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What I Go To School For

Chapter Text

The picture was still there, Haruka realized, standing in the lounge of the swim club.

Tacked onto the wall by Nagisa nearly five years ago, it was beginning to fade, but the faces were still clear – Makoto’s young features unsuited to his gangly frame, Nagisa beaming at the camera, himself patiently suffering Nagisa’s hug, and Rei unmistakably smug as he pushed his red glasses up his nose. The backdrop was a busy pool and bleachers filled with parents. Makoto was holding the trophy from the relay they had won together, just before middle school started.

The current Iwatobi High School Swim Club, a team to be reckoned with despite its tiny size and laughable funding, had begun here.

But the picture was old, and the edges were beginning to crack from constant exposure to chlorine and steam. Haruka was carefully pulling out each tack when a voice interrupted from behind him.

“Hey!”

Haruka turned.

“Is that you? In the picture? You look just like you did then. Who are the others? Is that the rest of the Iwatobi Swim Club? Why are you back here? Why don’t you swim anything but freestyle? My name’s Matsuoka Rin. I swim here now. Coach Sasabe talks about you guys all the time!”

Dark red hair and bright eyes to match, a slight overbite, and constant movement – energy expressed in twisting and fluttering hands, bouncing on the balls of his feet, and chatter faster than the speed of light. That was Haruka’s first impression of Matsuoka Rin.

“Yes, that’s me. I’m working as an assistant instructor for Coach Sasabe this year.” Haruka slid the picture into his back and glanced at the lounge clock – it was almost time to head down to the pool for practice. His hair was still wet from his earlier swim, and he shook out the droplets before pulling on his Iwatobi jacket and track pants.

“I’m on Coach Sasabe’s team! I bet we have practice together!” Rin followed close on Haruka’s heels as he started down the hall towards the pool. “I bet I’m going to be even better than you guys! I’m going to swim in the Olympics.” He paused a moment, but, receiving no response, continued undeterred. “My dad wanted to go, but he had to work, so I’m going to do it instead." The too-casual glossing over of the subject didn't escape Haruka, but Rin had already moved on. "My favorite stroke is butterfly! What’s yours?”

“I only swim freestyle.”

“Why?”

“Why do you ask so many questions?”

“Why are you so quiet?”

“You’re making enough noise for the both of us.”

“Why do you smell like mackerel?”

Haruka’s cold stare was powerless against the exuberant young swimmer.

“Hey, I think you know my sister! Her name is Gou? She goes to Iwatobi too!”

Ah, so that was why Rin looked vaguely familiar – his hair was the exact same shade as the fiery first-year’s. “She calls herself Kou.”

“Oh, her real name is Gou! She’s just like you four – and like me! She’s got a boyish name, we all have girly names. I don’t think Kou really suits her, do you?”

“it’s what she chooses.” Finally, they reached the door to the pool. Haruka pushed it open. “Go get ready.” His conversation quota for the day had been filled.

“Watch me during practice!” Rin called out as Haruka headed around the pool to Coach Sasabe’s post. “I bet I’ll impress you!”

Although Haruka hated to admit it, he did.

Rin channeled every last ounce of his nervous energy into swimming, giving all he had from the moment he first snapped his goggles strap and dove off the starting board. And he was talented – beyond simple power, there was form and finesse to his movement that no amount of practice could instill. Although Haruka made sure to devote sufficient attention to each of the other boys on the team, by the end of practice, he found himself pacing alongside the pool as Rin swam, calling out terse comments and watching him pull ahead of the others. His learning capacity was extraordinary.

Rin did not love the water. He subjugated it. Haruka doubted he would ever meet someone who loved the water like he did. But when Rin climbed out of the water, shaking out his hair and asking “How was I, sensei?” with an audacious grin, it was no exaggeration when Haruka responded, “Not bad.”

~

Haruka would not be accused of having favorites. He trained every last one of the boys to the extent of his abilities, from Nitori, shy and silver-haired, to Seijuurou, Rin’s friendly rival from the thousandths place of their times to the redness of their hair. But neither could he deny that Rin’s form was the one he critiqued most closely, that Rin’s endless barrage of questions became a familiar presence, or that the absence of a noisy young redhead cheering for Iwatobi from the stands could throw him off at the most regular of meets.

Haruka would not be accused of lending his support to one particular swimmer. He felt an unmistakable surge of pride whenever he watched one of his trainees progress. But neither could he deny the quiet satisfaction in seeing Rin immediately glance towards him after adding another tally to his impressive winning streak and the way Rin’s eyes lit up at a simple nod or “well done”.

Haruka would not be accused of having a soft spot for Matsuoka Rin. He pushed his pupil harder than anyone but Rin himself. But at the same time, on the last night of the school year, when Rin asked if he could accompany Haruka on one of his late-night swims, he found himself unable to say no.

Rin had been chatty on the way to the Iwatobi High School pool, but he was unusually subdued as he and Haruka shed their outer clothing and slid into the pool with quiet splashes. The chirping of cicadas in the chain-link fences surrounding the pool was the only noise – not that it mattered, of course; all sounds were muffled as the cool tranquility of the pool enveloped Haruka’s body, caressing his skin as he glided through the water.

Rin swam alongside him briefly before holding back to slowly paddle along the bottom of the pool, watching Haruka’s sinuous movements through his goggles. When they surfaced, he asked with characteristic directness, “Sensei, why aren’t you going to the Olympics?”

Haruka was silent for a moment. The question was not joking flattery. He was capable of Olympian times, and Rin, sharp as a whip, could tell.

But there was something more, for him.

“I don’t swim for the gold, Rin.”

Rin tilted his head. “What do you mean? What other reason is there?”

Haruka drew his legs up to the side of the pool and launched himself off with a powerful kick. “Let’s swim.”

Later, as Haru took Rin back to his house (he knew better than to let a twelve-year-old wander through the streets at night alone), the redhead announced, “I’m not going to stay in Japan after elementary school.”

This was a surprise. “Why?”

“I’m going to a swimming school in Australia. I won’t be coming back often… Maybe not at all.” Rin grinned. “They’re going to be very, very good. But I’m going to be better. Those big Australians and Americans who’ve been training their entire lives, they won’t stand a chance.”

“You’re sure of that, are you.”

His smile wavered.

Rin didn’t have to mention his father. Haruka knew.

“Rin.”

“Yes?”

“Is this where you want to go?” They had reached the Matsuoka household. Haruka stopped in front of the door and turned his icy blue gaze on Rin, who met it unflinchingly.

“Yes.”

“Good luck.” And Haruka opened the door, nodded to Kou, and walked away, never to see his young pupil again.

Or so he thought.

Chapter Text

Two years had passed since Haruka had become normal - the best two years of his life.

It wasn’t that he’d stopped swimming after high school. He’d kept a pool membership near his college, and occasionally dropped in on the swim club that Nagisa, Kou, and Rei were carrying on after he and Makoto graduated. It was growing a bit, up to eight members when he last heard. And, of course, he would forever wear spandex beneath his clothes. In case of an emergency. Now that he was teaching math at Samezuka Academy, he coached the team and was guilty of more than a few midnight swims. (The headmaster, pleased with the Academy’s new records and the funding they brought, looked the other way.)

But competition was far behind him. Makoto, who – to everyone’s surprise – had gone into business as a deep-sea fisherman, hadn’t needed an explanation as to why Haruka had opted out of the Olympics. He’d smiled and nodded and offered him a couple extra sunfish. Kou, Nagisa, and Rei understood too, in their own ways, and as for his neighbors and family friends who murmured disapprovingly about ‘wasted potential’, none of them really mattered anyway.

Haruka had never swum for the gold.

He had settled into a comfortable routine by the end of his second year teaching. His friends were always close; although Rei had moved to Tokyo to pursue a career in modern art, the impressively confusing paintings in Haruka’s living room served as a constant reminder of his presence, and the disconcerting retinue of bodyguards and armored vans that parked outside when Nagisa visited never stopped the blonde’s cheerful laughter and jokes. His house in Iwatobi had changed little since his freshman year of high school, and Haruka expected no further disruptions to his quiet life of math classes, water, and fi-

“Sensei Nanase!”

There was only one person in Japan who could interrupt in the middle of a voice-over.

Haruka glanced up from the summer packets beginning to pile up on his desk as students filed into his class-room, noisy and tanned after the sunny vacation. A tall boy in a black Samezuka jacket and jeans was leaning forward on the front of the desk, casting a shadow over the papers.

Red hair, grown long and tangled. The biceps and triceps of a lifetime swimmer. Bright red eyes and a grin that hadn’t changed a bit (besides the teeth, filed down to sharp points).

Haruka froze.

Oh.

Five years had treated Matsuoka Rin kindly.

Rin smiled. “Long time no see, Sensei. Remember me?”

Rin had grown into his boisterous energy. His every movement exuded unconscious power and poise, and the snug shirt hid little of his defined abs and broad chest. As tall as Haruka by now, his voice held a confident ease – the loud, bouncy child had matured, but lost none of the forceful intensity that distinguished him from his teammates.

Oh, Haruka remembered him.

“Good morning, Rin.”

He should’ve known better than to think Rin would seat himself after a mere polite greeting. Instead, the boy hopped up onto the teacher’s desk, swinging his legs and leaning back on his arms.

“Just wait until you see me swim! I’m on Samezuka’s team now, you know. I’ve gotten much faster!”

“You shouldn’t worry about your times.”

Rin grinned, showing off his disconcerting dental modifications. “Yeah, you always did think that. What do you say we race? Times might be a little more important to you if you’re losing.”

“Not happening any time soon.”

“Scared, Sensei?”

“Please sit at your desk, Rin.”

Rin stretched his arms above his head until his back cracked, displaying his muscled chest. “I’ll even swim free-style. Just for you,” he promised as he slid off Haruka’s desk and strode to his own.

The jacket was unzipped a few inches down, exposing a small V of skin. Haruka could concentrate on nothing else for the ten minutes of homeroom. His students must have thought he was a mental case. The ringing of the bell was the most welcome sound he’d heard in his life.

Haruka waited until the final student had trudged out of the door on the way to her first class before he allowed the metamorphosis to sink in.

He’s gorgeous.

Goddammit.

xXxXxX

Pools were a familiar environment to Haruka – the moist air with its hint of chlorine, the slap of wet feet on tile, and the resonation of voices in the lofty room were the comforting touches of home to him. He spent a solid two and a half hours in Samezuka’s impressive pool area each day to coach the swim team, a world-renowned group of powerful young men.

Furtively, Haruka glanced across the pool. Rin, in his black track jacket and long black spandex, was not a familiar fixture in most of Haruka’s pool memories. And in those that he was, he was twelve years old and barely pubescent, an awkward youngling in comparison to the fully grown athlete that was stretching down to his toes. The disruption had thoroughly taken him by surprise.

Haruka had come to terms with his sexuality long ago, but a constant environment of muscled young men in spandex swimsuits had desensitized him entirely. Rin shouldn’t be any different.

Perhaps it was that intense aura of his. Already, the team was shifting itself slightly to orbit around him. It wasn’t that he was particularly larger or stronger than the rest; he was no taller than Haruka. It was his energy, electricity sparking off him, the intensity and force of his movements, that distinguished him. He had the magnetism of a hurricane.

Haruka’s musings were interrupted by a cheery “Good afternoon, Haruka!” An entirely different redhead than the one occupying his thoughts was prancing towards him to kiss him on the cheek and loop arms with him.

Haruka heaved a sigh. “Good afternoon, Kou.”

This was not a surprise.

Kou Matsuoka, who had never managed to be subtle in her appreciation of the rippling muscles and bare skin she was exposed to on a daily basis back in high school, was impudent enough to make a habit of dropping by to visit Haruka at times that conveniently coincided with Samezuka’s swim practice.

(“The smell of chlorine brings back memories!” she claimed.

“You’re a pervert,” Haruka observed, much to her indignation.)

He was pretty sure that the progressive shortening of Kou’s skirts and her outrageous flirting with his team – particularly the rangy captain, Seijuurou, whom he’d coached alongside Rin at the swim club and who by now was completely smitten – were at least half illegal.

Cocking her hip to that degree was definitely a federal crime.

At any rate, Kou had an excuse this time – she hadn’t seen her little brother since he arrived home, due to going to college several towns away, and had decided to surprise him at practice rather than reuniting with him at their home. And although Rin grumbled and dodged when the older redhead mussed his hair and muscled him into a hug in front of his entire team, effectively cracking his badass-Australian image, it was obvious that he was happy to see her as well.

Kou settled down on the front row of the bleachers to watch the practice, and Haruka prepared with an increasing sense of dread for the most taxing two hours of his life.

Australia’s top swim school had been good to Rin; that much was evident from his snap of his goggles strap and his first flawless dive. He moved through the water like he owned it, a lion in the jungle – or maybe a shark in the ocean, cutting through his territory as if it offered no resistance at all. He took dominance over the water before it knew what was happening, and smoothly commanded its service. Although he led the group in their time trials, Haruka received the distinct impression that Rin was hardly trying at all.

Rin flashed a smile at him between strokes, and Haruka realized with a jolt that he’d been staring. He cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“Samezuka!” Haruka called as the swimmers finished their trials, catching their breath on the side of the pool. However much Rin unnerved him, he had a responsibility to his team. “Divide into groups of four!” No, unnerved wasn’t the right word; Rin’s return to his hometown after five years abroad shouldn’t have completely stunned him…

Rin stretched his arms far above his head, cracking his back as he moved into a group with Seijuurou, the mild-mannered first-year Nitori, and a relaxed second-year called, much to Haruka’s amusement, Gou. The V of his hips as they disappeared into his black spandex brought a more accurate word to mind.

Distracted.

Haruka swallowed and began directing the swimmers in their next drill.

An odd sense of déjà vu came over him as he called out advice to the swimmers. One needed more power; another needed less raw strength and more attention to technique. He kept his attentions diversified throughout the team. And yet, every moment he could spare, he was pacing alongside Rin, challenging him verbally to swim harder and better.

Haruka did not have favorites. But, as he had five years ago, Rin Matsuoka came pretty damn close.

Unlike five years ago, Rin was nearing Olympic levels already. There were still things that Haruka could teach him, but it would not be long before the student overtook the teacher.

At the end of the practice, Rin pulled his cap and goggles off and shook his hair like a dog. “Impressed?” he asked, the faintest hint of a smirk dancing on his lips. Haruka’s terse “showers” was all the answer he needed, and his smile grew as he headed towards the locker room with the rest of the team.

Haru leaned against the tiled wall, drained.

“Coffee?” he suggested to Kou. Thankfully, she agreed.

~

Kou ordered a double chocolate mocha frappucino with triple espresso, requesting whipped cream and a shot of strawberry. Haruka ordered coffee, black. The acne-spotted barista couldn’t have been more than sixteen, and Haruka flashed his friend a warning look as she leaned forward to rest her elbows on the counter, exposing more than her fair share of cleavage.

“You’ve aged since high school, but your taste in men hasn’t,” he observed as they carried their coffees to their familiar table by the window.

“Not all things get better with time,” she chirped, swinging her legs on the tall chair. “Like musculature! Ooh, I just love the way your boys look when they’re stretching… So pretty…”

“Pretty illegal, pervert-chan.”

“One day you’ll learn to watch with me!”

“Not going to happen.” It was astounding, really. Kou had grown into an intelligent and poised young woman, making her way at a respectable college and pursuing a career in the male-dominated field of medicine. But the moment a boy more than three years her junior came into her field of vision…

Kou sniffed. “Nobody can be a bachelor forever, Haru! Not even you!”

“Just watch me.”

A truly oily grin twisted up the corners of Kou’s mouth “Oh, I was watching you earlier… You noticed that Rin’s back?”

Haruka stiffened. Damn it. “Yes. He’s in my homeroom class.”

“He’s shaped up nicely, hasn’t he? It’s been five years since you saw him, I can imagine all that musculature could be a bit of a surprise…”

“I…am not in a position to say,” he gritted out.

Damn it. Of all the responses that didn’t sound suspicious…

She studied him for a nerve-wracking moment before giggling. “Well, you know, if we weren’t related, he could come into my waiting room for an examination any time.”

“Kou!”

And from there it was easy to slide back into their normal routine of teasing, bickering, and chatting, until the barista was wiping down the counters for the third time and surreptitiously glancing at the clock. Haruka did not make friends easily, but he was eternally grateful for the ones he had – Makoto, Nagisa, and Rei had always accepted his reserved nature, and he’d been lucky enough that Kou did as well, never resenting the fact that he could only provide about twenty percent of a conversation.

Makoto was rarely home more frequently than every few months, Rei couldn’t often return from Tokyo, and Nagisa’s business took him all over the country. He was fortunate to have a friend like Kou.

But the comment about her younger brother stayed with him, an uneasy niggling in the back of his mind, even after he walked her to the Matsuoka house and bid her goodbye, thankful that Rin wouldn’t be home until the weekend in two days. (Kou was only in town until Sunday; medical school did not allow for missed classes, newly arrived brothers or not.) It was nine o’clock by the time Haruka arrived back at his own house, Rin’s smirk still at the forefront of his mind as he undressed and slid between the cool sheets.

He’s shaped up nicely, hasn’t he? Kou’s knowing smile embarrassed Haruka more than he would admit; damned women’s intuition.

Rin. Wicked red eyes and smile, just like the sinful urges in Haruka’s soul. Rin’s sharp teeth – he could nearly feel them, whispering down his neck to suck at an especially sensitive patch of skin. Goosebumps erupted down his back.

