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There are repercussions to losing someone close to you at a young, tender age; habits that form, fears that develop. It tends to leave a bigger impact if that precious someone happened to be your own family member. In Rin’s case, it was his father. His mother once told him that when Rin first heard the news, he didn’t cry –he walked towards his room, took the biggest pillow on the bed and rushed towards Gou’s room, plopping down next to her sleeping figure and clenching her hand. She was still unaware of her father’s passing –it was really late and Mrs Matsuoka didn’t have the heart nor the energy to wake her up- so Rin took caution to keep silent, but Mrs Matsuoka recalled seeing Rin’s shoulder shaking as he softly murmured “It’s okay, Gou, from now on big brother will protect you.”

Rin doesn’t remember much, of course, but the thing that stuck around after the unfortunate incident is that pillow. It had somehow became a necessity; a source of comfort. Perhaps it was the memory of having the softness of that huge pillow engulfing him in a soft, warm cocoon throughout what must’ve been the most difficult night of his life that caused Rin to not be able to sleep without it.

It’s the only thing that made him feel… protected.

 

But for some obscure reason, Haruka’s arms seem to be the only exception to this.

 

It’s ludicrous, really, because Haruka is shorter than him (yes, the two inches count) and evidently, if there’s anyone that’s built capable to protect the other, it’s Rin.

Haruka is skinny for his height, muscles too scant and lean for an athlete, a competitive swimmer. Rin puts great pride in his sharp eyes, and he knows when someone has been working out and training strength or not. And Haruka definitely hasn’t. Obviously, he looks good, attractive enough to appear in Rin’s dreams countless times -most of which details Rin would rather not elaborate on- but never would he ever imagined that being in Haruka’s arms can make him feel so safe.

“Can’t sleep again?” Haruka whispers, shifting a little to move the weight of Rin’s head on his arm.

“Kinda.” Opening his eyes, Rin sees that Haruka still has his closed, frowning over his disturbed slumber. The sight of those furrowed eyebrows makes him feel a tad bit guilty. “Don’t mind me.”

“You’re grinding your teeth, of course I’d mind.”

“I do not!”

“You do. And you move a lot. It’s noisy.” Haruka chooses that moment to turn to his side, the movement causing his whole body to completely shield Rin’s from the light coming from the night lamp, casting a looming shadow over him. It becomes infinitely harder to see, and when his pupils manage to accommodate and adjust to the decreasing light source, he can make out the silhouette of Haruka’s body. To make matters worse, his chest is fully facing Rin, and the temptation of shoving his whole face and making a home there –smack in the middle of Haruka’s pectorals- is growing at a maddeningly fast rate. “Come closer, Rin. You’ll sleep better this way.”

Acknowledging that it’s a lost battle from the beginning, Rin scoots over to Haruka, feeling the summer heat and warmth emanating from the body next to him. The air is hot, Rin notices grudgingly. Haruka doesn’t seem to mind, in any case he appears to be completely fine with the sleeping arrangement.

Haruka’s free arm is now resting on his waist, not at all in the romantic hold Rin so often sees in the dramas and read in the novels, but more of a big heavy log pressing against his ribs. For the lack of better place, Rin carefully wraps his arm around Haruka, reaching his back, fingers splayed over the bony ridges of his scapula.

Rin half expected that Haruka would smell like fish. To his utter surprise, Haruka’s scent is sweet, almost like berries. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries; a mixture of any delicious, juicy berry he can think of, and all of a sudden Rin gets the urge to bite.

“Your breath is tickling me,” he chokes out, taking in deep breaths to calm down, which serves to make it worse because now Haruka’s sweet scent is assaulting him from every direction. How the hell did he survive the night in Shin’onsen anyway?

“Just sleep, Rin.”

Rin would, if he could. He’s just trying really hard to fight from pitching a tent right now. True, they are now in a relationship, but it’s still too soon, and an awkward boner is still going to be awkward.

