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This isn’t about you! Rin reprimands himself for the tenth time as he makes his way to his dorm. He hasn’t had much time to process it; to process the fact that his best friend’s brilliant swimming career might be in jeopardy because of a possible shoulder injury. Even if he hasn’t officially confirmed it yet, Makoto’s inquiries about a comment Kisumi made to him and Haru are confirmation enough to Rin.

He’s put two and two together and it all makes sense now. Sosuke’s sudden interest to participate in the relay, losing momentum on the race, his behavior afterwards, and the conversation they had under that tree the other night… it all clicks. Even the minor things like the fact that he takes it easy on swimming practice and how he sometimes massages his shoulder absent-mindedly (action that Rin now believes maybe wasn’t an absent-minded one after all) make sense. He understands perfectly Sosuke’s reluctance to share the situation with him; Rin himself in the past had neglected to tell him about his whereabouts in Australia. But he feels like he should’ve been able to see it; he should’ve been able to understand it, and he feels a stab of guilt puncture his heart at the thought. But again this fucking isn’t about you he tells himself; because if he feels terrible, then he is 100% sure Sosuke is feeling a thousand times worse.

That’s right… this is about Sosuke and Rin has no right to make it about himself, no matter how shitty he feels. He stops at the door to his dorm to take a deep breath; he still doesn’t know what he’s supposed to say or if he should say anything at all. Still unsure, Rin enters his room and closes the door behind him.

Sosuke is there sitting on his desk, probably working on his homework, Rin thinks. He raises his head from his work to acknowledge Rin but then goes back to it, and Rin is frozen in place. He wants to say something, but the words are stuck on his throat. He’s not supposed to know what he knows, and Sosuke doesn’t want him to. It feels like an invasion to his privacy; like he’d be imposing himself into talking about something Sosuke clearly doesn’t feel comfortable sharing.

“You okay?” Sosuke asks as he turns to Rin with concern and Rin realizes he’s been standing on the same place staring at Sosuke for probably a couple of minutes now. He clears his throat.

“I, uh…” Rin starts, but then he just pulls his own chair and drags it right next to Sosuke’s to sit next to him, and he sits in silence.

After a few seconds Sosuke pokes Rin on the side and Rin allows himself to look him in the eye; he’s definitely concerned, and Rin curses inwardly at how in the end he is making this about himself after all. But he doesn’t know what to say or do. He’s at a lost and all he does is stare into Sosuke’s concerned eyes with sadness.

All he wants is for Sosuke to be okay; all he wishes he could do is make whatever injury Sosuke has disappear. He doesn’t want anything to stand in the way of Sosuke and his dream and he wishes there was something he could do to make it all right. All of those feelings he pours them into one action. He knows it’s silly, he knows it won’t actually do any good, but he’s hoping more than anything that through this, his feelings reach out to Sosuke somehow.

Slowly and deliberately, Rin leans into Sosuke, taking in his scent and feeling his warmth. Then, he softly and gently presses his lips to Sosuke’s left shoulder and kisses it, turning his head slowly afterwards to press his cheek into Sosuke’s shoulder and rest his head there.

Rin doesn’t say anything and neither does Sosuke, but Rin is sure Sosuke knows he knows. They stay there in the same position in silence, his heartbeat going crazy, and all Rin can think about is how he wants to protect Yamazaki Sosuke.

 

 

Fin.