''So, you're probably wondering why I gathered you here today.''
''Goddammit, Nagisa-kun, what is it this time?'' Gou asked, sensing that it was time for yet another one of Nagisa's dumb plans.
''I know what you're thinking, Gou-chan, but this is reaaaally important!''
''Just as important as gluing my glasses to my face, because you really needed to borrow them?'' Rei pushed his glasses further up his nose, as if to protect them from Nagisa's sneaky fingers.
''That was one time Rei-chan.''
''It happened twice!''
''Now, now, don't mind the smallest details.'' Nagisa winked at him and Rei felt his cheeks growing warm.
''So, tell us what your genius idea is.'' Rei was very glad for Gou's interruption.
''Oh, right. So it's about Mako-chan and Haru-chan.''
''What's wrong with Makoto-senpai and Haruka-senpai?''
''Can't you see, Rei-chan, they're totally in love with each other!''
''They've been dancing around each other for years now, sneaking loving glances when they think the other isn't looking, being jealous when the other is giving attention to someone else...''
''I don't think that's any of our business.''
''Of course it is! They're our friends! Mako-chan and Haru-chan are made for each other, but they're both too dumb to realise that their feelings are reciprocated!''
''Still, I don't see how we--''
Gou, who had been listening quietly, suddenly spoke. ''No, Rei-kun, I think Nagisa-kun is right.''
''You too, Gou-san?''
''Come on, Rei-kun, think about how cute they would be together!''
''Yes, Gou-chan understands! We're not doing this for us, Rei-chan, we're doing this for them! What if they never figure things out? Then they'll always stay single, never being able to forget the other! We have to help them get their heads out of their butts! It's our duty as their kohai!''
''Well, if you put it that way..''
''They would be so beautiful together, you have to help us!''
''I suppose I have no choice, if it's for the sake of beauty.'' Rei started to laugh.
''So,'' Gou inquired, ''what's the plan?''
After practise the next day, Gou called the swimmers together.
''I think we should all go out together, for the sake of bonding. We are a team after all!'' she exclaimed.
''I think that is a great idea Gou-san!''
Makoto smiled. ''It might be nice to have a break from training once in a while.''
''That's why we should all go to an amusement park this Saturday! As a team!''
''Yaaay, I wanna go!'' Nagisa made a show of bumping around like an excited four-year-old. ''Can we, can we, Mako-chan?''
''Well, it'll be a nice change of pace. Plus we still have some money left of the swim team's funding. I think it might be nice to go. What do you think, Haru?'' Makoto turned to him with a soft smile on his face. Haru looked away.
''I say we go.'' Makoto turned back to the rest of the group.
''Yes! Thank you, Mako-chan!''
''As expected of Makoto-senpai.''
''I think this will be a great experience for us as a team.'' Rei laughed.
Haruka knew there was something off, but he chose not to comment. Instead he looked at Makoto, who seemed oblivious to the weirdness of the situation. He was just looking happily at the enthusiasm of the younger ones.
As they were walking home together, Haruka took Makoto's hand and intertwined their fingers. Makoto looked at him and smiled the smile that was just for Haruka as he rubbed small circles on his hand with his thumb. Haruka broke the comfortable silence.
''They're up to something.''
Makoto chuckled. ''Maybe they are just trying to be nice. Or maybe Nagisa just really wanted to go to an amusement park with Rei, but was afraid of being alone with him, so he decided to drag us all along.''
Haruka frowned at that. Nagisa? Afraid? Yeah right. His boyfriend was just too much of an actual angel to suspect malice towards their friends. He decided to drop it for now. He just knew that whatever it was, Nagisa's probably behind it.
When they reached the stone steps that meant for their separation, Makoto turned to Haruka. He leaned down to bid his love goodbye. Haruka closed the distance between them and captured the brunet's lips in a sweet, gentle kiss, wrapping his arms around his neck.
They continued exchanging loving kisses, both reluctant to let the other go. After giving Haruka a last hug, the taller of the two took a step back.
''Well, I'll see you tomorrow, Haru. Goodnight.'' Makoto smiled one last time before he began climbing the steps to his house.
