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Loving can hurt, Loving can hurt sometimes,

But it’s the only thing that I know,

When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes,

It is the only thing that makes us feel alive,

 

Cocooned within the confines of his blanket, Harukas’ heart refuses to calm down , within the storm of emotions only three words make itself known;  Meddlesome…Nosy…Annoying…the words ring inside Harukas’ head encircling and pulsating through his very being, mocking him as he tries to get the rest that his body and mind so fully deserves, but fails.

The same words that he had used on Makoto, the same words that he uses quite often without any venom had come out like poison and knives and he still clearly remembers the way those beautiful forest green eyes dulled with each word he had used, the way those eyes became closed off to the world…to Haruka, how Makoto looked pained but put up a brave front for Haruka, Makoto never had to do that, Makoto was Makoto with Haruka he didn’t have to pretend and it hurt … but he did and what broke Haruka the most was how Makoto had decided to leave him ! To wrench a gap between them built through understanding and unspoken words only to float away from each other.

A few days back Haruka would’ve scoffed at anyone who had told him that Makoto would leave him for...for Tokyo! But it is happening and Haruka is scared, scared that Makoto would forget him, scared that Makoto had finally reached his breaking point following Harukas’ every selfish whim, scared of the change.

Makoto has always been a constant in Harukas’ life and he always strongly believed that Makoto would continue to be that constant, but he’s not came a treacherous voice within him.

Just like his Grandmother, just like his parents and just like Rin, Makoto was bound to leave him that was just the way it is with Haruka, he knew it...he knew it yet he knew that Makoto was different…Makoto was special because … because Haruka loved him. Haruka had always loved Makoto because it was the only natural impulse that came from within him and it was easy as breathing, how could it not be, Makoto was like the water; accepting, embracing Harukas’ very being with his warmth, his heart so big like the ocean letting Haruka in without any restraint and just like the ocean holding his own fears in the deepest depths within him and Haruka loved him for that, loved him because Makoto bared them all to Haruka, or so he thought Haruka thinks bitterly.

Haruka knows that he should be happy for Makoto, he knows he might be over reacting, he knows that he should’ve stayed longer to hear Makoto out, because he always listens to Makoto even when he doesn’t want to.

“Why is it so hard?” Haruka asks the darkness, “Why is it so hard to love someone?” he asks yet again begging for an answer, a form of consolation …anything but he is only met with darkness.  Is this how it’s going to be now, when Makoto’s not there with me?

 Haruka curls further into his blanket, everything seems so real now, it’s as if every day spent with Makoto was a dream… an illusion, for Makoto to make such a decision to leave Haruka by himself it must’ve been a dream, Makoto wouldn’t just throw everything they built up … he can’t!  

If this is what a broken heart feels like Haruka would rather drown in these emotions, because living suddenly feels meaningless and empty.

“Please don’t leave me…it hurts…”

 

We keep this love in a photograph,

We made these memories for ourselves,

Where our eyes are never closing,

Hearts are never broken,

Times forever frozen still …

 

Haruka feels the emptiness devouring his body like some unknown force, the silence that he was so used to now feels unbearable, choking his very being.

He feels worse than the last few weeks, not having a future suddenly feels too frightening without Makoto ‘Why couldn’t Makoto see that he was hurting now?!’, Haruka thinks desperately as he curls further into his blanket fort his knuckles turning white partly from the grip he had on said cloth and partly from his efforts to stop the scream threatening to tear through his body.

 Haruka couldn’t fathom how Makoto could not see that Haruka was being anchored down by him!?  “Tokyo….” Haruka said the word with such distaste the mere thought of it brought a new wave of sadness, the last time Haruka cried this hard was on his Grandmothers’ funeral day, it seemed less painful compared to his current predicament ‘That’s because Makoto was there’, he thinks woefully, with his face dug into the dark depths of his pillow, his body crouched forward hoping to fill the void in his stomach with the cramps he’s starting to get.

Haruka lets his hand wander under his pillow until he feels a familiar texture under his hand and pulls it out, he’s met with two photographs one particularly old with bends and little tear marks at the sides in addition to its lack of color and the other comparatively new, the first one holds a picture that was taken ten years back, a picture that holds the familiar yet forgotten smile of his grandmother, the colors of her light blue kimono fading into the old paper.