Feeling uneasy, he tries to settle in, when the niggling thought at the back of his mind resurfaces. That’s right, he knew he had forgotten something. “Uh oh. I just remembered,” Rin gasps. “I haven’t posted my weekly vlog today.”

Haruka doesn’t even flinch, only tiredly muttering “Do it tomorrow, then.”

“Tomorrow? They’re going to notice, Haru. I have a fixed schedule, there might be people waiting for the freaking video!”

Haruka lets out a displeased grunt at the sudden ruckus Rin is making, trying to pull him back but to no avail. Rin is already leaning over him to grab the night lamp’s cord and switch it back on before scrambling out of bed, frantically looking for a way to solve the problem at hand.

“You have a camera, Haru?”

“No. Why.” When he doesn’t get a reply, Haruka sits up in reluctance, rubbing his eyes sleepily. The light is still making him see spots dancing behind his eyelids. “Rin?”

“Lend me your laptop for a while, okay?”

Seriously? Haruka isn’t in the mood for this. “It’s midnight,” he mumbles, sinking back into the comfort of his pillow, splaying his hand over the warmth left on Rin’s side. “I want to sleep.”

“Please? Just this once, Haru. It’s really important for me to stick to the schedule. It’s like a YouTuber’s code, you know,” Rin pleads, shaking Haruka’s shoulders. When the boy continues feigning ignorance, Rin doesn’t give up, instead he starts grinning slowly as the most brilliant idea pops up in his head. “I’ll take you out to the restaurant we went the other day. Best mackerel in town…?”

Haruka stiffens immediately. Quietness ensues as his hazy mind struggles to weigh between a good night’s slumber and a foodgasmic meal.

“I can order whatever I want?” He softly asks, prompting a chuckle from Rin.

“Of course, you can wipe the whole place off mackerel too, I won’t stop you.”

 

Do it for the mackerel, Haruka thinks as he trudges to the table where his laptop is charging.

 

----------

Haruka initially planned to just shove the goddamn laptop to Rin and go back to sleep, but there’s just something so captivating about Rin filming himself on the camera that he cannot resist staying up to watch.

As an avid viewer of Rin’s videos (in other words, a fanboy), Haruka is aware of the charm and charisma that Rin’s always had. Every word that comes out from his mouth sounds attractive, like he’s trying to lure people in, and though Haruka doesn’t know if the effects are the same on everyone, it pretty much worked on the 500k subscribers Rin has. It was one thing to see the final result –the polished video with hours and hours of retakes, jump cuts and editing- but actually witnessing what goes on behind the scenes is an experience of its own.

Rin has his phone on a makeshift tripod, a small wooden easel Haruka used to place his canvas for painting which has been elevated to eye-level by stacking boxes at the bottom. It isn’t the best setup, that’s for sure, but it is the best Haruka can offer in his half-asleep state. And thanks to the camera’s wide angle, the only place Haruka can stay at without getting into the shot is the far corner of the room, next to the window.

He curls up in his little spot (Rin actually wanted to film downstairs so he wouldn’t disturb Haruka sleep, but there’s no way in hell Haruka is letting him roam around his house unattended, who knows what embarrassing stuff he can find), watching silently as Rin goes off talking and talking and talking, about his week, about school and some miscellaneous things which Haruka cannot really catch. Once in a while, Rin will pause to check on the camera or think of other things to say. Rin’s voice is melodious, so incredibly soothing that it sends him into a daze…

All of a sudden, an arm wraps around his shoulder and jolts him, alerting Haruka. He’s about to grab the nearest defensive object to hit the intruder on the head before realising that it’s just Rin, holding a phone to his face.

 

What the heck. Is he filming me?

 

“Oi, Rin! What are you doing!”

