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Free Time Event: Poolside Edition

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Hello! Before you continue reading, I'd like to offer this fic in its original form-- a short Hinakoma visual novel I did for a game jam a couple months ago! I did all the art for it as well, and its available for download on PC and mac right here, right now~

https://yndr4hope.itch.io/freetime-event-poolside-edition

This fic follows the main ending and eliminates additional dialogue options and alt endings, so I definitely recommend playing the game first if you want to enjoy the interactive part. But if you're unable to play or just don't want to, I reverse engineered it back into a fic for your convenience. Thanks, and enjoy!

 

"The pool is obviously much safer than the ocean. I'm not saying that bad things can't happen in pools-- they can, and do!-- but the chances are lower, generally speaking." Komaeda skimmed one finger across the surface of the still water, sending ripples towards the hotel as the sun slowly set behind it. "Of course, the chances that are present are what I have to think about, personally--"

"Shut up, you're makin' the food go bad." On the other side of the pool, Owari plucked what must have been the worst grape from the bunch and lobbed it at Komaeda's head. He winced reflexively before it even hit him, bouncing off of his fluffy hair and landing in the water with a splash.

"Ahaha, see, bad things can definitely happen at the pool." He reached for it, but the grape had already drifted just out of range, and his fingers closed around empty water.

Hinata watched them, leaning on the railing of his cottage's back porch, wondering why he'd decided to come outside in the first place. There was a pleasant, warm breeze swaying the palms in the distance, and in another life, it would have been calming.

"Eatin' by the pool is supposed to be nice, but you're ruinin' it and wasting grapes to boot," Owari and her handful of fruit passed by Hinata's deck on the way to her own cottage, offering only an exasperated grunt as she left. With the slam of a door, she was gone, leaving him alone with Komaeda. He dropped his gaze down to the water rushing beneath the boardwalk, counting the beats in his head. And three, and two, and,

"So, the nature of fatal possibilities are even more interesting to think about in a place that seems safe, because it means than the actual event would have to be somewhat absurd, assuming there were no other obvious factors or liabilities in place beforehand." Komaeda continued watching the tiny green grape bob in the water.

Hinata sighed. There was still time before the end of the day...

"...Do you wanna hang out?"

Komaeda looked over his shoulder, apparently shocked. "You want to spend time with me again, Hinata-kun? That's twice today! Surely there's someone else around who has a lot more to talk about."

"I doubt it." Hinata slipped between the sliding glass doors in the back of his cottage and reappeared a few moments later on the boardwalk. His room was closest to the pool, and he considered that if this had been a real resort, maybe his would be the most expensive.  He stopped next to Komaeda, his shoes at the edge of the pool. "Gonna go swimming?" He knew the answer already, and braced himself for an emphatic reiteration of the dangers of water.

"Is that something you'd like to do with me? If so, I don't mind." He stood up and lightly touched Hinata on the shoulder with a smile. "I'm honored beyond words that you want to spend any more time with me than absolutely necessary." Hinata's posture straightened as the hand slid down his arm before returning to Komaeda's side. "I'll go get changed."

Also apparently beyond words, he silently watched Komaeda disappear behind the cottages, and kept staring at the corner waiting for him to change his mind. When that didn't happen, he eventually took off his socks and shoes, rolled up his pants and sat down on the edge, dunking his feet in the cool water while he waited. The sun finally drifted fully behind the hotel's silhouette, pulling the remnants of the day along with it.

A few more long minutes passed.

"Oh, Hinata-kun," The silence was broken, "You didn't want to put your swimsuit on?" There were soft footsteps on the boardwalk before Komaeda reappeared and crouched down next to him, slender arms folding to balance on his knees. They both watched the grape drift by-- still just out of reach.

"I never said I was going to swim, I just asked if you were," Hinata mumbled, kicking his foot out toward the grape. It dunked below the surface before bobbing back up.

"Ah, so you wanted to watch me swim, then! That's fine. I'm not particularly good at swimming or anything, so I don't know how entertaining it'll be, but I'll try not to bore you."

"I never said I wanted to watch you swim either." Hinata pulled his feet out of the water and stood.

Komaeda looked up at him, eyebrows upturned. "I'm sorry if I misunderstood. Please tell me what you'd like to do. You were kind enough to accompany me to the library today, so we'll do whatever you like."