 Haruka puts the picture back under the respective space of his pillow and brings the second photograph closer to him, it was quite a common occurrence for Haruka to desire some sort of contact with the people he is especially close to, living in this cold and quite house can even bring the loneliest of people to crave some sort of contact... or maybe Harukas’ just spoilt by Makotos’ constant attention and doting, nevertheless it’s safe to say that right now Haruka needs all the contact he could get, even if it’s in the form of a picture.

 The current picture has already been carved into Harukas’ mind, the colors, the feelings, the moment and the curve of their smiles every single detail being engraved into memory with care and accuracy from the constant use of said photograph.

 Haruka still remembers the day Nagisa had innocently handed over the green envelope to him, he should have known something was up when he was answered with a “Haru chan deserves a reward once in a while ~” to his questioning look, but he can out right admit that the breast stroke swimmer had done a good job with it.

The picture had been taken during the festival, unknown to the two individuals in it, Haruka remembers the moment, it was when he had given Makoto the gold fish he had won, both of them so close that their shoulders are brushing and their  fingers gracing one another with the movement of the fish being given, the slight curve of Harukas’ lips and Makotos’ green eyes lightened with adoration and gratitude while he accepts them from Haruka, it captures all that is said and unsaid between him and Makoto and it’s so perfect that Haruka yearns for that moment yet again, he yearns for the love in Makotos’ eyes to grow, for them to see nothing but Haruka, he yearns for the time that their hearts were just full of each other – no thoughts about the future, just each other -, he yearns for their hands to be entwined together, so tight and warm that neither of them feels like letting go, he yearns for the warmth he felt encasing his whole being, Haruka trembles at the lack of it, but now they are broken… “aren’t we?” and he’ll never see that smile, that smile that is just for him, that makes him feel like he’s the one and only …that makes him feel free …

Haruka lets his forehead rest on the smooth surface of the photograph as he breathes in deeply, the feelings are so overwhelming that he feels like he is drowning in the ocean that is Makoto.

But he’ll learn to swim in it, learn to drown this feeling in it or let himself drown in them. 

Haruka hears distant knocking, he borrows further into his blankets, not wanting to deal with anyone or anything at the moment or ever...

The knocking continues persistently, Just ignore it … ignore it…ign-,

“What if it’s Makoto?”

The thought suddenly catches Haruka off guard that his heart practically leaps out of his chest, lungs and all.  

“This is my chance!! This is my chance to make it right! To hear Makoto out! To … to confess!” Haruka thinks excitement, anxiety and fear clearly making themselves known in small waves.

Haruka abandons his blanket in the bed and races towards his stair case only to stop, “What if he wants to say that he’s tired of me? Is he going to abandon me? Is he going to …leave?”

 These thoughts plague his mind till he reaches the door, which was locked –for the first time-

He unlocks the door, and he can’t help but feel a parallel resemblance to what he’s doing with his heart right now, bearing his fears, anger and love to Makoto taking all Makotos’ words in and putting all of his out, his heart is open for the whole world to see … for Makoto to see, and the action of unlocking the suddenly door feels all the lot harder.      

When he does get the action done, he was not expecting the person before him … at all.

“Yo, Nanase”

“Rin?”

 

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans,

Holding me closer till our eyes meet,

You won’t ever be alone,

Wait for me to come home.

 

Haruka was exhausted, the past few days had been draining every ounce of water in his body and Rin had made it up to him by taking him to the Olympic Swimming pool stadium.

Haruka for the life of him hadn’t expected a trip across the ocean to Australia when he found Rin at his door, but the words “Makoto will be worried about you?” had made no room for arguments, and add the fact that Makoto had already told Rin about his plans for Tokyo, didn’t fail to leave a bitter taste in Haruka which gave rise to his stubbornness to claim the place that was rightfully his.

Haruka who was already having a hard time with the constant changes in his life found it even harder to settle down in Australia even if it’s just for a few days.

The obvious lack of Makoto emotionally and physically was finally taking a toll on him the moment he and Rin were at the beach.