“Introducing you to the viewers. Say hi, Haru!” Rin says cheekily, sitting down next to him to fit them both in the frame. “We’re having a sleepover tonight, so yeah, sorry about the shitty resolution. I left my camera in my room and have to make do with my phone instead. Speaking of which, you guys don’t know him yet.” Rin flashes a mischievous grin, nudging Haruka on the shoulder. “Well, he’s Nanase Haruka, my rival. We’re competing against each other in the next swimming tournament in 100m freestyle. He’s pretty good, but I’m sure I can kick his butt!”

Haruka stares blankly at the camera, not knowing how to react. Both to being referred to as Rin’s rival, and the declaration of war which he frankly isn’t even interested in. “-‘s not like I swim to win anyway…”

“As you can see, he doesn’t like talking that much but his cute little face makes up for that.”

“I’m not cute,” he retorts, glancing at Rin’s profile. “You are.”

At that, Rin’s expression falters, quickly morphing into disbelief. “Don’t make me blush in front of the camera, they’ll make fun of me in the comments!” He exclaims in exasperation.

“You started it first.” Haruka shrugs. “Besides, it’s the truth.”

“You’re unbelievable,” Rin groans and looks away, obviously hiding his blush. He’s still getting used to it, but Haruka learns lately that he immensely enjoys watching the colour red bloom on Rin’s face whenever he’s being complimented.

Despite trying his best to stay awake and keep Rin company, Haruka can feel his eyelids getting heavier by the second. It’s late, so late that even his fondness for Rin cannot overcome his brain’s distress signal begging for a good night’s rest, but he knows that Rin’s not going to be done any time soon. The boy’s leaning against him, head rested on his shoulder as he fiddles around with his phone, checking the recorded clips to make sure that the picture quality is satisfactory. The videos, once edited, would only amount to around four minutes, which is way too short for a vlog as Rin’s usually averages 7-10 minutes, depending on how eventful his week is.

“I still have to make the video at least a few minutes long… “ Rin says quietly, shifting to snuggle closer. “How about playing some games?”

“I don’t have games. That’s more of Makoto and Nagisa’s thing.”

Haruka lied about not being into games, of course, he does play titles that interest him, but he’s never going to tell Rin that he has beaten the Extreme mode of that ‘Let’s Go! Deep Sea Creatures’ game at least a dozen times. That’s just… weird and unattractive.

“Hmm… We can still look up for stuff online. Interesting things, like challenges or dares. Let’s see…” Rin pulls up a search on his phone and starts to go through a list of suggested activities. Peeking from the top of Rin’s head, Haruka realizes that all of so-called ‘challenges’ have strange names and even weirder rules and instructions. A feeling of dread begins to pool in Haruka’s stomach because there is no way -no chance in hell- that’s he’s going to make it out of this with his dignity and sanity intact.

“Ah, how about the Chubby Bunny challenge?” Rin asks, pointing excitedly at one section on the website.

Skimming through the descriptions, Haruka frowns. Putting marshmallows in your mouth to see who can fit the most at a time... Won’t it dribble out if it gets too much? He’s already crossed it out in his mind at the sheer grossness of it, but it’s the warnings that truly throws him off kilter.

 

‘WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT ALONE. RISK OF CHOKING TO DEATH.’

 

“Rin, people can actually die doing this,” Haruka deadpans. “And do I look like someone who keeps marshmallows in their house?”

“You have a point.” Rin slides his finger across the screen to hunt for the next option. “Then… Charlie Charlie—“

Haruka’s eyes land on the phrase ‘Charlie Charlie involves summoning a ghost using—‘ and flat out refuses. “No. Don’t even think about it.”

“Guess the Body Part?”

No.

“My Boyfriend Does My Make-up?”  Rin grins up at him and chuckles when he sees the glare. “Don’t give me that look, I’m just teasing you. Ah, how about the Whisper Challenge?”

The title’s harmless enough, Haruka thinks, and it’s probably the only one that doesn’t involve dying or being publicly humiliated. He huffs in defeat. “Sounds quiet. I’m okay with that.”

