15 March 2017 @ 09:31 pm
Titolo: hidden in plain sight
Fandom: Free!
Personaggi: Nagisa/Haruka
Genere: introspettivo, fluff
Avvertimenti: missing moment, in inglese, un po' meta ecco
Parole: 1060
Note: COW-T, M11, il prompt è "acqua". <3

Haru loves one thing, above everything else, and everybody who interacted with him even for the slightest amount of time knows what it is. Water. That much is pretty obvious, considering how he'll always work his undying love for water into every conceivable conversation he happens to come across, and how he spends an unnatural portion of his time soaking in his tub or swimming into every body of water with enough volume to dip his whole body in.
So of course, Nagisa knows very well about this, about how Haruka's love for water stands unrivaled above anything else, including mackerel.
But the thing is, he also knows Haru is very picky about people as well, choosing only a very restricted number of them to grow fond of, and he knows about his own status as Haru's weak spot, one he'd never want anybody else to know, except pretty much everyone who observed the two standing in the same room figured that out. From the way Nagisa seems to know what Haru is feeling from simply looking at him - a task most people would find impossible, including Makoto sometimes- and from the way Haru will drop every attempt at not participating in anything unless someone is involving Nagisa. That's how Rin got him to join the swim club in elementary school, to begin with, and Nagisa figured out how, eventually. He might have been naïf back then, but now he knows, in spite of how Haruka will often desperately attempt to hide just how much he cares.
The other thing is, Nagisa's small crush for Haruka should be evident to anybody (and everybody is probably already aware, indeed). It was born pretty much immediately, when Haru saved Nagisa from the most embarrassing situation the younger could imagine, and gave him the most important lesson- one that made Nagisa who he is now: a boy who keeps his heart open, unafraid of showing himself for what he is. Even when 'what he is' is not always what others would expect. He's, in one word, free, in his own way.
"I owe it to you," he says, in the evening, after the rest of the club members left. Haruka stayed in the water, as he sometimes does, swimming back and forth and only stopping when Nagisa dived in, swimming a few breast laps before stopping by Haru. And somehow, they ended up reminiscing (or, well, Nagisa started reminiscing and Haruka just listened silently, looking at the water), with a gentle calm wrapping them up.
Haruka's deep blue eyes blink with apparent surprise, as he finally takes his gaze off the glimmering water to stick it onto Nagisa's slightly flushed face.
But he says nothing, he only looks back at the water, as if questioning it for something to say, except he doesn't need to.
"You know, I'm so happy that I'm swimming with you and Mako-chan again- and of course, that Rei-chan joined us," Nagisa hums, with a bright smile rivaling the sun's light still filtering through the large windows. "And that I'm your friend. I never told you how happy, really... And I-" he continues, and his voice lowers while his hand touches his chest where his heart is thrumming in an odd kind of frenzy, before he stops.
"Nagisa?" Haru hums, slightly alarmed. It doesn't happen often that he sees Nagisa hesitating. Most times, his heart is an open book for anyone to read, but there's another hidden side of it that most people do not know about.
Only those who bothered with seeing him did.
"You know, Haru-chan... I really want to be good enough for the team," Nagisa eventually continues, with his eyebrows knitting as his eyes stare down at the water. "And... good enough in general."
Haruka's silence only lasts for a few seconds, but there is no tension in them. It's not like he did not know.
"Nagisa, you're fine the way you are," he says, softly. "You are enough."
Nagisa's gaze lifts slowly, but eventually it settles into Haruka's and he sees a tranquil, warm sincerity in them.
"But I want to swim faster, and-" he starts, with a few blinks of his eyes, and Haruka lets out a small sigh. He knows Nagisa heard, he just needs convincing.
"Nagisa, you already are a good swimmer. We're all lucky to have you," Haruka states, firmly, looking directly into Nagisa's eyes. "Stop doubting yourself."
Nagisa's lashes flutter fast for a good while, before his expression settles in a soft, humble smile and he nods.
"Okay," he hums, almost in a whisper, before wrapping his arms around the elder and holding tight onto him, refusing to let go. And Haruka stays still, for a few seconds, but eventually his lips curve in a tiny smile before his arms wrap around the smaller's frame. They keep each other tight and warm for a bit, and how much time passed doesn't matter but finally Nagisa lets go of Haru, smiling bright again.
"You don't know how much that meant to me," he states, with his cheeks painting themselves with a bit of pink. Haruka stares at him for a few seconds, before finally looking down and picking up Nagisa's hand, holding it between his own.
Nagisa's eyes go wide, and that's when he instinctively knows.
He knows that Haruka is aware about his feelings, he must be, from the way his eyes glimmer with many hidden thoughts Nagisa can't fully decipher, but can grasp the feelings they're infused with.
"Talk to me more often," Haruka says calm, squeezing Nagisa's hand a little, letting the contact last a little bit more.
 And then he lets go, lowering his swimming goggles again and resuming his front crawl laps as if nothing had happened. Except something just did, and Nagisa just stands there in the water, baffled, looking at him go.
He knows!
A large smile appears on his lips right away.
He knows and accepts it!
Nagisa's face shines with the most beaming smile, and he looks down at the ripples coming towards him with his fists clenched tight, as if holding onto the joy while his little heart thrums.
Haru loves water above everything else, but Nagisa knows now: he's definitely one of the people he likes the most, maybe even as much as Nagisa likes him.
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