This was supposed to be their moment, They were supposed to be back at the Iwatobi beach, Makotos’ reassuring presence behind Haruka instead of Rins’; It’s not that Haruka wasn’t thankful for the trouble Rin was going through for him, he is, if it was any other day Haruka was sure his competitive spirit would’ve crashed along with Rins’ burning presence in waves, but right now that’s not what he wanted.

Rin was fire; hot, unbearable, unpredictable flames, affecting all of those around him, while Makoto was the earth; calming, vibrant and strong, the shore that Haruka would always return to, the only thing that can keep the ever free Haruka grounded.

The conversation had died down between Haruka and the butterfly swimmer, and the silence was comfortable at most. Haruka had come clean with why he didn’t want a future , his fight with Makoto and he had also apologized to Rin while at it, yet he feels the storm raging on worse than ever within him, his blood crashing on to him making him feel almost nauseous, and the little waves at his feet doing little to calm it. ‘Even the water is fighting me…or is it me?’

“I need him”, the words just flow out of Harukas’ lips on its own accord “I- I- I lo-”

“You love him, I know” Rin cuts through him mid-sentence, his  face in a scowl a contrast with how calm his voice sounded as if he knows how Haruka feels.

“Jeez Nanase, are you just gonna keep quite after saying something like that?” Rin continues with his usual snarky attitude, “It’s perfectly fine to fall in love with your best friend, especially if it’s Makoto”

“It’s because it is Makoto” Haruka states annoyed at how calmly Rin is taking the news, Haruka had tried time and time again to fight these emotions and finally when he does accept these feelings towards his best friend he was only left with guilt, a guilt so strong that it sometimes broke through Harukas’ mask of  calm form the darkest depths of his heart.

‘Am I that obvious?! What if – Is Makoto leaving me because he knows how I feel?! It must be! He’s too good of a soul to reject me …”

“Earth to Nanase!” comes Rins annoyed voice. “God Haru I’m trying to help you out here stop tuning me off! And to relieve you off your misery, No, you’re not that obvious, Makoto hasn’t noticed your feelings for him and No, he’s not leaving you because he knows how you feel, which he doesn’t by the way. He’s too dense for that! You of all people should know that idiot.”

Haruka takes a little time to process this ‘Ok so Makoto doesn’t know how I feel…which is good? And did Rin just call me an Idiot? Then how does he-’

“Dammit Ha-”

“How do you know?” Haru asks ignoring Rins rather impressive scowl.

“Huuuuh?! How do I know what? Speak up Nanase I’m not like your boyfriend I don’t read minds” comes Rins reply.

Haruka release a huff, a telltale sign of his annoyance, “How do you know how I f-feel about Makoto?”

 Haruka curses himself for stuttering, but he’s still getting used to sharing his deepest feelings, especially his love life with someone else, and that someone else being his rival no less.

“Oh … that…” Rin gives out rather dumbly “NO! You’re not obvious!” Rin adds just as quickly when he sees Harukas’ state of panic – which was no different from his usual stoic appearance, just a little paler- “Just don’t …yell” Rin says out rather flustered “I just happened to see… not like I wanted to but I did, which wasn’t my fault you just had to be more careful … which you were not so I saw …by mistake! So-”

“Rin”

“Yeah… Ok …right. How…” Rin got out rather forced. He exhales a breath he had been holding and starts more confidently “I saw you…” he continues before he gets cut off “with your photograph... every night, when you thought I was asleep. I saw how you looked at it, I’ve never seen you look like that, like he’s something fragile and … and precious and you were holding it so close to you Haru- Shit!”  

Haruka could see that Rin was trying to fight the moistening in his eyes. ‘He was always so sensitive despite his rough gestures’.

“Nagisa gave it to me” Haruka breathes, he looks out towards the ocean,  he feels so lost right now, he can feel the dam breaking within him and he’s sure they’ll leave scars…

“I – I said some things that I didn’t mean and I don’t think h-he needs me anymore… and I’m scared because it’s cold. It’s like every time he leaves me even if it’s just for a moment i-it’s like he takes all the warmth along with him and I-I don’t think I-”

Haruka tries to ignore the taste of salt on his lips ‘tears’, he knows he’s rambling but he’s so tired and lost and he just wants this to be over.

