit. 

What really, really irks me is that I write very, very slowly, because I always have to look up words and stuff, and I also get often discouraged about my writing, because it's so uuurrghghghhh. It doesn't flow nicely, I often repeat words and ugh. It's just. God.

Well, Anyway. I hope at least you guys think it's OK. 
I'm going to crawl back in a corner now. 

EDIT: 26. 12. 2013
Okay. Now I feel bad about writing how I think this is crap. I got so much positive feedback, so...yeah. Thank you all!

I don't own anything, but this story.

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The snow loudly crunched under both of your steps.


Head ducked in your scarf, you solemnly watched the white crystal like substance being marked by your giddy – paced feet, while also trying to keep up with Makoto’s steps, who’s arm was still protectively draped around your shoulder. Whether to keep your body close to his or to keep you warm, you didn’t even know anymore. ...Nor did you really mind.


Only now did you notice how much you were quivering; both from shock and frigidity. He must have felt your shaking, and decided not to pull his arm back for which you were secretly more than thankful. You swore you’d  have fallen or fainted by now, if he did.


Heaving a quiet sigh, you lifted your head a bit higher. The road you two were taking was deserted, the lack of passers – by being really conspicuous. Other then Makoto and you, nobody was there. It was also poorly illuminated. Only a few street lamps were actually working and even most of them were lightly flickering. In fact, the whole area looked a bit eerie rather then mysterious.

And yet,  you didn’t feel endangered. To be honest, you thought this place to be strangely familiar...

But it didn’t take long to find out why. Step by step, you saw something appear in the distance, getting closer and bigger as you two made your way to it nearer and nearer. Something that cut the road in half. A neat little construction made out of fine wood. And under that a now frozen creak...!

Your breath momentarily got caught in your throat.

’The bridge!’

For a moment, sincere elation spread throughout your body. When was the last time you visited this cozy little place? A week or so, when it wasn’t even covered in snow! And the ornate little lights were still there, shedding a yellowish light on the powder  - soft snow. You sighed with contentment.

It looked so beautiful.

And as if on cue, the snow began to fall again in light flocks. But even they didn’t bother you. In fact, you even felt yourself getting calmer as you watched the gentle flakes piruette down from the sky. It was peaceful and quiet. Tranquil and serene.


But even though the place you two reached made you feel a lot better, there was still that uncomfortable atmosphere lingering between you two. You heaved a sigh of frustration.


Fifteen minutes passed since you and Makoto left your workplace, and none of you managed to utter even a single word. You didn’t know about Makoto, but you at least tried to say something - anything - to break the awkward silence between you two. ...Only to get hit by a huge wave of discouragement, effectively making your half opened mouth shut.

The reason for this was actually Makoto himself. Or, to be precise, his currently unanalyzable mood.

You carefully peeked at him from under your eyelashes, observing his well chiseled profile.


Was he angry? Most probably. His furrowed brows and tense jawline seemed to give it away. The corners of his mouth were sharply curved south, openly showing the irritation he felt. Sometimes you could even feel his securely placed fingers on your upper arm twitch, making you slightly wince in surprise. But he was still staring right ahead with a determined face, eyes completely clouded with fury.


Yupp. He was definitively angry.


And yet, you couldn’t stop staring at him. Makoto being worried wasn’t anything new, but him being angry was something completely different. You didn’t even know that he was capable of being angry. In fact, the whole ordeal that happened earlier was so unbelievable that you wouldn’t have been surprised if you found yourself waking up at any minute, and realize that it was all a dream.


And yet again, you realized how little you knew about him...


However, your staring came to an abrupt halt when you saw him suddenly flicker his eyes to your shorter form. You gasped soundlessly, too surprised to even feel embarrassed about getting caught in your fixated gazing. But in a blink of an eye, his features visibly softened, and any trace of anger rapidly disappeared from his face.  

Fully turning his head to your direction, he quietly observed your shy and insecure posture before he suddenly stopped in his tracks. You lightly bumped in to him, not awaiting his sudden halt, before you questioningly blinked up at him.

Worry wrinkles deepening on his forehead, he sternly asked.


”(Name). Is this what you have to endure everyday?”


You tiredly blinked at him once, letting his question sink in before you averted your gaze to the side, trying not to get intimidated by his towering height and scrutinizing eyes.


But it didn’t work. You suddenly felt like you were a little child again.


”Well, not everyday, but...”


Not finishing your quietly mumbled sentence, you shifted your eyes down to you feet, only to see one more pair to join them. Makoto stepping closer to you rested both of his hands firmly on your shoulders, and unknowingly forced you to look back up at him.  


Concern twinkled in his apple green eyes.


They seemed to hold yours in place, not allowing your gaze to wander away. And If it wasn’t for the whole situation, you’d have surely took your time to observe those green irises of his a bit longer. But the way he was gripping your shoulders clearly told you, that his sudden proximity wasn’t for you to marvel at his emerald orbs. For a moment you thought that he didn’t hear you, so that’s why he stepped (and leaned) in closer to you.


But it only took you a quick glance at his lips to realize that that wasn’t the case. And thus, only seconds passed before he sharply inhaled, and then –


”(Name). Quit your job.

...


There was a tense silence as you tried to understand the meaning of those words. Your mind echoed them over and over again in your head, and still; you didn’t want to believe what you just heard. And from whom you heard it.

Nothing made any sense anymore. You felt your head spin.


”W – what...?” you breathlessly whispered.


His strict stare rapidly transformed in to one of worry, and he loudly heaved a desperate sigh before he looked back at you.


”Please, (Name)! Why are you putting up with this? Why don’t you go search for another job? There are countless other opportunities for you to get work at, with coworkers that won’t be treating you like this!”


The tint of anger at the end of his sentence didn’t escape your ears, but you didn’t give it a second thought. With an irritated scoff, you replied.


”Oh, really? And you suppose I’m going to find a decent job, with decent payment and with decent coworkers, and even get payed the amount right of money just after I apply to keep my apartment, for which I - by the way – need money by due this week?!

His eyes widened a bit with realization.

Of course. Your apartment. The one that had no proper heating, windows that rattled and a boiler that didn’t even function right.

A brief but heavy silence followed with the both of you staring at each other. You were almost about to step away from him and scold him for even thinking about something like that and even have the gall to suggest this to you.

He knew about your situation. He knew that you were working very hard to keep your apartment. So where the hell did this come from all of a sudden? How did he even get this idiotic idea?!


”You know what that would mean for me, right? I’d have to go back to my parents’ house or end up on the streets, or even worse! You know I can’t do that!”


”...Would that be really so horrible?” he asked quietly, while gravely staring down at the snowy path. And you snapped.


”YES, it would! Makoto, were you even listening to me yesterday?!” you practically shouted. But he didn’t even flinch at this. He continued observing your boot – clad feet, which was heavily coated with chunks of snow.


But on a closer look, you could see him slightly hesitating. For a good minute he was shifting his eyes everywhere but you, nervously blinking all the while. You could feel his fingers, that were still clinging on your shoulder, quiver for a minute. And you narrowed your eyes at him.

You were just about to question why he was behaving so uptigh, when he all of a sudden lifted his head, looked you deep in the eyes and -  

 
”... Then move in with me.


Your reaction was quick. Lips soundlessly parted in astonishment and your eyes slightly widened. This again...?


He nervously watched as your eyes slowly transformed in to angry slits. ”...Excuse me?” you asked coldly.


Gripping your arms harder, he stepped closer to you, with an almost pleading expression.


”Please, (Name)! Think about it. You could quit your job, leave your apartment, and move in with me. You could stay there as long as you’d like it. I wouldn’t mind, really!”