Hinata chewed on his lip for a moment. "N-no...it's getting late so we should stay at the hotel. I'll...swim." Hinata turned to head back to his room, leaving wet footprints behind. 'Evidence, found at the scene,' he thought, 'leading into Hinata's cottage.'

He fished his swim trunks out of the drawer, and once changed, took a moment to flex in the bathroom mirror. He nodded at himself in affirmation-- Nothing too extraordinary happening here, but certainly nothing wrong, either. His talent probably wasn't swimming, but who knows? Maybe he'd get in the water and it would all come flooding back.

The wet footprints were dry by the time he returned, and something else was different-- Komaeda had turned on the jets in the pool, agitating the stillness and filling the air with a soft hum. He'd also turned on the underwater lights, transforming the whole thing into a glowing rectangle of tropical teal. He was already in the water, in the shallow end closest to the cottages, sunk in up to his ears. Long tendrils of his hair splayed out, floating on the surface. He lifted his head slightly, "Welcome back, Hinata-kun."

"Yep." It was warm out, as always, but Hinata was preemptively hugging his own arms in preparation for the chill of the water. It's refreshing, he reminded himself, and getting in slow is always worse, right? Steeling his nerves, he took a short running leap at the middle of the glittering pool, a few feet from where Komaeda huddled near the wall, and cannon-balled into it. He plunged nearly to the bottom, trailed by an explosion of tiny bubbles, before unfurling and rocketing to the surface with all his might. "FEELS GREAT," he announced loudly, because yelling made him warmer, shaking his head to sling water off. His antenna popped up determinedly, flinging a few more drops belatedly skyward.

Komaeda laughed and moved his hands away from shielding his face, keeping his eyes closed as more drops rained down around him. "You're much braver than me-- I got in slowly, even though that always feels worse."

Hinata wiped water out of his eyes. Of course it does. "I guess."

Komaeda tipped his head back against the tiles, closed his eyes, and it was quiet for a moment aside from the steady hum from the jets. Hinata took off for the other side of the pool, kind of doing freestyle, but it quickly turned into kind of breaststroke. He made his way slowly to the deep end, and by the time he touched the far tiles with his fingertips, it felt clear that swimming was not his talent. It was still a little nostalgic to be in the water. He dipped under again and pushed off the wall, returning to the shallow end to complete one unimpressive lap.

"Do you like swimming, Hinata-kun?"

"It's fun to paddle around, but I'm not really good at it... I kinda thought that maybe..." Hinata's tone flattened as he forced himself to say it, "Maybe...it would be cool if swimming was my talent." It felt shameful to admit it now, after so obviously proving that it was not, but it was a topic Komaeda was usually interested in regardless.

Expectedly, his face lit up. "Oh, that would be a wonderful talent!" He clapped his hands together, scattering a few glittering drops. "You could have the body of a swimmer, Hinata-kun."

Hinata sputtered at the thought that Komaeda had taken any note of what sort of body he had. "I-I don't, not really--"

"But you could, if you swam." Komaeda shivered a little and hugged himself. "Your build would support it-- nothing like mine. I don't have the stamina for it to begin with."

"Um, yeah...I guess not." Hinata mumbled, eyes unconsciously wandering over the dips of Komaeda's collarbone.

"And anyway, I'm sure your talent is even more interesting than swimming."

Hinata jerked his head away, focusing on the patterns of light reflected on the pool wall. "Don't say that, that puts a lot of pressure on me."

What if he's right, though? Hinata glanced at the sky, still far more beautiful that anything he'd encountered in his daily life, and a spark of energy pulsed through him. What if his talent was something unbelievable, something cosmic-- something like Ultimate Luck? It would make sense that he hadn't remembered a truly unusual talent simply by doing average activities.

"Maybe you're right, though... maybe it's something weird. Like Luck."

"I sincerely hope it's nothing at all like Luck," Komaeda smiled at him. "Maybe it's a craft...what if you're surprisingly very good with your hands?" He walked two fingers across the water's surface, going for a small stroll with his hand before it found a good place to start tracing intricate patterns in the waves.

"Wh-why would that be surprising?"