 

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

Regrets come flooding in like waterfalls as Haruka sits an arm’s length away from Rin, headphones over his ears plugged to Rin’s phone. From the gaps between Rin’s fingers splayed across the screen, he spies a playlist of English songs, no doubt ones he has never heard before.

Seconds from now, those very songs will be blasted in his ears at a volume high enough to render him temporarily deaf to his surroundings. Which is, apparently, what the Whisper Challenge is all about.

“I am not okay with this.”

Rin raises his eyebrow, unamused. “You agreed, no backing out Haru.”

“I didn’t know we have to blast songs in our ears.”

“It’s the whole point! If the noise is not loud enough then you can clearly hear me whispering!” Rin adjusts the headphones so they sit snugly on Haruka’s head before cranking up the volume meter on the wire. “Okay, ready?”

“To lose my hearing? No--”

Haruka barely hears Rin yell “Start!” before the sounds of electric guitar rush into his ears in a stream of harsh melody he could hardly appreciate as music. It’s in English, Haruka realizes as the first string of lyrics are heard -which is something to be expected since it’s from Rin’s song library- but it still irks him a little.

The song is so loud and distracting that it takes a while for him to finally notice that Rin is trying to say something to him.

 

Trying being the key word.

 

“What?” Haruka asks, signalling with his hands. “I can’t hear you!”

Rin mouths the words again, a bit slower this time, but Haruka has long since given up on listening. He tries to read the lips instead, and even that… doesn’t go too well. He could only make out one or two syllables, something that begins with o and ends with i.

“Yakitori wa umai? (Grilled chicken tastes good?),” he guesses. 90% chances of being wrong, but hey, at least he tried.

Shaking his head, Rin struggles to hold back his laughter. The way Rin’s shoulders shake is more annoying than endearing, so Haruka takes off the headphones and scowls.

“What did you say?”

The redhead smiles smugly. “I can’t tell you. You have to guess until you get it right.”

“That’ll take forever. Just tell me.”

“Oh, come on, Haru! That defeats the purpose of this game!”

“Fine, three guesses,” Haruka says. “Three guesses, and you’ll have to tell me the answer.”

“You’re such a spoilsport,” Rin replies, but agrees anyway.

 

It turns out that Haruka is, simply put, really really bad at lip-reading. They’ve done 4 sentences so far, but at this rate Rin doubts he can take one more nonsensical guess. The fifth will be the last, he decides.

“Haruka no me wa kirei (Haruka’s eyes are pretty)”

The boy merely blinks and tilts his head. “Haruka no me…” He starts, pausing to find the right words. Rin feels his heart speed up in anticipation; maybe he’ll get it right this time, maybe—

“Haruka no me ga kirai. (I hate Haruka’s eyes.)”

 

Rin facepalms.

 

“What the hell, Haru, that’s so close!” He huffs, disappointed. It really was a close one, barely two syllables different. “But the meaning’s totally off, okay. I certainly do not hate your eyes, in fact I said that they’re pretty.”

Hearing that, Haruka’s expression barely changes, but he reaches a hand out to softly clasp one of Rin’s. “Thanks,” he quietly says.

Rin glances at their intertwined hands and smiles. Oh well. “Here, my turn.

 

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

It’s all fun and games until the gruelling editing process starts. Usually, Rin takes a day or two to finish up a video, and even then it’ll be proofed by him and Sousuke first before it goes on the Internet, but now with barely a few hours to go before the sunrise, Rin finds himself stuck with an unfamiliar laptop, a bunch of blurry clips and a very, very distracting Haruka sitting by his side.

For some reason, Haruka has been observing him intently for the past half an hour, following closely his every move. Rin thought that he’s just curious of the process, but then he noticed that Haruka wasn’t even looking at the screen. He was only looking at him.

“What,” Rin asks, finally turning to face the boy. Haruka shrugs and mutters a soft “nothing”, and it’s a blatant lie Rin isn’t willing to buy.

“Haru, I can feel lasers shooting the side of my face. What is it?”