But he wasn’t even finished with his sentence when you frantically begun to shake your head, not even willing to listen to the end of it. Annoyed, you grabbed on to his hands in order to shake them off your shoulder.


”Makoto, I thought we already talked about this! I told you that I’m going to think about it!”


”But that’s exactly the problem, (Name)! You aren’t going to think about it, because you don’t even want to think about it!” he retorted with the same amount of volume. At this, you instantly whipped your head back to him, the offense clear on your face.

The fright quickly grabbed his heart at your reaction, and he quickly took his cue to explain himself as fast as he could.


”No, I... I didn’t mean it like that - ”


”Oh, yes, you did mean it like that. And you know what?” you said to him, quickly loosing your temper.

”You are completely right! I don’t want to think about it! And you know why?” you briefly paused, and turned around to face the vast, snow coated field. ”Because that would mean that I’m a fucking failure!”


At this, he could only stand there shocked and rooted to the place as he watched you cry your frustration out to the silent and bare threes.


”I had to go through so much shit and humiliation to get that freaking job! But I always chanted to myself, that it will be worth it! That it will eventually pay off! The good salary is worth it,” you cried, pacing back and forth but keeping your back turned to Makoto.

”And when that day finally came, and I was notified that they hired me, I was overjoyed! At last, I thought! It did pay off! From now on I could take care of myself, live in an own apartment and get away from my parents’ house! Shortly after I moved into Mrs. Tanaka’s appartment and for half a year everything went relatively smoothly! But of course that couldn’t last forever! Of course she had to pass away and leave me...!”


You suddenly took in a deep breath, trying to calm yourself down. Of course you knew that you couldn’t blame your landlady for anything that happened to you, but by now all reason left your mind and it just felt so good to cry out all your pent up  frustration.

Tenderly pressing two fingers to either side of your temples, you closed your eyes shut.

Your head was painfully throbbing, and it felt as it would explode any minute. But after a short delay, you gripped yourself together, and turned around to face Makoto, who was still patiently listening to you.

”I know that I’m in knee – deep shit right now, and probably on my lowest point I’ve ever been in my life. But there is still hope. I can make it. I already talked to my boss about a pay – raise this morning. All I have to do is work a bit overtime this week, and that’s all. Do you know how much courage that took me? And now you expect me to just walk in and tell him that I quit...?!”


All the while he quietly watched you with doleful and grave eyes. Not really understanding why he suddenly looked so crestfallen, you slightly raised an eyebrow at him.

”...What is it?”

”So you’d rather bear harassment at work, then quit and move in to my place...?”

You dangerously squinted your eyes at him. Is he for real?!
 
Feeling your blood pressure rise, your lips were already forming an ’Y’ shape before you stopped yourself with a grunt. ”NO! That wasn’t what I meant, damn it!”

He just watched you with a poker face, as you continued. ”Katsuo has been acting like this towards me since I started working there! This isn’t anything new to me. I can handle him!”

”Is that so?” he asked with a tint of annoyance, before he raised his arm to the direction you both came from. ”You call that handling him?!”


And with that, he suddenly stepped dangerously close to you. ”(Name), do you realize what could have happened if I didn’t show up...?”


You already opened your mouth, ready to retort, not shying away from him, ...but not a word left your lips. The question left you at loss of words. His eyebrows furrowed in worry as he watched you trying to come up with an answer, but nothing came.

To be honest, you never really thought about that. Then again ...this was the farthest Katsuo has ever come in means of harassment. And even then, this was just a sick game for him.

Not that the sole notion of this didn’t leave you uneasy or uncomfortable, but you figured you’d survive him somehow. You had to if you wanted to keep your job. ...Right?


Just when you were completely lost in your thoughts, two well – trained arms suddenly enveloped you in to a just as well trained chest, leaving you gaping in surprise. Makoto firmly hugged you. You felt yourself freeze, eyes widening with surprise and confusion at his sudden display of affection.

With bathed breath you waited, as he rested his head on your shoulder, quite close to your neck. His soft, brown locks tickled the sensitive skin on your neck and ear.

For a while he just stood there holding you close to himself, while you couldn’t do anything but stand there paralyzed. He was holding on to you as if you would vanish any second. And while his scent was really pleasant, and his body comfortable and warm, you still felt your arms move up and half – heartedly press against his chest.


But he didn’t let you go. You blinked.


”...Makoto?” you quietly whispered.


He painfully sighed and his warm breath hit your skin, sending shivers down your spine.

 
”You have no idea what I’d do if something happened to you. I don’t want you to go back there ever again,” he murmured close to your ear.

You were surprised beyond belief. Of course you knew that he was really worried about you, but ...you’d never thought that he was this worried... Almost desperately pleading to you to quit your job.


In that moment you realized that he was probably more scared of what happened to you before, then you were... And you felt guilt build up in your chest. He only wanted to help you, yet here you were practically scolding him for that.


Feeling ashamed, you retracted your hands from his chest, and wrapped them around his back, returning the hug. You felt him stiffen from surprise, but it didn’t take long for him to quickly melt in to your embrace.

Resting your head against his shoulder, you felt fatigue wash over your body. Makoto’s body was warm, and you honestly wouldn’t have minded to fall asleep in his arms, then and there.


”...I’m sorry.”


At this, he lifted his head from your shoulder. ”What for...?”

Feeling yourself blush, you buried your head in his chest, which he welcomed more than happily, tightening his arms around you ever so slightly. Your voice was muffled by his jacket, but he heard you clearly.


”For giving you a tongue lashing earlier. I know you mean well, but I just really want to do this on my own. I mean, a lot of our classmates from Iwatobi are already married, have families and even children, and steady, successful jobs, and here am I not even able to keep one lousy apartment...”


He quietly listened to you, and nervously placed his chin on the top of your head. ...And let out a quiet, suppressed breath of air when he saw that you didn’t push him away. In fact, it seemed that you even snuggled closer to his neck...


”(Name). You know that everything that has ever happened to you since your landlady passed away wasn’t under your control. And why are you suddenly comparing yourself to others? This isn’t some kind of competition.”


”I know...,” you sighed in his jacket. ”I just... I feel like I failed at growing up.”


Makoto quietly chuckled, and you strangely didn’t get angry at him for this. Your head resting against his chest made it possible for you to hear his laugh vibrate in his chest from directly up – close.

It was heavenly, and you found yourself quietly laughing with him.


...And thus you didn’t see the guilty expression that replaced his smile shortly after his chuckle died down.


”...You know. I am going to apologize as well,” he meekly whispered to you. Surprised, you lifted your head from his chest, and looked at him beyond confused.


”W – what? ...Why?”


He shot you an uneasy smile.


”I shouldn’t pester you with this whole ’move in with me’ stuff. ...It’s kind of creepy if I think about it like that,” he told you with cheeks burning red.


”Oh ...no! It’s not creepy. Believe me, I appreciate it, really! Don’t think I’m creeped out by you or anything. I’m sure it would be wonderful to live with you - ”

You didn’t even realize what kind of image came to Makoto’s mind at this particular sentence, making him blush harder.


” – But I’ll firstly try to solve this all on my own. Give me one more chance. ...Okay?”


He locked his eyes with you, before he nodded and shot you his trademark smile. ”Okay.”


And with this, you two slowly proceeded to continue on your way home. Makoto wordlessly lifted his bent arm towards you, and you quickly caught on to why. You couldn’t help but give him a radiant smile, as you held on to his arm, comfortably snuggling to his side.

Just like a week ago.

Even now, his tall and broad – shouldered form didn’t leave you cold. You had to sigh contentedly as his inviting warmth protected you from the chilly air, instinctively making you lean up closer against him.

