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Here’s the thing – in the beginning, sharing a dorm room with Rin was actually amazing.

Nitori Aiichirou had the misfortune of being one of five siblings.  Before coming to Samezuka Academy, he’d shared a shoebox-sized bedroom with his two brothers, the younger of whom was allergic to absolutely everything under the sun, had a chronically stuffed-up nose, and snored like a beast.  The other occupied the squeaky bunk above Nitori’s and was incapable of not rolling over every thirteen seconds.  And those were just their obnoxious sleeping habits – Jirou had to commandeer two desks for hours each afternoon, Souta left his dirty clothes everywhere but in the hamper and kicked them both out whenever he wanted to have a private phone conversation with his girlfriend, Nitori couldn’t concentrate on his homework unless he had complete silence…. Finally, one day, amongst the piles of baseball equipment and swimsuits and all the other detritus that accumulated from three boys in one bedroom, Nitori put his foot down and declared that he was going to boarding school just to get away from you two.

He got a balled-up sock to the face for his trouble.

But Rin?  Rin was perfect.  He was neat, yet not obsessively so, and he didn’t freak out if there was a damp towel thrown over the rungs of the ladder or a pair of pants left on the floor.  He didn’t poke his grubby fingers into Nitori’s secret chocolate stash.  He didn’t talk much, in contrast to Nitori, who could’ve plausibly claimed his full first name was actually ‘Shut Up Aiichirou’.  He didn’t snore, he didn’t talk in his sleep, he didn’t thrash around – in fact, he just stuck his earbuds in and grabbed his pillow and slept like the dead until morning, so Nitori didn’t even have to worry about waking him if he got up during the night.  The only real problem with Rin was that he was so unapproachable, and even then, he’d been slowly defrosting since joining the swim team.  Nitori was already dreading having to go home to Jirou’s sniffles and Souta’s ‘brotherly’ punches to the spine.  He wanted to stay here forever, in this room that just smelled slightly of chlorine, where the only sounds were the wind whistling past the open window and barely-audible rock music from Rin’s iPod.

And then the honeymoon period ended, and Nitori learned Rin was actually the worst roommate ever.


Practice that day was a killer.  Seijuurou responded to the stress of the forthcoming prefecturals with increasingly insane training regimens, which apparently was to be expected and everyone who’d been on the team in previous years had prepared for the demise of their limbs.  Nitori had not, and after the usual shower-dinner-homework waltz, he’d prayed to the ibuprofen gods until they delivered sweet pain relief, changed into his pajamas, and promptly passed out.  Given his exhaustion and throbbing arms, he was far from pleased to be woken in the middle of the night by a quiet groan.

Nitori, however, was a nice guy.  Not the kind of nice guy who only befriended girls to try and get into their pants, he was a genuinely caring person – as far as he was concerned, life was short, why spend it being an asshole and making yourself and everyone around you miserable?  So when Rin groaned, Nitori’s first sleepy thought was not rargh maim destroy kill, but maybe I should lend him my ibuprofen.  Just because Rin had soldiered through Seijuurou’s workout with neither complaint nor collapse (there was something to be said about that Australian school he’d been to, it seemed) didn’t mean he couldn’t be feeling the burn now.  Nitori yawned, rubbed the grit from his eyes, and started to turn over.

“You need to breathe.”

Nitori went absolutely still.  That soft, faintly admonishing voice had not belonged to Rin.

“I am,” came the answering hiss, which definitely did belong to Rin.  “Be careful, dammit.”

What the hell, Nitori thought, frozen in an uncomfortable position and unwilling to move, lest Rin and his mysterious companion realize he was awake.  They were making an effort to talk very quietly, which spoke volumes.  Whatever they were doing down there – and no, it couldn’t be – they didn’t want to wake Nitori.  He was so tempted to oblige, to pull the pillow over his head and go back to sleep because there were no classes tomorrow but daily swim practice didn’t stop for something as inconsequential as the weekend, and suddenly Rin made this breathy little sound that could only be categorized as a moan and oh God this is not happening.