There it is; Haruka fidgets a little before scooting closer to run his fingers through the red silky strands dangling by his face. “Your hair is getting into your eyes,” he says, vivid blue irises burning with an intense determination. “Give me a hair band.”

“You’re kidding, right? Do you even know how to tie ponytails?”

“I’ve had practice. Makoto’s little sister always asked me to do her hair whenever I came around.”

The image of Haruka perched behind a little girl while working on her hair is amusing. Rin makes a mental note to ask Makoto for a picture the next time it happens, just to satisfy his curiousity. “Fine,” He replies, fishing out a black band from his pocket. “Just, don’t pull my scalp off.”

 

Much to Rin’s surprise, Haruka really is good at it.

 

Haruka’s nimble fingers feel heavenly as they glide through his hair, gathering sections of his hair with profound expertise. The scraping sounds are so ridiculously calming that it takes Rin’s all to not fall asleep right then. It must have something to do with the weird ASMR thing he found that day, god knows how much tingles he felt after listening to those audios.

With his hair (and Haruka) out of the way, Rin finds things a lot easier to manage, and just some moments later, the video’s done and uploaded to his channel.

“Done! Finally!” He shouts, placing the laptop on the table and falling back onto the bed, next to Haruka. “Ugh, I’m so tired…“

Wordlessly, Haruka tugs the night lamp’s cord and wraps his arm around Rin, returning to their positions before the crazy impromptu vlog fiasco happened, finally falling asleep.

 

-----------

Haruka wakes up to bright morning rays seeping through the curtains and long limbs sprawled over his abdomen in a way that can only be described as a koala gripping onto tall bamboo sticks.

There’s a heavy weight crushing him, not of the ‘help me I’m having a heart attack’ type but in the ‘hey, there’s someone here with me and oh my god did we sleep together’ kind of way. Warm puffs of air hit the front of his chest at regular intervals, and something’s tickling his nose, something that still holds the traces of that familiar vanilla smell.

He peers down and sees the mop of crimson hair -rendered a shade darker by the shadows of the closed curtain- moving just the tiniest bit with each breath he takes.

Haruka can’t help asking himself: Am I still dreaming? It all feels too surreal.

“Rin?” Haruka lightly shakes the body lying on top of him. “Rin, wake up.”

A few harsher pushes and Rin finally stirs, opening an eye to squint at him as if trying to identify the person disturbing his sleep. There is a split second of astonishment that flashes in his eyes, that one fine moment when he recognises that it’s Haruka, his Haruka, when his lips quirk up in a small, pleased smile. “—Mornin’…” He greets lazily.

 

Oh no, he’s cute. Haruka thinks, heart growing bigger and fuller in his chest. He’s cute, and I want to kiss him.

 

“Can I,” He blurts out and pauses, looking unsure of himself. “Can I kiss you?”

Rin’s sudden raspy laughter fills the air. “You know, if you’re going to ask like that every time you plan on kissing me, we’re in for some serious relationship issues, Haru.”

“That’s a yes, then.”

“Were you expecting a no?” Rin hastily extracts himself from wrapping around Haruka (finally he can breathe normally) and sits up, propping his body against the headboard. The sunlight catches on his hair, making the edges almost golden. Beautiful.

Rin doesn’t give him much time to prepare before he swoops in for a quick press on the lips, warm hands resting on Haruka’s nape in a gentle fleeting hold. The sheets rustle underneath them, bed letting out a small squeak as Haruka shifts to lean closer, wanting to savour the moment. He feels warm, warm all-over from the heat that’s not entirely due to summer, and even though the kiss itself is light and innocent, the fact that it’s Rin he’s kissing simply leaves him breathless.

Haruka has never drowned; Water just doesn’t allow it to happen. But this feeling certainly comes close to that.

They pull away with a sigh, Rin sliding his hands down to rest on Haruka’s shoulders. There’s a standstill silence; fragile, magical.

 

A sudden loud blast of ringtone from Rin’s phone startles them both.