"Haha!" Komaeda just laughed and went back to playing. He cupped his hands around the water in front of him, squeezing tiny geysers of it up through the space between his thumbs. Hinata watched the mesmerizing little bursts-- he usually did that in pools, too. Everyone probably does that in pools.

Then there was silence again, aside from the arrhythmic splash of Komaeda's tiny geysers.

After a few beats, Hinata decided to return the gesture, squeezing the water harder to get higher splashes before his competitive streak turned them into attacks. He angled his hands, the little water blobs splashing close to Komaeda until he got it just right and finally squirted him right in the face. Komaeda immediately stopped to shield himself. "Hinata-kun, I understand the impulse to fire on me, but the chlorine hurts my eyes."

"S-sorry," Hinata laughed like a scolded child and backed off, sinking into the water to blow bubbles instead. When he ran out of breath and the bubbles puttered to a stop, he lifted his head. "Um, so I guess if we're not really swimming, there's not much to do in a pool." The ever-shifting glow cast strange reflections over Komaeda from time to time, making him appear to be moving when he was not.

"It's just relaxing to feel weightless for a while." He closed his eyes again and spread his arms. Hinata could see his familiar gesture through the water, but the choppy surface made his arms look wobbly. "Our bodies get to momentarily forget the strain of being alive, even while surrounded by something that could kill us so quickly."

"That's the opposite of relaxing." Hinata pressed his back to the wall catty-corner to him, trying to enjoy the weightlessness without thinking about death.  Of course, the more he tried not to think about death, the more he thought about death.

And then, the grape floated by.

Hinata snatched it out of the water. "Aha!" It was half-brown and already dented in on one side. He held it up triumphantly and squeezed a little.

"Ohh!" Komaeda gave a small, wet applause. "Congratulations, Hinata-kun."

"Thanks." He held it up for a few more moments, turning it in the light like a rare gem. "...I dare you to eat it."

Komaeda's applause stopped. "What? Why would I do that?" His brow turned up and he looked sincerely worried.

There was really no good answer. Hinata opened his mouth before any sound actually came out, before finally managing, "Because I...dared you?"

"It's been soaking in chemicals, and it looks like it's already rotten. If you're saying you think a rotten person like me should eat rotten fruit, then just say that."

"N-no, I mean," he squeezed the grape too hard and a little mush seeped out the top, "I was kidding, it's just something kids do with their friends."

"Oh," Komaeda's worry faded and he laughed. "I guess I wouldn't know much about a game like that."

Hinata sank down a bit; the water lapped at his cheek. "Well, um...all of us are supposed to be friends here and stuff, so we can play dumb games like that with each other."

"Haha, don't tell the others that they're supposed to be friends with me. They'd probably be upset... Or maybe they'd be happy that they can make me eat rotten fruit whenever they want."

Hinata stood up again abruptly and chucked the mushy grape toward the cottages; it landed in the stream below with one final splash. "I think you have to lose a game before someone can make you do a dare as a penalty, so... if any luck was involved, it would probably be a bad idea to play that with you."

"It's probably a bad idea to do anything with me," he laughed. Hinata laughed uncertainly along with him, unsure what that meant exactly, but the mood somehow felt a little lighter. Komaeda moved then, pushing himself away from the wall to swim closer. The light reflected off his cheekbones, and his skin looked completely white in the greenish glow. "Let's say I somehow lost a game of chance, and you could make me do anything as a penalty, what would you ask me to do, Hinata-kun?"

This had to be a trick question. Hinata pushed away from the wall too, so he could escape if necessary. "Um..." He looked around at the windows of the other cottages, expecting to see his disgusted classmates watching them, but the blinds were all drawn. "You already seem like you'd do whatever I tell you for some reason, so it's kind of hard to say."

Komaeda swam closer. "That may be true. So you must be constantly thinking of things you could tell me to do, just to see if I would do it or not. Just to see how willing I am to please an Ultimate!"

That wasn't entirely false. Hinata had thoughts about lots of stuff, Komaeda's willingness to do things could have been among them. After all, he'd already done quite a few things, though Hinata couldn't remember now if any of it had been specifically at his request, or if it had just sort of happened. Most of the things they did together just sort of happened.

He lowered his voice even though he knew that sounding suspicious immediately made it suspicious, "Would you seriously do anything I told you to do?"