He could imagine Rin’s hands sliding down his chest, could imagine the glint in those crimson eyes as Rin sank to his knees in front of his teacher and ever-so-slowly licked his lips, letting out a low chuckle and murmuring excited, sensei? as he pulled Haruka’s spandex down. Haruka shifted onto his side, one hand sliding down slowly but involuntarily to wrap around his cock. With a few short strokes, he was half-hard, and his cheeks were flaming brighter than the student in question’s hair.

He knew the law. He knew he could be arrested for so much as hugging his pupil. But shit, he hadn’t felt this kind of lust since he discovered the live stream of Niagara Falls on a dark, dirty corner of the internet.

His fantasy was accelerating now, shifting to the sensation of grinding his hips into Rin’s as the younger boy pushed him backwards onto a bed, then Rin sliding down onto his cock–

Haruka felt like absolute trash as he came embarrassingly quickly. He was absurdly grateful for the cover of darkness to hide his shame as he cleaned up the mess.

As he drifted off, he could recognize one thing for sure:

He was done for.

Chapter Text

Haruka would swear on his life that Rin was doing it on purpose.

For all outward appearances, Haruka and Rin were slipping right back into their odd friendship. After a week, Haruka didn’t bother to protest when Rin shoved aside papers to sit on his teacher’s desk and chatter to him for the ten minutes before the first bell. Haruka’s contributions to the conversation were short, but Rin never seemed to mind, and the occasional sarcasm or deadpanned joke evoked the barking laughter Haruka remembered.

There was a vaguely unprofessional note to Rin’s sociability; he seemed to see Haruka more than a friend than a teacher, sitting cross-legged on the desk and waving in the hallways like he would with someone of his own age. Haruka had worried that Rin’s relaxed attitude towards his authority might seep into swim practice. But at the pool, Rin was all business. If he could sense Haruka’s eyes on him when they shouldn’t be, he showed no sign of it, and he had a small group of friends in Nitori, Gou, and occasionally Seijuurou, rather than hanging around Haruka like he did in homeroom. He took instruction with grim determination, and pushed himself to greater exertion every practice, leaving his friends behind. Swimming was no casual matter to Rin.

Everything else, unfortunately for Haruka, was. He allowed himself to be impressed by his own restraint; his secret was painstakingly concealed.

That didn’t mean that it was easy.

Sex had never been an important part of his life. Aside from one uncomfortable incident with Rei, born out of mutual curiosity and never spoken of again, he was content with his own hands – or, at least, he had been.

Haruka wanted to touch every single part of Rin Matsuoka.

Rin would shake out his hair from its flattened swim-cap state, and Haruka’s imagination would take the image and run. He was threading his fingers through the red, yanking his head back back to expose the smooth, creamy skin of his throat and marking it with licks, sucks, and nips. He was caressing Rin’s silky head and murmuring words of encouragement and comfort as Rin’s throat muscles convulsed around his cock. He was watching the strands stick to Rin’s forehead with sweat, disheveled as Rin groaned in pleasure above him… He was being caught staring every time Rin got out of the pool, and finding it progressively more difficult to look away.

Rin would draw back his arm to snap the strap of his goggles, and his perfectly toned body would steal Haruka’s breath again – something that even long minutes underwater had never done. He was pulling Rin into his lap, nibbling at his ear and resting his hand on the other boy’s skin to feel him twitch under the attention. His tongue was swirling around Rin’s head as he grasped those muscular thighs and teased his twitching dick… The swimmers on their starting blocks were glancing at him in confusion, wondering why he hadn’t blown the starting whistle yet.

Rin would stretch his arms behind him in class or at practice, groaning appreciatively as he arched his back, and Haruka had no trouble at all picturing him straining not to violently thrust down his teacher’s throat as Haruka licked a long stripe up the underside of the his cock. He could easily visualize the loving care with which he would click a pair of padded handcuffs over those wrists, and Rin’s moans as Haruka pressed into him, moving so slowly that the he whimpered with frustration.

He was so fucked.

He could come to terms with fantasizing about his student. It wasn’t out of any malicious intent of his own, and he would certainly never put any of his nighttime fantasies into practice. And, to be honest, he couldn’t stop if he tried.

And so, slowly and painfully, Haruka managed to curb his insatiable lust. He was coming to terms with Rin’s determination to forge a friendship with him as well, and had even loosened up enough to tease his pupil occasionally about his Australian mannerisms, his pointed teeth, and various embarrassing factoids provided by Kou. He was a reticent teacher and coach who tolerated the company of his not-favorite student, and that's all he was.

By mid-December, Rin had deemed them close enough to hunt down Haruka after practice. Presumably, he been hoping to walk back to the dorms with his coach, but for Haruka, ‘after practice’ meant a dip in the pool when the team had cleared out. Rin emerged from the boys’ locker room fully clothed as Haruka had stripped down to his spandex and dove off the mounting block for an unhurried lap. He was swimming leisurely today, aiming for peace of mind rather than speed.

Haru didn’t notice his watcher until he paused at the end of his lap. Rin leaned against the railing of the diving board steps, smiling. “You still swim well, Sensei.”

Haruka rested a hand on the side of the pool and shook the water droplets out of his hair. “Why are you here, Rin?” It wasn’t as if Rin had never seen him in his spandex jammers – probably the same suit, actually – but Rin had been twelve at the time, and with puberty’s kindness (or puberty’s malice) in play, Haruka felt distinctly uncomfortable being the one who was half-naked and lacking the height advantage.

Rin shucked off his jacket and squatted at the side of the pool. “I just wanted to show you something I learned in Australia. Here, get into freestyle position.” Warily, Haruka did. “You move your torso like this–” And then Rin’s words faded out because his hands were on Haruka’s body to push him into the odd foreign position, and there was something unmistakably sensual about the way Rin’s fingertips skimmed along his biceps and glided down his back. His palms came to rest on the small of Haruka’s back and the center of his chest. The nerves where their skin met were electrified, humming, live wires. Haruka swallowed.

“…and that’s how we do it in Australia.” Haruka barely managed to recover himself enough to realize that the maneuver did indeed seem more streamlined and smooth than his previous technique. He nodded jerkily.

Rin stood up, flashed a smile, grabbed his jacket and bag, and headed for the exit. “Good luck, Sensei.”

Haruka’s eyes followed him all the way to the door.

His skin tingled where Rin’s hands had rested on him.

~

Kou called him later that night, on one of the rare occasions that he answered his cell phone.

“Haruka-san!” she greeted him formally.

He pinned the phone between his shoulder and his ear, continuing to fold the laundry. “Hello, Kou.”

“Would you like to come to dinner tomorrow night?”

He paused to bury his face in his worn Iwatobi jacket, enjoying the warmth and clean scent of clothes straight out of the dryer. “What’s the occasion?”

“Mama Matsuoka misses feeding hungry boys.”

“What, your pit of a stomach isn’t enough for her?”

“It’s mind-boggling, I know.”

“Sure, I’ll be there.” There was a thump and a laugh on Kou’s end, and a male voice said something indistinct. “Who’s there with you?” Haruka asked absently, turning a sock right side out.

Kou’s giggle was just a bit too shrill. “Oh…well…”

“Kou.”

“It’s Seijuurou – oh!” There was a brief hitch in her breath. Muffled noises indicated that she was covering the receiver, but he could still hear her coo of “Come to Mama…”

Haruka’s goodbye was rather hasty, and Kou laughed at him for his embarrassment before he hit the “end call” button with more force than was necessary.

It wasn’t until he was drifting off to sleep that he realized that it was Thursday.

Tomorrow would be a Friday.

Rin went home every weekend.

Oh.

~

Kou answered his knock with her hair tied severely back and a tattered sky-blue apron. “Good evening, Haru-chan!” she chirped, holding open the door for him.

“Good evening, Kou,” he replied, removing his shoes and placing them under the spiral staircase that ascended out of the foyer.

“Mama’s been waiting for you,” Kou said, offering him an apron – one of the ridiculous ‘kiss the cook’ ones. “You haven’t stopped by in months, you know. Who’s she supposed to spoil with only Rin around?”

“Can I have your apron instead?” Haruka asked as he slid his feet into house slippers. Her comment had reminded him that he hadn’t so much as called for the last Children’s Day. With her only son still in Australia and the rest of the old swim club scattered, Mrs. Matsuoka would have been completely alone. A pang of guilt twisted his stomach.

“No,” she answered, looping the string around his neck and knotting the ties snugly behind his back.

“You’re turning into your mother.”

Mrs. Matsuoka never ceased to amaze Haruka.

He’d seen pictures of the family before Mr. Matsuoka died. They were like Weasleys. Two somewhat-plain redheads procreated to produce absolutely stunning children. He couldn’t explain it. And like Mrs. Weasley, Mrs. Matsuoka was a whirlwind of motherly energy.

Mrs. Matsuoka never sat down, never took off her apron, never let her fridge be less than full to bursting. Mrs. Matsuoka – she’d asked Haruka to call her Ani after he graduated, but the habit was impossible to break – fed and watched the neighborhood’s children as their parents went to work, as much for her own benefit as theirs; empty-nesting had been hard on her. She cooked the best seafood Haruka had ever tasted – breaded scallops, grilled salmon and swordfish, pasta with shrimp, baked clams, fried cod and octopus – and took an unmistakable joy in feeding people. While Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, and Rei were in high school, she’d hosted their pasta parties, invited them to stay over at the Matsuoka house, and constantly sent bentos and other food for Haruka after she found out he lived alone. She could heal cuts and scrapes like a minor deity, keep a group spellbound with stories for hours, and scrub a house until it gleamed in 60 seconds flat. When her husband was killed, she had hiked up her skirts, invested his life insurance, and made enough to send Rin to Australia, put Kou through medical school, and keep herself living in comfort to a ripe old age in their cozy little house.

She was a force of nature.

“Good evening, Matsuoka-san,” Haruka called, hanging up his jacket. Ani’s bubbly reply drifted out of the kitchen, along with some deliciously distracting smells.

Speaking of deliciously distracting.

“Mama, did you add fish to the noodles? I thought I smelled mackerel–” a male voice sounded from above, and a tousled red head appeared at the top of the staircase, peering down. “Sensei?”

Haruka glanced up the stairwell, tugging at his apron. “Good evening, Rin.”

And so it began.

“REPORT!” shouted Mrs. Matsuoka, saving them from an inevitably uncomfortable explanation as to why Haruka was in his student’s house.

It was Matsuoka family law that if you didn’t help cook, you didn’t help eat. The three young people duly filed into the kitchen, a small but bright room filled with enough contrasting scents to drive Haruka out of his mind – the sweet and spicy tang of the soup, the sizzling pork, the bland but distinctive smell of rice, Mrs. Matsuoka’s faint perfume, Kou’s fruity gum, Rin’s shampoo. Having never been close with his parents, Haruka rarely regretted his choice to live alone after middle school. But with the radio underneath the spice cabinet spinning out something bouncy and upbeat in the warm room, the easy way with which the Matsuokas moved around each other, the banter that they threw across the kitchen and the occasional times that he was caught in the crossfire, he sometimes wondered if there was something fundamental that he had missed.

At any rate, he always had a family here.

Of course, considering the situation, there were obvious distractions.

It could be his imagination, he debated, stirring the fiery soup, that Rin was going out of his way to touch him. Bumping Haruka’s hip with his own, playfully elbowing him, resting his chin on Haruka’s shoulder to watch the noodles boil – perhaps it was just how Rin was outside of a formal setting?

Haruka nearly jumped out of his skin and muffled a squeak as a hand too large to be Kou’s squeezed somewhere down low. Whipping around, he saw only Mrs. Matsuoka and Kou chatting as they bent over the pork, and Rin studiously examining the rice cooker on the island, which sat in the same state of innocuous inactivity that it had for the past hour.

Imagination, my ass.

When they finally carried the dishes to the table, Mrs. Matsuoka piled a solid half of the food onto Haruka’s plate. “Eat, eat,” she urged him. “They don't feed you schoolteachers enough these days.”

It was a daunting plate, and he accepted it with glee.

As Kou told a funny story about her overly peppy biology teacher, Mrs. Matsuoka updated them on what the Scottish neighbors were doing this week, and Rin seethed over recent Australian politics, a bare foot sliding up Haruka’s thigh was the worst of his troubles, solved by clamping his legs together and glaring pointedly at the younger Matsuoka.

This boy is going to be the death of me, he thought. But unlike the first torturous weeks, it was an exaggeration this time.

He could’ve beamed at the realization of his own self-control.

After dinner, Kou, Rin, and Haruka beat hasty retreats into the basement, keen to escape cleaning duties. Rin flopped down on the ancient couch, whining at his sister until she agreed to marshall the TV into working order.

“MarioKart?” Haruka suggested. She made a noise of affirmation, and he turned to the only sofa in the room, currently occupied by a lounging teenager. “Can I sit?” he asked pointedly.

“Go right ahead.” Rin leered, motioning to his lap.

“Stop flirting with my friends!” Kou barked from behind the TV.

“You’re in no place to talk!” he retorted. “Seijuurou hasn’t stopped grinning for weeks!”

Haruka raised an eyebrow as he settled down cross-legged on the worn carpet. “Weeks?” Yesterday had been the first he’d heard of it.

He couldn’t see Rin’s face, but the eye-roll was audible. “Haven’t you noticed? He’s all giggly and dreamy lately, and he even hugged Nitori the other day.”

“Dreamy is right!” Kou chimed in, tittering.

Haruka thought back on the last few practices. The corner of his mouth twitched. “Now that you mention it, he has been rather…happy-Gou-lucky.”

There was a boo from the back of the TV stand, and then a loud thump and a stream of curses.

“Yeah, sis,” Rin added, “stop being such a…Kougar.”

Even Haruka groaned at that one as Kou emerged from the dusty tangle of wires with three controllers. “I want Yoshi!”

“Peach,” Haruka was quick to put in at the same time that Rin claimed Luigi.

“You mean Aweejee?” Kou snickered, handing each of them their controllers and powering up the TV. “Rin couldn’t pronounce things when he was little,” she clarified gleefully to Haruka as Rin squawked with indignation. There was a brief pause as they selected their characters and started up Rainbow Road.

“Could you say your own name?” Haruka asked curiously.

“It was sort of a Win Matsooka thing–”

Rin launched himself off the couch to tackle his sister. “Kou, shut up!”

She deflected him in mid-air with her arm. “He used to be really ticklish too–” and Rin’s stammered “no way!” couldn’t stop her from scrabbling her fingers down his sides, reducing him to a squirming heap of laughter on the floor.

“You’re such a six-year-old!” Rin managed to get out between uncontrollable giggles.

“That’s not what Seijuurou said last night!” Kou fired back, grinning demonically.

“What did he say, ‘quiet or my parents will hear and call the cops’?”

“Well, he couldn’t say much of anything with his tongue up my–”

“Control yourselves,” Haruka admonished them, pulling ahead of the other karts. The two siblings recovered themselves and retrieved their controllers, immediately followed by a foul streak of curses as Rin hit Haruka’s first blue shell.

It quickly became apparent that Rin was violently competitive about video games. He howled with rage when he lost, let out exulting cries of “fuck yes” and “take that, you cumsluts” when he won, and generally cursed like there was no tomorrow. It was absolutely adorable. Haruka was no slouch himself; Peach barreled around the track with a singleminded determination not often found in video game princesses.

Finally, around eight thirty, Kou stretched, yawned, and announced that she had to go to the bathroom after a particularly difficult string of minigames. She paused the game and padded upstairs, leaving Haruka and Rin sprawled on the sofa. Rin had been lying upside down, with his head hanging off the seat and his legs propped up on the back of the couch, but sat up properly as the door clicked shut.

The second the door to the upstairs closed, Rin spoke. “Hey, Sensei.”

Haruka glanced at his student, who had turned to face him.

He was met with a pair of lips that he had fantasized about for months.

Haruka went very still.

After a long moment, Rin pulled away, licking his lips nervously. Haruka belatedly realized that it was his lack of reaction that put him off.

“S-s-sorry, I, uh, I thought, um – sensei?”

His eyes were blazing.

“Nanase-san? I-I’m sor-”

He never finished his sentence. Haruka lunged towards him, knocking him backwards onto the armrest of the couch and capturing the redhead’s lips with his own. His hands moved to part Rin’s legs, and he kneeled between them, hands sliding up his student’s shirt to twist each nipple between his fingertips. Rin let out a surprised, breathy gasp into the kiss, and bucked up into Haruka, who was glad to roll his hips against Rin’s. He kissed the corner of Rin’s mouth, then his jaw, then his neck, thrilling to Rin’s near-pornographic moan as he sucked at a particularly sensitive patch of skin.

The heat of the room was rising rapidly, and Haruka didn’t know how, but his top three buttons were unfastened. Rin was a hot mess beneath him, and Haruka’s lips and teeth crept along his collarbones, fully abusing every nerve ending he possessed. The attention to his neck combined with Haruka’s roaming hands and rocking hips did their job, and Haruka definitely felt something against his thigh as Rin wrapped his legs around it and ground against him shamelessly. “Nghh – fuck, sensei, I want you to–”

Relishing the neediness in Rin’s voice, Haruka nearly had a heart attack when the door to the basement opened, yanking him unpleasantly from his manifested fantasy. Luckily, no footsteps on the stairs followed, just Kou’s voice. “Hey!” she called down. “Haru, Mama wants you to get going before it’s dangerous on the street.”

“Coming,” Haruka answered. The door shut again.

He glanced down at Rin, who looked like the cat that ate the canary. “What’re you so satisfied about.”

Rin pulled Haruka down for another kiss before mumbling, “seduced my hot coach.”

Haruka leaned away and began smoothing his hair, pushing down both the unruly strands and the excitement that Rin’s words elicited. “Don’t make a habit of it.”

“It happens all the time. I saw it in porn.”

“Imagine trying to seduce a teacher who completely rejected you. Imagine how awful class would be.”

“How am I supposed to make grades, then?”