 If Rin noticed it he doesn’t point it out which Haruka is grateful for.

“You can do it” Rin says instead

“I know some words can never be taken back… but this is Makoto we’re talking about Haru! The guy’s probably blaming this all on himself right now you know he can never stay mad at anyone!  Especially you! For fucks sake Haru you guys are destined to be together! Everybody can see that, I’m still surprised that you guys aren’t an item yet! Have you seen the way he looks at you!?! He’s literally making doe eyes at you and don’t get me starting on you Nanase, anymore of your eye fucking and I’m done with that shit! Don’t give me the ‘he’s tired of me’, ‘he’ll leave me’ crap because he won’t! You’re just as important to him as he is important to you! ” Rin lets out in one breath looking more flustered after each and every word.

‘Were we that obvious?’ Haruka thinks ‘How come I never noticed? I guess love does make people blind’

“You caught a bolt of lightning Haru… Don’t ever let it go” Rin says it with such desperation and yearning that has Haruka questioning this change in the other swimmer.

“When did you ever start quoting, you’ve lost your originality Rin” Haruka replies instead trying to convey his thanks in his own way.

“It’s the best I could come up with for a couple as cheesy and obvious like you” Rin bites back and makes his way over to where Haruka is sitting, “But seriously…I expect you guys to make up the moment we get back home” Rin says and ruffles Harukas’ dark locks as a form of encouragement and a silent gesture of friendship.

Haruka lets out an air of amusement at that and gets up wiping his face with the back of his hand, ‘Don’t worry Gou, Rin is growing up into a great brother’.

His chest feels warm with the new sense of hope whirling within him.

“Wait for me to come home Makoto”

Chapter Text

Loving can heal,

Loving can mend your soul,

It is the only thing that I know…

 

“Loving can heal” that’s what Makoto believes and knows, he has learnt first-hand what love can do to people, he knows how love can cure the fragile heart and mend the broken soul because Makoto is surrounded by people who give out so much love. Haru, his mom, his dad, the twins, Grandma Nanase, the swimming club, they are so full of it to the brim that all Makoto has learned was to give…and that’s what made him into the Makoto he is today, but unfortunately for him, he doesn’t know what else to do.

 

Makoto knows what he did for Haru was out of love, he would never want to intentionally hurt Haru, all he wanted to do was give him space and time to think things over, after Haru's outburst with Rin, Makoto knew that things were taking a serious turn.

 

Makoto wasn’t brave like Rin or daring like Nagisa, Makoto was just Makoto scared, weak Makoto who didn’t even know how to help his most precious person.

 

It wasn’t a secret that Makoto harbored feelings for Haru that went beyond friendship and he hoped his actions didn’t  give way to anyone…well anyone except Nagisa, that kid has had years of sharply tuned senses when it came to things like this.

 

The thought of him being selfish had crossed Makoto's’ mind countless times because it’s the truth … harboring feelings beyond friendship towards his best friend seemed so wrong… but… so right at the same time. His time with Haru was always something he treasured, making sure that Haru always got the best, it was his way of trying to make up for his ‘undutiful’ feelings for his childhood friend.

 

He just hoped it would work, because his feelings were something that was never easy to hide, especially to Haru.

 

I swear it will get easier,

Remember that with every piece of you,

And it is the only thing we take with us when we die.

 

Makoto with all his heart hopes Haru would figure it out, hopes Haru finds happiness, hopes he would find a goal, a dream his eternal summer with happiness, even if it’s not with him, that’s alright. He just hopes life would get easier for Haru, for the Haru that he is hopelessly and undoubtedly in love with, for the Haru that deserves the best and Makoto knows, he knows that Haru will get nothing but the best… he’ll make sure of that.

 

He knows it will get easier for Haru, he knows because unlike Makoto Haru isn’t solely dependent on the other…Haru isn’t weak like him. A familiar nauseous thought of him holding Haru back made itself known not for the first time; maybe it was a good idea to get Rin to take Haru to Australia. Rin was always a better option for Haru.

 

He just hopes Haru knows that too….