And needless to say, you blushed a faint pink as you felt him reciprocate this.


It took the two of you a few steps before you eventually reached the snow - coated wooden bridge. Makoto briefly observed the tiny snowflakes that were caught in your hair.

They perfectly decorated your luscious locks, making you look like you were a mythical figure that stepped out from a fairy tale. When the various light bulbs shed their dim light on you, he was near believing that...


But before you looked up, he subtly turned his head in to the opposite direction from where you stood. A faint shade of red colored his cheeks, but it didn’t appear as suspicious as it should have been because of the weather. That being said, you didn’t need to see a blush to feel Makoto’s nervousness slowly reappear.

Looking up, you saw him slightly biting the insides of his cheek.

Huh...?

Deciding not to dwell on this too much, you asked him.


”Makoto? Is something the matter? You look a bit ...fidgety.”


Hearing your voice made him stiffen a bit, and he looked forward for a while, before he cleared his throat.


”No, it’s uh ...everything’s all right,” he answered you, finishing his sentence with a short and awkward little chuckle, before he then continued.


”...I was just thinking that... well...”


You only blinked at him, waiting for him to finish what he started.


” – I’m going to be holding training for my students tomorrow at the Sport Center I work at. So they don’t get out of shape and all. The indoor swimming hall will be properly heated, of course, and it will only last an hour and a half.”

This was followed by a short little silence, before he gave you a side glance, and you watched him with bathed breath, already guessing what was about to come.  


”...Would you like to come and watch?”


At this you loudly exhaled with a quiet laugh. He watched you as you nodded at him with a sweet smile, and he felt something warm spread throughout his chest, whilst his heart painfully picked up its speed. Shooting you a little grin, he laughed along with you, before he turned his head afore, suddenly feeling really happy.


After you two passed the bridge, a comfortable silence settled between you two.
That was until you broke it.


”Oh, by the way. I had the best sleep last night since forever!”

...

...Cue his face getting red all over again.



xxx



The next day came much slower than you had thought it would.


Waking up in your slightly shabby room, you smiled as you felt your body to be well - rested. Snuggling your face back in your pillow with a quiet sigh, you tried to get back to sleep, seeing as you had the whole morning to yourself.  

But a slight burning feeling in your stomach prevented you from doing that. It felt like some kind of knot has been tangling itself there since yesterday.


That being said  you didn’t give it much thought as you sat up and gave out a hearty yawn, stretching your arms upwards, feeling your bones and joints crack and pop.


Doing your best to bundle up in your warm covers, you stood up and made your way to the kitchen. You followed your mourning routine, just as you would have done any other day.

But as you were about to drink from your cup of hot tea, you couldn’t help but notice how much your hand was shaking.


’...Uh. Must be the cold’, you guessed. And with that you shrugged and went back continuing your breakfast.  


After that you went showering, using your opportunity of showering with boiled water. You secretly hoped that the knot in your stomach would ease out after you washed yourself, but it seemed that it wasn’t just about to disappear because you soaked yourself in hot water.

If anything, you felt as if it got tighter and bigger...

But this peculiar feeling in your stomach wasn’t the only anomaly you noticed about yourself. Your palms seemed to get sweatier, even though there was still no heating in your apartment. Your legs and feet were also restless; shaking and tapping whenever you stood still or sat down.


And this is were - with a grim expression -  recognized and admitted to yourself, that you were indeed restless about something.

 
But despite how many times you told yourself that you aren’t nervous, you still caught yourself biting your under lip and nails; occasionally taking long glances at the clock on your wall and watching as the arrows slowly, ever so slowly ticked the time away.

Though it wasn’t until you caught yourself heavily contemplating on what kind of outfit you’ll be wearing, when you got to the realization that you were actually excited for this day’s afternoon. Feeling strangely giddy.


And you already had a hunch why, but you just weren’t about to admit this to yourself...

Standing in front of your mirror, you observed your antsy self, a serious shadow hanging upon your face.

’Would it be better to wear my white blouse or my black empire waist shirt? He said the place will be properly heated, so if he and his students will be okay in nothing but swimsuits, then I guess I won’t have any problem with wearing lighter clothing,’ you thought to yourself, as you pressed the black empire shirt to your form.


...Just to make a face at the mirror a few seconds after that, and throw the piece of clothing behind you, the shirt ungracefully falling on your bed with a soft whisper of clothing.

Then you nodded at your reflection with a satisfied smile. ’The white blouse is it.’

And thus, you started undressing yourself and went to your wardrobe to retrieve a grey -ish colored jeans.

Before trying it on though, you eyed the fabric in your hands, making absolutely sure that it was in a good quality. But after not finding anything out of place, you shrugged and proceeded to hoist it up your legs.

’I hope he will think it’s okay,’ you thought and a gentle smile, unknowingly to you, appeared on your face.


Buttoning it up, you turned around and grabbed your white blouse.


 ...And it was just halfway down on your arms and above your head, when you suddenly froze in your movements. You silently watched your reflection, which was currently looking back at you with wide eyes and overall confused expression.


’W- wait a minute! Since when do I care what Makoto thinks of my clothing choices?!


The thought just kinda happened, would anyone say and shrug it off, but the back of your mind told you that this was not the case. Seeing your reflection getting slightly flustered at this, you continued dressing yourself.


’I never really cared what he thinks of my clothes or looks, aside from that one time when he came rushing in the middle of the night to my apartment. But at that time I was in a state where I’d have gotten ashamed of myself regardless who saw me like that...’


With a sigh, you looked back in your mirror and took note how those skinny jeans hugged your legs and how that white blouse seemed to enhance your bust and hips. This outfit looked really good on you...  


Eyeing yourself in the mirror, you suddenly got a bit unsettled.


’I mean... it’s not like we are going on a date...’

You slowly spun around once, feeling your cheeks getting hotter at the thought.

’...Right?’



xxx



By the time Makoto came to your place to pick you up, you’ve blushed a million times.


Honestly, you’re face slowly transformed in to a strange play of light between pale and red, and you were already on believing that this would later on have a serious impact on your overall health if you didn’t stop.

You tried, really,  - but alas, you couldn’t help it.

You could keep it relatively under control when you were outside and on your way with Makoto to the Sports Center, since the cold outside actually helped to cool your cheeks, while at the same time you could also finger point it on the weather if he were to question it.


...But you found yourself in quite a serious problem, when your eyes set themselves on Makoto, who just recently emerged from a dressing cabin, in nothing but skin – tight jammers.


Eyes wide, you couldn’t help but stare at him for a good while. Dear Lord. With his wide shoulders and brawny torso, he looked like a marble statue that just came to life.

His muscles bulged with every movement, and you felt yourself getting goosebumps the moment your eyes traced his muscular back and shoulders. Bashfully tearing your gaze away from his well trained body, you put a hand against your now blazing cheek and bit your lip.


You knew that he was in a really good shape, but you would have never thought that he was this fit. Even though you were already present on one of his training sessions back in high school with Gou, you just simply didn’t remember him looking this fine.

 
Well, great. Looks like you’ll be having flushed cheeks all day long.


In the meantime Makoto deftly grabbed his training jacket and put it on, absolutely unaware of your admiring gazes, before he walked closer to the bench you were currently waiting for him. With a gentle smile, he stopped before you.


”Well, I’m ready. Shall we go?”


You just managed to nod at him and smile uncertainly; the blush still not refusing to disappear from your face.  ...Which now was getting suspicious to him. As you two made your way to the swimming pools, he suddenly asked.