Haruka had gone through enough college to know how to put himself together after a heavy makeout session, but Rin looked vaguely rumpled, somewhat ravished, and entirely smug as hell, with a blatantly visible mark on his throat as they opened the basement door into the foyer. Mrs. Matsuoka immediately called him into the kitchen to scold him for fleeing dishwashing duties, leaving Haruka alone with Kou, who had taken one look at her brother and begun practically bouncing with excitement. Oh no.

“So did he do it?” She was undeterred by her friend’s refusal to meet her eyes, catching his arm in a vicelike grip as he attempted to move towards his shoes and whisper-shouting a high-velocity barrage of words. “He did! That dork actually did it! And what did you do? How was it? Does he know how to kiss? I don’t know if anyone taught him in Australia–”

“I do not know what you’re talking about–” Haruka tugged futilely at his arm.

“Oh, please, it’s all he can talk about, ‘hot teacher’ this, ‘math fetish’ that, blah blah blah…”

“I did not have any sort of relations with that boy–”

“You’re blushing!” Kou crowed jubilantly. “Ha! Tell me, did he–”

Rin and Mrs. Matsuoka reappeared from the kitchen, cutting off Kou’s next sentence to Haruka’s great relief. Their presence didn’t stop her from giving Haruka a broad grin and two thumbs up as her mother hugged him goodbye. Rin merely shook his hand, looking immensely self-satisfied. Haruka’s cheeks felt hot as he closed the front door behind him and unlocked his bike from the gate.

It wasn’t until he got home that he let the event of the evening really sink in.

He knew damn well that he’d crossed the point of no return if the school found out, but all the logic in the world couldn’t stop him from smiling into his pillow as he drifted off to sleep.

Chapter Text

As reluctant as Haruka was to compliment his already-cocky student, he trusted that Rin was intelligent enough to drop the smug demeanor of the past Friday night in school on Monday. If even a rumor started spreading, he would have to cut things off immediately. It was inevitable that Kou would find out – she was frighteningly perceptive, and at any rate, Haru knew that she was fine with the obvious elephant in the room. The school and the courts would not be as open-minded; a relationship between a teacher and a student was flat-out illegal, no matter how consensual.

(Although he was beginning to suspect that Rin was into that.)

Sure enough, Rin acted no differently than normal. At first, Haruka was surprised when he walked into homeroom – normally his student was sitting on his desk when Haruka arrived. Examining the room, he caught sight of Rin in the third row before realizing that a) his classroom was overly crowded and b) Nitori, Seijuurou, and Gou, whose normal homeroom was across the hall, were sitting with Rin. “What’s everybody in here for?”

Rin glanced up, face brightening. Grabbing his bag, he stood and maneuvered his way through the maze of desks to the front of the room. “Sensei!” he greeted his teacher. Haruka brushed past him unceremoniously. Rin, entirely undeterred, followed to plop down onto the desk.

Seijuurou waved hello with a smile. “Good morning, Nanase-san! Our homeroom teacher isn’t here, so they sent us in here.”

“Fair enough.” Haruka put his bag down and seated himself.

It didn’t escape his attention that, even with his friends in the room, Rin ignored everyone else in favor of Haruka. Not that he was unaffected – everything the damned redhead did affected him – but as a coach, he had to wonder exactly how much time Rin devoted to his teammates outside of practice.

Rin knew the intra-team dynamics better than he did, Haruka reminded himself. Resolving to keep out of Rin’s personal life, he bent to find his lesson plan for first period in the bag he’d dropped next to his chair. Nitori, who was watching him, made a noise of surprise as black spandex with violet-blue stripes was revealed between the band of his slacks and the bottom of his white button-down.

“Sensei, do you ALWAYS wear your swimsuit?” he asked curiously.

“Yes.”

“How come?”

“In case of an emergency.”

“Even at home?”

“Emergencies happen in homes all the time.”

“Doesn’t your girlfriend mind?”

Haruka didn’t even bother to look up from his papers. “I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“Oh, that’s right,” laughed Seijuurou, cutting into the conversation. “Nanase-san only has eyes for Rin, eh, Sensei?”

Haruka stilled. Luckily, Nitori interrupted. Ah, saved by the shota. “Sensei, isn’t Kou-san your girlfriend?”

“Of course.”

“What?! Really?!” Seijuurou squeaked, turning a worrying shade of purple.

“No,” Haruka deadpanned.

“Mean!”

“Isn’t she a bit old for you to be fawning over?”

Seijuurou hemmed and hawed for a moment before mumbling something indistinct and turning back to Gou.

Haruka’s face was as impassive as ever, but he breathed a silent sigh of relief. Rin, sitting cross-legged on his teacher’s desk as always, hadn’t reacted to Seijuurou’s comment, and Haruka silently commended him on his prudence as Rin struck up his usual mostly-one-sided conversation.

That was a close call.

But it wasn’t very subtle when Rin stalled after the bell rang, clearly waiting for his peers to leave as he fiddled with a paper from his backpack. As soon as the last student was out the door, he leaned in swiftly and caught Haruka’s lips with a kiss – brief, but deep.

Haruka cleared his throat and glanced to the side, heart fluttering embarrassingly. “Who said you could do that.”

“Me.” Rin grinned and slid off the desk.

“You’re spoiled.”

“You love it.”

“…Go to class.”

Haruka was pretty sure Rin could sense his teacher’s eyes on him as he left. Nobody’s hips naturally had that much swing. He shook his head in irritation as his first period students began to arrive. Rin was a pain to deal with. An absolute pain.

But throughout the rest of the day, he couldn’t shake the lingering warmth of Rin’s lips on his.

~

The following Thursday was Haruka’s favorite kind of day – rain pounding down outside, thunder rumbling in the distance. He headed down to the office at the end of the day to announce over the P.A. system that swim practice was cancelled due to the weather, and left through the drizzle in the direction of the harbor rather than his house – not bothering with a rain jacket; he was pretty sure he didn’t even own one. Makoto was coming home for the first time since summer, and Haruka planned to meet him at the dock. He tipped his head back as he walked, pushing his hair away to keep it from dripping on his face. The water soaked into his skin, and before long his white dress shirt clung to him. Up on the high path that wound along the side of the mountain, the air was chilly, but Haruka had always liked colder weather – it made him feel more alert and focused. Heat just made him want to sleep.

Haruka rounded the final bend and came up on the rocky path that wound down to the harbor. Iwatobi was a stony little town – his own house was a decent ways up the mountain. He climbed down carefully, went out to the end of Pier 6 where the deep-sea boats docked, and sat to wait for the arrival of the Bella Giornata. Not that he had any idea when Makoto was aiming to come in. The distinct odors of fish and boats were dampened in the rain, what few dock-men remained were working in sulky silence, and the overcast sky combined with sheeting rain made visibility nonexistent – Haruka probably wouldn’t notice the boat until it was nearly upon him.

Around three o’clock, sure enough, the muted clamor of the soaked and hungry crew reached him through the rain only just before the prow loomed before him. “Slowly, now!” Makoto called, a visible figure on the foredeck. His men scurried around him, a few leaping nimbly down onto the dock with ropes as the boat glided in, mooring it securely. Haruka, stiff from sitting for so long but still glad for the drizzle, stood and strolled over, standing back from the hustle and bustle as they lowered the gangplank. Even in the cold, gray weather, most of them were bare-chested; raincoats would do little when the inundation was this absolute.

Makoto was the last off. Although the crew was clearly eager to flee into town for sake and dry clothes as soon as possible, they gathered around him dutifully, shoulders hunched against the driving wind and rain. Makoto, looking around at the waterlogged men, obviously couldn’t bring himself to order them to stay. “You all can go,” he announced. “I’ll wrap things up here.” The mood was far too subdued for cheers, but several members of the crew cracked smiles or thanked their captain as the group headed down the dock towards land.

Makoto watched them go with a smile. “They’re a good crew,” he said, half to himself as the rain hammered against the wooden pier. “We’re staying together for the rest of the year, I think. There’s one who has to go back to his family. We’ll find someone.” He turned to Haruka, eyes crinkling with happiness. “It’s good to see you again, Haru-chan.”

He didn’t offer a hug or oblige an endearment in return. Haruka had forgotten how much of a relief that was. “Are you ever going to drop the –chan?” he asked, following Makoto back up the gangplank. Haruka wouldn’t put it past him to have dismissed the crew with a full evening’s work remaining on the ship. Makoto would never ask for Haruka’s help, of course, just as Haruka would never ask if his friend needed it. The wordlessness of their understanding was simple and refreshing.

Once upon a time, Makoto had irritated him to no end. He was an annoying busybody who couldn’t just leave Haruka alone. After they graduated and Haruka left town for college, he came to realize that perhaps having someone around to remind him about classes and eating and laundry wasn’t quite a bad thing, and, also, that he missed Makoto’s kind presence rather awfully. There had been a rather nerve-wracking period of disorientation, interrupted at its peak by a phone call from Nagisa explaining that Makoto had adopted four cats and was looking for another one and would Haruka please come back home soon because their captain desperately needed something helpless to take care of.

It had taken them both a while to adjust.

The rain had dwindled to mere sprinkling, and the mist had faded enough for Haruka to see that the ship was an absolute mess. At about a hundred feet long, it was small for a deep-sea boat, but there were ropes, equipment, and even forgotten personal belongings strewn across the deck. Makoto’s crew had left in full knowledge of the workload awaiting their captain. Haruka’s lips thinned with disapproval.

Makoto saw and chastised him gently. “I told them they could go, Haru.”

Haruka went to the nearest tangle of wet rope and began coiling it. Makoto, recognizing a lost cause when he saw one, began gathering the various flung-around t-shirts and other items that the crew had left behind.

As they worked, he began telling Haruka about the voyage – they had gone south this time, stopping at Taiwan before heading for international waters. “One day we didn’t fish at all, we just went swimming,” he admitted sheepishly. “I wouldn’t let anyone further than fifteen meters from the boat, but a few of us went down about six meters before coming back up. Haru, you should’ve seen it, the sun went straight down and you could see fish swimming by below, and there was a whale that came close enough to see its eyes, can you believe that? I’d like to do that again sometime. Maybe with oxygen tanks.”

Haruka paused and looked at him. “You’re really fine with that?”

Makoto laughed. “Of course!” There was nothing but honesty in his clear green eyes. “Really, I’m okay now," he smiled. “You worry too much, Haru.”

Haruka went back to his chore. “I don’t understand why you can’t just call me Haruka like everyone else.” Makoto wasn’t wrong – it had been years since the taller man had been afraid of the ocean, but it was impossible for Haruka to forget what had happened at their training camp on the island.

He’d hardly let Makoto out of his sight for weeks. Going near the ocean itself had been completely out of the question.

The ship wasn’t as messy as it appeared at first – it had pretty obviously been cleaned in the past few days, with only scattered disorderliness from the commotion of docking. After an hour, the rain had stopped completely and the deck was spotlessly clean. Haruka had rolled up his damp sleeves about halfway through, and Makoto had stripped off his shirt entirely.

“I think that’s about it!” Makoto finally declared, standing outside of the door to his cabin. He locked the door, slipped the string with the key around his neck, and was leading Haruka back down the gangplank when an electronic jingle rang out into the cool late-afternoon air.

“That’s your ringtone,” Makoto informed him after a moment. Haruka paused in surprise, realizing that the sound was indeed coming from his slacks, and reached into his pocket. After losing two cell phones to the pool and the bath, he’d invested in a waterproof case, but it hadn’t seen a test before today. As the phone was still perfectly functional after its soaking on his walk, he supposed it passed. He didn’t recognize the number, but answered the call anyway. “Hello?”

“Yo, Nanase!”

Ah. “What is it, Rin?”

This was Haruka’s third time using the phone in the past week. It made him uncomfortable.

“Too much time on the phone?” Makoto asked. Haruka glanced to the side and made a vague noise. Makoto stifled a smile.

“I’m coming over,” Rin announced. “I have the shittiest of movies to watch. Kou says it’s this American teen superhero thing. It’s going to be so awful. I’ll bring bentos.” Awfully exciting, judging by Rin’s tone. Shitty movies night didn’t sound half bad, though.

But this was the first time he had seen Makoto since midsummer.

“Makoto is home today.”

“…Oh.”

Haruka frowned at the slight note of petulance in Rin’s tone. “And I won’t see him for months again after this weekend.”

“Well…can’t you just see him later, then?”

“I see you every day.” He hated to sound like a disapproving parent, but Rin’s demand was striking him as fairly selfish.

Luckily for Rin, Makoto interrupted about then, having pieced together the situation from Haruka’s end of the conversation. “Haru, I’m not busy on Sunday afternoon.”

Haruka glanced at him, but said nothing.

“You should go,” Makoto pressed. “I’m tired anyway. Really, I just want to see Ren and Ran and go to sleep.”

He was making excuses. But Haruka knew he couldn’t change Makoto’s mind once his friend had decided something was good for him, and so he returned to the phone, aware of Makoto’s eyes on him. “I’ll be home in about fifteen minutes.” Rin gleefully thanked him before hanging up.

“I’m glad that you’ve making friends,” Makoto commented as they walked down the dock. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk about a colleague before.”

Colleagues. Right. Haruka shifted uncomfortably. He hadn’t said anything out of the ordinary, nothing at all. But somehow, under Makoto’s shrewd gaze... he’d swear the guy knew everything.

Why did all his friends have to be so observant?

“Haru,” Makoto began as they stepped up onto the narrow path up from the harbor, falling back to follow him, “when’s your spring break this year?”

“April thirteenth to nineteenth,” he answered immediately. After becoming a teacher, he had become meticulously aware of schedule. “Why?”

“Well,” Makoto began, in a casual tone that immediately roused Haruka’s suspicions, “my boss said that since she’s taking a week off in April to go to Korea, I could take one too. My choice.”

“And?”

“Nagisa can always get a week off, and Rei says his break is the same week as yours.”

“That happens every year.”

“True.” Makoto smiled a little wider. “But not when I have access to the boat and certification to sail international waters. I was thinking the Philippines.”

Haruka was silent.

“Think about it,” Makoto urged him. “We could scuba-dive. Swim in the ocean all day. Meet beautiful island women.”

“I’m sure you’ll find some Filipino grandmother to keep you happy,” Haruka muttered. Faintly, he recognized the irony of the situation. Makoto had always had a fondness for older women – his first girlfriend, when he was nineteen, had been thirty-two. Meanwhile, both Haruka and Kou were going after high schoolers. Not that Makoto knew about that one quite yet.

Makoto ignored the dry comment. “There are the most wonderful markets and food and music, and you’ll be able to swim so much more than you do now…”

“Hmph.”

Makoto’s smile had become a full-blown grin. “So you’ll come?”

“…Yes.” Of course.

When was the last time the four of them had all been together? Haruka frowned. He couldn’t remember. He had met up with Nagisa and Rei in Tokyo a few months before…

Already, he was beginning to think about which swimsuits he would bring.

Rin wasn’t there yet when they arrived at Haruka’s house. Makoto followed him in, explaining, “I can stay until your company gets here, at least. What was his name again?”

“Rin,” Haruka answered, closing the door and immediately going to open the windows. It had been a dry late fall; he was determined to take advantage of every drop of rain.

Makoto found a clean towel in the linen closet and went into the bathroom to dry off. “Oh, wasn’t that the name of that elementary schooler you liked so much when you were coaching at the swim club?”

“I did not like him. He was a pain.” He still is.

“Sure, sure.” Makoto laughed from the other room.

Thunder had begun to crack closer again by the time Rin arrived with two bentos, a DVD case, and a tattered baby-blue blanket. The rain was picking back up, and Haruka answered the door with a small smile. Rin looked surprised by his expression at first, but soon returned a wide grin. “Yo!” Then he froze in the doorway, looking at something behind Haruka’s shoulder. Haruka turned to see, letting Rin in.

Makoto stepped out of the bathroom, toweling his hair off with Haruka’s dolphin towel. “Haruka, you’re out of soap again. Oh, hi!” He took in Rin’s appearance, and Haruka watched him carefully. The boy in front of them was clearly the very same elementary schooler who had cheered for them at so many meets. Makoto's eyes flicked back and forth between Rin and Haruka briefly; he must have had dozens of questions. Luckily, he withheld them, only asking, “Rin, right?”

“Yeah…” Rin mumbled, glancing at his teacher and then back at Makoto.

Haruka was momentarily confused until he realized that Makoto still hadn’t put his shirt back on. After a lifetime swimming together, he was used to seeing his friend wet and bare-chested. Rin was not. And although neither Haruka nor Rin was short, Makoto had a good ten centimeters on both of them – broader, more powerful, and entirely more intimidating, despite his friendly expression. Haruka stifled a smile. This could be interesting.

“I remember hearing about you all the time back in high school,” Makoto continued. “Haru took quite a shine to you.”

“I did not.”

“Of course you didn’t,” Makoto agreed amiably. “I’ll be right back, I need to grab a shirt. Haru, can I have my orca one back? You’ve had it since the week before I left.”

“It’s where it always is.”

Makoto strolled into Haruka’s bedroom as though he owned it. Rin cleared his throat uncomfortably, and Haruka glanced at him. “What is it?”

He cleared his throat. “Makoto is…well…I guess…”

“Just say it.”

“He’s…uh…he’s really tall,” Rin muttered, glancing to the side. It was a weak excuse for his reaction, and both of them knew it.

“You saw plenty of him at meets when we were in high school,” Haruka pointed out. “He’s only grown five centimeters since then.”

Rin crossed his arms self-consciously. “That’s different.”

Haruka raised an eyebrow. “How so?” Rin was squirming. It was wonderful.