Turning back to face the other, he saw Haruka staring at his feet.
''Stay over tonight.''
His voice had an undertone of shyness, and when he looked back up Makoto saw a tiny blush colouring his cheeks.
''Sure, I'll just go tell my mom and then I'll come over, okay?'' The younger beamed.
Haruka's chest became really tight at the sight of the other's dazzling smile. Butterflies shot through his stomach like they still did everytime he realised just how lucky he was.
The younger ones were walking to the train station together.
''Can't believed that actually worked!'' Gou sighed.
''Yeah, your acting was terrible!''
''There was absolutely nothing wrong with my beautiful acting!'' Rei seemed very offended at Nagisa's previous statement.
''However,'' he continued, ''I believe Haruka-senpai is onto us.''
''Well, it doesn't matter as long as they both go along with it.''
''Good thing Makoto-senpai is so oblivious.''
''Anyway, my train's here, so I'll see you guys tomorrow.''
After they waved their manager goodbye, they waited for their own train to arrive. When they got on, they sat next to each other in their usual seats.
''Oh, this is going to be so much fun! Mako-chan and Haru-chan will start dating and we get to spend the entire day in a theme park! That's killing two birds with one stone!'' Nagisa shouted.
Rei just stared at him as Nagisa began chattering about amusement parks, a soft smile painting his face.
When Rei and Nagisa arrived at the theme park that Saturday, Gou was already there. She had texted them in the morning, asking if they could come a bit earlier than their agreed meeting time.
''Good morning, it's great that you could be here on such a short notice.''
''Good morning. It's okay Gou-san, were you waiting long?''
''No, I just got here.''
''Anyway,'' Nagisa started, not happy that he was being ignored, ''why did we have to come earlier?''
''Right, so, I thought it would be convenient to go through the plan before Haruka-senpai and Makoto-senpai get here.''
''What do you mean ''what''? Tell us your plan!''
''Umm.. I don't have a plan?''
''You don't have a plan? Nagisa-kun, how do you expect us to successfully pull this off if you don't have a plan? All of this was your stupid idea! We assumed you at least had an idea of what you're doing. This is going to be a disaster! They will find out and then they--''
''Calm down, Rei-chan! Everything's going to be fine! Just follow my lead and play along. We'll figure things out as we go.''
''Figure things out? Nagisa-kun that is--''
''I'm sorry we took so long!'' Rei let out a high-pitched shriek as Makoto's voice rang through their ears.
Haruka and Makoto approached them and Makoto continued. ''Ran and Ren were pestering us to take them with us. They wouldn't let us go until we promised that... Rei, are you alright?''
''W-W-What are you talking about, Makoto-senpai? I c-can assure you everything is fine! Nothing to worry about on this beautiful day of teambonding! Hahaha..'' Rei rambled on under the intense glare that Haruka gave him. His senpai definitely knew something.
Nagisa attempted to steer the conversation away from Rei. ''Shall we go inside?''
Once they were inside, Nagisa's eyes grew big from excitement.
''Wooow, it's huge! Which ride should we take first?'' His enthusiasm caused him to almost forget that he was on a mission. He latched himself on Makoto's arm, eyeing Haruka's reaction. When he saw the other huff and turn his head away, the blond smiled to himself.
''We have plenty of time, so there's no need to rush.'' Makoto said, not noticing the intentions of the little devil.
''I think we should go to the Haunted House.'' Gou offered. Exchanging knowing glances with her, Nagisa agreed.
''Yes! I wanna go.''
''I highly doubt that the Haunted House will be-- Urgh.'' Nagisa elbowed Rei in his side, effectively shutting him up. Rei may be the smartest in their year, he could be so incredibly dense. He's lucky he's so cute.
''Okay, if you all want to go there I suppose we could.''
Nagisa taking the lead, they walked to the Haunted House together.
As they were waiting in line, Haruka turned to his best friend.
Seeing the worry in Haruka's eyes, Makoto smiled gently. ''It'll be fine, Haru. You're here with me, so I'll be okay.''