”...Are you sure you’re all right? Your face has been red since I picked you up from your place... ”


”Ah, no! It’s fine! Really!” you reassured him a little too enthusiastically. You felt him observing your fidgeting form from the corner of his eyes, but you were too embarrassed to actually make eye – contact with him, so you hoped that if you just stared right ahead, he would –


”Let me measure your temperature, (Name),” he suddenly told you in a gentle and quiet voice, as he stopped in his track and stepped in front of you. His brawny and muscular form blocked your way, and you couldn’t help but let out a quiet gasp, as he leaned in close to your face and rested his big palm against your forehead.


Not knowing where to look, you just decided to stare at both of your feet as you listened to him hum in worry.


His hand against your forehead, his face only inches away from you made you only more flustered. You could feel his cool breath caress your hot cheeks, which unrationally did not help them cool down.

Especially given that he was currently standing in front of you half – naked; giving you a perfect view of his ripped stomach and chest.

...And you found yourself unable to look away as your eyes set themselves on his body – for the second time today. ...But really. Who could blame you? It’s not an everyday occurrence to stand in front of a very attractive young boy, this close, who had the body of a Greek god. You felt your face getting redder.


Said Greek god suddenly spoke up.


”Hmm. You don’t seem to have a temper, (Name), but I would keep an eye out for any other symptoms that may appear later. Your appartment still does not have any heating, right? I hope you didn’t catch a cold...”


He said this so quietly, that you almost thought he would lean in even closer to you and whisper it to you. Innocently peeking up at him, you saw him gently smiling back at you.


...And you were about to imitate his smile, when his hand all of a sudden slipped down to your still blazing cheek. Breath caught in your throat, and you couldn’t help but stare back at him, quietly awaiting his next move.


   Your lips subconsciously parted...


But you felt slightly disappointed, when his hand continued its path southwards and stopped at your chin, eventually going back to the side of his owner.


”Please be careful, (Name),” he told you, shooting you one last warm smile, before he turned around and made his way to the swimming pool.

Miliseconds passed with you standing rooted to the place, staring after him with a dazed expression, before you slightly shaked your head and with quick steps went after him.

Your cheeks, however, were still as red as ever.

If not more.



xxx



Even before you entered the prestigious place, you could clearly hear joyous laughter and chatter resonating from the swimming hall. No doubt, the kids having fun in the pool while waiting for their coach.

Makoto opened the heavy metal doors of the hall, and stepped aside as to let you in first, like the gentleman he was. You nodded and smiled at him, already stepping in the chlorine smelling place. Your eyes immediately swept over the hall.

It was huge; having two swimming pools and various equipments scattered around the whole place! At both sides of the hall were long lines of plastic seats, specially built for spectators and viewers. The roof was made out of glass, but the thick layer of snow resting on it blocked your view from the sky.


Still, you found the interior of this place to be quite nice.


Taking a few more steps inside, you continued observing both swimming pools, and the clear water inside of them. The water sure looked tempting. And despite it being winter, you weren’t cold, even though you were dressed in your light blouse.


Makoto was right. This place really is well – heated.


You were so enraptured with the build of the whole swimming hall, that you didn’t even notice Makoto already walking past you and greeting his pupils. The kids immediately leapt out of the water the moment they saw their trainer approaching.

Loudly laughing and cheering, a few of them even hurled themselves against Makoto’s torso and hips, giving him a huge bear hug.


”SENSEI!” they gleefully shouted, while Makoto tried not to loose his footing from the horde of the kids that just playfully attacked him. He gave out a melodious laughter and started gently patting and ruffling several heads around him, in hopes that they will let go of him. But they continued clinging on to him, laughing all the while, for they haven’t seen their beloved trainer for a good while.


You, all the while, stood several steps away from this heart – melting scene and smiled to yourself. It was so sweet watching how he handled his students. And you could just as much understand why the kids were so over the moon with him. Who wouldn’t be? He’s a sweetheart...


After watching them for a while, you slowly and tentatively made your way beside him.


...And it didn’t take long before one of the children spotted your approaching figure.

Makoto watched as one of the boys, that was tightly clinging to his legs, suddenly raised his tiny arm and pointed somewhere behind him.


”H – hey! Who is she?”  He gasped with innocent curiosity, his big brown eyes never leaving your form.


At this, the other kids stopped with smothering their trainer and collectively turned their heads toward you. This made you quietly gulp and stop in your tracks. If that little scene back in the corridors with Makoto didn’t set your cheeks on fire, this sudden shift of attention on you sure as hell did.  

Makoto freed himself from the crowd of tiny ones, and took a few steps in your direction, until he was right beside you. Taking one hand, he rested it on your shoulder and turned back to his pupils.


”This person here is my friend, Miss (Last name). We were classmates back in high school, and I decided that I would bring her along to today’s training, so she can see how talented you all are at swimming. Please, say hello to her and treat her well.”


At his introduction, you shyly waved at them. ”Hi. Nice to meet you.”


The reaction of the children to this were all individually different. Some of them stepped closer to you, big eyes twinkling in sudden interest and even admiration, while there were ones who were observing you from a safe distance, too shy to approach you.

Sweeping your eyes over them, you inwardly concluded that they couldn’t have been older than ten. The crowd around you was just about to disperse, so Makoto could begin the training, when all of a sudden a boy with light hair hastily emerged from the crowd and confidently stepped in front of you.

Makoto and you both watched perplex, as said boy decisively held out his hand for you, while not managing to suppress the archly grin on his face.

 
”Good afternoon, Miss (Last name)! I am Mamoru. Nice to meet you!”


Not really knowing how to handle his forwardness, you quickly exchanged looks with Makoto, before you tentatively reached your hand in his. Mamoru’s grin only widened when he saw you giving him your hand, and didn’t hesitate on grabbing it and scrupulously shaking it.


At this you smiled. His actions clearly showed how hard he tried to act as a mature grown up. ...And  you couldn’t help but let out a quiet chuckle as he all of a sudden pulled your hand closer to his mouth and planted an innocent little kiss on the back of it, making the children around you gasp loudly.


...And thus, you didn’t notice Makoto slightly tensing up at this display of affection.


The kids came even closer when they noticed that you didn’t get angry at Mamoru. They stepped closer, weary but curious at the same time.

After Mamoru let go of your hand, he looked back up at you and with determined eyes straightened his posture, obviously very set on telling you something. His cheeks getting a bit rosy, he gulped, before –


”I – I  would also like to tell you Miss (Last Name) that I think you are really  p – pretty...!”


At  this you felt Makoto’s hand slightly squeeze your shoulder, obviously not awaiting his pupil’s sudden confession. But Mamoru’s sudden outburst of opinion did not only faze him.

It also seemed to start some kind of domino effect on the children around you.

After some silence, they opened up and started loudly whispering and chatting with each other.

”You know, he is kinda right...,” nodded a boy to another not far away from you.

”She seems like a really friendly person, too! I bet she uses some nice perfume as well.”

The girls, however, were the one who were moved by this the most. ”Aah, I hope I will grow up to be as pretty as Miss (Last Name)! Do you think she already has someone...?”

”What do you mean?! She should definitely get together with Sensei!”

The girls swooned.

”Yes! You are right! I bet Sensei likes her too!”

Cue loud, childish snickering erupting from them.

But before they could further discuss what kind of dress you would wear on your wedding or how many babies you two would have, Makoto suddenly started loudly clapping.


”O – okay, children, listen up! Now that you got to know Miss (Last Name), please go and have your usual warm – up routine. Start by stretching, holding one pose for 15 seconds. Then repeat this in the water, too.”


”Yes, Sensei!” they saluted and then scattered, diligently setting themselves for a warm – up. Before turning around, Mamoru shot you one last cheeky smile, before he went to follow his teammates.