Komaeda laughed quietly and flicked some water at him, pelting Hinata gently in the chest. "Of course not! But I would do anything if it helped you reach a greater hope."

"Oh..." It sounded obvious when he said it. ...Obvious, and yet, Hinata realized he didn't have a good grasp on Komaeda's definition of 'anything' or 'hope'. He was about to ask, but Komaeda stood up suddenly, eyes wide, wet hair clinging to his neck. He spread his arms again, dragging water up that cascaded through his fingers.

"Don't you want to know what I would ask you to do?"

He was reminded once again that Komaeda was just a little bit taller. "...Not really," Hinata took a step back, "You're just gonna say something weird, like you want me to kill you, right?"

"Haha, an exemplary answer, exactly what I'd expect from you, Hinata-kun. I guess I'm just too predictable!" He had to catch his breath between thoughts, voice wavering with excitement, "But, I couldn't make you do that-- it has to be something you choose on your own, otherwise it wouldn't be your hope that you're fighting for, it would be mine."

"Um...right." Hinata didn't notice it before, but the glittering water made Komaeda's eyes seem like they were glowing. He wondered if his own eyes looked like that right now, too.

"The truth is, if we were friendly enough to play a game together, and you would trust me enough to offer, then anything I could ever ask of you would have already been fulfilled."

"That's not really...a dare." He was almost disappointed.

"Ahaha, see, I told you I didn't know much about this game."

"Well...don't worry about it too much," Hinata offered. Komaeda nodded, and then the sounds of the night and the pool and the wind and the trees crept back in on both of them and lingered.

When they first met, Hinata had considered Komaeda easy to talk to. He was still as talkative as ever, so Hinata briefly wondered if lulls in conversation were somehow his fault.

It's definitely not my fault.

While Komaeda lounged, Hinata turned and started inspecting the pool itself. He found the source of the churning waters, and entertained himself by shoving his fingers into one of the jets on the wall. It was pushing water out so hard that it rippled against his skin, and it was quite satisfying to plug it up completely. He heard the motor strain as the other jets worked harder to compensate, pulsing powerfully and breaking the surface every time he did it.

"This is nice, isn't it?"

Hinata didn't look up. "What's nice?"

"We don't need pointless small talk to spend time with each other." He could tell from the tone of his voice that Komaeda smiled when he said it, but he was always smiling, wasn't he?

Is this his way of getting me to start a conversation?

"Sorry, I don't really know... what else to talk about with you." Hinata didn't mean to say it quite so bluntly, but that's how it came out. He kept playing with the jet.

"Ah..." There was a small splash, maybe the sound of his hands dropping into the water, "I really meant it, Hinata-kun, I actually like when it's quiet... it's comfortable. Maybe not for you, though." He let out a half-hearted little laugh.

Now he really didn't know what to say. Hinata crammed his finger all the way in the jet, and the others groaned as they strained to pump out more water. He had the overwhelming sensation that someone should be scolding him for this behavior, and this thought was distracting enough that he didn't notice Komaeda had swum up behind him until he heard him speaking softly over his shoulder-- Hinata still expected it to be a scolding.

"I'm sorry that there's not much to do with me when we're in a public place," he was alarmingly close suddenly; Hinata felt one finger running slowly down the length of his spine underwater, stopping just above the waistband of his suit, "I'm sure it's shameful to even be seen talking with me." The tip of his finger dipped behind the elastic to rub at Hinata's hip bone, and some extremely untrustworthy part of him wanted to forget where they were and slam Komaeda against the tile and return it tenfold. After all, he couldn't say anything if Hinata's tongue was in his mouth-- that had always been part of the appeal. But the logical part of him, the tiny part of him that was exceptionally good at skateboarding, held his urges at bay.

Hinata whipped around to face him, his back to the jet, hoping it would wash away the lingering feeling of touch. "It's...it's not that I'm ashamed to talk to you," his voice was awfully quiet for someone who wasn't ashamed. Unable to bring himself to say any more, his mouth shut, eyes silently pleading with Komaeda to back up just a little bit. His cottage was so close, and it was almost bedtime anyway, they should probably get out, so they could--

But Komaeda backed off, and air returned to Hinata's lungs. "We can get out of the pool if you want, Hinata-kun."