Rin scowled. “I…I didn’t…we…you…”

He was saved by Makoto himself, emerging from the bedroom and pulling his t-shirt on over his muscled torso. “It’s too bad we don’t fit into the same jeans,” he mentioned. “Mine are soaked. Well, I’ve got to be on my way now. You two have fun!”

“Until Sunday.”

If he were asked, Haruka would bluntly deny that he stood at the door watching until Makoto was safely down the steps because the stone was slippery in the rain.

“Sensei?”

Haruka turned to Rin. “What?”

“I would fit into your jeans.”

“I know, Rin.” Belatedly, Haruka realized that Rin was still wearing his coat and shoes. “Put on house slippers. I don’t want your mud all over my house.”

“All right, all right, Nanase-san.”

“You can call me Haruka, you know,” Haru pointed out. I question my morals enough as it is.

Rin glanced up from sliding his bare feet into the slippers, smirking. “Nah, I like it.”

Haruka shut the door with a little more force than was necessary. But he couldn’t really stay annoyed when rain was drumming on the roof and flowing in rivulets down the hillside, and Rin knew it. “What’s in the bentos?” Haruka asked, taking the two boxes from Rin as his student shook out his wet hair.

Rin rolled his eyes. “Mackerel. Shrimp. Octopus. Squid. Some rice. More mackerel. I stopped at home on the way. Mama knows you way too well.”

Haruka raised an eyebrow as they made their way down the hall into the living room. “You told her you’re here?”

“You’re tutoring me in math. I’m sixth in the class, you know.” Rin leered at him. “I can’t spend my afternoons just screwing around with some old guy I picked up off the street.”

“I don’t know why I put up with you,” Haruka mumbled. Rin headed for the TV.

“Nitori helped me sneak out,” he mentioned as he fiddled with the buttons, clearly unconcerned that Haruka would reveal his deception. “We were gonna have a cram session for the physics test, but I know the stuff, you know? There’s not really a point.”

Haruka frowned. “What about Nitori?”

“He can study on his own, can’t he?” Impressively, Rin had coaxed the ancient television set into working order. Talent with electronics ran in the family, it seemed.

That wasn’t what he had meant, but Haru let it slide, reminding himself how big the Samezuka swim team was. It was a given that they weren’t going to be as tightly knit as the old Iwatobi team had been. Rin and Nitori would work out any problems on their own.

It occurred to him that he should replace his shirt – it was still dripping. He began to unbutton it.

“H-hey, what are you doing now?”

“Does it bother you?” Rin had seen him shirtless plenty of times before.

Rin wouldn’t meet his eyes. “…A little, yeah…”

“I see.” Haruka continued unbuttoning his shirt.

“Nanase!”

“You saw me swim just the other day.”

“It’s unnecessary for you to be shirtless-”

“My shirt is wet.” Haruka paused, watching Rin carefully. “We aren’t going to do anything you don’t want to, you know.” That needed to be made clear from the start if he was going to pursue this. Which he was. He was lost the second he returned Rin’s kiss, and Nanase Haruka did not do things halfway.

“I-I know, it’s just…” Rin rubbed his neck.

Haruka undid another button.

Rin groaned. “For the sake of making me feel more comfortable? Please?”

The teacher finally removed his shirt and hung it over the wooden slats that made up the back of the couch. “It’s about time someone put you out of your comfort zone.”

“It’s a lost cause, isn’t it?” Rin exhaled heavily.

Haruka sat on the floor next to the couch, watching Rin tinker with the cords in the DVD player.

“You know, my pants are wet too, I think.”

Rin squawked like an offended rooster. Haruka nearly chuckled at the noise, and Rin huffed and moved on. “So, uh.” He studiously examined the TV. “You and Makoto have a thing?”

Haruka laid back on the floor, gazing at the ceiling. “We’ve been friends since grade school.”

“Yeah, but are you a thing?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I mean like, are you. You know. Together?”

“We are very close friends.”

“But are you dating?”

Haruka didn’t answer.

“Dammit, sensei, stop fucking with me!”

“Really, is that what you want now?”

“You know what I mean!” Rin barked, stabbing a cord into its jack with more force than was necessary.

Haruka allowed himself a smile. (That made two within fifteen minutes. He was on a roll.) Rin turned towards him, hands planted on hips, scowled down at his teacher. He opened his mouth, clearly about to say something, when Haruka interrupted.

“Makoto and I are old friends. That’s all.”

We have something better than romance, I think.

“Jeez, was that really so hard?” Rin whined.

Haruka could’ve pointed out that Rin was adorable when he was worked up. Like a kitten, puffing itself up and pretending it was a tiger. That would’ve gotten an indignant yell for sure. But Rin, staring at the DVD player's blue screensaver, wasn't done talking yet.

"H-how do I know you don't have some secret boyfriend, or girlfriend, and you're just using me for a good fuck, if you'd so much rather spend time with Makoto than me and I'm just a pain-in-the-ass kid to you? I..."

Haruka stared at his back blankly for a moment. Rin wouldn’t look at him.

"Why do you have a blanket?" Haruka asked.

Rin’s shoulders hunched infinitesimally, but he acquiesced to the change in subject, fiddling with the corner of the tattered blue fleece. “Oh, uh, well…have you ever had an indoor picnic?” He glanced up at Haruka, tone slightly belligerent but eyes apprehensive.

“No.”

Rin fidgeted. “Um, Kou and I used to have them when it was raining… You set up the blanket and the food and everything on the living room floor, and have the picnic inside… It’s fun, I always missed them…”

Haruka sighed.

“There’s a word for people like you, you know.”

“Huh?”

“’Hopeless romantic’.” Nevertheless, he took one side of the blanket and laid it across the floor in front of the couch.

Rin flushed and went back to messing with the DVD player. Haruka sat back on his heels. Embarrassed Rin was also devastatingly cute. He filed the information away for further reference.

To flatten the blanket out all the way, it needed to lie where Rin was standing. Haruka, kneeling to spread it, prodded at Rin’s thigh. “Move.”

He really should’ve seen it coming – Rin turned just a little too quickly, and Haruka automatically reached up to steady him, and he stumbled forwards, and suddenly Haruka’s hands were resting on Rin’s hips as he knelt before him and their eyes were locked on each other and the room was crackling with electricity as thunder boomed outside.

Rin cleared his throat and moved away, and the tension died down as quickly as it had flared up. “Sorry.” A smile began to play at the corners of his mouth.

Haruka pulled the rest of the blanket across the floor. “Put on the movie.”

“Right.” Rin popped his disc into Haruka’s DVD player, selecting Japanese subtitles from the menu. The film began with a montage of images in comic book style – not manga, but American comic books, with spandex costumes and ridiculously muscled men and impossibly curvy women. A voiceover began, in the tone of a teenage boy – around fourteen, Haruka would estimate.

“In a world full of superheroes, there are two that stand above the rest: the Commander and Jetstream.

“His super-strength makes him pretty much indestructible. She has the power of supersonic flight along with a total mastery of unarmed combat. By day, they live as Steve and Josie Stronghold, the top real estate agents in the metropolis of Maxville. But whenever duty calls, they are the Commander and Jetstream. Me, I have my own names for them: Mom and Dad… Uh, that’s me, in the middle. You look at them and see the defenders of the world. All I see is my dad wearing tights.”

“Nanase-san, really, would you put a shirt on?”

Haruka frowned, slightly annoyed now. “Why?”

Rin mumbled something indistinct.

“Speak up.”

“I said, how are we supposed to cuddle if you’re half naked?”

Haruka stared at him for a moment, then placed an arm around Rin’s shoulders and pulled him closer with a forceful yank. Rin’s exclamation of surprise was clearly overlaid with delight, and he curled into Haruka’s bare chest, eyes fixed on the screen.

“I can hear your heart beating,” he announced.

“It tends to do that.”

Rin twisted his head to stare up at Haruka. “Don’t you think that’s romantic?”

“It’s a biological function.”

Rin looked put out.

“Watch the movie.”

Grumbling, Rin laid his head back down in Haruka’s lap and complied.

Really, Haruka should've been unsurprised by what happened next. He had spent a full year with Rin at the swim club and been around him for a solid two and a half hours daily for the past three months, and not once had Rin obeyed Haruka’s orders to shut up. Why would movie time be any different?

Rin talked constantly throughout the opening scene. He talked through mouthfuls of his bento. He talked as Will, the main character, met up with his friend Layla for their first day at Sky High. He talked as they arrived, met the obvious love interest, and were sorted into heroes vs. sidekicks based on their powers, and he talked through the dramatic reveal that Will, despite his parentage, had none. He talked as Will quickly made an enemy of an intimidating-looking boy named Warren. And the more he talked, the more Haruka’s irritation grew.

“Look at him. Black clothing, emo hair, daddy issues and pyrokinesis. He’s going to break his dad out of prison.”

“Quiet. You’re being a bother.” Haruka’s eyes were fixed on the fight. Warren crashed through a wall, badly surprising the teachers on the other side.

Rin huffed, not really offended. “Always blunt. Do you want me to turn it up?”

“No, I want you to be quiet.”

“Make me,” Rin tossed back. Haruka’s eyes flicked downwards; Rin, head still resting in Haruka’s lap, was grinning insolently.

In a split second, Haruka was pinning Rin to the floor, his lips against his student’s ear. “Do you really want me to do that.”

He could hear the smirk in Rin’s somewhat-breathless voice. “Maybe.”

Frustrated, he nipped at Rin’s ear. Rin only laughed. “A little worked up, sensei?”

Haru glowered at Rin, letting him up and returning to his original position. “It’s not a…normal thing.”

Rin, seeming delighted with the answer, he went back to watching Warren throw fireballs at Will. It didn’t need to be said that Rin could get more of a rise out of Haruka in five minutes than a rowdy, rude classroom could in two hours.

Haruka vaguely remembered that he had been a relatively calm person before Rin arrived.

The discovery of Will’s super-strength was cheesily dramatic in a way that only a B-list superhero movie could achieve. Haruka fully approved of Rin’s choice in movies, but with the ceaseless prattling beside him, he’d have to watch the entire thing again on his own for any sort of effect.

He needed to take action.

Haruka’s hand inched up Rin’s leg, fingers trailing across his inner thigh. Rin stuttered in his monologue.

“S-sensei?”

“Carry on,” Haruka deadpanned. “Your commentary is fascinating.” The sarcasm went undetected, and Rin, oblivious, continued as his teacher’s hand drifted upwards to massage the junction of leg and pelvic bone. The boy seemed to have exceptionally sensitive skin, Haruka noticed – his voice was definitely trembling now, and goosebumps dotted his arm. Although, impressively, his mouth moved as quickly as ever.

As Will and Warren got their asses thoroughly kicked by Lash and Speed, Haruka moved to palm Rin through his pants. Rin finally paused his flood of words to frown at him.

“Sensei, I can’t talk if you keep doing that!”

Haruka raised an eyebrow, continuing to rub the already-noticeable bulge.

Rin’s eyes glinted with trepidation, but he was determined to continue. “A-anyway, I was thinking that Warren is definitely gonna get with Layla–”

Haruka popped the button of Rin’s jeans and slid the zipper down, slipping his hand beneath the waistband of Rin’s boxers to wrap it around his cock. He began to pump slowly, twisting just a little at the top and occasionally thumbing his tip.

Rin made a squeaking noise. His words had trailed off to mostly incomprehensible nonsense. He was delightfully hard, and Haruka’s fingers slowed, playing across the smooth skin. Staring down at Rin, who met his gaze with darkened red eyes, Haruka couldn’t deny that the power was somewhat addictive - he could keep Rin here for hours, hot and bothered on the living room floor, until Rin was begging and sobbing for more, anything, any touch besides the feather-light caresses keeping him on edge

But he didn’t want to torment his student just yet. He sped up, feeling Rin harden and twitch at every stroke. Rin’s noises were absolutely obscene, and yet, when Will and Warren finally “saved” the droning dummy onscreen, he still managed to gasp out, “What a great friendship” as he spilled into Haruka’s hand, hips jerking slightly as Haruka pumped him through his orgasm.

“You’re ridiculous,” Haruka informed him, neatly catching the fluid in his hand. Rin closed his eyes, head lolling back into Haruka’s lap. “And don’t get my carpet dirty.”

“Not much for aftercare, aren’t you?” Rin complained, nevertheless stretching briefly and moving to get up. Haruka grasped Rin’s shoulder with his clean hand, and Rin frowned up at him. “What? I’m going to get paper towels.”

“No need,” Haruka answered. Eyes locked on Rin’s, Haruka lifted his hand to his mouth and licked off the stripes of cum, wickedly slowly.

Rin gulped.

As the pretty brunette love interest charmed Will’s parents, Rin remained blessedly quiet.

The spell was broken as soon as it became evident that Will had ditched a dinner with Layla in favor of staying home with Gwen and his parents. Haruka had never expected it to last. But Rin's initial ebullience had faded to a relaxed off-and-on chatter, and Haruka found that as long as Rin stayed curled up against him, resting his head in the crook of Haruka's neck and tugging Haruka's arm around his waist, he didn't really mind.

The only interruption occurred when Warren entered in a grease-spotted apron and with his shaggy black hair tied back into a short ponytail. Rin stared at the screen, raised a hand to his head, and glanced at Haruka.

“Hey, do you have any hair ties?”

Otherwise, the movie went smoothly.

A warm body next to him, rain beating out a staccato tempo on the roof as dusk settled over the mountain, a delicious bento in his stomach, and the best movie he had seen in a while. Haruka could get used to this.

Until Rin's refractory period was over, that is.

It began with a hand sliding over Haruka's bare stomach, and before long, Rin was trying to unbutton his pants.

"Why are you trying to take my clothes off?" Haruka asked, batting Rin's hand away.

"Why do you think?" Rin placed a soft kiss on Haruka's shoulder.

"Not now, this is a good part."

Rin scowled at him, but Haruka was more interested in Layla's sudden attraction to Warren.

"...Just a kiss, at least?"

"You were the one who wanted to watch this in the first place," Haruka retorted somewhat distractedly as Will appeared onscreen with a blindfold.

"Asshole," Rin muttered.

"Maybe I'd be nicer if you didn't keep trying to put your tongue in my mouth in the middle of a good movie."

That was the final straw - Rin lunged for him. Haruka pushed him aside at first, eyes on the screen. “No, I want to watch.”

Rin snatched the remote from his teacher’s hand and stabbed the pause button. “We have PLENTY of time, just fucking kiss me already!" In more subdued tone, he added, "Don't you want to...?"

Haruka’s eyes shifted to pierce Rin’s, and the younger boy faltered. “Nanas-” Before he knew it, he was on his back and his hands were pinned above his head as Haruka pulled up his shirt. “Hey!” Rin pushed back, and actually managed to overcome Haruka, flipping their positions so that he was on top.

He pinned Haruka’s shoulders to the floor, but didn’t account for his teacher’s free hands – quick as a whip, Haruka grasped Rin’s hips, pulling him down to straddle him. Sliding under his shirt, Haruka’s thumb rubbed over the jut of Rin’s hipbone, and Rin sucked in a sharp breath. “Fuck you, Nanase, that’s fucking cheating and you know it–”

“Sorry, that’s Sensei or Nanase-san to you,” Haruka cut him off, hands skimming up Rin’s torso to roll his nipples between two fingers. Rin arched involuntarily into the touch, glaring the entire time.

“Do you want me to stop?”

Rin growled and ground down aggressively, rocking his hips against Haruka’s thigh.

Haruka paused, holding Rin at arm’s length. “I said, do you want me to stop?”

“…No.”

Without warning, Haruka flipped them again. Kneeling between his student’s legs, he pinned Rin’s wrists above his head with one hand and shoved the other underneath Rin and into his boxer shorts, kneading his firm glutes. Rin yanked at his wrists, but Haruka’s grip held firm, and he was reduced to shaking and moaning and steadily weaker tugs at his trapped hands. And finally, Haruka was kissing him, deep and sensuous, tongue sliding across and between Rin’s lips to tangle briefly with his. Rin arched up into the contact, pressing his entire torso along Haruka’s and shivering as Haruka’s hand left his pants to trail up his spine, counting the vertebrae.

It was Rin who broke contact first, gasping for air like the inexperienced teenager he was. He reddened under Haruka’s blatant ogling and made a move to cover his face with his hands, blushing deeper when he remembered that they were still restrained.

“We need handcuffs next time,” Haruka observed.

He had been joking, but something jumped in Rin’s pants. He raised an eyebrow, and could’ve laughed out loud at the conflicting mortification and anticipation on Rin’s face.

Rin groaned and turned his face to the side in a futile attempt to hide his completely scarlet features. “I…”

“Take off your clothes and get on the couch,” Haruka cut him off, filing away the new information for careful consideration.

Rin quickly stripped and pulled himself up onto the sofa, looking a little overwhelmed as Haruka kneeled between his spread legs. “Why are you on the grou-ah!” Rin’s breath hitched as Haruka took him into his mouth, and his hands grasped uncertainly at Haruka’s hair before settling on his bare shoulders.

It was amusing but entirely unsurprising that Rin was clean-shaven. Haruka swallowed him about halfway down a few times before breaking contact with a muffled pop to answer the question. “Didn’t you take biology in Australia? The mouth is linked in with the nasal cavity and the windpipe. Any fluids entering the mouth when the person isn’t sitting up straight will simply come out the nose–”

“Shut the fuck up,” Rin requested, voice tight and fingers whitening around Haruka’s shoulders.

“Rude,” Haruka reprimanded him. He nosed at Rin’s tip, and Rin kind of yelled at him. “I’m trying to debauch you, the least you could do is be polite about it.”