 

‘Hope' ... such a simple and underrated word, a word that carries such promise and if not used properly surely demise’ Makoto thinks solemnly as he leans back onto the edge of the bed straightening his long legs to get more comfortable, and all the while continuing to fiddle with his phone constantly hesitating over the contact with the words ‘Haru-chan (^•w•^)’.

 

Makoto continues to worry his bottom lip between his teeth, blinking his eyes to rid of the tears that were threatening to fall.

 

There was a time where Makoto thought that it’s okay if Haru would take away his hopes and dreams if it meant that Haru was staying with him. That was a few days ago…even if the smallest part of his mind would scream for him to stay here in Iwatobi…with Haru - at home, Makoto would push it away with every sense of reason -excuse - he could find.

 

The decision he had made hadn’t just been on a whim, it had torn every piece of his heart to come to that decision and he will go to Tokyo because that will make it easier on Haru.  After all, Makoto did promise himself that if Haru lost all hope, Makoto would make sure to give it to him…even if that meant that Makoto wasn’t going to be with him.

 

He grips the mobile device in his hands for a split second at that thought before getting his emotions under control ‘ This is my decision ’ Makoto tells himself, trying to be everything he’s not –he already feels like someone entirely different with the distance between him and Haruka.

 

‘Tokyo’ he thinks.

 

To Makoto, Haruka is the most precious person, even if his feelings weren’t returned ‘That’s okay, as long as Haru’s happy’ is what Makoto would always tell himself. He just hopes Haru would treasure their memories even when he won’t be with Haru he just hopes with all his being that Haru would think back to them, as a friend in the least…

 

' Selfish '   he calls himself, but, he knows it’s not his place next to Haru because Makoto knows he hasn’t and can’t give Haru much, not like Rin, who can give Haruka a dream… a future…his eternal summer.Still, wishes for a ‘Till death do us apart’ even if it isn’t in the proper sense, even if it was just memories or as friends.

 

We keep this love in a photograph,

We made these memories for ourselves,

Where our eyes were never closing,

Hearts were never broken,

Time's forever frozen still …

 

Makoto laughs bitterly rubbing at his eyes now damp eyes. Rin would make a better childhood friend than Makoto would ever make. There’s no point denying it. He did tell Rin to take care of Haru in his stead and help Haru when he should be the one helping him.

 

Makoto slaps himself in the cheeks, the sting disbanding unwanted and dark thoughts that he usually kept under lock and key.

 

He takes a deep breath and runs a hand through soft brown locks to disperse the final remaining thoughts plaguing him.

 

He’s a mess right now, he knows, ‘I just need time’ Makoto tells himself unhelpfully  ‘It’ll be alright with time … I’ll be okay’'.He breathes in shakily.

 

(His throat aches with every intake of air.)

 

He shuts his eyes so tight he starts to see spots within the darkness “Ha—ru” the broken syllables make their way past his quivering lips unforgivingly and just like that the carefully, barely held dam breaks.

 

Curling on his shoulders Makoto tries to soften the wet sobs racking his trembling body. He tries everything and nothing to stop this …the mix of feelings … the fear…the emptiness … Tokyo …Haru.

 

His lips quiver with the extent of his emotions he wants to put out but can’t.

 

(They’ve build up.)

 

On an almost desperate attempt, he makes a decision to call Haru, to apologize, to tell him to come back, to tell him he’ll stay… if it’s for Haru he’ll stay, to tell him to forget, to remember, to confess his love, his feelings.

 

Everything .

 

And in his haste, his hands make a flurry of presses which results in him opening the Gallery where a range of thumbnails fill his screen, almost half of the 2791 pictures being of cats and the twins.

 

As he goes to press the back button his eyes catch on to a particular thumbnail, a picture only for him alone, filled with hope for his already breaking heart.

 

It’s a picture Nagisa sent to him, with a teasing caption saying –

 

- It’s LOVE Mako-chan~! (~♥3♥)~ even Rei-Chan thinks it’s Beautiful!!  –

 

Makoto had actually scoffed at first but when he really looked at the picture his already smitten and weak heart begged for him to hang on to every single word Nagisa had sent.... it still does.

 

The picture... Oh, the picture never fails to take his breath away every single time.