“Ow, ow –”

“Sorry.”

“Fucking hell, Haru, do you have any idea what you’re doing?”

Haru.  Haru?  Nitori couldn’t place the name, at first.  He mentally ran through the list of everyone he knew at Samezuka, desperate to take his mind off of the suggestive noises coming from the bottom bunk, but came up empty – and then, like the proverbial lightbulb, an image lit up his brain.  Haru.  Nanase Haruka.  The boy from the grade-school relay, now Iwatobi’s prodigious freestyle swimmer.  During their occasional joint practices, Rin always looked at him like he wanted to rip off his head and spit down his neck.  Obviously there’s a little more than hate going on there, Nitori thought, resisting the desire to laugh hysterically.  This wasn’t happening.  It couldn’t be happening, because wasn’t this sort of thing only supposed to occur in university?  ‘Sexiling’ and all that?

“You have to relax,” Haru reprimanded.  “You’re too tight.”

“Of course I’m too damn tight, it’s not like I go around shoving things up there – where the hell did you put the lube?”

The squelch that followed haunted Nitori’s nightmares for weeks to come.  He could’ve gone his entire life without ever discovering what lubricant being squeezed out of a tube sounded like, but clearly God had other plans for him.  Like learning that his angry, abrasive roommate was apparently a total bottom.  Though Nitori was no stranger to the indelicacies of sex – having an older brother meant that he’d accidentally been introduced to porn at the tender age of nine – listening in while Rin and his hate-boyfriend did the horizontal tango was so, so, so wrong.

A completely unrelated thought snaked across his brain: how had Haru even gotten into the dorm?

The mattress creaked.  “Two fingers,” Rin muttered.

“It’ll hurt.”

“I don’t care, do it or we’ll be here all night.”

Gnawing at his lip, Nitori frantically wished for guidance.  This was not a situation he expected to find himself in during his first year of high school – was it proper to feign sleep and act like nothing had ever happened, or should he squirm around a bit, pretend to wake up, and maybe startle the two of them into moving their little fling someplace else?  Option two was looking like a better idea if he wanted to hang on to his sanity, so Nitori took a breath and began to roll back over –

Shitfuckow!” Rin honest-to-God screeched.  Nitori jumped, but the noise was lost in the ensuing fwump – like someone had arched up off the mattress and then slammed back into it – and the sharp slap he assumed was Haru clapping his hand over Rin’s mouth.  Silence instantly fell, and it was the worst thing Nitori had ever experienced, barring the sympathy pains he was presently having.  He prayed for this to be some sort of practical joke.  Maybe he was being Punk’d.  Jirou liked watching that show on the internet and it was stupid as hell but Nitori would take any escape open to him right now.

Then, all at once, he knew what he had to do.

First, he faked an exaggerated yawn, shifted around a bit.  He rolled over as noisily as possible.  He coughed once or twice.  From below came the sound of a rapid blanket rearrangement.  Nitori politely waited for them to finish shuffling around, said, “Matsuoka-sempai, what was that?  Are you all right?” and leaned over the edge of the bed.

Nitori almost believed Rin when he mumbled something about a bad dream.  The flushed face and sweaty hair could have easily been chalked up to a rough nightmare.  The large, suspiciously-shaped lump beneath the covers at the foot of the bed… not so much.  It was like they weren’t even trying.  But Nitori was pretending to be mostly-asleep, so he just said, “Okay,” gave another huge yawn (seriously, he’d had no idea he was such a good actor – if he ever got sick of swimming, the drama club was a viable second choice), and curled back up in bed.

Ten or fifteen minutes passed quietly, with no more worrying sounds emanating from the bottom bunk.  When Rin said, “Nitori?”, he didn’t reply.  Rin repeated his name, a little bit louder, and still Nitori said nothing – finally, the other boy sighed and whispered, “I think he’s asleep.”

The blankets rustled.  “I told you it would hurt,” Haru said, equally softly.

“I’m giving you five seconds to get dressed and get the hell out,” Rin growled.  “Not necessarily in that order.”