Haruka began bobbing his head back and forth in earnest now, squeezing his thumb in his fist to stifle his gag reflex and taking Rin to his base. As his tongue curled to tease the vein on the bottom and his cheeks hollowed out with suction, his free hand roamed across Rin’s exposed stomach and chest, lightly skimming the clean-shaven white skin, the hollows inside his hipbones, the bumps of his ribs.

Where his fingertips went, goosebumps followed, and Haruka observed with fascination as Rin shuddered under the simple touch. Rin was all angles and hard muscle, and, shaking and blushing and eyes scrunched tight with embarrassment and pleasure, he couldn’t have possibly been more beautiful. As Haruka watched, his eyes flickered open to glance down at Haruka, red meeting blue in a gaze that sparked intensity.

There was a trick to dealing with someone as responsive to touch as Rin. If he’d confined all attentions to Rin’s cock, the orgasm would’ve been quick and unmemorable. But if he brought his hands into play, Rin was a live wire, humming with tension. Every touch of Haruka’s fingertips heightened his sensitivity – every nerve ending was on high alert, and Rin’s skin from head to toe was hyperaware of the sensations flooding him.

Caught up in his total power over Rin, Haruka almost didn’t notice when Rin’s back arched and his entire body tensed in anticipation of orgasm. Hastily, Haruka squeezed the base of his cock with his left hand, and Rin let out a high-pitched whine. “Fuck, Sensei, just let me come-”

Rin interrupted himself with a breathy, desperate noise as Haruka licked the dribble of precum off his tip. “I know you’re seventeen, but you do two hours of intense cardio a day,” he chided his student. “Get a hold of yourself.” Rin’s only reply was a choked gasp as Haruka took him back in.

He scooted up to trail his fingers down Rin’s muscled back, rubbing his tongue against Rin’s slit, and Rin’s breath caught. Haruka was embarrassed to realize that he himself was fully hard. He hadn’t even touched himself yet. His touch skimmed down the inside of Rin’s left thigh, appreciating the rippling muscle as Rin trembled.

"Ready to come, Rin?" he asked, fist still tight around the base of Rin's cock.

Rin gasped assent, eyes watering with need.

"That's nice," Haruka said, and slowed down even more, ignoring Rin's vehement protests even as they gave way to reluctant pleas.

He could keep going, he realized. He could reduce Rin to a babbling, groveling mess if he wanted. The absolute control was intoxicating. If Haruka's need wasn't becoming urgent, he wasn't sure if he could have stopped. But he had a limited number of hands, and finally, he was forced to release his death grip on Rin's cock, unbutton his own pants, slide his hand in his spandex jammers, and bring himself off with a few quick sharp strokes.

Rin came nearly immediately after the barrier was removed with no sound but a soft "ohhh", eyes fluttering shut and lips parting slightly. His entire body tensed for a few seconds, then he collapsed against the back of the sofa, whimpering softly as Haruka slid his tongue up the achingly sensitive vein one last time before releasing it and licking a few translucent white droplets off his lips. Rin was starting to say something when Haruka hopped up and hurried into his bedroom, stripping off his still-slightly-damp slacks and ridding himself of the uncomfortable wet patch in the front of his swimsuit.

When he returned, wearing an identical swimsuit underneath a pair of jeans and a plain white t-shirt, Rin had slid back down onto the floor and was gaping over the big reveal that Gwen, the charming love interest, was, in fact, evil.

“Oh my god,” moaned Will in dismay. “I made out with an old lady!

“Me too,” mumbled Rin, and Haruka rolled his eyes.

But as the battle raged onscreen, Rin, sprawled on the blanket, was finally, blessedly quiet. Haruka was still sitting up, and when Rin reached up to intertwine their fingers, Haruka let him.

When Royal Pain had been disposed of, the Sky High students returned to their homecoming dance in the gym as Will and Layla kissed in the sky outside. The ending credits began to roll across the screen, and Rin sighed happily as he stretched. “What a great movie.”

Haruka frowned. “Well, the ending could have been better…" At Rin's quizzical look, he elaborated. "It starts off talking about how you don’t need superpowers to be great, but then they only save the day because Will manifests super-strength and flight. Even Ron gets powers in the end. What’s that supposed to be saying? If you aren’t conventionally strong, start hoping for superpowers instead of learning to use your own strengths to your advantage?”

“No, that’s not the point!” Rin argued. “It’s about not letting fame go to your head! It’s about how you need to stick with your friends, even when you’re much stronger than them, and how teamwork conquers pure strength!” Haruka started to say something, but Rin kept talking over him. “Look how sad Mr. Boy was that the Commander didn’t remember his old friends. And they couldn’t have beaten anyone if not for the sidekicks. Will is going to remember that!”

“Don’t you think the story would’ve been better if the protagonist learned to use his wits and balance out his weaknesses with his friends’ strengths?”

“What wits? Smart protagonists don’t sell.” Rin was warming to his point. “Look at Hermione Granger. Annabeth Chase. C-3PO.”

“I’d be a smart protagonist.” It might’ve helped him if he’d known who any of those characters were.

Rin snorted. “No you wouldn’t. You’d be the obsessive protagonist. Rei is the smart one.”

“Well…” Haruka frowned, scrambling for a counter-argument. Rin, grinning smugly at his victory, laid his head in Haruka’s lap. Irritated, Haruka pushed him away. “No.”

Rin looked surprised. “Why not?”

“Because you’re being obnoxious.”

“You’re just saying that because I’m right!”

“I am not.”

Rin was opening his mouth to argue when thunder cracked directly overhead and he nearly jumped out of his skin. His mouth snapped shut, and he unconsciously drew himself into a ball. Thunder boomed again, and he scooted closer to Haruka, who shoved him away again, still aggravated.

But he wasn’t too annoyed to make fun of Rin. “You’re scared of thunder?”

Rin flushed in embarrassment, but as lightning flashed outside, he huddled close to his stiff teacher, quivering. Another thunderclap sounded, and he flinched.

“P-please, Sensei…” He stared up at Haruka with imploring red eyes, shoulders hunched.

Damn it.

With a small sigh, Haruka acquiesced, wrapping his arm around Rin’s shaking shoulders. The redhead pressed himself as close to Haruka as he could get, cringing at every thunderclap. It was equal parts endearing and irritating.

“You’re being a baby,” he announced, and was met with only a choked noise of distress.

But even as the apex of the storm passed, Rin laid still, curled into Haruka’s chest. Bit by bit, his body began to relax, and as his breathing became even, Haruka realized that he, too, was nodding off, lulled by the steady rain pounding on the roof and the warm body against him. With his last sluggish energy before unconsciousness overtook him, Haruka reached up to grab a pillow from the sofa and wedge it beneath their heads, and buried his face in the tangle of red hair to take a deep breath of the scent that was uniquely Rin before drifting off.

The next thing he knew, the warmth was gone, and loud noises were penetrating the bubble of Haruka’s slumber. He unwillingly pried open his eyes to Rin dashing around the room like a madman as he gathered his things, shouting incoherently about being late.

The lights had come back on, and the TV was asking for a reset time. The drumming of raindrops on the roof had stopped, and, glancing out the window, he observed in surprise that it was fully dark out already. His watch read 10:28 – they had slept for almost four hours.

“Calm down,” Haruka suggested as Rin snatched up the Sky High DVD case.

“I have two tests and an essay due tomorrow!” Rin barked, jamming the ‘open’ button on the DVD player.

“Well, you’re a good student. Sixth in the class, right? It’s not like you spent the afternoon screwing around with some old guy you picked up off the street.”

“Fuck you,” he groaned. “And I’m past curfew at school too, will you cover for me?”

Haruka considered, stretching lazily on the rumpled blanket. “Convince me.”

Rin rolled his eyes as he placed the DVD in its case and clicked it shut. “Really, sensei? Now?”

“Your other option is detention.”

“Ughhh… I suppose, since I’m already late anyway….”

Haruka scooted himself up to lie back against the side of the sofa. Rin pushed his legs apart and settled in between them, popping the button on his jeans and tugging them and the swimsuit down just enough to free Haruka’s cock. He was already mostly hard – could it be called morning wood when it was ten thirty at night?

Rin licked his lips, coating them generously with saliva, and Haruka eyed his pupil’s mouth with no small trepidation. “Be careful.” Those dental mods could do some serious damage if they wanted to.

“Don’t knock it til you try it,” Rin retorted, to Haru’s skepticism.

But sure enough, he knew his way around a blowjob. He started off slow, swirling his tongue around the head and sucking gently. Bobbing his head up and down and engulfing Haruka in the warm, wet heat of his mouth, he worked his base with his fist.

Rin was not a patient person. Haruka began to suspect that something was off after Rin was still moving irritatingly slowly with no sign of going faster after a solid five minutes on the clock. He requested with only slight strain in his voice that Rin speed up a bit. “I don’t think so” came the reply, and the teacher only held out a moment before fisting his fingers in Rin’s hair and pushing him down.

His eyes flashed with defiance, and Haruka jerked back, hissing in pain. Rin had dragged his teeth down his teacher’s length, digging in a little at the extra-sensitive skin just below the head. “Don’t touch,” he scolded around the cock in his mouth, although his tongue gently caressed the smarting skin, apologizing.

And so Haruka’s fingers gripped at the carpet as Rin sucked agonizingly slowly, alternating between long, lazy swallows that took him about halfway, and mouthing him softly while his tongue flicked at his slit. Haruka was silent; a light sheen of sweat was the only sign of his internal distress. It had been fifteen minutes already. He was painfully hard.

“Weren’t you worried about getting back?” he managed to get out, voice tight.

“Worth it,” Rin replied, eyes dancing with mischief as he glanced up at the brunette. Without warning, he swallowed Haruka to the base, throat muscles rippling over him. And just like that, Haruka was shaking, entire body involuntarily trembling with frustration. Rin made a noise of surprised delight at the development, and Haruka fought back the blush blooming across his cheeks, grasping the fibers of the carpet. He was so close, had been teetering on the brink for half of an eternity – the liquid heat inside him was fettered, incapable of radiating out from his core and warming his entire body with pleasure as it so desperately desired.

“Make some noise once in a while, will you?” Rin complained. “Can’t tell for shit how I’m doing down here.”

Haruka was drawing in a breath to reply when Rin took him by surprise, licking a long stripe right up the vein on the underside of his cock. He let out a shaky, girlish sound, and felt Rin smile around him. “That was nice. Got anything else, Sensei?”

Leisurely, Rin’s tongue trailed across his slit, and Haruka tipped his head back and groaned. A soft laugh was heard from belowdecks, but he couldn’t bring himself to care because finally, finally, Rin was speeding up, swallowing Haruka over and over again and hollowing out his cheeks with the force of the suction. Before Haruka could catch himself, he was coming, still shaking on the carpet as he shot his load down Rin’s throat. Rin didn’t let up, tongue snaking across and around and over his cock to drag the orgasm out and stimulate his oversensitive skin long after Haruka was spent.

Haruka tilted his head back against the sofa.

Damn.

Rin dropped his head down to rest on Haruka’s stomach, puffy lips stretched into a smile against the skin.

“You’re good at that,” Haruka conceded. He hadn’t felt Rin’s teeth a single time – except on purpose. He winced slightly at the phantom pain of the memory.

“I know,” Rin replied, brazenly unashamed. Haruka absently wound his fingers through Rin’s hair, twisting the strands around his fingers and lazily massaging his scalp. Rin made a pleased noise, and nudged Haruka’s hand to continue when he stopped.

Like a cat.

“You’re very cute,” Haru observed.

Rin flushed – he probably would’ve griped, but at the moment, he wanted something. “So will you cover for me with the office?”

“No,” Haruka said bluntly, and Rin left the living room in a huff.

But he paused at the door, uncertain, until Haruka got up and followed him and kissed him goodbye, and kissed him again, and pushed him against the wall of the hallway to kiss down his neck and collarbone, and teased him with fluttering breaths against his skin, and reminded him casually that the penalty was another detention for each hour out after curfew, and almost laughed aloud as a cursing Rin informed him irately that his spunk tasted like fish and dashed out the door to throw himself onto his bike and careen down the stairs, steering with his knees as he fastened his helmet.

Later, it occurred to Haruka that he was now primed to drive Kou crazy with wondering what had happened. He reached for his phone and tapped out a quick message.

I didn’t know Rin was afraid of thunder.

But Kou’s message held a surprise.

What? Rin loves thunder.

Haruka furrowed his brow and replied quickly.

Didn’t seem like it. He was shaking and scared whenever a thunderclap went off.

He biked all the way to your house in it, didn’t he? He’s gotten excited about thunder since he was a little kid.

Haruka’s eyes widened and then narrowed as it hit him.

Rin hadn’t cared a bit about the noise until Haruka had refused to touch him.

That sneaky little shit.

Chapter Text

Makoto didn’t ask questions on Sunday.

Had Haruka been more naïve, this would have reassured him. On the other hand, he knew from experience that Makoto’s silence was only an indication that he knew everything already. He probably had figured what was going on the second Haruka answered the phone, if not sooner.

I really have to get some less-perceptive friends, Haruka acknowledged to himself as Makoto let him win at MarioKart. At any rate, Makoto left again on Monday, and as usual, Haruka drifted around in a disoriented haze for a few days before readjusting.

That December passed in a whirlwind of stolen kisses in empty classrooms and loaded stares during practice, and before Samezuka could catch its breath, midterms were looming on the calendar. For all Rin’s seemingly-cavalier attitude towards schoolwork, he invested massive energy in his grades; Haruka often overheard Rin and Gou quizzing each other on English grammar or the qualifications of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium as they waited their turns at the poolside, and although no practices were held the week before exams or during hell week itself, Rin was too sleepy in homeroom to do much more than nod to Haruka and make a tired crack about feeling fresh as a daisy.

Haruka barely saw him for the duration of the fortnight, and as a result, he found himself with an awful lot of free time on his hands. He cleaned his house, abused his pool membership, stocked up on groceries, and finished a few drawings that he’d been putting off for a while, but there was only so much to be done. He hadn’t realized how much time and energy Rin took up, and, astoundingly, reached for his phone to text him on multiple occasions before remembering that Rin would be busy studying.

Seeking out human company? He must be coming down with something.

An hour after the last of the eight exams, Rin showed up at Haruka’s house with bags under his eyes that could’ve held enough change to keep afloat a small country. He kissed his boyfriend sloppily as he passed by, stumbled straight to Haruka’s bedroom, collapsed on top of the sheets, and fell asleep for seventeen hours straight.

The entire school had the day after midterms off, for students to recover and teachers to grade. But even if it hadn’t, Haruka wasn’t sure his better judgment would’ve won out – Rin muttered something under his breath and shifted closer when Haruka slid underneath the covers, and when his alarm buzzed at six o’clock the next morning, with Rin like a furnace next to him and the frigidity of the air in his bedroom, he couldn’t have gotten up if he’d tried.

When Haruka awoke for good, Rin was gone, but not far, judging by the noises of cabinets opening in the kitchen. He dragged himself out of bed (noticing Rin’s t-shirt discarded on the floor), changed into a swimsuit, and followed his nose into the kitchen.

“Morning,” Rin greeted Haruka over his shoulder, energetically going at the eggs in the pan with the ladle. Haruka raised his eyebrow at the choice in utensil, but said nothing. “Breakfast is scrambled eggs, ham, and rice.”

Haruka blinked a few times. “No fish?”

Rin rolled his eyes. “No fish. And you have a problem,” he muttered, dropping the utensil and grabbed the cutting board next to the sink to dump the chopped ham into the frying pan. Several pieces spilled onto the stovetop and counter. Rin tossed the cutting board into the sink and went back to whacking at the mixture. The occasional piece of egg or grain of rice flew out of the pan.

Well, he was enthusiastic, at least.

The muscles in Rin’s back shifted prettily as he reached for the salt, drawing Haruka’s eyes to the smooth, exposed skin. He padded forward silently, and ignored Rin’s startled exclamation as he kissed the nape of his neck, then layered soft, gentle kisses onto his neck and shoulders. He rested his hands on Rin’s hips, and exhaled a sigh into the crook of his neck, producing a distressed noise from the depths of Rin’s throat.

Haruka gently dragged his teeth over the flush slowly spreading down the back of Rin’s neck before shifting his attentions to Rin’s crimson ears. His tongue slid along the lobe, and he whispered in the husky voice that never failed to raise goosebumps down Rin’s jawline,

“The rice is burning.”

Rin startled, knocking Haruka’s chin with his shoulder and shakily cursing his name as he scrambled to move the faintly smoking pan off the burner. Haruka let out an annoyed hiss at the pain, shooting Rin a wounded look that was completely wasted on his boyfriend’s turned back.

He found them clean dishes and a couple of forks, and Rin split the food between the two plates. They sat at the dining table and ate. It was a little burned, but not half bad.

Needed more fish, though.

“Hey, Nanase,” Rin began, swallowing his bite of eggs after a few minutes of steady chewing in companionable silence. “Can I take you shopping sometime?”

Haruka glanced up in surprise. “Why?”

“Cause your wardrobe is shit,” Rin answered bluntly, capturing a chunk of ham with his chopsticks.

Haruka furrowed his brow slightly. “What’s wrong with my wardrobe?”

“Oh, come on. When’s the last time you wore something that wasn’t slacks, a tweed coat, and a white button-down?”

“I wear my swimsuits too,” Haruka protested, slightly piqued. “A-and I have t-shirts and sweatpants for sleeping…”

Rin rolled his eyes. “Does the term ‘vogue’ mean anything to you?”

Haruka’s confused stare was his only answer.

“You’re a disgrace.”

Haruka glowered down at his plate. “I don’t need anything else for my job.”

“I’m gonna take you shopping.”

“I’m not a dress-up doll.”

“Well, ONE of us has to take advantage of it!”

“Of what?”

“You’re the prettiest person I’ve ever met–” Rin cut himself off as he realized what he had said, cheeks flaring.