For a while you watched the children doing various warming – up exercises. Full of energy and fired up for today’s training, they were animatedly chatting with each other, even when doing the most back – breaking exercises.

This made you giggle. You wouldn’t even be able to think, much less utter words if you were to do the same exercises as them.


A quiet sigh from beside you snapped you out of your thoughts.


Turning your head to the side, you saw Makoto with slightly furrowed brows staring ahead, observing the kids, one of his hand on the side of his neck. Getting worried, you asked:

”Is something wrong?”

He blinked back at you, and with an uncertain smile shaked his head. ”No... I just... wanted to apologize on behalf my students. ...And for Mamoru’s brash behaviour.”

You just stared back at him, not really understanding what he meant by that.

”It was a while since they had practice so they got really excited for today’s training. It is also rare for me to bring anyone along, so your presence practically highlighted today’s practice. And Mamoru is a really ...lively kid, to say the least. He loves attention and easily opens up... -  ” And you were sure that he would have continued giving you a long explanation wrapped up with a sincere apology, but you interrupted him with a quiet laugh.

With surprise evident on his face, he stared back at you. You just waved your hand.

”Oh, but what are you talking about? Mamoru did me no harm. He surprised me, is all, but I actually found him quite adorable. And your students didn’t do anything wrong, either. You know how curious children are. Of course they’d get excited, after all, they seem to really love swimming, along with their Sensei...,” you told him, whilst turning your head afore, continuing to watch the children.

...And thus you didn’t notice the blush that gradually appeared on his cheeks nor the light layer of sweat that broke out on his skin.


He inwardly wondered if you even heard what those girls quietly discussed earlier...



xxx



 
  The loud noise of water sloshing gradually seemed to quiet down.

The kids – now exhausted from today’s training  - slowly swam their way out of the swimming pools, looking as if they were about to fall asleep on the spot, having used up all their energy.

After an hour and an half, training came to an end.


You watched the whole training from one of the plastic seats, having a really nice side - view of the whole practice. The children were adorable, surprisingly diligent and well – behaved. They listened and watched with new - found curiosity as Makoto explained and showed them how to master the ever so famous breaststroke.

He was patient and gladly explained everything his pupils were interested in regarding swimming. Twice or even thrice if they forgot. You found it endearing how well he could handle kids.

Mamoru sometimes happily waved at you, determined to get your attention and set your eyes on nobody else but him. Chuckling, you occasionally waved back at him or gave him a thumbs up if he got an exercise right, which made him gleefully grin, being proud of his accomplishments.  

And just like that time flew by. And all this time you never even noticed the affectionate expression that gradually appeared on your face. Watching the heart – warming relationship and bond between coach and team unfold in front of you, your surroundings kinda disappeared, and all you could see was Makoto and the children.


But while you completely forgot about yourself, Makoto caught you from the corner of his eyes, and his breath got stuck in his throat when he saw the warmth your eyes radiated and that smile of yours...


...All this directed to him and his students. For a moment he forgot to speak, and only managed to stare back at you, as if hypnotized. It took a tiny hand tugging at his hand to snap him out of his trance.


”Sensei! Is something wrong?” asked one little girl, after noticing his coach’s gaze was no longer observing her and her teammates. Makoto blinked and immediately turned back to the little girl. Smiling, he reassured her, ”Uh, ...no. Everything’s fine. I just remembered something...”


This, of course, did not escape the attention of the two girls from before.

Their eyes excitedly watched every little movement of their Sensei, from his glances to his body language – like he was a little animal to be experimented on. With bathed breath, they exchanged mischievous glances and started quietly snickering and giggling, making sure that Makoto and the others did not hear them.


”See? I told ya’! Sensei likes her!” said one of them, her eyes glinting in manic glee.

Her friend vigorously nodded, absolutely agreeing with this. ”Yes, you were completely right! And just look at Miss (Last Name)’s expression! It’s so earnest and full of love; love I tell you! She loves him!”

They glanced one last time at the both of you, quietly laughing from pure giddiness. They were excited of course. It was just like a real – life reenactment from one of their favorite drama shows! With the protagonists being completely enamored with each other, but both of them being too oblivious to see this and too shy to admit it.


 ...And given that they were experts when it came to drama shows , they knew by heart that all the two main characters needed was just a little ...push.

   
Another joyful laughter escaped the two girls, and after calming down a bit, they grinned at each other and nodded, with mischief twinkling in their eyes.



xxx



You stood up from your place, as you saw the kids one – by – one exiting the water.


Sluggishly moving a few feet away from the pool, they plopped down on the cold, ceramic floor, and slowly started on their after training exercise.


You went to stand beside Makoto, who was the last one exiting the pool. Briefly glancing around, your eyes found his towel that was laid down on his duffle bag close to the plastic seats at the entrance. Without thinking you went and retrieved it for him. He smiled and thanked you.

As he towel - dried his hair, you turned and continued watching the kids stretch. Some of them were so tired, that they started yawning mid – stretch and there were even ones who were quietly groaning from exhaustion.

Brows furrowing in worry, you asked Makoto. ”Are they all right? They look really worn out. Why do they need to stretch after training?”

Makoto – being finished with drying his hair – wrapped the towel around his muscular neck, and with a smile explained. ”It’s better to stretch after swimming, as well. This will help clear waste products from the muscles and also help with post – exercise flexibility. Plus, it will be a lot easier for them to relax later on.”


You  aha – d in understanding, and you both went silent for a while, before Makoto broke it again.


”...Looks like your cheeks have gone back to their normal color.”

”Huh?”

He quietly chuckled at your reaction. ”Your cheeks, (Name).”

You hastily put a hand on the right side of your face, and smiled. ”Ah... yes. You’re right.”

 
Makoto stepped before you and leaned in closer. ’...Just like back in the corridors’, shot this thought through your mind. His hand found its way back to your cheek, his skin still a bit wet and wrinkly from the chlorinated water, but this did not lessen the strange sensation cursing through your body.

”I’m glad you’re all right. I was getting worried that you had caught a fever. I hope that you are taking care of yourself, (Name). Drink lots of tea and wear warm clothes when you’re in your apartment. You still have enough to eat, right? ...And you know you can call me anytime, if you need something...”


It was the moment, were you would have grabbed his hand and gently squeezed it. The moment were you would have smiled back at him and reassured him, that you were fine. The moment were he would have uncertainly asked again if you were sure, just so you could squarely nod back at him and repeat that you were indeed fine, and that he shouldn’t  worry so much.


But you did nothing. Couldn’t do anything.


For the next few seconds suddenly passed by like a flash. You only remember feeling a force from behind you push you in to Makoto, and Makoto’s hands securely gripping your upper arms, hearing him grunt as he loses his balance...


... and then eventually falls with you headfirst  in to the pool. It came so sudden, that you didn’t even had the time to shriek or gasp.  And although the water wasn’t cold, it still came as shock when you felt the hard surface of it harshly hit your skin.


Heart beating erratically, you could only encircle your arms around Makoto’s neck and grip on him for dear life, as he hugged you closer to his form and then quickly swam to the surface.

As you two resurfaced, you immediately gulped in a big gulf of air, filling your lungs with sweet oxygen, and heavily panting, trying to calm your heart.

The children stopped with their stretching the moment you two tumbled in the pool, running to the pool with loud gasps and shrieks.


Makoto made sure that your feet were steadily standing on the ceramic floor of the pool, refusing to loosen his grip around you, til’ you didn’t catch your breath. He quickly brushed the wet hair out of your face.  ”(Name)! Are you all right?” he asked breathlessly, worry evident in his voice.

You mutely nodded back at him a few times, to reassure him that you were okay. Just very shocked. ...And very soaked.