Nitori yanked his blanket over his face and thus didn’t see what Haru looked like naked.  By the time he’d gathered the pitiful remains of his courage, poked his head out, and dared to peek at the lower bunk, Haru was long gone and Rin was sprawled out on his stomach, earbuds in, seemingly fast asleep.

It’s over, Nitori reassured himself as he flopped against the pillows.  Thank God, it’s over.  And now all he had to do was figure out how he could ever look Rin in the eye again.


Of course, that wasn’t the last clandestine nocturnal tryst Nitori was privy to.  No, he couldn’t be that lucky.

On the other hand, apparently he did have a guardian angel somewhere – an intoxicated asshole of a guardian angel, maybe, but a guardian angel nevertheless – because the next few times he was woken in the middle of the night by the unsettling noises from the other bed, it seemed Rin and Haru were restricting themselves to the relative safety of handjobs and frottage.  They were quiet, aside from the panting and occasional whimper, and mercifully (perhaps embarrassingly) quick, and afterwards they usually left for parts unknown.  If he had to guess, Nitori would’ve said they were breaking into the pool.  He had no idea how Rin managed to be functional after so little sleep.  They weren’t getting down and dirty every night, but it was pretty damn close.

As for Nitori… well, although he was certainly scarred for life, it was no worse than walking in on Souta watching Barely Legal Buxom Babes.  He successfully made eye contact with Rin and didn’t blush himself to death.  Once or twice he even considered actually telling Rin that he’d overheard him and Haru, but he couldn’t invent a way to say so last night I found out that Nanase likes being bitten – which I imagine he’d have to, given those incisors – and that you’re both what my older brother would call ‘delicate virginal flowers’ and, um, maybe you guys could take it elsewhere that wouldn’t require prior funeral arrangements.

They had another joint practice with Iwatobi on Friday, due to the inclement weather.  Rin spent two solid hours glaring at the back of Haru’s head, bristling like a furious cat.  Haru didn’t appear to notice.  Nitori practiced his front crawl and tried not to remember the sound Rin made when he came.


And then Rin and Haru got adventurous again.  Nitori was pulled from a very pleasant dream by the usual nonsense – the mattress groaning, hushed whispers, skin brushing against skin.  He was beginning to feel like he lived on the set of a really low-budget porn.  Not even bothering to open his eyes, he pressed one ear into the pillow, tugged the corner of the blanket over the other, and drifted in the warm, fuzzy space between consciousness and sleep.

“I think Makoto bought me lube,” Haru said quietly.

“…you’re fucking kidding me.  Makoto bought you lube?”

“I think he bought me lube.  I definitely didn’t buy it, but it was in my bathroom this morning."

“I’m going to kill myself,” Rin muttered.  Nitori didn’t laugh out loud, but it was a close thing.  There was some sort of karmic punishment awaiting him for being secretly amused by his roommate’s awful sexcapades, he just knew it.  “Now don’t move your hips or you’re going to find out what it’s like to have someone puke all over your dick.”

Nitori’s eyes popped open.

No.  No, no, no, no, no.  Are you serious?!

The subsequent sucking noise answered that question.  Nitori clutched the blanket in his fists until his knuckles turned white, made horrified faces at the ceiling, and internally wept for the tattered, limp shreds of his innocence.  It had been bad enough to get firsthand evidence that Rin was fooling around with a boy he put so much effort into hating.  The frottage (clothed or otherwise, and he wished he couldn’t hear the difference) and the handjobs were worse.  His absolute limit was that first extremely awkward and thankfully aborted attempt at penetrative sex.  But this… this he had to put a stop to.  So Nitori mumbled a bit, rolled all the way onto his other side, and the mind-scarring sound of Rin giving Haru a blowjob stopped.

“What –”

“Shhh!”

For a moment, there was blessed silence.  Then Rin must’ve decided they were safe, and Nitori sighed into his pillow.  He was starting to think he’d take Jirou’s snoring over this.  His only saving grace was the heavy rain that had been soaking the area since late morning; the droplets pounding against the window almost masked the slurping.