Haruka stared at him. Rin, mortified, refused to meet his gaze. The silence stretched on until Rin finally broke it with a defensive, “What?”

“You’re prettier,” Haruka replied, and went back to eating as Rin spluttered.

He was adorable when he was embarrassed.

“So we’re going shopping today, right?”

He would’ve been more adorable if he’d let the shopping thing go. Haruka didn’t like the way Rin said the word – with undertones of a wicked delight that stirred vague memories of the time Kou roped the (willing, excluding Haruka) swim team into makeovers. “No,” he said, “and that’s final.”

An hour’s walk later (Haruka had absolutely refused to drive and wouldn’t say why), a triumphant Rin was shepherding his wary teacher through the doors of the mall. Haruka’s eyes flicked from side to side – he hadn’t said so for fear of the indignant fallout, but nearly all his clothes had been bought by his mother or Makoto; he was in foreign territory.

As if that wasn’t enough, he had already seen multiple double takes from people who caught sight of Rin. Haruka knew that he himself was plenty attractive, but in a uniformly dark-haired nation, Rin was striking. He wondered offhandedly if Seijuurou and Kou had the same problem - with their equally bright hair, the pair attracted almost as many looks as did Rin.

“It looks like the dregs of human society,” he observed.

“It looks like potential,” Rin corrected him, near-giddily.

Haruka glanced around suspiciously. “I think this was a bad idea.”

“This was a great idea.”

“What if we see somebody from Samezuka?” Rin wasn’t the only one with the day off, after all.

“We can hide in a fitting room.” Haruka cast a look at Rin, who rolled his eyes. “They’re all sleeping anyway. There was a party last night.”

“And you didn’t go.”

Rin wrinkled his nose. “Nitori was all over me to go, but… We share a room. I can only put up with him so much. Besides, he gets sexual when he’s drunk. It’s either he spends the night with some skeeve or he’s trying to hit on me. And parties are only fun in the first place if you drink.”

“Five years in Australia, and you don’t drink?”

“You swim more slowly without a liver!”

“You would have a my-body-is-a-temple complex.”

Rin smirked at him. “Don’t you think it’s attractive enough to be one?”

Haruka opened his mouth, closed it, and reddened faintly. Rin laughed, and Haruka huffily changed the subject. “Where are we going?”

“You’ll see,” Rin replied, and walked faster.

The place was full of people, bright lights, and cheerful music coming from hidden speakers. Haruka didn’t let his guard down. Rin, on the other hand, seemed totally relaxed – at home, even, greeting the occasional salesperson. How much time did he spend here?

Rin casually slung an arm around Haruka’s shoulders as they walked. Haruka shrugged it off equally casually.

Rin frowned at him. “Why not?”

“Because we’re in public.”

“You don’t know anyone here.”

No, Rin,” Haruka snapped, and regretted it immediately as hurt flashed across Rin’s face.

They walked in silence for a moment, until Haruka reached out and took his hand, and Rin froze mid-step.

Haruka glanced at him. “What?” Rin had been hanging all over him a moment ago.

“Nothing,” Rin replied, cheeks slowly turning red.

Haruka accepted that, and started walking again. Rin’s fingers, stiff at first, gradually relaxed to intertwine with Haruka’s.

And then Haruka lightly squeezed his hand, and Rin’s face turned roughly the color of a stoplight.

“Sensei?” he asked, but was interrupted when Haruka’s steps faltered at the entrance to the lingerie store. “No,” Rin cut him off before he could even open his mouth, pulling him past the ten-foot-tall posters of scantily clad American women in the windows.

Just when the trip was starting to look promising.

Rin escorted him into a perfume-scented shop with a long, complicated name and led him through dizzying twists and turns between racks of tastefully chic clothing. Haruka tuned out most of Rin’s rambling until there was white denim in his face.

He blinked. “What?”

Rin huffed. “I was saying, you should wear more white. Most Japanese people don’t look good in white. You do.”

“I’m moving to a nudist colony,” Haruka mumbled. Nevertheless, he accepted the white skinny jeans and fitted cerulean jacket that Rin shoved at him.

“Here, go dress like a human being.” He smacked Haruka’s rump to urge him on. Haruka startled forward, shooting a glare at a snickering Rin before disappearing into the dressing room. He wasn’t sure if it was puberty or simply the influence of Australians, but Rin was always uncomfortably physical.

He emerged a few minutes later, zipping up the jacket. Rin’s eyes lit up.

“Twirl,” he ordered. Haruka obeyed warily until Rin took hold of his shoulders about halfway through the spin to stop him. Haruka glanced back to see Rin’s eyes focused somewhere downwards and a sly smile lurking around the corners of his mouth. “I think you need a smaller size…”

Haruka shook off his hands and turned the rest of the way, stoic face hiding his embarrassment. “The jacket is too tight around the hips already-”

“No it’s not,” Rin interrupted, and before Haruka knew what was happening, he was being pushed into the dressing room. Rin kicked the door shut behind them and immediately shoved Haruka up against the wall to kiss him. Taken by surprise, Haruka froze for a moment before pushing Rin away.

“What are you doing.”

“Sensei, you look damn good in that,” Rin breathed, eyes darkening. And before Haruka could respond, Rin was grinding against him as he kissed him again, and their legs were tangled together and Rin’s tongue was sliding along Haruka’s lips and the small space was unbearably hot.

Rin broke contact, breathing audibly. “I’m gonna blow you, okay?”

No – they were in public – anybody could notice the two sets of legs – and then Rin rolled his hips just right and Haruka gave up, gasping encouragement as Rin knelt, hands sliding down Haruka’s torso as though he couldn’t stand to lose contact for even a second.

Rin’s hands made short work of the button and zipper, and tugged the waistband of the white jeans down to expose Haruka’s swimsuit. His hands kneaded Haruka’s ass, and he mouthed at the outline of Haruka’s cock underneath the swimsuit. Haruka’s hips jerked forward, and Rin’s tongue slid down his length.

“Get on with it,” he hissed, and felt a smile on Rin’s lips as they moved against him. His hands rested on his own hips, and then Rin’s head, and then clenched into fists at his sides as Rin teased him. “I said, get on with it.”

Rin dawdled just long enough to annoy him before pulling down his swimsuit and taking Haruka into his mouth. He sucked briefly at the head before taking him in about a third of the way, tongue rubbing slowly at that infernally sensitive vein.

Haruka wound his fingers in Rin’s hair, playing with the strands, and suddenly tugged sharply. Rin coughed and irately nipped at his base.

“S’what you get for making me wear this,” Haruka muttered, and dragged his head forward again. He didn’t miss the noise Rin made in response. “You’re a masochistic little freak,” Haruka observed, still half-whispering, and Rin swallowed again and again as Haruka fucked his mouth. The heat and wetness and pressure of Rin’s throat, his tongue sliding and rubbing and pressing just right – Christ. The kid was talented.

Rin whimpered as Haruka slammed into the back of his throat, and Haruka paused for a moment to frown at him. “Quiet down. Somebody’s going to hear.” Oh, Rin was a kinky little bastard – he was loving every damn second of this, the heightened tension of possible discovery as Haruka ravaged him. “I’ll give you detention, don’t think I won’t.” Looking down at his flushed cheeks, hooded eyes, lips stretched wide – shit, Haruka wasn’t going to last long.

He yanked Rin down one last time, and held him there as he came in three rapid squirts. Rin’s throat convulsed as he swallowed the fluid down, eyelids fluttering with pleasure.

Haruka released him, and pulled his swimsuit back up.

Rin stood, glanced down at Haruka’s shoes, and swore. Haruka followed his gaze – he hadn’t noticed Rin unzipping his own pants, but translucent fluid was splattered over Haruka’s black dockers. “Shit, let me–” Rin fished out a crumpled napkin from his jacket pocket and bent to wipe the mess off, tossing the napkin into the small trash can in the corner of the room.

“Just from that?” Haruka asked. Rin had enjoyed being used more than he’d thought.

Rin flushed and hastily changed the subject. “Wait here, I’m gonna see if the coast is clear.” Rin peered out the slats of the fitting room door, and stepped out, shutting the door behind him most of the way as Haruka began to strip out of the clothes Rin had picked. “He’s gone.”

Haruka paused with his shirt half buttoned, head tilted in confusion. “Who’s gone?”

“Gou and his girlfriend…Didn’t I tell you they were here?” Haruka couldn’t help but notice that Rin’s voice was slightly hoarse.

“Is that why you shoved me into the fitting room?”

“That and I want you to fuck me in those pants,” Rin mumbled.

Haruka stared at him through the crack in the door before coming to an abrupt conclusion. “I don’t think we should do any more clothes shopping.”

Rin made a noise of agreement, hand unconsciously going to his throat. “Checkout and then food?” he suggested.

Haruka shimmied back into his own pants. “Sure.”

They found the food court without much trouble, and bought takeaway bentos from a wizened old man in miniscule shop. Haruka carried their lunches, leaving the bag to Rin, who complained under his breath.

“Do you want me to carry it, then?”

“No!”

It was the middle of the January thaw, so they walked to Iwatobi’s sole park. Composed of an acre of struggling grass, one rickety playground with most of the paint chipped off, a few scraggly trees, and two benches, it was mostly deserted – at this time of day, most kids were still in school. A few mothers strolled along with their toddlers or babies, and a couple of teenagers – no doubt ditching – chatted and swayed lazily back and forth on the swings. The sky was overcast, but the air was balmy, and what little snow there was was melting fast.

They sat on the bench that wasn’t half-rotted. Rin linked his right ankle with Haruka’s left as they ate.

Something occurred to Haruka. “Is this a date?” he asked.

Rin paused with a clump of rice halfway to his mouth, looking trapped. “I – I mean, that’s what I was thinking but it doesn’t have to be if you don’t want it to be, i-i-if you weren’t thinking of it as a date I–”

“Rin,” Haruka interrupted. “It’s a date.”

Rin blushed down at his bento.

“Have you ever been on a date before?”

Rin mumbled something indistinct. At Haruka’s faint smile, he retorted, “Well, you’re twenty-two, have you?”

Haruka had no reply to that, and went back to his bento (mackerel, of course).

A date.

He could handle that.

Rin’s phone beeped from his pocket, and he slid it out. “Email,” he explained briefly to Haruka, eyes scanning the message. About halfway through, his eyebrows shot up, and an incredulous smile spread across his face. His eyes flicked up to Haruka, then back down to the screen.

Haruka scrutinized him carefully. “What is it?”

Rin giggled – not his usual low chuckle, but an outright giggle. “You’ll see tomorrow.”

“Tell me.” Haruka didn’t like the look on Rin’s face.

“Tomorrow,” Rin sing-songed, sliding the phone back into his pocket.

The conversation turned to other things, but Haruka didn’t forget Rin’s devilish grin.

Tomorrow?

It was only around four in the afternoon when they finally returned to Haruka’s house, but the sun was going down, and he was tired. He’d forgotten that his life was relatively dull without Rin, but he’d also forgotten how much the energetic redhead wore him out.

Rin had stashed his bike behind a shrub at the bottom of Haruka’s steps. They paused there, and Rin moved to kiss Haruka goodbye. He pulled away.

“The neighbors will see.”

“You’ve only got one neighbor and she’s blind as a bat.”

“Bats use echolocatio–” His words were stifled as Rin swiftly planted a kiss on his lips.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Rin called. Haruka didn’t miss the snigger as he pushed off the curb and pedaled away. His eyes narrowed. There was something Rin wasn’t telling him.

~

He didn’t know what he was expecting to happen the next day. Certainly not walking into his Precalculus class on the first day of the new semester to see Rin sitting pretty in the first row. Haruka stopped dead in the doorway, only moving when Seijuurou coughed pointedly behind him. He mumbled an apology and hurried to his desk.

Rin grinned like a Cheshire cat. “Sup, Sensei!”

Seijuurou sat down next to him, eyes twinkling with amusement. That bastard.

Haruka was stiff as he called the class to order. Rin was all business during swim practices. School, on the other hand... Haruka wasn’t so sure.

But the first class went without a hitch. Rin behaved perfectly (for once). He grinned mischievously from the front row, keeping Haruka antsy throughout his introduction and first lesson, but said nothing besides an occasional question on the material.

However, the peace didn’t last long – not that Haruka had expected it to; Rin had never gone out of his way to make Haruka’s life easy. Namely, Rin, who was a second-year in a third-year class, was very good at math. Haruka, who had become a math teacher on the grounds that he had struggled horribly with it and therefore knew every learning trick in the book, was not.

And in the honeymoon phase of the past two months, he had managed to forget that Rin was actually an ass.

Things came to a head one dreary February afternoon. Haruka had made a simple multiplication error, which Rin had pointed out. And then proceeded to needle him about for fifteen minutes straight.

“You’re really bad at math,” the familiar, infuriating voice observed from the front row. Rin’s condescending smile was nearly audible. Haruka was at the end of his rope.

He stiffened and turned to glare at Rin. “Please,” he replied with acerbic sarcasm, “tell me about your college degree in mathematics.”

Rin’s lips twisted up into an insolent smirk. “Tell me about how three times three equals six.”

Haruka gritted his teeth. He was being immature and inane and he knew it, and yet he couldn’t keep himself from snapping back, “You’re making a big deal out of a petty mistake.”

Rin tipped his chair back, rested his feet on the desk. Spitefully, Haruka hoped he fell. “Why is our education dependent upon someone who barely even understands the material?” Rin’s pout dripped derision.

Haruka slammed his hands down on the desk. “Talent does not correlate to teaching ability!”

“Bitter?” Rin drawled, and Haruka saw red.

“I-” In a split second, Haruka remembered that there were other people in the room – and that every single impressionable young eye was watching the argument in fascination. Slowly, reluctantly, he reeled himself in, saying only, “Detention today after school. For disrespect.”

Rin chuckled. “Yeah, right. Afternoon detentions are at the same time as swim practice.”

“Two detentions.” Haruka’s tone was curt and brooked no argument. “Second one’s a Saturday.” He turned back to the board. “Now, you’ve probably used vectors in your physics classes…”

Rin was gaping at him, too shocked to maintain his superior demeanor. Good. Haruka wondered if Rin’s swim practice had ever been interfered with before. He deeply hoped it hadn’t.

~

That Saturday’s detention duty was Haruka’s; he couldn’t deny that that was at least part of why he’d assigned it. He arrived at 7:45 as expected, and set to work on his ubiquitous stack of papers to correct.

Rin was sullen when he entered at 8:01, although his glare was far less fiery than the looks he had shot Haruka the day after the missed practice. He loudly pulled out a chair in the first row and sat, making as much noise as possible. The room was otherwise empty - Samezuka rarely had discipline problems. A noisy pack of swimmers passing by peered in the door, hooting and hollering when they noticed their teammate and coach. Rin simmered.

Haruka ignored him, merely moving to shut the door against further disruptions. Rin wouldn’t be able to keep his huffy silence for long, and they both knew it.

Right on schedule, as the clock ticked to 8:07 Rin slammed his English book shut. “Sensei!”

Haruka’s eyes flicked up. “Please stay quiet during your detention…”

“Oh, come off it,” Rin retorted, standing up and taking two short strides to Haruka’s desk. “We both know I don’t deserve this.”

“I’m your teacher, I don’t deserve to be disrespected.”

Rin’s eyes blazed. “I think you might be forgetting who’s in charge here!”

Haruka penned in a B- on the top of a quiz and flipped to the next one. “Please, enlighten me.” He distinctly recalled that Rin was the one pleading for more last time. And every time before that.

He was beginning to suspect that Rin played this game on purpose.

“Ha! I can make you beg for me, Sensei!” Rin placed a hand on the desk and vaulted over, mashing their mouths together and taking no time at all to shove his tongue between Haruka’s lips. Upon receiving no response, he moved to bite at Haruka’s neck, licking and sucking with an aggression that just barely offset his clear fumbling. He pulled away all too soon to examine Haruka’s face, and was plainly disconcerted at the cold lack of arousal he found there.

“What’s wrong with you, dammit?!”

“I’m not seventeen?” It wasn’t the full truth. Over the past months, Haruka had gained scrupulous control of his lust. Just because he could conceal any reaction to Rin’s inept ministrations didn’t mean that he wasn’t tensing to retaliate.

Rin cursed. “Just get up and let me kiss you!”

Haruka abruptly decided that the game had become tedious.

There was a brief thump as Rin’s back hit the whiteboard.

“My turn,” Haruka murmured. The words sent an involuntary shiver down Rin’s back as Haruka pushed him firmly against the board and swept his hair back to expose his neck. Haruka’s lips, teeth, and tongue whispered along the skin of Rin’s neck, jaw, and ear. Goosebumps erupted down the left side of his body, and he shuddered again, hands creeping up to grip Haruka’s shoulders.

“S-someone’s going to see–” Rin flushed at the shakiness of his own voice as he glanced at the door with its sternly judgmental glass window. But with Haruka’s hands sliding down his torso to draw their hips together and begin slowly rutting against him, it was awfully difficult to remember that he was in charge.

“Don’t care,” was Haruka’s reply, and a surprised gasp escaped the redhead’s lips as Haruka snuck a firm squeeze down below.

“You go about it all wrong,” Haruka continued, drawing away from Rin’s neck but continuing to unashamedly grope him. “You’re too rushed. Go slower, and someone will beg for you…” He pulled Rin’s lower lip between his teeth, sucking on it briefly before moving to leave lingering kisses on the corners of his mouth. Running his tongue across Rin’s lips elicited the faintest of whines.