Gou, who was standing behind her senpai, overheard this somewhat private conversation and grinned. She couldn't trust the others to come up with a reasonable attack, so she figured she would be the one to formulate a good strategy. So far everything was going according to plan.
When they entered the Haunted House, the younger ones made sure to stay a few meters behind Haruka and Makoto. That way they could observe them better and make sure they were still going together.
After a few jumpscares and some very masculine screams, Makoto was clutching the back of Haruka's shirt tightly in his hands. Nagisa smirked. So far, so good.
They entered a dark room that was supposed to resemble a small child's bedroom. The only sound in the room came from a little music box. The tune it was playing started to get slower, to a point where it started to sound demonic. A shiver ran down Makoto's spine and he shut his eyes. The older teen felt the grip on his shirt tighten even more. When he tried to walk further, he was held back by the intense strenght of the younger's fingers. Makoto felt as if he was nailed to the ground, paralyzed by fear of the unknown.
''Right..'' The sound of his boyfriends voice caused him to snap out of it.
They continued strolling through the House as a man with a big chainsaw jumped out of the closet in front of them. He was wearing a mask and pointed the chainsaw at the couple while pulling the string. Haruka thought about what a terrible cliché this was, but the taller teen seemed to think otherwise. He screamed in a way no man with his build should be able to and groped at the raven's shoulders while hiding behind his back.
After Makoto had calmed down as much as possible, he apologised to Haruka.
''I'm so sorry, Haru. Did I hurt you?''
''It's fine.'' Haruka muttered under his breath.
When he looked at the others face, he saw that the brunet was still very pale, the scare was enough to drain all the colour from his face.
''Here.'' The raven offered his hand for the other to take.
''Are you sure?''
''It's fine.'' He said again.
Taking the offered hand in his, Makoto closed his eyes, trusting that Haruka would guide the way.
''Yes, yes! They're holding hands!'' Gou whispered a little too loud.
''Hah! Told you guys my plan would work!''
''This was my plan, you just agreed.''
''Anyway, we can't slack off now!''
''Nagisa-kun is right. We must make sure we execute this plan perfectly. So we have to handle everything with utmost concern, because failure is not an option!'' Rei pushed his glasses up as he noticed the others had already wandered further into the house, leaving him by himself.
''Wait for m-- Aargh!''
When they finally left that terrible Haunted House, Makoto was exhausted, though holding Haruka's hand had definitely helped. He was glad he was out of that hellhouse, but it gave him the oppurtunity to hold hands with the raven and he didn't want to let go yet. He did let go when he heard the voices of his team members.
''You're such a scaredy-cat, Mako-chan!'' Nagisa exclaimed while laughing loudly. ''It wasn't even that scary! Well, you're only forgiven cause you're hot.'' He winked mischievously.
''Hehe..'' Makoto rubbed the nape of his neck awkwardly, trying to conceal his embarrassment.
Glancing at Haruka from the corner of his eye, Nagisa came to the conclusion that if looks could kill, he would be a dead man.
''So, where should we go next?''
After an eventful day that included Makoto screaming his lungs out after being forced onto a rollercoaster, keeping Haruka from jumping into a fountain and an incident involving cotton candy, the sun was starting to set.
''I think it's about time we go home.''
''Ehh, I don't wanna go yet!'' It was true, Nagisa was having a lot of fun today, but the plan was his first priority. During the day his subjects continued flirting with each other, but nothing big had happened yet.
''I think we could manage to go on one more ride before we take our leave. Right, Haru?'' Makoto tried to mediate like the mother hen he was.
''Yay! I wanna go on the ferris wheel!''
''Nagisa-kun, you have been picking rides all day, though I must agree that going on a ferris wheel while the sun is setting would be an incredibly beautiful experience, I feel like we should let someone else chose our last ride.'' Rei interfered.
"Don't be such a party-pooper, Rei-chan!'' Nagisa scowled. Rei was ruining everything he just came up with!
''Haru, which ride would you like to take?''
''Ferris wheel.'' Haruka murmured.
''Yes! Thanks Haru-chan!'' Nagisa jumped on Haruka while sticking his tongue out to Rei.