Maybe I could hang myself with the sheets, he thought despairingly.

“Dammit,” Rin breathed, “my jaw hurts.”  The bed squeaked.  “Is this doing anything for you?”

“It’s fine,” Haru said, so dispassionately that even Nitori felt a bit bad for Rin.  He did seem to be doing his best, judging by the… enthusiasm of the aforementioned slurping.

“You’re like… maybe forty-percent hard.”

All of Nitori’s compassion flew out the window.  He had not needed to know that.

Rin rallied, and apparently did a better job this time, because Haru was breathing hard and fast and faint, airy moans kept escaping his throat.  Nitori had long since stopped praying for death during these liaisons, so he just listened to the low rumbles of thunder in the distance and tried to predict how long it would take Rin to actually get Haru off.  What has my life become? he thought cynically.  Souta and Jirou would laugh themselves sick if they knew.

Then an enormous crack of thunder rent the air, and everything went straight to hell.

Nitori started violently and didn’t quite manage to suppress his reflexive cry as his head banged into the wall.  He wasn’t the only one, though – there was another thud from beneath his bunk, Rin gagged, Haru made an undeniably agonized sound that reminded Nitori of an overheated tea kettle, and the blowjob ended in the most tragic way possible.  Sinking his teeth into his knuckles so he wouldn’t add to the racket, Nitori rubbed the sore spot on his skull and waited for the fallout to end.  Rin was still coughing and choking.  Haru was flat-out whimpering.

“Haru?” Rin rasped, once he’d gotten himself under control.  “Are you, uh….”

Haru wheezed.  “Is it still attached?”

“Yeah.”

“You bit me, you bastard.”

“I told you not to move!”  Rin muttered a few presumably filthy words Nitori didn’t catch.  He punched the mattress a few times (something Nitori was familiar enough with to easily recognize), then said, “Screw it.  Let’s go swimming.”

This time, Nitori didn’t manage to cover his face before getting an eyeful of Haru’s behind.  He slammed his eyes shut, not wanting to see any more of his roommate’s boy-toy than was strictly necessary, and didn’t open them again until he heard the door close.

He still had no clue how Haru had gotten into the building.


The verdict was in – regardless of their public animosity, Matsuoka Rin and Nanase Haruka were way too into each other for their own good.  They were also really, really bad at sex.  Despite the blowjob fiasco, they just kept plugging along, and Nitori reluctantly admired that sort of dedication.  He just wished they’d dedicate themselves in another room.

“Hey, Nitori,” Seijuurou said on Wednesday, scrubbing his face with a towel as he wandered over to where Nitori was adjusting the strap of his goggles, “got a second?”

“Sure.”

“What’s going on with you and Matsuoka?”

Nitori almost dropped his goggles.  “What?” he said blankly.

Running his fingers through his bright hair, Seijuurou glanced back over his shoulder at Rin, who was still tearing through the water like he was getting paid for it.  “You guys are usually together most of the time,” he said, “and lately you’ve kind of been avoiding him, I guess?  Just making sure nothing big’s going on – got to make sure the team dynamic won’t fall apart, you know.”

“Oh.”  I’ve been listening to Rin and Nanase gracelessly fumble at each others’ bits two or three nights a week and they don’t know I’ve been awake all this time, he wanted to say.  I now know every single one of Nanase’s erogenous zones and that Rin refuses to swallow.  I could tell you the exact number of times each of them has gotten off recently and that number is depressingly low.  And when Rin finds out about all this, he’s going to send my remains home in a matchbox.  “No, there’s nothing wrong – we’ve just both been pretty busy lately.”

Seijuurou shrugged.  “All right, if you’re sure.”

“I’m sure.”  He’d recently been debating the merits of plucking a leaf from Rin’s book and sleeping with his iPod – on the one hand, he could just crank up the volume when things started getting hot and heavy; on the other, he wasn’t confident in his ability to hear his alarm over the music.  Rin, who had a well-calibrated internal clock, didn’t seem to have that problem.  He didn’t even need an alarm.