He was about to ask something else, most probably regarding your well – being, when two voices from the side of the pool suddenly spoke up, voice dripping with mock apology.


”Ooops ~ ! Sorry, sensei! Sorry Miss (Last Name)! Our bad! We were so absorbed in our exercises that we just didn’t notice you two standing there.”

Makoto and you looked up. Standing at the side were two girls, wearing poorly masked smiles and trying to look as innocent as ever. It was those girls who were ever so religiously discussing and analyzing the relationship between you two.

And even thought they were making their absolute best to look like angels sent from heaven, who just accomplished a great duty, Makoto’s otherwise open features were now drawn together in pure annoyance and scepticism.


”Hana. Maiko. What is the meaning of this?” He asked them strictly, as he helped you climb out of the pool. The girls just stared back at him, feigning innocence.


”Whaaaat? Sensei! We swear to God, we didn’t do anything deliberately! Isn’t that right, Maiko?” The latter silently nodded a few times, with both of her eyebrows raised high, determined to confirm everything her friend said.


Makoto gave you a dry towel from his duffle bag, after you both got out of the pool.

”Out on the corridor, you will find a door on your left. Go in there, it’s a changing room. There you’ll find some spare clothes, that will most probably fit you. And don’t worry; nobody will barge in. I made sure that my group will be the only and last one occupying the swimming hall and it’s changing rooms and lockers for today,” he quietly whispered to your ear, his cool breath hitting the shell of your ear, making you shiver.

He, however, misunderstood this as a sign of you getting really cold, and immediately ushered you towards the corridor. You nodded and with quick steps left the hall.


Shivering, you hugged yourself with your arms and searched for the door Makoto told you about.


You could faintly hear him scolding the two girls as you distanced yourself from the hall, wandering the long corridor, soaked and quivering.  



xxx



The changing room you entered was dark and relatively big. Squinting your eyes, you tried your best to find a light switch, but then eventually gave up after aimlessly tracing the coarse coating of the wall with both of your hands and finding nothing.

A thin ray of grey light shined through a rectangular window near – by and with a heavy sigh you resigned yourself to make out your way in the dark.


Carefully ambling to the closest locker, you grabbed its door and opened it, not really sure what you’ll find there. ...But even in the dark you could clearly make out that in there was nothing. Shrugging once, you nonchalantly closed the door and went to the next locker. With a creak it opened wide, but even this one was empty. Sighing in uncertainty, you turned around and rested your eyes on the lockers across from you.


’What? Will I have to open every single one to find some spare clothing? I’ll freeze to death by the time I actually find one god damn piece of clothing.’


Inwardly grumbling, you turned back and tried your luck with the next one. ...And with the neighbor locker. ...And with the one next to that. Several minutes passed before you were finished with one row of lockers.

By now you were so cold that you didn’t even have the will to complain anymore. Deeming it pointless to continue your search, you were just about to turn around and go back to Makoto when –


”Aah - !” slipped the shriek out from your mouth, which made the person standing before you jump as well.


”(Name?)” asked Makoto, and hesitantly came closer to you. After standing frozen for a few seconds, you put a hand over your heart and gave out a quiet sigh of relief. ”D – don’t scare me like that. Whew, did you gave me a fright. ...I didn’t even hear you entering,” you told him, voice lightly quivering.


”Oh. Sorry about that,” he apologized as he stepped in front of you. ”I just came to check upon you. The kids already left, so we’re the only ones left.” His voice suddenly turned quieter. ”...And I also wanted to apologize in the name of the girls. They claim that they honestly did not saw you, and I want to believe them but I just can’t get rid of the feeling that they did it purposefully...” But of course he didn’t told you why exactly he thought that.

He started rubbing the back of his neck. ”So, I’m really sorry for causing you so much trouble, (Name). I didn’t mean all this to happen. I understand if you’re angry and annoyed...,” Despite it being dark, you could make out that he was telling you all this with his head bowed in shame. You leapt closer to him, and rested one of your hands on his shoulder and reassuringly squeezed it.


”Oh, Mako. I am not angry. Nor at you or your students.” And with a sudden urge of empathy, took one more step closer to him and gingerly lifted his head by his chin.

”Mistakes and mishaps happen, that’s just how life works. You can’t blame yourself for them. ...And if you want to hear my honest opinion, I actually enjoyed myself today. I was a while since I had a nice dip like this,” you finished with a quiet giggle, and he looked up with slight surprise. ”...Really?” he asked, still as quietly as before. You stared back in his eyes and smiled. ”...Really.”

He smiled back at you, though this time it did not reach his eyes. Your own faltered seeing his tired smile. You would have continued reassuring him, that you enjoyed today’s outing, when his eyes suddenly shifted southwards...


”...(Name)? Why are you still wearing your wet clothes?”


Blinking once, you remembered your previous dilemma and in an instant perked up.


”Oh, right! I’m really glad that you came, because I couldn’t find any spare clothing in here. Truth to be told, I haven’t checked all the lockers, but I already finished searching through the row behind me, and found nothing. The dark makes it only harder for me, but I couldn’t find the light sw -...”


You suddenly stopped with your explanation, when you felt Makoto’s stare on you; observing your damp form from head to toe, with a strange, enigmatic expression. ...And was it just you or did he get closer to you...?    


”(Name)...?” Makoto asked in a hushed whisper and as his breath hit your cheek, you were absolutely sure that you weren’t wrong. He did step closer to you. Much closer...


”...I, ah... as I was saying, I...,” you tried to spit it out, but the mere awareness of his sudden proximity made you a nervous, wobbly mess. Looking up, you saw his green eyes twinkle in the dim light, and your breath got caught in your throat when you realized that he was practically cornering you to the lockers behind you.

”Yes, as you were saying...?” he asked with the same tone as before. His voice was gentle, yet there was clearly some hidden, underlying tone that you have never ever heard coming from him. It was almost absurd.

You already forgot his question, completely absorbed in your contemplation about the situation you currently found yourself to be. You could only stare at his muscular, well – chiseled chest as it softly rose and fell, his breath caressing your skin and making the fine hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Your eyes followed a path all the way up his collarbones and neck – eventually finding yourself face to face with his handsome features. His lips were already parted, and you could feel it on your own whenever a soft puff escaped his.

Green eyes were boring in to yours and from time – to – time glanced down at your lips; his intent clearly showing.

Makoto just couldn’t help himself. As he saw you standing there with your soaked shirt, that was hugging and clinging to your form; and a few buttons being undone, exposing your collarbones and decoletté, he felt a strange, warmth – like feeling pool in his abdomen.


Along with your damp hair, that was now wildly framing your face, and a few drops of water still sliding down your lips... It was enough to make him move...


...And just like that, time seemed to slow down when suddenly both of you leaned in, quickly erasing the distance between you two.

His mouth enveloped yours with heart – quickening passion, and you could only blush as you felt him sigh in appreciation. His lips massaged and moved yours in ways that sent sparks down your spine.

You wrapped your arms around his neck, inviting him closer, to which he put his hands on your hips, drawing them closer to his.

A few minutes earlier you were shivering from the cold, but Makoto actually managed to warm you up.

With growing enthusiasm, he deepened the kiss with a quiet moan, tongue slipping past your lips, and your heart jumped in surprise at this.


You didn’t know he could be this forward. ...And you didn’t want to assume anything but somehow this did not feel like just a spur – of – the – moment kiss. No... There was something more...

Short on air, he suddenly broke the passionate lip – lock, and leaned his forehead against yours, all the while trying to get back as much air as possible in his lungs.


”(Name)...,” he panted, eyes half – lidded. He suddenly rested his head on the junction of your neck and closed his eyes.