 

Nitori’s name flashes on the screen as the phone rattles on the table. Rin considers ignoring it in favour of kissing Haruka again (who’s currently staring at him like he’s hung the moon for him), but it could be an emergency.

Rin picks up. Before he can say anything, Nitori’s already wailing for help.

“Senpai! Senpai, please come back, please!”

“Hey, hey… calm down and tell me what’s wrong?”

“It’s Y-yamazaki-senpai, he’s waiting for you in the room. He’s so scary, he’s been smiling non-stop since this morning…” Nitori sounds more desperate and frightened than usual, which is saying something because it’s Nitori -he’s 85% of the time a trembling ball of anxiety, the other 15% of confidence only coming out when Rin praises him for something. “Senpaaaaaiii I don’t wanna die!!”

Growing increasingly concerned, Rin steals a glance at Haruka, who seems to have heard bits and pieces of their conversation. “Okay, I’ll be back soon. Just, keep a distance from him, alright?” Rin ends the call with a sigh. “Haru… I, I have to go.”

“It’s Sunday. You’re not staying for breakfast?”

“I wish I can, but Nitori is in trouble and I have to help him sort it out,” Rin replies as he begins collecting his things and stuffing them into his bag. They make their way to the front door in a palpable silence, only broken when Rin grabs Haruka’s hand and gives it a squeeze. “I’ll call you,” he says.

“No phone, remember?” Haruka reminds. “I’ll text you when I get a new one.”

Rin nods in understanding and leans down to steal a kiss before taking off with a satisfied grin, leaving behind a flustered and bewildered Haruka.

 

----------

“Matsuoka-senpai, thank god! I’m close to peeing myself I don’t even know what to say he just kept grinning like he’s planning a murder—“

Nitori starts babbling at the speed of light the moment he sees Rin heading towards him down the hallway, looking close to tears. He’s all jittery and genuinely frightened, so Rin pats his shoulders to try calm him down.

“Nitori, I got this. Is it okay if you go to Momotarou’s room for a while? Watch him feed and play with Pyunsuke or something. I’ll tell you when it’s safe to come back.”

Relief instantly replaces the fear on Nitori’s face. “Okay. Be careful, Matsuoka-senpai.”

Rin is determined to give the devil inside the room a good beating (figuratively, of course, he’ll never get physical with Sousuke no matter how bad their fight gets). He wastes no time and enters, seeing his childhood friend lounging on his bed, arms behind his head and legs crossed high, smiling like a madman getting his first kill. No wonder Nitori was scared shitless.

“Mind telling why you’re here scaring the poor kid’s pants off, Sou?” Rin crosses his arms, demanding explanation. Sousuke hasn’t said anything yet Rin can already guess what this is about; very few things can cause that sinister face to appear. “Look, I know this isn’t because of you getting scouted into the National team, because if it is, you won’t be here. You’ll be in the pool, training already. So my guess is… Makoto?”

“You know me well, Rin,” Sousuke sits up excitedly. “We held hands.”

“So you did go out with him yesterday! You told me you were getting some manga!” Rin exclaims, pointing a finger accusingly.

“We did, we went to the bookstore together. And got coffee afterwards,” Sousuke says, looking pleased with himself.   “First date mission accomplished.”

“You sneaky, lying bastard. I told you everything about my love life and you kept yours a secret from me.”

Sousuke merely shrugs, “I didn’t want to get my own hopes up, Rin,” “How did Nanase react when you told him?”

“How did you know—“ He sees Sousuke’s raised eyebrow and remembers that this is his childhood friend, Yamazaki freakin’ Sousuke, of course he must’ve done his research. He could’ve stopped by last night, discovered that Rin was missing, and put two and two together. “Nevermind. It’s mutual. We kissed.”

 

“YOU KISSED?”

 

“We kissed.” Rin smirks, feeling the urge to brag. “Twice.”

 

“YOU KISSED NANASE TWICE?”

 

“And I… I spent the night at his house,” he adds.