"I was about to suggest it myself," he exhaled in relief, comforted in the rare moment that their thoughts and plans actually lined up. He moved to stand up again, but a warmth stirring in the pit of his stomach stopped him, and he almost groaned audibly--it was already too late. All he could do was shiver as the a chill current flowed through the mesh of his swimsuit, feeling colder than before over his heated skin. The jet stream continued to pummel into his back, but it still did nothing dull the tingly sensation left where Komaeda's fingers been. He'd forgotten to bring a towel, of course, and the now-taut fabric of his swimsuit wasn't doing him any favors. He swallowed and sank back down slowly. "Um... you can go first."

"Hmm, are you alright?"

"I'm fine! You can go on ahead of me!" He sputtered, but he could tell--Komaeda knew. He always knew. He could see it in his eyes when they widened just a little, and Hinata was already shaking his head when Komaeda opened his mouth again--

"If you need any help, you know you can always ask me."

Hinata thought about what 'help' from Komaeda usually entailed when they were alone together and choked back a scandalized gasp. His gaze settled on Komaeda's smile, lips parted slightly, Hinata already knew what he looked like on his knees, the top of his head, but this, what was he thinking, not to mention,

"You can't hold your breath for that long," Hinata's voice cracked, much to his horror.

Komaeda's brow furrowed for a moment in confusion, then furrowed further in realization. "Hinata-kun, first of all, you seem a little on edge, so even with my limited lung capacity, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions. Second of all, that isn't what I meant anyway."  Through the current, Hinata saw the wobbly shapes that made up the other boy's form shift, and then felt toes curling over the waistband of his swim suit, tugging it away from his skin just enough to let fresh, cool water drift over his stomach.

Hinata propelled himself backward with one hard stroke of his arms and Komaeda, having lost his support, sank back with a startled laugh. "N-no way," Hinata hissed, "Anyone looking could tell that you're doing... stuff... underwater."

"The surface is choppy enough for plausible deniability, I think, Hinata-kun," Komaeda shrugged and looked around, "At least, I don't believe that anything witnessed through the lens of churning water would hold up as proof in a class trial."

Hinata was mumbling so close to the small waves, some of his words became bubbles instead.  "If someone thinks they saw us blp something -blubs-picious, then it's already as good as true. You don't bbrlrbl to present evidence against gossipbllpr."

"Exactly, don't you think you're worrying too much over something that isn't even a matter of life or death?" Komaeda ran one finger thoughtfully over his bottom lip, drawing attention to his mouth again. His filthy mouth. Hinata felt like he was much better at arguing when it really was a matter of life or death. He sank down a little further, wishing the tightness in his swimsuit would just go away already.

Komaeda smiled cheerfully and pressed his back against the wall. "If you're so worried about it, I won't even touch you." Matching Hinata, he also slid further down until only his head and the tops of his shoulders were visible.

The chill of the pool was no match for the heat on his face. Hinata felt like he should have learned better than to play along by now, but perhaps it was because he'd learned that he lifted his chin to speak, "Some help you are, then."

Komaeda didn't miss a beat. His eyes widened slightly.

"Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to fuck me, Hinata-kun?" The question came out soft and low, echoing across the surface of the pool, refracted perfectly by the waves to reach Hinata's ears and no further. It shattered the vague, subconscious concentration that was keeping Hinata's head above water, and before he knew it, he was sputtering chlorine and wiping water out of his eyes.

"Wh..."

"It's okay if you have."

"U-uh... ... I... I dunno," Hinata swallowed, mouth dry like he was stranded in the middle of the ocean, "Wh-what about you?"

"Hmm, have I thought about fucking myself?"

"What, no, I meant--"

"Well, I suppose so. I'm sure everyone has thought about something like that," His voice had taken on a needy, breathless urgency, "Trash like me deserves trash like me, right?" Komaeda tipped his head back against the wall. "Ah, I wonder what I would do?" The distorted image of his arm moved underwater, a pale greenish shape rapidly dissipating and reforming with each waved that passed, and Hinata could swear that he couldn't see Komaeda's hand anymore-- "Would I treat myself roughly, unable to hold in my scorn at having to see my own shameful, pitiful form before me? Or would I lose my nerve and do it gently," his voice cracked a little and Hinata felt like he'd been slapped in the face, "Using my fingers to make sure I was ready... I'm not sure I deserve such kind treatment. What do you think, Hinata-kun?"