“Keep your hands moving,” he went on. Encircling Rin with his arms, he pulled his student’s t-shirt up and trailed his fingers up the warm skin of his back, appreciating the rock-hard muscles before his hands dipped down into his boxers to knead his ass. Meanwhile, he returned to lavishing attention upon Rin’s neck, coaxing out the needy noises that were music to his ears. “Tease them…” Rin’s breath hitched as Haruka pressed his thigh between Rin’s legs and set a delightful rhythm of rubbing into him. “…and they’ll come undone.”

He drew back for a moment to admire his handiwork. Rin’s eyes were heavily lidded and dark with arousal, cheeks glowing, lips slightly parted. He ground shamelessly against Haruka’s thigh.

“Understand?”

“Yes, sensei,” Rin mumbled, and bucked against him as Haruka’s hand palmed at the front of his pants.

Haruka, taking pity on him, unbuttoned and unzipped the slacks. He pulled Rin’s stiff cock out, running his fingers lightly over the head and wiping away the precum there. Rin’s rapid breathing was the only sound in the room.

Haruka stroked Rin slowly, fingers playing him like a piano. His free hand was still in Rin’s boxers, enjoying his firm, round ass. Rin’s knuckles were whitening around the marker tray on the whiteboard, but as Haruka quickened the pace, they stole up to grip his teacher’s jacket – the same tweed that he so often mocked.

His face, pink with the exertion, was coated in a slight sheen of sweat, rumpled hair sticking to it in strands. Rin’s eyes were closed, but as Haruka watched, they fluttered open to meet his, face reddening deeper as he realized his teacher had been staring at him.

He was absolutely gorgeous.

“Come,” Haruka instructed Rin, just as his muscles tensed, and he did, quietly, with only stifled pants and eyes screwed shut as his fingers curled into Haruka’s shoulderblades. Tomato-faced and breathing heavily, he spurted messily on the desk, and Haruka’s fingers gradually slowed to a stop.

Rin rested his forehead on Haruka’s shoulder. Haruka’s hands wavered unsure for a moment before settling on Rin’s hips. His own hard-on was becoming quite insistent and Rin’s spunk was going to dry on the desk, but that could wait.

“You’re still an ass,” he announced as Rin lifted his head and dropped to his knees.

Rin only grinned up at him as he unzipped his teacher’s slacks. “And I’m still the only one who can make you angry.”

~

It occurred to Haruka at one point that it was a damn good thing neither of them had any experience at all with dating – although Rin was eager to regale Haruka with boasts of his sexual exploits abroad, Haruka had finally pried it out of him that no actual romance had been involved. Which was good. Not because Haruka had some sort of possession complex, but because he was pretty sure relationships were not supposed to proceed quite like this, in bickering and detentions and going on their third month with only one actual date.

On February 14th, Seijuurou showed up to practice with a hefty box of chocolates, a dopey grin, and lipstick marks all over his neck. Rin complained loudly to Haruka on the way back to the dorm (and now that he thought about it, since when had walking Rin to his dorm after practice become a daily ritual?) about his lack of chocolates, and Haruka reminded Rin that they couldn’t go public because he was a lecherous old man taking advantage of his impressionable young student, and besides, giving chocolate on Valentine’s Day was the women’s job (Haruka himself had raked in a respectable haul from his female coworkers), so really, if anyone, Rin should’ve brought him something.

Rin spluttered indignantly at that, protesting just because he kept himself clean and gave a damn about his wardrobe didn’t mean he wasn’t masculine, but was mollified when Haruka gave in and let him eat the chocolates from the elderly Home Economics teacher.

Going down on him in the unused maintenance staircase at the back of the dorm before leaving might have also had something to do with it.

And when White Day rolled around, Rin accepted Haruka’s gift of snowy white thigh highs and matching lace panties with a slightly high-pitched thanks and excitement on his face even as he flushed to the tips of his ears.

As much as Haruka might joke about their unconventional situation, however, he would’ve been seriously concerned about Rin’s well-being as an emotionally turbulent adolescent – after all, Haruka had initiated sexual contact relatively quickly, and he wasn’t even sure if they could be defined as “dating” – had it not become painfully evident that Rin had his teacher on a leash.

Haruka could not say no to him, whether Rin’s lips were stretched around his cock or curved into a smirk as he called something irritating across the pool. Haruka was being ripped out of his comfort zone time after time by the red-haired firestorm that was Rin Matsuoka. All semblance of routine and normalcy in his life was gone – Rin would show up out of the blue uninvited at all hours and pull him out to sneak into the pool or the ocean or something as silly as climbing the rocks by the harbor to eat cheap takeout in the middle of the night. And Haruka mumbled sarcastic comments under his breath as he was dragged away, but he never, ever refused.

It was difficult to remember what he had been doing with his time before the school year began. He vaguely recalled sitting in his bathtub a lot, and only relief that the urging of his family and peers to go to the Olympics had faded as he aged. (Incidentally, Rin had started up with that himself, going on about wasted potential and throwing in shyer words like elegant and beautiful.)

Haruka’s life was spiraling out of his control, and nothing had ever made him more nervous.

Rin could not be allowed to discover his own power - he unwittingly abused it enough already.

There was only a little over a month until the qualifiers for regionals when Haruka realized with absolute certainty that he was doomed – in particular, one Friday’s swim practice. Nitori had been asking him about the next tournament, but had unexpectedly fallen silent, eyes lighting up at something behind his coach. Haruka turned to see Rin strolling out of the locker room in a worn white jacket. It took him a moment to recognize the blue stripes, but when Rin turned to display the word IWATOBI stretched a little too snugly across his broad shoulders, it clicked.

Haruka kept his face carefully stoic, but his heart was hammering. Obviously, he was wondering when Rin had taken the jacket. He was questioning why Rin wearing another team’s apparel to swim practice. He was worried that they would be revealed if Seijuurou or Nitori remembered that Haruka had gone to Iwatobi.

The fact that Rin was wearing HIS clothing in a very public place had little to do with it.

“Hey, Matsuoka, what happened to your regular jacket?” called Seijuurou. Rin threw back a noncommittal answer about laundry cycles, and the swimmers turned back to their stretches. (It was really ridiculous that after six months, the team still positioned itself with respect to Rin, still glanced up and paid attention when he walked in. Haruka, at least, had an excuse to be so affected, but the rest of the swimmers... He was starting to think Rin’s very presence was magnetic.)

“I don’t know where he got that,” mentioned Nitori.

“Neither do I.”

“He said it’s vintage.”

“You’re in the fifth heat this Saturday, at ten o’clock,” Haruka told him.

“He sleeps with it on his bed,” Nitori added.

“Nitori, go stretch.”

Haruka didn’t bring it up, but there was no use. For a split second, Rin had met his gaze, and if he hadn’t seen the naked desire in Haruka’s surprised blue eyes, Haruka would have to recommend an eye exam.

That weekend, when Rin’s tongue was rubbing patterns into his dick, Haruka looked down at him with messy red hair and wearing nothing but Haruka’s jacket and abruptly realized that if Rin were to ask him to commit murder, he’d say yes in a heartbeat.

He was done for.

~

One windy Monday in late March, Kou called him between third and fourth period to tell him that her class was cancelled and ask if he could get coffee that afternoon. Since she was coming straight from her college, she picked Haruka up after swim practice on her gleaming black Vespa, waving to Seijuurou as Haruka climbed on behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. Brief words were exchanged on the ride, but for the most part, they couldn’t hear each other over the whooshing air. The scooter was speedy, and Kou wasn’t at all afraid to put it through its paces. They arrived at the shop in record time.

The door jingled as the pair arrived, and hellos sounded from behind the counter and in the back – sometime over the years, the baristas had learned their names. Kou didn’t even wink at the teenager behind the counter, Haruka noted in surprise as they ordered.

They sat in the small lounge this time, sharing a piece of furniture that was halfway between an armchair and a loveseat. On the other side of the coffee table, a student curled up in an armchair was deeply engrossed in her textbook, and an elderly lady closed her eyes to bask in the afternoon sun slanting through the windowpanes. A gaggle of teenagers brought a surge of chatter and frigid air as they trooped through the door, but otherwise, the coffee shop was at no higher volume than the susurration of quiet individual conversations blending together; most adults hadn’t yet escaped the tedium of their cubicles to venture into the outside world.

Haruka couldn’t help but notice that Kou seemed different – she hadn’t been stopping by swim practices recently, and he couldn’t quite pinpoint the change that had taken place in the interim. When he inquired as to her prolonged absence, she giggled with a hint of nervousness.

“Oh, well, you know, Seijuurou and I are official now, so…” Haruka was watching her with an unblinking stare. She flushed slightly. “What?”

“You’re blushing,” he answered. “And you look sort of…glowy.” Lovelorn had been the first word that came to mind.

Kou flushed a deeper red, but couldn’t suppress a soft smile – although her lips stayed still, it showed in the sparkle of her eyes and the crinkle of her crow’s feet. “What business is it of yours?”

“Just that I won’t have to deal with a heartbroken team captain.” He knew all too well the swath of dejected boys that Kou had left in her wake, and Seijuurou was obviously head over heels for her, but Haruka hadn’t considered that the feelings might be returned. But at the same time, now that he was looking for it, Kou was just a little bit more cheerful than she had been – a little more of a spring in her step, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth when she thought Haruka wasn’t looking. Even when she had dated Nagisa during their third year, the only steady relationship of hers that Haruka could recall, he hadn’t seen any noticeable changes in her behavior.

Kou squeaked, earning her an annoyed frown from the student across the table. “A-are you saying I’m in love?”

“Yes.”

“Yeah,” Kou agreed, tone faraway and smile spreading unchecked. Haruka balled up the receipt and flicked it at her. She batted it away without blinking an eye. “Hey, what about your boyfriend, hmm? I’m not the only one who’s looking lovesick!”

“Ah…” It was Haruka’s turn to stall. He took a long gulp of his coffee – Kou had long been trying to convince him to try something other than his usual black, and he suspected that she had slipped a few extra dollars to the barista, as a mild hazelnut flavor tinged the drink. It wasn’t bad.

Kou’s eyes were trained on him. There would be no escape. “Well…what do you want to know?”

“Have you had sex yet?” asked Kou with characteristic directness, and Haruka nearly spilled his drink.

“Kou!” he hissed, glancing nervously at the old woman. Her eyes were open, but she only gave Haruka a tranquil smile in return. Nevertheless, he grabbed his bag and coffee. “I’m not saying anything in polite company!” Kou rolled her eyes, but stood and led him to a more secluded table in the back.

“Well?” Kou urged once they were re-seated.

“I-I really don’t think that’s the kind of thing you should want to know about your brother–”

“Come on, out with it,” she pressed him. “I’ll tell you all about Seijuurou if you want…”

Haruka glared at her, face completely red. “I think knowing sexual things about one of my students is plenty–”

Kou interrupted him with a noise of excitement. “So you have had sex!”

“No!”

Kou cocked her head. “Then what have you done?”

“A lot of blowjobs…” he mumbled.

Kou blew out a heavy breath of air. “And?”

He shifted. “I gave him some lacy things for White Day…”

“And have you seen him in them?”

“I assume he would offer if he wanted me to see him in them!”

“Have you asked?”

“Rin is very direct about that sort of thing!”

Kou’s look could only be described as exasperated.

“What?”

“Haruka,” she began, in a long-suffering tone, “have you realized yet that Rin is very shy around you?”

Haruka tilted his head in confusion, and Kou groaned. “Honestly, the two of you are both so clueless! If not for the help of your libidos you’d probably still both be in denial!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Haruka informed her. She was getting worked up, putting her coffee down to gesticulate.

“Well, to be fair, you don’t know how much he’s changed since you happened. But really, Haruka-senpai, you’ve turned him upside down. He’s unsure, he’s nervous, he’s holding back – really, he’s always been horribly overconfident. He’s a bad loser because he never loses. He’s outgoing because he’s never met anyone who could keep up with him. You’re challenging him, you’re forcing him into introspection, and he doesn’t know what to do with it.”

“I think I’m the victim of forced introspection here,” Haruka muttered, draining the last of his coffee. But Kou wasn’t done yet.

“Do you want him?” she asked point-blank, red eyes piercing straight into his.

Haruka said nothing, but a faint tinge of red colored his cheeks as he looked away, and Kou huffed. “See, that was a perfect example! Makoto’s spoiled you. You don’t say your feelings, you just give little clues that are nowhere near enough for someone like Rin! He’s insecure and he has no way of knowing how much more lively and attentive you are when he’s involved, what do you expect?”

“I-”

“He’s waiting for you to start something,” she emphasized, banging her fist on the table like a gavel, “because he doesn’t think he means anything to you. You have to take some initiative! Understand?”

“Why do you do these things to me?” Haruka asked piteously.

“Because I care about my brother.” She flicked his nose. “And I care about you. I haven’t seen you this bubbly before in my life.”

“I-I’m not bubbly.”

“Right.” Leaning back, Kou took a long gulp of coffee, and Haruka watched in silence as she wiped her mouth on her napkin.

“…Also, I know for a fact that Rin has had a collection of pretty panties in his underwear drawer since he was thirteen.”

She snickered gleefully as Haruka’s eyes widened.

To his great relief, the conversation turned to lighter topics as Kou finished her coffee and they left, zipping along the backroads to Haruka’s house.

“See you later,” she chirped as he dismounted. “My turn to pay next time!”

He paused at the step of the stairs as she was about to go. “Kou.”

“Yes?”

“Thank you.”

She only chuckled before revving the engine and speeding away.

Haruka managed to stave off his thoughts through dinner (baked mackerel) and a few chapters of a book he had started recently. It was only when he curled up on his bed with a stack of quizzes to correct that he allowed himself to really think.

It wasn’t just the lingerie he had given Rin that occupied his mind. It wasn’t even what Kou had said about Rin’s need for affirmation – that was a whole other issue to be mulled over. It was something that had happened months ago, back in December, when Rin had invited himself over for a movie.

Haruka had mentioned offhand, as a joke, that they needed handcuffs next time just for hanging out. And Rin’s look of mixed dread and eagerness had said more than any response.

Haruka rolled onto his stomach, realizing distractedly that he had marked an entire page incorrectly and going back to start it again. The image of Rin handcuffed to the bed played in his mind again and again – face red, light sheen of sweat on his brow, arms yanking futilely at the cuffs above his head as Haruka teased and tormented his cock. And maybe, as Kou suggested, they would go further…

Handcuffs.

Where was he going to get handcuffs?

Now that was a rhetorical question.

It took him a few days to work up the courage, but it had to be done.

Haruka, sitting on his front steps with phone in hand, held down the four key.

“Haru-chaaaan~!” Nagisa sang through the phone. Gunshots sounded in the background, and a deep masculine voice bellowed a stream of English curses. “It’s been so long! How are you? Billiam says hi. How’s Makoto? How’s Gou? She called me! Said you’d taken a liking to her younger brother? The one you coached at the swim club when you worked there? She told me he never stops talking about you! You’re a pervert, Haruka, you know he’s only seventeen? But I’m not judg–”

Haruka interrupted quickly. That train needed derailing. Not that the one about to leave the station was any better. “Listen. Nagisa. Um. Do you…do you remember that one conversation we had a few years ago…when Rei found the…things…in your room?” He shifted uncomfortably.

“Oh, you mean my bondage gear? The harnesses and handcuffs and whips? Haha, that sure did surprise you guys! Don’t know why though.”

Haruka swallowed thickly. “I…I was just wondering…If you’re busy, I can…”

Machine-gun fire rattled in the background. “Nope, it’s a pretty quiet night tonight! Come on, Haru-chan, spit it out!”

“…Can I borrow some of it?”

There was only a moment of excruciating silence (disregarding the electronically distorted screams in the background) before Nagisa replied. “Ooooooooooh…”

Haruka buried his face in his free hand. “Never mind, I’ll just–”

“No, no, don’t you dare, Nanase-kun!” Nagisa interrupted. “Tell me what you need. I’ll pimp you out.”

“No questions asked?”

“No questions asked,” the blonde promised. “DIE, FUCKER!” he shouted suddenly, and a crash sounded terrifyingly close to the speaker. “Sorry, go on.”

He couldn’t believe what he was doing.

“Um…some of the handcuffs with a lot of padding…and…a…uh…” He choked out the words, blushing furiously. “A…cock ring?”

“Of course!” Nagisa chirped over the noises of mayhem. “I’m always happy to spice up my friend’s sex lives! Make sure to make him dinner beforehand, it’s polite! And use a safeword! Are you sure you don’t want any of the videos?”

“Nagisa–”

There was a sickening thunk on the other end. “Oh, I have to go, Haru-chan, sorry! This is my best suit, I can’t get any stains on it. Do you know how hard it is to get blood out of Gucci? Anyway, I’ll send it along, and good luck with your illegal boyfriend! Ciao~”

Haruka hung up with cheeks flaming, went into his living room, and considered reevaluating his life. The fact that every phone call he’d made in the past year had ended up mortifying him could not be a good sign.

At the same time, however, he was undeniably excited. By mid-week, a paper lunch bag with the illicit merchandise inside, plus a massive bottle of lube courtesy of Nagisa, had arrived at his door in the hands of a huge man with tattoos and a motorcycle whose nametag read “BILLIAM”. Haruka familiarized himself with the workings of the items, a shaky thrill running through him when he found out that the cock ring vibrated.

(Nagisa had also taken the liberty of sending along a flesh-colored and entirely ridiculous-looking vibrator, with a note in curly handwriting that explained that this was for Haruka himself in case things didn’t work out. Hot-faced, he stashed it behind some papers on his nightstand, planning never to look at the thing again.)

Now all he had to do was wait.

~

Rin presented the perfect opportunity the following Saturday, in the form of a booty call. When his phone rang, Haruka had been in the kitchen, so he went to listen to the message after he had finished lunch.