”I’m sorry. ... I’m so sorry, (Name)...,” he whispered against your neck, his arms on your waist tightening. A short delay followed, and you were just about to ask him why he was apologizing, when –


”Hello?”


You both flinched at the voice. Frozen to the spot and all you could do was wait with bathed breath what would happen next. The voice – by the sound of it – belonged to an older male; pleasantly gruff and friendly. He obviously didn’t saw you two, for you were behind a row of rusty lockers.


You suddenly felt Makoto move his lips to the shell of your ear. ”Don’t worry, it’s just the manager. I’ll handle this,” he whispered it tenderly to you, and you reluctantly let go of him, already missing his secure embrace and warmth.


”Yes, how may I help you?” Makoto asked the manager as he appeared from behind the lockers. The manager  - surprisingly - didn’t find anything strange about this. Instead he nodded his head from where he came from and said, ”I just came to check on every room and make sure that everyone left the building. We are closing up. Your group was the last one using the swimming pools, right?”


”Yes, that’s right,” Makoto replied ever so calmly.  Hiding behind the lockers, you were actually amazed at how composed he sounded.


”All right, then please tell your students to finish their practice for today.”


”There’s no need, since I already sent them home fifteen minutes earlier. We cleaned up and put away everything. I am the only one left. ”


”...Ah, I see,” said the manager, but not after a little pause, a thoughtful expression appearing on his face. ”...Well, then please change and and pack your things as fast as you can. I wouldn’t want to lock you in.”


”Of course. Thank you for notifying me.”


At this the manager only grunted and closed the door, already on his way to check on other changing rooms and sport halls.

   
Seconds later Makoto re – appeared before you, carrying a pair of jeans and various shirts on his arm. ”Here,” he gently murmured to you, avoiding your gaze. ”Try these on. They will most probably be a few sizes too big for you, but it’s better than going out in the cold with damp clothes.” You already shivered at the thought.

”Oh, and the light switch doesn’t work, so even if you found it, it would have been useless. ...Sorry for not telling you before I ushered you in here...” Makoto continued before he went back to just where he stood a while ago, leaving you to yourself to change, while he too grabbed his clothes and started dressing himself.

You wanted to follow him and tell him that it was all right, but you suddenly felt really awkward, throat painfully tightening. And thus, with a sigh, proceeded to change. The room was filled with sounds of clothes rustling; zippers, buttons and belts clinked as you two bundled up.

The jeans fitted you, albeit only with the help of a belt, and even the smallest shirt in that pile of shirts was a tad bit too big for you, its hem reaching your mid – thigh, but it was warm, and its not like it was bothering you. Hastily packing everything up, you two exited the room and made your way home.


...And while a heavy silence reigned above you both, a just as heavy blush adorned both of your faces.


And this time, nobody could blame it on the weather.
Wow, look at me. I updated.

Another chapter, full with grammatical and spelling mistakes and questionable and rushed story line. 

Amazing.

--- 

I honestly got so sick of studying and working that I just took three days out for myself and (among other things) - sat down and wrote this. I regret nothing. So, I hope you enjoy it, because I'll be gone til' June. And I think everyone knows what this means. 

I'll reply to comments and such, but I most definitively won't be able to write until then. I love university. (As in, I fucking despise it and it didn't even start!)  

But on a lighter note - I just want to thank every single one of you who left me encouraging, kind comments! :heart: It gave me so much strength to write this, like you guys could not believe it! So, thanks a bunch! Hugs to all of you!! :hug:  

P.S.: Those girls are hardcore Makoto x His Lady Friend shippers.
I am going to sleep now, because honest to God I'm going to pass out. Salva OUT. :iconlazycryplz: 

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This is it. The day when [Name] finally returns to her friends and family in Japan.

[Name] shoved through the crowd, trying to get to baggage claim where she would meet her mother, Yuki, who she hasn't seen in two years. After finally reaching the end of the crowd, she searched for a particular face amongst the sea of people waiting for their baggage.

"[Name]!" she heard someone yell.

Said girl turned, greeted with the sight of dark blue hair. Her mother hugged her so hard, [Name] thought her insides would pop out any moment. Nonetheless, she returned the bone crushing hug. Yuki pulled back and smiled at her daughter, a stray tear slipping out of her eye. "You've grown so much! You're as beautiful as ever, [Name]." her mother complimented, making [Name] blush. She gave her mother one more quick hug before going to get her bags.

Afterwards, when [Name] had finally collected her bags, they sped down the busy highway towards home. [Name] smiled. She couldn't wait to see all of her old friends and attend her new school. Her mother snapped her out of her daze, stating that there was a surprise waiting for her at home. [Name], suddenly interested, pestered her mother to give her a hint as to what it is, but to no avail.

"Can't you at least give me a hint?" [Name] whined at her mother, who, smirking deviously, shook her head no. [Name] groaned and looked out the window again, until her mother spoke up.

"You know, sweetheart, Makoto and the others have been asking constantly about your arrival these past two weeks. I suppose they're very excited to see you." she said, calmly looking at her pouting daughter.

[Name] suddenly sat up and crossed her arms. "As they should be! They haven't contacted me the past month!" she stated angrily. Her gaze saddened when she thought of the boy she loved, who hadn't contacted her in two months. She was beginning to worry about him.

Yuki saw her daughter's unhappy expression and immediately knew who she was thinking of. She sighed inwardly. "Anyhow, Makoto mentioned to me that he and a few of your friends had started a swimming club, and you're welcome to join. He was going on about how..."

[Name] stopped listening after she heard the word swimming. She immediately envisioned herself gliding through the water, reaching forward and propelling her way forwards. She could hear the crowd cheering. Almost there-

"[Name] [Surname]! Were you even listening? You started staring off into space after I mentioned Makoto and his friends!" her mother complained. [Name] shook her head and brushed it off as being tired.


About fifteen minutes later, they arrived in the small driveway of [Name]'s old home. She smiled widely at the small building, memories flooding back in a wave.

Yuki saw her daughter smiling dreamily at her old home. She sighed and shook her shoulder lightly. [Name]'s head snapped in her direction. Yuki smiled. "Ready to see your surprise?"

[Name] jumped out of her seat and opened the car door hurriedly. She pulled her mother along with her towards the front door, eager to see what the surprise is. Her mother giggled and turned the key to open the door. As it creaked open, [Name] sensed nothing out of the ordinary. She shot her mother a questioning look before stepping inside.

Even after examining the area, nothing seemed to be waiting for her. She turned to her mother again. "You liar. There's no-"

"SURPRISE!" several voices shouted behind [Name], making her jolt. She turned her head to see a few of her friends, along with others she didn't recognize. One face stood out amongst the others, however. The black haired boy with brilliant oceanic eyes looking at her with such emotion and longing.


Haruka Nanase.
After hearing about THE CONFIRMED SECOND SEASON Spazattackplz I just had to post this from my Quotev account.

Follow me on there if you'd like Momo Kisaragi (Big Smile) [V5] 



I made this a while back, towards when the series first started,  so my writing skills may not be very good in this. 


So in this reader-chan returns from studying abroad, and meets everyone again. Give me some feedback on whether you like it or not or if you want me to continue it Bunny Emoji-26 (Teehee) [V2] 


I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU Komari hugs Rin [V5]  (that's not creepy at all, is it?)


Free! Iwatobi Swim Club (c) Kyoto Animation
High☆Speed! (c) Koji Oji 
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After she caught her breath, (Name) decided to go back to the Squid Festival. The main reason she went was because she was going to "hang out" with Kou, but she ended up never finding her. She took out her cellphone and called the unknown number again. 

"Hello?" a familiar girl's voice answered.