Gradually, though, even the awkward blowjobs became so routine that he could pretty much sleep through them.  Nitori was genre-savvy enough by now to know that this meant something far, far worse was next in the line-up.


The funny part was, unlike the handjobs and blowjobs and all the other things they’d practiced until they were reasonably good at, Haru and Rin were just not getting any better at sex.  Nitori no longer paid any attention to the simple stuff, but when it came to the penetration, he had a hard time not listening in.  Those two were a trainwreck.  Rin tried bottoming again – he couldn’t relax enough for Haru to actually put anything in there.  They switched positions – nobody got off.  They took it slow – Haru fell asleep.  They took it fast – Nitori had to feign sleepy confusion when something went terribly wrong and Rin screamed into his pillow.  Now, although Nitori was far from an expert on anal sex, he was pretty certain that it wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near as difficult as Rin and Haru were making it.

“Ow!  Damn you, that hurt….”

Perhaps he should set up a throwaway email address and anonymously send Rin a link to the Amazon page for the Kama Sutra.  Or Sex For Dummies.  Or maybe one of those children’s toys with the colorful shaped pegs that fit into matching holes.


“God damn motherfucking – are you trying to rip my balls off?!”


“Rin?”

“Hm?”

“…this isn’t working.”

“Yeah.  Want to hit the pool?”


They had some moderate success on Monday.  Judging by the torrent of English Rin was spewing, Haru had finally managed to locate his prostate.  Nitori was reasonably good at English, but Rin was better, and he had a distinctly Australian accent that muddled the words beyond comprehension.

I’m probably better off not understanding, Nitori thought, stomping on the impulse to applaud.


“Sorry.  I meant to tell you I was… please don’t throw up on me.”

Rin made a funny gulping sound, scrambled off the bed, and bolted for the bathroom.  Nitori went back to conjugating irregular English verbs in his head.


Saturday was a tough night for everyone.  It wasn’t the first fight Rin and Haru had had – in fact, they argued just about every time they got together, but it was usually over something stupid or inconsequential and forgotten in minutes.  This was different.  This was harsh, this was vicious, this was Nitori clamping his pillow around his head to block out the hushed snarls and acidic hisses.  This was the night when he almost gave up on the ruse and begged them to please just stop fighting already.

He fell asleep, somehow.  When he got up in the morning, Rin, uncharacteristically, was still out cold, curled into a ball, hugging his pillow like it was a stuffed animal.  His eyes were red-rimmed and puffy.

Nitori picked up the crumpled blanket, draped it over him, and tip-toed out of the room.


“You’re back.”

“Mm.”

Pause.  Nitori held his breath.

“Want me to blow you?”

“Sure.”

“If you don’t warn me and you come down my throat again, I’ll kill you,” Rin said, and just like that, everything was okay again.


Exactly a week after their argument, it happened.  Nitori later took to calling that night ‘The Rapture’ – not a religious reference, but rather one to the unmistakably rapturous noises Rin and Haru made when they finally got their shit together.

He actually slept through Act One of the performance.  When he woke up, it was because somebody dropped the bottle of lube and Rin was cursing up a storm, and from that foul-mouthed tirade Nitori learned that they’d been at it for a while. Ineffectively, at first, but Haru’s next whispered words suggested they were making measurable progress on the whole ‘penetration’ front.  “I think you might be loose enough now.”

Finally,” Rin muttered.  “Um.  Hold on, I’ve got… somewhere….”

“I don’t have any diseases, you know.”

“Shh!  Just put the damn condom on and let’s do this already.”

“Fine.  Don’t scream again.”

“Shut up.”

“Or start crying.”

Fuck you, Nanase.  Could you get a move on?  My legs weren’t meant to be flung over your bony shoulders.”

It said something about Nitori’s life that he wasn’t even remotely disturbed by that sort of statement anymore.  He folded an arm behind his head, drummed his fingers against his stomach to the beat of the snippet of song he’d had stuck in his head since yesterday, mentally outlined his history paper and tried to tune out the comedic tragedy playing below.