"I..." Hinata had absently started stroking over his erection through the fabric of his suit before sharply realizing that meant his hand was technically... visible. 'Plausible deniability.' He wasn't sure if it was better or worse, but he slowly, hesitantly dipped his hand into his suit, obscuring it. Obscuring it from what, he wasn't sure. One by one, he let his fingers settle against bare skin. "I...think..." He'd forgotten the question. "I think you would... do something... weird."

Komaeda let out a soft laugh and it skipped out over the water like a stone. "What does that mean coming from you, I wonder?" He took a strained-sounding breath, and Hinata couldn't quite tell if his shoulder was moving while he spoke.

"Um..." Hinata let several inappropriate thoughts go unsaid. "You'd...lick... something...? I don't know... why are you asking me." Hinata didn't want to have to say any more, wondered how long he could hold his breath if he just dipped for a while.

Komaeda laughed again and gently picked up the thread Hinata had dropped, weaving it easily back into his filthy tapestry. "Hmm, something like that I'm sure, but my needs aren't really important, are they?" There was a tiny splash as his shoulder jerked. "If you used my body to feel good, I'd be completely satisfied, even if you forgot I even existed only moments afterword. Hinata-kun, how do you think it would compare to fucking my mouth?" Hinata took a deep breath as though he'd actually gone underwater.

"G-good," he answered automatically, like the simple, lonely response had been waiting for its chance to emerge. He'd started stroking himself in earnest at some point during this exchange, careful to only move his wrist while he did it; his shoulders stayed still. He wondered what they looked like from the cottages. Maybe only their hair was visible above the wall.

"I'm glad to hear you say that," Komaeda sighed, groaned in relief, and shut his eyes tightly like he was in pain, "If I couldn't make you feel good, I don't know what I would do..." His other hand came out of the water to tangle in his own hair, "I'd squeeze around you, hoping that feeling is what you liked, maybe it would hurt, getting tighter, but you keep moving because it's warm--" Tiny rivulets dripped over his cheek-- Hinata knew it was pool water, but it painted such a clear picture of Komaeda exerting himself, dripping sweat, overstimulated-- "I'd try to move too, desperate to make sure you come, even though I'm trembling from the feeling of Hinata-kun being inside me, and it's better than anything I could imagine or describe," Komaeda suddenly covered his mouth as though trying to stifle a sound, but Hinata heard it anyway, the small hitch in his throat, the way he whimpered, as though Hinata was actually fucking him--

Hinata's whole body jerked, the sound of splashing water covering most of whatever shameful sound he'd just made. His fingers felt the evidence that he'd finished and he quickly pulled his hand out of his trunks and swatted through the water, hoping to dissipate it, if it was there, if he could see it, he didn't want to know-- though he did kind of want to know if Komaeda was in a similar situation.

Komaeda didn't so much finish as he simply recovered; instantly the heavy, dirty atmosphere lifted around him and his posture and expression returned unscathed from the lewd splattering of adjectives he'd been commanding only moments earlier.

"Uh...a-are you done?" Hinata asked breathlessly.

"Haha, isn't it a little unsanitary to do something like that in a public pool?"

Hinata splashed him before he even finished speaking, a completely automatic response.

"It kind of feels like I should get out, now that you've claimed this pool as your own," Komaeda laughed while shielding himself from the next round of splashes. "Don't worry too much, Hinata-kun, that's what all the chlorine is for."

"You're horrible," Hinata's voice had become a whine, but he could only muster so much energy in his post-dirty talk haze, and his vengeful splashes quickly lost power. He slumped over, feeling defeated.

"I know, I've been telling you that all along."

Not for the first time and not for the last, Komaeda's smile read like a challenge, daring him to keep up. Hinata moved quickly, pushing off the bottom of the pool to propel himself forward before Komaeda had time to react. He was pressed up against the other boy in an instant, water sloshing in the narrow dips of space between them, the sounds of rippling current echoing back at him. Hinata ducked as far below the wall as he could without going under, wrapping one arm around Komaeda's shoulders and pushing him up against the tile. The logical part of his brain had probably skated right off the edge of a wicked half pipe, because he wasn't here to offer any better ideas.

From the cottages, he hoped the pool now looked empty, and god help them if there was anyone left at the hotel.