"Hey, is this Kou?" (Name) asked, making sure.

"Oh~ (Last Name)-san! My friend and I have been looking for you!"

"Ha-ha, me too," (Name) lied. "Where are you guys?"

"We just got done buying squid ink spaghetti. So we'll be waiting in front of the booth."

"Alright. See you then," (Name) said, before hanging up. She sighed. This was completely new to her, since she never really went on a "girls' night out". The closest she's ever gotten to girl bondage was with her sister and her friends, but that wasn't much. She was always left out anyway.

(Name) finally reached the booth and saw Kou and another girl with brown hair and pale blue eyes. 

"(Last Name)-san!" Kou said, rushing up to (Name). "That yukata looks good on you!"

"D-does it?" (Name) said, feeling her face grow red again. She really needed to get used to the compliments if she was going to continue hanging out with nice people.

"It does~" the other girl agreed. 

Kou peered over (Name)'s shoulder. "HM!" she said, seeing something.

"W-what is it?" (Name) asked, about to turn around.

"DON'T!" Kou said, stopping (Name). Then she sighed in relief. "Okay, (Name)-chan, (I'm gonna call you by your first name, okay?), I need to have a little chat with you."

------------------

"You ran?!" Kou exclaimed after (Name) told her the story of her and Makoto's accidental meeting earlier that evening. Kou had dragged (Name) and the other girl on the deck that Makoto and (Name) were on previously. "You're supposed to apologize and act cute, not run away!"

"I had to," (Name) said, kind of regretting telling her the whole story. She didn't even know how she started to tell her, she just did. "I would have exploded on the spot--"

"You like him, huh?" the other girl said ((Name) still didn't know what her name was). "I don't blame you, he is pretty cute."

(Name) couldn't say no to that. Makoto was pretty adorable looking out into the ocean all dramatically. "I like him... I suppose."

"There's no 'suppose' in love, (Name)-chan!" Kou said dramatically. "Before you confront him with your feelings, you must confront yourself!"

"You've been hanging out with Hazuki-san too much," (Name) muttered. However, what she said was true. If (Name) didn't accept her own feelings, then how could she tell Makoto about them? "Wait a second," (Name) said. "I'm not even going to tell him, so why would I be so worried about it?"

"You're not going to tell him?!" Kou exclaimed again. "You have to!!"

"Why?" (Name) said, confused all of a sudden.

"He probably likes you, that's why," Kou said, smiling devilishly.

(Name) felt her face get warm. "H-how can he like me for what I did?"

"You just pretended to be someone else. So what?" Kou said, rolling her eyes.

"I only pretended to be someone because I was bullying him," (Name) said, furiously. "And I hate myself for that. I was bored with my life so that's why I decided to mess with a stupid guy's brain. But it turns out he's actually a really good person, and I just did something terrible to him. What person falls in love with a person like that?"

Kou thought about it for a while, that answered. "Stupid people. And Makoto fits that description perfectly."

(Name) gulped. Kou did have a point. "I don't think I can confront Makoto. He's way too good for me, he deserves better."

Kou smiled. "You say that, but you don't realize that you've changed."

(Name) blinked. She was confused.

Kou rolled her eyes. "What I mean is that sure, you were a really mean bully for doing what you did, but you learned your lesson because of Makoto's kindness. You learned that when you really care about someone, you only want what's good for them, not for you. Get it?"

(Name) nodded. Kou did seem a little girly and maybe a little too obsessed with male anatomy structures, but she was pretty wise for a freshman. 

"And you know," Kou added. "Maybe Makoto might like bad girls. Who knows?" She winked.

(Name) felt her heart skip a beat. She felt touched. She finally found out what it was like to be in a friendship.



-----------------

"Okay," Kou said. "You need to talk to Makoto again." They were close to the entrance of the shrine that had a beautiful view of the festival and ocean.  

(Name) blinked. "W-- No! I can't, I can't do it..."

"You can!" the other girl said, looking excited. "We'll even go up there with you!" She pointed towards the shrine.

"H-he's up there?" (Name) blushed, thinking about the "romantic" view.

"C'mon!" Kou said seriously, grabbing the sleeve of (Name)'s yukata. They walked up the dirt steps and finally reached to the top. They went under the torii gate and saw the four boys excitedly talking about swimming the relay. Haruka, surprisingly, looked happy and satisfied. Nagisa realized the three girls were there. 

"Ah! Gou-chan!" Nagisa said. "And (Name)-chan as well!" He added, kind of nervously. 

"Makoto!" Kou said, almost demanding. "(Name)-chan has something to say to you!"

This was too sudden for (Name). In fact, she imagined Makoto and her being alone. Instead, with everybody else watching, this just made her even more nervous. Her hands shook, almost violently. Her heart felt like it was going to rip out of her chest. 

"U-um..." (Name) said, as everyone stared at her in silence. Her face felt like it was going to explode since it was so warm. "Um...!" She swallowed all her nervousness. She closed her eyes, imagining everything she was going to say. Then, she said, "Look. I know this is really weird, since everyone is watching. And I didn't really want everyone watching either. But I suppose this is what Kou wanted. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. I only pretended I was someone else because I thought it would be fun messing with a less intelligent person, but it back fired. I didn't notice how caring and nice you are, and how much you care for others. And how sweet you are to everyone, not trying to offend them even if it's the truth. I didn't notice how beautiful your eyes were, or how kind you've been to me. I didn't notice how adorable you are, and I didn't notice how you touch everyone's heart. Including mine. You've changed my twisted brain, the mind that used to think that life is boring. Because it's not anymore. I have a reason to live, because you're in my life." 

Everyone stared surprisingly, like it was some miracle for a cold person like (Name) to say such things. 

Now for the finale.

(Name) felt a lump in her throat. Was it really okay to say this? Her vision became fuzzy. She looked directly at Makoto's eyes. "And..." she said, her voice cracking, "And because you gave me a reason to live...!" A tear trickled down her cheek. "Because you gave me a reason to live, I love you so much for that, Makoto." 

Makoto looked stunned. He blinked once. Twice. 

Mean while, Nagisa and Kou were crying their eyes out. Nagisa used Rei's yukata as a handkerchief. They said something like "That was the sweetest thing I've ever heard!" or "So cute! Oh my gosh!"

(Name) hurriedly wiped her tears, but new ones kept forming. "Um..." she said, feeling nervous again. "That's it. Thank you for listening." She turned, about to leave the shrine. She couldn't take the attention any longer. It was too overwhelming. After she stepped down about two steps, something caught her yukata sleeve. She turned to see Makoto, his face still looking stunned. His cheeks were brushed with a pink color. 

"(Last Name)-san... no, (Name)-chan," Makoto said, stepping on the same level as (Name). "You're really pretty."

(Name) wiped her continuous tears, but she also felt herself blush. "Y-y-you really think so?"

Makoto lifted (Name)'s face. "I would know so if you'd stopped crying." Then, he smiled. "You promised, remember?"

Then, it hit (Name): Of course. The boy from that day at the beach. The boy was Makoto. "It was you." Tears kept on flowing. She sobbed. Then, she started to bawl. Makoto took (Name) in his arms.

"It's good to cry once in a while," Makoto said gently. 

(Name) could not reply. She was too happy thinking about being in Makoto's arms, crying for the first time in eleven years.
Um...
Yeah.
Drama. :iconlazycryrollplz:

I believe there will be one more.
THIS IS NOT THE EEEENNDDD. :XD:
Hope y'all like it, I literally spent all day thinking about the outcome LOL.

Part 1 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 2 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 3 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 4 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
Part 5 Here!
Part 6 guntopa12.deviantart.com/art/W…
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