Rin sucked in a breath through his teeth.  “Are you okay?” Haru said.

“Yeah.  Just… kind of burns.  Give me a minute.”

Haru, who was already panting, managed about seven seconds before hissing, “Can I move already?”

“Yeah, yeah, give it a shot,” Rin grumbled – then gasped, “Slowly, I only have one of those.”

Nitori had a sudden, unwanted thought regarding rectal transplants that was nothing if not a solid indication he was losing his mind.  This had to stop.  Sure, he was so jaded not even the knowledge Rin and Haru were experimenting with the missionary position fazed him, but if they actually got to the point where they started having good sex… well, Nitori would never get another night of uninterrupted sleep again.  Not for the first time, he wished Rin could be like every other red-blooded male in the school and just jerk off instead of somehow sneaking his boyfriend in several times a week.

“Holy shit –”

“Was that it?”

Fuck yes – move, dammit!”

Abandoning all pretenses of nonchalance, Nitori clamped his hands over his ears as Rin and Haru started getting really, really into it.  The problem wasn’t the noises Rin was making, or that Haru got pretty talkative while he was aroused, but the whole cacophony was actually turning him on a little bit.  Any minute now, his flaming face would ignite the entire bunk.  No what the hell why is this happening to me, he whimpered to himself.  His normally-loose pajama pants were growing uncomfortable.  He attempted to distract himself with thoughts of Yamamoto Aoi from his middle school, with her glossy hair and her sloe-dark eyes, who would never ever say something like oh yes you like my cock don’t you.  The clock on his desk read 2:01 am.  It was much too early for him to be having a sexuality crisis.

There was, however, a light at the end of the tunnel.  Rin and Haru were a pair of inexperienced seventeen-year-old boys.  They did not have the stamina to keep it up for long.  Thus, right as Nitori began contemplating suicide again, Haru made that soft, airy hahhh noise he always gave when he orgasmed and the familiar skin-on-skin sounds deteriorated.  Considering the muffled moan that soon followed, he’d been kind enough to finish getting Rin off as well.  Nitori hesitantly uncovered his ears and waited for the blood flow to return to his brain.  Haru and Rin fumbling their way towards climax had never turned him on before – possibly because their previous endeavors had just been too hilarious – and he didn’t have the presence of mind to wonder what that meant at the moment.

“…damn,” Rin breathed.

“Mmm.”

Nitori untangled his arms from the blankets and clapped.

When he stopped applauding, the tension that blanketed the room was so thick that he would need a chainsaw to cut it.  There was no movement whatsoever from the bottom bunk.  Nitori’s own breathing sounded very loud to his ears, but he decided to dig himself a little deeper and said, “About time.  Congratulations.”

The bedsprings squealed.  A hand shot out of nowhere, fisted in the collar of Nitori’s t-shirt, and he yelped in shock as he was nearly yanked clean off the mattress.  Then he yelped again when he realized he was now face-to-face with Rin, whose glare would’ve made a lesser man wet himself.  Nitori had three older siblings and was built of slightly stronger stuff.  Plus, orgasm lent a somewhat punch-drunk edge to Rin’s expression, which lessened the effect a bit.  “How long were you listening?” Rin snarled.

“I – I just - uh,” Nitori stuttered, “was that night you told me you had a bad dream the first, or….”

The grip on his shirt tightened.  “You’ve been listening in the whole time?  Every time?!”

“…yes?” Nitori said warily.

“Why the fuck didn’t you say anything?”

“I thought it might be awkward!”

Rin’s eye twitched.  Nitori swallowed hard, looked death in the face, and hoped the school lied and told his parents it was painless.

“I told you he would hear.” Haru climbed off the bed and sauntered over to the trash can to throw away the condom, completely and shamelessly naked.  Nitori squeaked, almost averted his eyes, then remembered Rin was equally unclothed and just closed them altogether.  “I told you there was no way he was always sleeping through it.”