 

“YOU WHAT?” Sousuke looks like he’s about to explode. It might’ve been a bit of an information overload for him, and Rin purposely left the last part vague, just to mess with him. “Wow. I didn’t know you had it in you.” A pause. Sousuke’s eyes widen comically, like something had just hit him in the head. “Wait… Did you, you know, had it, in you?”

Rin frowns, trying to decipher what it means, and when he does, his skin tone turns from normal to white to bright crimson so fast that he’s probably qualified for a new world record.

“Sousuke!” He doesn’t know which offends him more; the fact that Sousuke has just accused him of doing it with Haruka, or that he had implied that Rin was the one taking it up the ass.

Which, when the time comes, might not be wrong (he hasn’t exactly decided?), but still.

“I’m just curious! Don’t blame me, you’re the one who’s taking things so fast!”

“Pffft… Please, Sou. We both know that once you and Makoto are officially a couple, you’d be all over that Makobooty in a sec.”

“Well, his fault for being so goddamn perfect. I could stare at his beautiful eyes all day.” Sousuke smiles fondly at that thought. Rin grabs the closest pillow he can reach and smacks it right in Sousuke’s face, cackling at the loud wail of protest. “Hey!”

“Rub the stupid smile off your face, it’s disgusting.”

“Like you’re not just as bad,” Sousuke scoffs. “By the way, Captain said there’s no training today. The tournament’s getting close, so the next two weeks will be pretty damn intense and we won’t have much time anymore. Want to go film a new ‘101 Places for a Romantic Date’ episode?”

“How many have we done?”

“Let me just check,” Sousuke lifts the computer lid and waits for it to start. He always leaves the computer on sleep mode, it makes it easier for both of them to work on the videos any time they’re free. Few seconds later, the screen lights up and SharkBoiUnleashed’s home page appears. Sousuke quickly scrolls through the playlist, keeping count of the published videos and the ones in queue. “Roughly 35. We got swamped with school work and swimming last few weeks so we’re quite behind. Your fans don’t seem to mind, though. They’re really understanding.”

And that is something Rin will eternally be grateful for. His fans are the core of his YouTube success, the support he gets from them never ceases to amaze him. In return, he wants to deliver the best content for them, which is why he’s always on the lookout for new, interesting things to share with the viewers. “So, location suggestion?”

“There’s a little creek nearby, close to the place where they’re having the Summer Festival this year. A bridge crosses over it, and I heard that it’s great for fireworks viewing. Kinda high up, quiet and away from the crowd,” Sousuke types something into the computer and pulls up a page showing some photographs of the place from different angles. They both hum in approval. “Pretty, right? We can introduce it to them, maybe some new couples in Iwatobi area will want to check it out.

“Okay. I’ll get ready first, we gotta leave before noon or it’ll be too hot then.” Rin opens his closet and starts idly fiddling with the clothes. New couples, huh? Should I ask Haru out for the festival? He might have plans already. Or will he be shy to go with me…

“What’s this, Rin? Your inbox is overflowing with comments. They’re on a video posted at 2.50AM—“ Sousuke lets out an abrupt gasp. “Holy shit, seriously?”

Rin doesn’t pay him much attention, still sifting through his wardrobe to look for something to wear. He knew back then that Sousuke will react this way, but desperate times simply call for desperate measures. “You weren’t here and I was running out of ideas, okay,” he attempts to explain. “And then I found out that Haruka is the boy I was looking for and I just, completely forgot about it. The video resolution is shitty but the content is gold.”

“No, that’s… really not the issue. Here, come and look at this.” Sousuke beckons him to move closer, pointing at the laptop screen in urgency. He looks amused, very amused, and Rin can’t shrug the feeling that something big might be off…

 

 

Oh my god.”

“Yeah,” Sousuke laughs and begins to clap slowly as Rin continues to stare at the screen in shock. “Congratulations, Rin. Your fans have started shipping you and Nanase.”