I'm not doing it for you, Haruka thought. He just wanted to be alone with Makoto and the idea of being in a ferris wheel cart with him while looking at the setting sun sounded very appealing. Sensing his boyfriends intentions, Makoto smiled down at him when they were walking towards the attraction.
As they were standing at the front of the line, their captain spoke. ''If the three of you take this cart, then Haru and I will wait for another.''
The three did as they were told, happy that maybe their plan could succeed after all.
''Great, the romantic setting will definitely show them the spark that was there all along!''
''Actually, Nagisa-kun, there's not really a spark. It's a chemical reaction that occurs in the brain--''
''Blablabla, why do you have to turn everything so boring?''
''There's only one problem guys..'' Gou interrupted their bickering.
''And that is?''
''We can't see them from here.''
''Crap, I didn't think about that. We'll just have to read their reactions afterwards. If Mako-chan is a flustered, blushing mess then we know something happened.''
Meanwhile Haruka and Makoto were seated opposite of each other in the cart.
''They've been acting smug all day. Something's going on.''
Makoto couldn't deny it any more. The younger teens had been acting very suspicious all day. ''Maybe we should ask them about it once we get off.''
Haruka just nodded in response.
''Haru, come here.'' Makoto patted the space beside him.
Haruka got up without question and sat down beside his love. He leaned his head on the others shoulder and felt a strong arm wrap around his shoulder. The brunet sighed in contentment.
''Whatever they're up to, I'm glad I got to spend this day with you.''
Makoto smiled and looked down at Haruka. His eyes shone with pure love. The light of the setting sun grazed over his handsome features. The raven tilted his head up and pressed their lips together. Their kiss was wet yet soft and they poured all their feelings in the affectionate gesture.
''I love you.'' Makoto said as soon as they broke apart.
''I love you, too, Makoto.''
Their lips brushed briefly, before Haruka pressed his face in the crook of the brunet's neck. They stayed wrapped up in each others arms until they approached the ground.
When they walked towards the others, they saw looks of distress on Nagisa and Gou's faces. Knowing this was probably the best time to inquire, Makoto got into big brother-mode.
''So, are you going to tell us what's going on?''
''W-W-What are y-you talking about, M-Makoto-senpai?'' Gou stuttered.
''Absolutely n-nothing is going on. Haha..'' Guilty as charged.
''Just cut it out, guys, everything's ruined anyway!''
''We just wanted you to be happy because you're perfect for each other and you just don't realise it, so I made a plan that wasn't really a plan and dragged Rei-chan and Gou-chan into it but everything we tried didn't work out and you were still oblivious so we tried one more time and still nothing, but you guys should totally go out together because you love each other yet you're too dumb to realise it and that's why we tried to get you to notice today!'' Nagisa was slightly out of breath when he finished.
Surprised at the blond's sudden outburst, Haruka and Makoto looked at each other, like they were confirming they heard everything correctly.
''Umm, Nagisa?'' Makoto tried.
''We're already dating.''
Everybody turned to Haruka, some more shocked than others.
As if to prove his point, Haruka grabbed Makoto's hand, his slim fingers fitting perfectly between Makoto's bigger ones.
''You guys were dating this whole time and you didn't tell us?'' Nagisa pouted, sounding very offended.
''We kind of assumed everybody knew? I mean, it's not as if we were trying to hide it. I thought we were pretty obvious.''
Haruka hummed in agreement.
The three were gaping at the couple as if they were fish who spent too long without water.
''You guys were obvious..''
''Then why did you think we didn't realise it ourselves?''
''I.. I don't know.''
''Next time, just ask, okay?''
The three nodded and lowered their heads.
''Well, shall we go? It's getting dark and we still have a train to catch.''
''Yeah, let's go!'' Nagisa dashed off into the distance, dragging Rei along with him.
''Wait for me!'' Gou yelled as she ran after her former partners in crime.
Makoto pressed a kiss against Haruka's temple. ''I guess we should make sure they don't hurt themselves.''
Haruka allowed himself to smile a little. ''Hmm.''