"Hinata-kun--" Komaeda wheezed, still seeming shocked from the sudden contact, "Aren't you worried--"

"Of course I'm worried, " he cut off the obvious question by nipping at Komaeda's jaw, trailing quick, light little bites down his throat until he found a place to stop, sealing his mouth over the skin and sucking delicately. He tasted like chlorine, of course, but Hinata could also taste the sounds he was making, directly into his ear, soft, appreciative whimpering. "...So you'd better keep quiet."

He clamped his wet hand over Komaeda's mouth as he pulled away to look him in the eyes, already missing the sounds. His other hand slid down Komaeda's stomach, applying pressure as it crept lower, pressing into the sensitive skin below his navel before he snagged the drawstring of his suit. Komaeda groaned against his palm, hips shifting impatiently under his hand.

It was so easy to pretend like all this came naturally, like he'd done it countless times before, like he knew exactly what he was doing. Komaeda made it easy, so long as Hinata didn't think too hard about what that actually meant. If all of this, everything Komaeda said or did with him, was all part of some manipulative scheme--well, he could think of worse ways to be manipulated.

He slid his fingers through the drawstring and pulled one side of the bow slowly until the knot fell apart. He felt Komaeda make a startled sound against his palm as he exposed just enough of him bare to the water.

His hand slid between Komaeda's legs and Hinata was relieved to feel how hard he was, proof that they'd been enduring this state together.

If Hinata was going to beat Komaeda at his own game, they had to at least be playing the same game. He thought about the way his words had painted not just a picture, but a feeling; combining his own imagination with physical sensations to create something real-- his hand tensed and he started slowly stroking, then whispered, softly, in Komaeda's ear,

"My fingers are all wrinkly from being in the water for a long time so I think that makes it feel better."

He couldn't see his face, but Komaeda tried to make another sound from behind his hand. It probably feels so good he can't help himself.

"I'm rubbing my thumb on, uh, the tip," Hinata said, doing that. "And I'm jerking you off instead of you doing it yourself and... it's great so you're... gonna..."

Komaeda twisted his head away, out from behind Hinata's hand, gasping, "H-Hinata-kun, I know what you're doing, I...I can feel it. You don't need to tell me. Please stop telling me."

"Oh... okay."

"...Just because we should be quiet so no one finds out, okay?"

"R...right!"

Komaeda was right. Hinata shut his mouth and went to (quietly) focus on what he was doing. Komaeda pressed his mouth back against Hinata's palm, resuming their previous position.

Hinata took a moment to get back in the right frame of mind, Komaeda's long fingers rubbing against the back of his arm helped get him there. He ran his hand slowly between Komaeda's thighs, testing how much he could move his arm without making any noisy splashes above the surface. Komaeda wrapped his arms around his shoulders and Hinata felt his balance shift; suddenly he was supporting the other boy's weight completely-- an easy task in the water, but one that nonetheless made him feel more in control. He felt Komaeda's legs drift upward to loosely wrap around his hips, lightly anchored between his knees.

Hinata peeled his fingers away from Komaeda's mouth so he could hold him up more securely against the wall, silently begging him to keep quiet on his own. Komaeda just smiled at him, and Hinata started moving his hand. Komaeda closed his eyes and let his head fall back, dangerously close to going under. Hinata paused to readjust their position, but he could feel Komaeda going limp, as if it was no longer worth it to to stay above water.

"Hey...you gotta help me out here a little," Hinata whispered against his hair, "You're too relaxed..."

When Komaeda crept to Hinata's room at night, he left himself vulnerable-- they were both vulnerable-- but nothing like this. With his head only barely above the surface, Komaeda's eyes flicked open, locking onto Hinata's gaze. "You could hold me under," he mouthed as much as spoke, gently squeezing the back of Hinata's neck with the one hand that still held onto him.

"Stop...that..." Hinata pulled him up so he was higher out of the water, "Don't do that...not now."

"Not now, o-of course... it would be... a bad plan, since you've been seen here with me today. But we could arrange for a--mmmf--" Komaeda was cut off when Hinata clamped a hand back over his mouth. He leaned harder against the wall, pressing Komaeda's shoulders against it for support, and started to touch him again. It was cool underwater, but Hinata could still feel heat in his hand, and the quickening pulse of someone who was still breathing. Despite his mouth being covered, small sounds escaped as Hinata's thumb pressed against the head of his cock firmly, rhythmically dragging up and down sensitive skin.