 

It was a fury of yellows, reds, greens, and blues the arcade lights giving almost a photoshopped effect to the picture and he remembers the day, remembers it clearly because that was the first time they had gone out to play with Rei as friends and not as a part of the swimming club.

 

Nagisa had mentioned that the picture was taken by Rei, “ He always has an eye for beauty Mako-Chan!! ” was what the breaststroke swimmer had said.

 

They had been playing Mario Kart, Nagisa and him. The little devil had just bombed him but it had backfired and thrown Nagisa of course instead, the picture had captured Nagisa's bewilderment at the miscalculation which was a rare sight in itself since the little blonde almost always got away with his antics, Makoto lets out a wet chuckle at the memory.

 

His gaze wanders to his face, it was the epitome of happiness and unhindered joy towards Nagisa's’ dilemma – he was always a bit competitive when it came to gaming - oh he knew.  

 

His already wide smile- just a tad bid wider almost manic, his eyes scrunched up closed so his laugh lines were protruding out making him look older?  Younger? Tired?

 

Makoto really didn’t know what was so special about his face that made him the center of attention to girls and the center of friendly jokes to guys. He wouldn’t say he wasn’t pleasing to the eye, but he was just … him … normal Makoto without any special anything…average and unnaturally tall.

 

He lets his gaze roam around the picture with practiced ease and calculated blinks till it finally lands on Haru- it was always Haru.

 

Strong, beautiful, gentle and brave Haru.

 

If the girls thought Makoto was good looking then they must have never laid their eyes on Haru.

 

Haru looks breathtaking, especially in the picture unguarded and beautiful.

 

A rare smile on his face, the one that has his lips quirking just the tiniest bit to the sides, a smile that reaches his beautiful almond eyes, scrunching them the tiniest bit from the corners making the blue gems swirl beautifully like the clearest ocean.

 

It's a beautiful thing that just lights up his entire face making him the epitome of beauty and love. And all that - the smile, the eyes, the love, it was all directed towards Makoto…him - the average and unnaturally tall Makoto.

 

It makes him want to cry.

 

“It’s Love”   Nagisa had said, and Makoto wants to believe it.

 

He knows it’s not true, Haru treasures all his friends, but Makoto wants to believe, believe that, just for that moment, for that second Haru had loved him the way he has all these years, even if it was a hoax, Makoto wants to believe.

 

‘It’s my secret’ he tells himself, the picture is his happily ever after that he knows will never come true, this memory he tries to make by himself a memory whereby a play of heavens Haru had loved him for a second, that moment where his love was mutual for a second… he treasures it.

 

He wishes he had never closed his eyes at that moment or he would’ve seen it, committed it to memory then and there, would’ve seen it up close, so close because their shoulders are touching oh so gently and he wishes his eyes would open so he could convey the same feelings that he’d been locking up for Haru to see, just for that second, where his broken heart could mend just little by Harus’ love, because Haru is always Makoto's’ cure…

 

‘Selfish ’ he thinks again.

 

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans,

Holding me closer till our eyes meet

You won’t ever be alone,

Wait for me to come home.

 

To take his mind off things – namely Haru – Makoto absent mindedly started going through his gallery pictures, scrolling past some candid shot of cats by the street –a lot- and some of Nagisa when the little blond was feeling rather well… Nagisa and some of Haru, Haru sleeping, Haru cooking, Harus’ expression when Makoto is caught red-handed while trying to sneak pictures of him.

 

‘Haru reminds me of a cat.’ was what Makoto had said back then and he meant it- he wouldn’t lie to Haru, he can’t, he never tried to and he didn't want to start then, Makoto had completely surrendered to Haru, heart and all.

 

Makoto remembers the first time Haru had asked him to get rid of a picture he had taken of him. It was when they were thirteen and Haru was dressed from head to toe in winter wear, his face so red it had resembled the scarf he was wearing.

 

Makoto had snapped a picture on a whim –it was his first phone, a present his parents got him- and it was easy to say that Haru was not pleased.

 

“Makoto…Delete that”, was what little Haru had said back then, in his unusual winter cold clogged voice.