“Shut up.  And dammit, at least put your jammers back on,” Rin snapped.  He wasn’t hanging onto Nitori’s shirt quite so tightly anymore, though, and after a long moment, he let go.

Nitori slowly cracked open an eye.  He didn’t seem to be six feet under yet.  That was a good sign.  “Um.  I’d be completely willing to forget all of this ever happened if you two would just… liaise somewhere else from now on.”

Rin scowled at him, but he was blushing brilliantly now, perhaps having realized that Nitori had been the unintentional third party during every failed blowjob and inept fingering session, and he sank out of sight without a word.  Eventually, he said, “All right, fine.  I’m still too loopy for this shit.  But if anyone else ever finds out about this, I’ll know it was you and you’re dead.”

“I will never tell a soul,” Nitori promised fervently, slumping back onto his bed and fixing his wrinkled shirt.  It’s only funny until the wrong person gets a hard-on.

“Well,” Rin muttered – there was a rustle of fabric and Nitori hoped he was putting some pants on – “I guess now if you ever decide to bone a guy, you’ll know what to do.”

“Or what not to do.”

“Shut up, Haru.”

“Wait, just one question.” Nitori sat up again and looked at Haru, who was wearing his swim trunks and pawing through Rin’s dresser for a towel.  “How the hell are you getting past the security guard?”

“I’m not,” Haru said blandly.  “I use the side door.”

“You need an ID card for that –”

“I gave him mine,” Rin interrupted.  He stood up, now clad in his own swimsuit, and grabbed the towel draped over his desk chair.  “I told the office that I’d left it on the train and they printed me another one.  Now quit asking questions.”

Nitori said nothing more while Rin and Haru slipped into tracksuits and laced up sneakers.  The tiny devious-little-brother part of his mind was jumping for joy at having so much glorious blackmail material at his disposal.  The rest of his brain was busy studying the way Rin’s entire face softened when he was happy, the way he kept finding the dumbest excuses to put his hands on Haru, the way Haru leaned into Rin’s touch.

Good grief, Nitori thought, this is a bad romantic comedy and I’m a nameless extra.

Right before they left and Nitori had to honor his promise to erase several weeks’ worth of inadvertent voyeurism from his memory, he said, “I always thought you two hated each other.”

Haru and Rin both stopped in the doorway.  They exchanged a look.  There were a lot of emotions in that look, but hate was not one of them.

“…nah,” Rin finally said, and closed the door behind them.


The new arrangement worked out well.  Nitori didn’t breathe a word about recent events, and in exchange, Rin didn’t subject him to any more sexcapades.  He wasn’t sure where Rin and Haru had relocated to, but as long as he continued sleeping through the night without hearing a single grunt, whimper, moan, or lube-tube squish, he didn’t care.

Then he found out, entirely by accident.  He and a couple other first-years had gone to the pool after dinner for some extra training, supervised by the captain, who spent the entire time on the phone with Rin’s sister.  Seijuurou didn’t hang up until eight fifty-five and then promptly kicked them out.  “Pool closes at nine, guys, get going.  I’ll see you tomorrow,” he called, heading for the office.  Nitori squeezed the water from his hair and had just started to towel off his legs when he heard an “Eep!” and the office door closing as quickly as it had opened.

He turned around.  Seijuurou was leaning against the door, eyes huge, sporting a thousand-yard-stare more commonly seen in war veterans than swim team captains.  “What’s the matter?” Nitori said, picking up his goggles and wandering over.

Seijuurou turned that horrified gaze on him.  “Do not go in there,” he whispered.

“What –” A low, throaty, familiar moan interrupted his question.  Nitori winced.  “Oh.  Right.  That figures.  Did they see you?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Good.” Seijuurou still looked traumatized, so Nitori gave him a comforting pat on the shoulder.  “Look on the bright side – it would be much worse if they saw you, trust me.”

Seijuurou sighed heavily and dropped his head into his hands.  “Ever the optimist, huh, Nitori?”

“At least they’re not contaminating the pool… um.  I think.”

“…oh, God, kill me.