"Mmf--mmnn--" Hinata didn't slow down, shoulder still barely moving while his wrist did all the work below the surface. He could feel Komaeda's thighs squeezing at his sides, water sloshing against them both as Komaeda trembled, and finally he jerked his head away from the restraint to put his mouth underwater instead, crying out, nearly muted, into the pool as Hinata felt him come.

Komaeda went limp again, exhausted from the weight of water sitting on his chest while he gasped as quietly as he could. Hinata caught him when he slumped over, once again getting a rush from the sense of power that buoyancy afforded him. He pulled Komaeda's suit back up over his narrow hips, while his mind churned out a new story for their situation ("He became fatigued while we were swimming, so I'm helping him out.") which had become an automatic process whenever they were alone together, weaving small lies, or at the very least, excuses for being near him. A minute ago, he didn't have a story or an excuse for what they'd been doing, and even though the moment had passed, his stomach dropped at the thought.

It probably would have looked like I was trying to drown him.

He shuddered at the idea, and at the notion that at least some of his classmates would be understanding of that sentiment, and forced it out of his mind. They'd arrived at the inset ladder, and he pushed Komaeda towards it. "Come on, let's get out, it's late."

Komaeda dragged himself up the steps and Hinata followed, tensing up again as they started heading for the cottages. Is he just going to follow me into my room? It was earlier than when he would normally come by-- too early to seem safe sneaking around, not that it had mattered to him just now what was 'safe'.

He was practically tip-toeing as they neared his door, but Komaeda, who was now trailing an appropriate distance behind him, kept walking until he passed. "Goodnight, Hinata-kun."

"G...goodnight."

He stood watching the pale, dripping wisp that seemed to drift rather than walk to his cottage, and Hinata considered that perhaps he needed the weight of his usual attire to keep him from floating away. He vanished from sight when he slipped into his room, leaving behind a trail of pool water, and Hinata turned to his door and did the same.

 

~~~

The usual thoughts came to him immediately when his head hit the pillow.

Is he going to come by tonight?

If he doesn't come by, what is he doing?

Should I be worried?

...
What if he doesn't want to come by?

That thought was new, but he didn't have time to dwell on how absurd it was when he heard the soft knock on his door. His heart jumped like it always did (who could blame him for being jumpy in a situation like this?) and his feet hit the floor before he even realized what he was doing. He was at the door in an instant, but he paused with his hand hovering over the knob.

And three, and two, and...

He opened it slowly, relaxing his expression.

"Sorry as always, to bother you again Hinata-kun. If you're sick of me from today, which I'm sure you must be, I can leave you alone tonight."

Hinata stepped aside, opening his door just enough for a wisp of a person to sneak through. "...Better here than off doing something weird by yourself."

Komaeda offered a tired smile as he stepped inside. Hinata didn't notice at first, but he'd brought something--his own pillow, tucked under his arm, and though it definitely seemed worth commenting on the implications, neither of them mentioned it. Komaeda crawled into Hinata's bed and loudly fluffed the pillow, before collapsing messily on top of it. Hinata followed, pulling the blankets up over them both.

"Um....goodnight..." Hinata mumbled into the sheets he'd pulled up all the way to his mouth.

"Goodnight, Hinata-kun," Komaeda's voice was small, facing the wall.  "Thank you for letting me in again today."

"....Okay." Hinata rolled over. He could feel Komaeda's hair tickling his nose. He stuffed both his hands under his pillow. It was just more comfortable to sleep on this side.

Komaeda shifted slightly. "Getting to spend so much time with you today made me very happy."

"...Go to sleep." Hinata's hand moved, just close enough that his fingers could feel the dip in the mattress where Komaeda lay beside him.

"Goodnight."

Hinata closed his eyes, and after a few long minutes, sleep started to tug at the corner of his thoughts, distorting them at the edges.

I wonder why he lets me sleep next to him like this.

Ah. That wasn't right.

He's lucky I let him sleep next to me like this.

That was it.

He likes being here. Of course. He's always here.

Yeah. There's definitely... something wrong with Komaeda.