 

Makoto still remembers how he felt, he had felt scared… scared that he had made his only precious friend Haru-chan mad, the only friend that would befriend Makoto even if he were a scaredy cat or a crybaby. He still remembers how he was almost going to get the deed done, but when his eyes met that of Harus’ to see whether he was still mad, only to find said blue eyes twitching  and the others’ face being an unnatural shade of red – not from the cold, but something else...

 

The hue had spread all the way to Harus’ ears, and that’s when it clicked!

 

Haru was embarrassed!

 

‘I still have a chance to keep the picture’ was what little Makoto had thought- his intentions were so innocent back then.

 

“But I’m going to feel lonely Haru-chan… you’ll be gone for an entire week and –”

 

“Lay off the ‘ chan’ ” came the cold clogged voice, still able to hold its monotonous nature. “It’s fine… if it’s Makoto it’s fine...” were the soft words that followed the stern remark.

 

Makoto still remembers Haru’s face, with his pinched eyebrows and eyes stubbornly looking off to somewhere, anywhere but Makoto, his skin had taken a darker shade of red that it had rivaled his scarf - an effect from his own words, and he was pretty sure that his smile that was reserved just for Haru didn’t help Haru at that moment.

 

That happened to be the first of many pictures that were to be taken throughout the years and it would be the understatement of the century if Makoto was to say he isn’t pleased, because he is, incredibly so. Even after all these years, Makoto would still fall asleep with the phone illuminating his face in the night, and Harus’ just millimeters away from his within the device, soft snores filling the quietness of the room, clearly showing the occupants’ contentment without words.

 

Clingy – Childish ” were the words Makoto had used when he had first found out about his unacceptable behavior, but it seemed that Haru was floating further away each day and Makoto had a hard time catching up to him, the loneliness and the fear had resulted in his actions toward his best friend ‘ Will Haru leave me behind ?’ ‘ Will he get tired of me ?’ all these thoughts were banished from the depths of his conscious once he’d look at Haru, the ever beautiful and free Haru.

 

You won’t be alone ”  was what Makoto kept telling himself - a mantra - because his heart was always full of Haru, so he won’t feel alone, and that just made going all the way to Tokyo just a bit more bearable, a clear dew drop in the murky waters that holds his fears.

 

He had promised himself that he would change once he was  in Tokyo, be a worthier friend to Haru, one whom Haru could rely on, talk to and just be with, because Makoto knows how tiring it was to have a 183cm boy tailing you every day, so he’d have to just break away from everything that makes him Iwatobi’s Makoto Tachibana and start anew.

 

Rin did it and look at where it got him, spending time trying to advise Makoto's most precious person at the most important time of his life all the way in Australia –where he had initially run off to – quite ‘disagreeably’ might he add.

 

Makoto knows he shouldn’t envy Rin, knows Haru deserves much much more than a useless green-eyed monster like Makoto, but he just can’t help but think that he should be the one with Haru at a time like this, helping him, being useful.

 

“And that’s the attitude that makes you useless”, Makoto tells himself bitterly ‘all thoughts and wishes and none being done’.

 

So that's why he’ll change. For Haru, for himself.

 

"Four years isn’t forever" Makoto mutters out loud, with untimely sniffs.

 

He will come back, back to his home, to his family, and to Haru.


And if you hurt me,

Well, that’s okay baby only words bleed,

Inside these pages you hold me,

And I won’t ever let you go.

 

Meddlesome Nosy Annoying ’, the words still ring in his mind echoing within its walls, threatening his entire being.

 

Makoto flips his phone shut and closes his eyes to calm his throbbing heart. He takes in a deep breath and exhales loudly hoping all his worries would just leave him.

 

He had heard Haru's words loud and clear, it had come out as a shock to him that those were actually Haru’s thoughts, that this was what he actually felt. It would be a lie if Makoto had said that it didn’t hurt –it did, it hurt a lot, but deep down he was just so very happy that Haru had opened up to him, that he doesn’t have to pretend anymore – well not in front of Makoto, but Makoto is even more confused as to what Haru expects from him.

 

“I appreciate you being here for me”

 

Those were the exact words that Haru had laid out that night in the hotel room, and Makoto had believed every single word and had just continued being there for the Haru who had wanted him there, who he thought would be happy if he just stayed with him, only to be cut down by the very same person and Makoto is just so lost now his mind reeling through each and every moment spent with Haru thinking where he went wrong.

 

Maybe it has always been that way with Haru from the very beginning, ‘but Haru would never say something that he never wanted to’ , he tries to convince himself only to stop halfway.

 

“Maybe he felt sorry for me”  Makoto states out blanky. The words thickening the air like a heavy confession.

 

“Maybe it’s all of me”, Makoto finally states to himself bitterly, he never thought he’d grow up to be this way, but he can’t help it now, who he is now was what he had thought Haru had wanted him to be, he just wishes he could do something about it, and be someone worthy.

 

There he goes again, wishing on things again. Makoto sighs for the nth time and closes his eyes, only to be evaded by the words; Meddlesome, Nosy, Annoying, Meddlesome, Nosy, Annoying, Meddlesome, Nosy, Annoying Meddlesome, Nosy, Annoying.

 

He gets up his - long legs straightening with twin pops at how fast he did, only to lie down on his too old rickety bed, adorned with various discoloured Mario Kart and Pokemon stickers peeling off at the bedpost and corner edges, surrounded by a sea of blankets and pillows that remind him of home and comfort.

 

His phone is still clutched between his sweaty palms like the answer to all his prayers.

 

His body unintentionally sinks into the warm blankets and pillow, yet he still holds his phone in front of him. If his mother were to come to his room now he'd get a gentle chiding for staring into the too bright light in the dark and a more worried coo at seeing his dark eye bags topped with a traitorous coating of red around the edges.

 

If the rumors about him being ‘ handsome’ were true, his complexion right now would be able to dissipate all of them.

 

As much as words like that do make Makoto aware of certain things, they don't make much of an impact on him, not enough to change himself, not as much as Haru's does.

 

Meddlesome

 

Nosy

 

Annoying

 

He doesn't register his thumb flipping and closing his phone flap, the finger flicking in tandem with his heartbeat. The steady Tak! Tak!  The only sound in the solemn room as he stares unseeingly into the space where his screen appears and disappears.

 

Makoto's always been like that, since the day his mother lovingly congratulated "You're a big brother now Makoto" as she and his father held Ren and Ran respectively, Makoto had learnt the art of worrying throughout the years, he was supposed to.

 

He never thought it would be portrayed as being over-bearing.

 

Had Haru always thought that Makoto was annoying?

 

Just the thought makes Makoto's heart skip a beat only to be replaced by disarmingly tight squeezing motion.

 

He doesn't notice his finger stop along with it.

 

'Your words can be sharper than any knife Mako-Chan, please use them carefully' his mothers' words ring with age-old wisdom and he laughs at the irony.

 

He knows.

 

He wonders if his mother would be proud or worried about the fact.

 

Well, he guesses he has no place to be feeling this way too because his words had hurt Haru despite doing them out of love, and he meant every single one of it.

 

Had Haru?

 

The thought- despite him being mulling over it for the past few hours is still sickening.

 

He absentmindedly flips his phone open and the light blares onto his face making him squint his eyes 'where were his glasses again?'

 

The random stray question completely leaves the confines of his thought to be replaced by the picture yet again.

 

'The second where they both loved each other' is what he had deemed to call it - it's long but Makoto is a romantic and this picture is his happily ever after he'll ever get, he deserves that much.

 

The thought snaps something into him - if Makoto deserves that much so does Haru, and if Haru is happy with the decisions he's making then Makoto has to support him- like friends do.

 

Like Rin does.

 

His lips tighten into a rigid line, just like his resolve.

 

That way he can keep Haru and not lose him, at least have a small pint size space in Haru's already big big heart, as a friend.

 

'Supportive friend' Makoto reminds himself.

 

He nods to himself sealing his new found role.

 

He knows what to do when Haru returns.

 

Can't wait to meet Haru halfway.

 

Be the person Haru wants to return to.

 

He lets out a drawn-out sigh, finally willing himself to call it a day.

 

He can’t wait for Haru to come home.

 

'Selfish' Makoto calls himself.