“Hey, sensei! Mama and Kou are in Tokyo, so I’m free the whole weekend. I know you only answer your phone at home, but if I can come over, I’ll show you sights you’ve never seen before.” Rin laughed to himself before hanging up.

Right then and there Haruka decided to start carrying his cell on him more often.

His eyes fell upon the paper bag sitting innocuously on the counter, and he began to formulate a plan.

~

Rin didn’t bother with knocking, instead barging straight in and shouting “I’m here!” to the house in general.

“Kitchen,” Haruka called, flipping the fish on the stove, and Rin came pattering in in his socks, hair tousled by the wind. “There are house slippers right by the door, you know,” Haruka mentioned dryly.

“Yeah, I saw them, why?” Rin tossed his bag in the direction of Haruka’s bedroom, headed straight for the refrigerator, and stuck his head in, emerging victorious a few seconds later with a half-full carton of milk, which he drained without bothering to find a cup. Haruka watched with faint distaste as Rin crumpled the carton and tossed it into the recycle bin.

Rin hoisted himself up to sit on the counter and snatched a flake of the sizzling mackerel from the frying pan, pulling a face as it burned his tongue. He wiped his fingers on Haruka’s apron, earning himself a halfhearted smack with the spatula. “Oh, this is good, sensei, how long til it’s ready?”

“Now.” Haruka carefully lifted the fish to the two plates waiting by the stovetop. Rin was moving to take the smaller piece when Haruka tapped his hand with the spatula. “Take the other one.”

Rin hesitated.

“I’m not swimming competitively anymore,” Haruka pointed out.

“All right,” said Rin, quickly abandoning manners to grab the larger plate. They went into the dining room, Haruka grabbing the paper bag on the way. Rin settled on the far side and waited for Haruka to begin before starting his meal.

For someone so brash, Rin ate with an unconscious daintiness, following every rule of etiquette Haruka knew and then some. He wondered where Rin had learned his manners. Not his sister, that was for sure.

“I can use your shampoo, right?” Rin mentioned after a few bites. “I don’t have mine.”

“Did you bring much?” Haruka asked. He wouldn’t put it past Rin to show up for the weekend with nothing more than his cell phone and the clothes on his back.

“I only brought clothes for tomorrow and a toothbrush and swimsuit. Didn’t think I’d need a sleeping bag.” He grinned toothily at Haruka.

“You should’ve. I don’t have any extra blankets for the couch. You’re going to be cold.” Rin pouted at him, and Haruka rolled his eyes. “Who said you’re staying the night in the first place?”

Rin’s eyes widened innocently. “I can’t stay home alone for an entire weekend, Sensei, that’s not safe. I’m too young to take care of myself.”

Right. “What does your roommate think of all your absences?”

Rin shrugged, cutting off a piece of mackerel. “It’s not like he’s going to go to anyone about it.”

Haruka wondered offhandedly if Nitori got lonely with the room empty all the time, but quickly dismissed the idea – what sane person would get lonely with a weekend to themselves and an available pool?

“Besides,” Rin continued, “he’s kind of weird. I need a break from him once in a while. A lot of the time, actually.”

“Nitori looks up to you a lot,” Haruka reminded him.

Rin snorted. “Well, he should learn to swim his own race! I mean, he’s cute sometimes but dude, get a life.” His eyes landed on the paper bag on the floor next to Haruka, and he took the opportunity to change the subject. “What’s in the bag?”

Haru blinked. “What? Oh…”

He hadn’t quite thought this part through.

Rin glanced at him curiously. “Sensei?” Swiftly, he snatched the bag and peered inside, disregarding Haruka’s protest.

Rin’s face as he raised his eyes from the contents was positively wicked. A hand dipped into the bag, and reappeared grasping the silver handcuffs.

“You had a plan?”

“…”

Rin’s grin grew as he twirled the handcuffs on his index finger. “Well, then, should I put these on you myself or would you like to do the honors?”

“Heh.” Haruka barked a laugh. This part he had anticipated.

Rin raised an eyebrow. “What’s funny, Sensei?”

“Nothing,” he purred, hooking his hands under his student’s legs to pull him into his lap and maneuvering their positions so that Rin was straddling him. He was stiff at first, but as Haruka rubbed circles into his upper thighs, he gradually relaxed into the older man’s embrace.

“It’s just so adorable.”

What is?” Rin snapped, clearly miffed at the diminutive term. Haruka leaned in to breathe softly into his ear (it was one of Rin’s most sensitive spots, and he couldn’t deny feeling undeniably smug about knowing that),

“Your idea that I’m going to be the one in the handcuffs here.”

It was barely there, but Rin shivered.

Haruka was moving to kiss his lips when Rin pushed him away. “Wait, hold up, I wanted to ask you something.”

“What?”

Rin took a deep breath, hands twisting together. “I was, uh, I was wondering if. If you wanted to, I mean, it being the natural course of a relationship and all, if you. I was hoping that we could. Uh.”

“Could what?”

“That we could. You know. The um. The…” He was blushing faintly – Rin really did blush at the drop of a hat. Haruka’s mouth twitched slightly with amusement. “You’re enjoying this!” Rin accused him.

“I am not,” Haruka denied even as he suppressed a smile.

“Are too.”

“I refuse to play that game,” Haruka informed him haughtily, “and I’m NOT.”

Rin swatted at him.

“If we’re going to be doing the ‘you know the um the’,” Haruka said, “we have to decide who’s going to bottom.”

Now Rin’s face was really florid. He cleared his throat. “I.”

Haruka waited patiently.

“Um,” Rin added.

“Eloquent,” Haruka observed.

“Oh, fuck you,” Rin grumbled. Haruka, busy restraining himself from the obvious rejoinder, was caught off-guard when Rin muttered something under his breath.

“Pardon?”

“I, uh.” Rin cleared his throat again. “Have you ever taken anything up the ass before?”

“No.” In his one uncomfortable escapade with Rei, the other boy had been quite determined to be the receiver.

“Then I’m going to bottom.”

Haruka tilted his head in confusion. “Why?”

Rin rolled his eyes. “Because I don’t want to rip you apart?”

“Don’t flatter yourself.”

“Don’t underestimate the pain.”

“You’re expressing concern.”

“I am not!”

“That’s adorable.”

Rin snorted.

But there was another issue, Haruka realized.

“One more thing.” Ah, he wasn’t quite sure how to put this.

“What?” Rin asked.

Haruka shifted uncomfortably. Communicating was so difficult. Makoto would’ve realized twenty minutes ago. Then again, maybe Kou was right and Haruka really did need to work on externalizing emotions.

Haha. What a laughable thought.

“Sensei, what’s wrong?” Rin asked again, a shade of impatience coloring his tone.

“Are you sure,” Haruka managed, “that you’ve adequately prepared yourself?”

Rin considered, and then a smile crawled across his face like a slime mold. “Are you worried about me?”

Haruka coughed a few times.

Rin placed his hands on Haruka’s shoulders, and leaned in until their noses were nearly touching. “Sensei.”

Haruka looked at him suspiciously. “What?”

Rin’s grin was suddenly feral. “I'm ready for you to fuck me into every mattress from here to Tokyo.”

Or that.

Haruka didn’t even pause before standing up and lifting Rin in one motion, grabbing the paper bag, and heading for the bedroom.

He kicked Rin’s backpack out of the doorway and dumped bag and boyfriend unceremoniously on the bed. Rin looked slightly put out, but didn’t seem to mind when Haruka quickly stripped to his swimsuit and stretched his arms high above his head to crack his knuckles.

Haruka rarely smiled. But he didn’t think Rin had ever seen him smirk before.

“Put your hands above your head,” he ordered, and Rin laughed condescendingly.

“It’s not gonna be that easy.”

Oh, there was a hint of a challenge there, and Haruka’s eyes glinted with anticipation. He moved without warning, knocking Rin backwards. Rin’s head hit the pillow with a soft whump, followed soon after by a gasp as Haruka swiftly straddled him.

He wasn’t a competitive person by nature. But when Rin Matsuoka was involved…

“You,” Haruka mumbled, leaning down to kiss his ear, “need to be put back in your place.” Nibbling at the skin, he slid his hands beneath Rin’s shirt, enjoying the smoothness of the rapidly rising and falling skin.

“Like hell,” Rin growled, then yelped in surprise as teeth sank into the sensitive skin of his neck just below his jawline. “Ah-!” Haruka sucked powerfully, running his tongue across the now-taut tendons as Rin threw back his head. At the faint whimper, he smiled into the warm crook of Rin’s neck and inhaled deeply, enjoying the scent – chlorine, Axe, and faint eucalyptus.

Rin blinked down at him irritably. “Are you sniffing me?”

Haruka took another whiff.

Rin snorted and let his head fall back onto the pillow. “Fucking weirdo.” Despite his words, Haruka’s breath had raised goosebumps running down his collar. Haruka wasted no time in popping the top few buttons of Rin’s school uniform, bending to kiss along his exposed collarbone. His lips whispered along the skin without settling in any one spot, teasing the redhead with the promise of touch.

Rin swallowed.

Haruka’s left hand wandered down to Rin’s jeans, beginning to palm him slow and languid through the denim. In comparison to Haruka’s taciturnity, Rin was as vocal in bed as he was out of it, and Haruka delighted in discovering the noise each particular spot elicited. Licking, sucking, and kissing at his neck and jaw brought soft whimpers and gasps. Biting yielded a yelp and a stream of curses. Unbuttoning his shirt fully to leave dark red marks covering his perfectly toned torso produced a squeak of indignation and a long series of breathy sounds.

Haruka was in no hurry, splaying his fingers across Rin’s pale skin and marveling at the softness. His hands never lost contact as they trailed up the sensitive skin of Rin’s stomach and chest, danced lightly along his neck and ears, slid up his already-extended forearms to pin his wrists above his head.

Rin’s thigh moved underneath Haruka in a way that was dangerous to the growing bulge in his spandex, and he stifled a soft noise. When Rin surged up to kiss him, Haruka’s grip on his wrists weakened with alarming speed.

Luckily, Rin didn’t notice. At least, not until Haruka’s fingers moved like lightning and there was a distinctly metallic click.

Haruka smiled down at Rin, whose face was shifting between surprised and eager. “Hello.”

Rin protested huffily, but Haruka only hung the chain with the key around Rin’s neck and slid his hands down his chest again. He shifted back to kneel between Rin's legs, allowing him better access.

The handcuffs presented an unlikely problem: it was impossible to remove Rin’s shirt without ripping it. Haruka considered for a second before yanking it up to Rin’s wrists and tying it around the slats of the headboard as well.

“It’s gonna be wrinkled tomorrow,” Rin complained breathlessly, tilting his head back to allow Haruka better access to his neck, which Haruka had occupied himself with abusing.

“You can wear one of mine,” Haruka mumbled against Rin’s skin. “It’d look good on you.” A hand stole up between them to pop the button on his jeans. “For now, you’re wearing too much.” Rin gulped.

There was more apprehension in his eyes than there should’ve been, but Haruka thought little of it until he slid down the zipper and a strip of white lace was revealed beneath the waistband. His brows furrowed, and he glanced up, questioning. Rin’s face was uneasy, but he said nothing, and Haruka continued to tug the pants down until a familiar pair of lacy white underwear, two straps, and the tops of lacy white stockings were revealed along Rin’s legs.

“Are these…?”

Rin nodded, looking trapped.

“You were wearing these. This entire time.”

Rin’s nod and faint blush were all the answer he needed. The quiet admission of “I really like how the satin feels” was the feather that broke the camel’s back.

Oh god.

Oh god oh god oh god.

Haruka lunged forward without warning, pressing a thigh between Rin’s legs and leaning forward to breathe in his ear with a desperation that he wouldn’t normally let slip, “If you don’t want this, say something right now.”

“U-um…”

Haruka silently waited.

“It’s just…” Rin glanced off to the side, but mumbled, “we need a safeword?”

A smile tugged at the corner of Haruka’s mouth. “Goro Sasabe”, he suggested.

“Sure-ah!” Rin cut off his own consent with a noise of surprise as Haruka yanked down the jeans, flinging them somewhere behind him. His half-hard cock was already visible through the lace, and Haruka’s head spun as he drank in the sight laid out on his bed. A magnificent sunset shone through the window, casting dramatic shadows on the curves and angles of Rin’s body. At his physical peak, he was lithe and strong, without an inch of fat. And, of course, the thigh highs and panties fit as if they’d been made for him, white satin and lace accentuating the lines of his legs and hips.

Haruka leaned forward to growl “I am going to take you apart” against his ear, and Rin shuddered against him. Haruka swiftly grabbed for the cock ring and clicked it around RIn's growing hard-on, clicking on the vibrations and tossing the remote onto the nightstand as Rin let out a surprised moan. And then Haruka kissed him hard, one hand sliding down to feel the smooth satin as it clung to Rin’s skin and the other blindly groping at the nightstand. His fingers found the bottle of lube, and he sat back to crack open the bottle. Rin watched intently as Haruka squeezed a generous dollop onto his right hand.

“Put your knees on my shoulders,” he told Rin without looking up from the bottle.

Rin obeyed wordlessly. Haruka grazed a finger across the head of Rin’s still-hard cock, and smiled fleetingly at the soft breath Rin let out. He coated his right index finger in the liquid, pulled aside the panties, and, ever-so-gently, slid in.

Rin sucked in a sharp breath, but said nothing. Haruka’s finger slowed, rubbing the cool fluid into his inner walls with painstakingly gentle circles. Rin’s breath caught, and Haruka almost missed his whimper.

Hesitantly, he added a second finger, and Rin’s breath hitched again. Worry began to swell in his chest. He’d done enough research beforehand to know that this would hurt, but if Rin was refusing to safeword even when in pain, how was Haruka to know when it was too much? He slowed even more, barely scissoring his fingers and massaging as gently as he could. Rin did seem to be getting looser, but his eyes were squeezed tightly shut and his face was drawn in agony.

Finally, Haruka couldn’t take it anymore. “Say something,” he ordered, hand stilling.

Rin jerked in his bonds, letting out a whine. “Sensei,” he managed.

“If this hurts…”

“Sensei,” Rin repeated, and it was only then that Haruka realized Rin’s cock was dark red and throbbing in the ring. “If you have any mercy at all…hurry the fuck up.”

Confused, but beginning to comprehend, Haruka curled his fingers inside Rin.

The answering moan was certainly not one of agony. Rin arched, yanking angrily at the handcuffs as he attempted to grind down. “Sensei, I said hurry up!”

Haruka considered for a moment, and then bared his teeth in a terrifying grin.

“No.”

He’d always been good with his fingers, and Rin's face was absolutely lovely as Haruka rubbed gently, curled his fingers, twisted inside him. Rin was panting and squirming slightly, and Haruka, caught up in watching him, almost missed the barely-audible “please…”

“You’re cute when you beg,” Haruka mumbled, scissoring his fingers.

Rin made an angry noise even as he ground down against Haruka’s hand. “I don’t beg!”

Haruka raised an unimpressed eyebrow. He leaned down, fingers still moving inside of Rin, and fastened his teeth around Rin’s protruding hipbone. Rin hissed, but there was no mistaking the way his cock twitched.

Haruka sucked hard - the swim team would be hooting at Rin's marks next practice for sure. Releasing the skin with a slightly wet noise, he let out a sigh and watched with delight as goosebumps sprang up. He trailed kisses down the inside of each thigh and back up again, slowing as he approached the straining bulge inside Rin's soaked panties.

Rin was letting out a continuous stream of curses, whimpers, and gasps. Haruka kissed gently up his length through the satin and lace, and stilled his fingers as he pressed his lips against Rin's head.

Rin panted, tugging weakly at the handcuffs. “Sensei…”

“Ask nicely,” Haruka mumbled against him.

Rin made an angry noise. “Please already, Nanase-san?”

Despite his irritable tone, there was definitely an undercurrent of pleading. It was the best thing Haruka had heard all day. He took mercy on Rin with his fingers and tongue, and Rin’s head tilted back to rest on the pillow as Haruka slid the panties aside to rub his tongue up the vein on the underside.

Rin was beginning to shake with the stimulation, and it occurred belatedly to Haruka that they had been planning to have penetrative sex that day. Hastily, he withdrew, sat back, shimmied out of his swim trunks, and grabbed the bottle again, coating his own hard-on with the fluid. His other hand played along the twitching outline in the panties, and he slowly tugged the satin aside, aligned himself. Rin’s body was humming with anticipation.

Achingly slowly, Haruka slid in, eyes fixed upon Rin’s face. Rin’s eyes were squeezed shut.

“Rin?” he asked.

Rin’s eyes snapped open, and a single, curt word dropped from his lips. “Move.”

Well, who was Haruka to deny a request like that?

Nevertheless, he moved carefully, still unsure if he was hurting Rin or not. He planted his hands on either side of Rin's chest and slid in slowly, about halfway. Rin sighed, and Haruka pulled out, slid partially back in, waiting for Rin to adjust.

Suddenly, it occurred to Haruka that he owed someone a debt before he could continue. He pulled out, hopped off the bed, and rifled through his discarded jeans’ pockets to find his phone. “Stay quiet, will you?” Haruka ignored Rin’s apprehensive questions and held down the 3 key, holding the phone to his left ear as he slid back in. He fucked Rin with slow, lazy thrusts as he waited.

She picked up on the third ring, with a sharp, businesslike tone. “Kou Matsuoka speaking.”

“It’s Haruka.”

“Ah?” A note of surprise colored Kou’s voice. “You never use your phone, what’s up?”

“Guess what I’m doing.” Haruka clamped a hand over Rin’s mouth, muffling his protests.

“What?”

“Your brother.”

Kou giggled. “About time! Guess what I’m doing?”

“What?”

“Your student!”

There was a faint squelch on the other end. Haruka snapped the phone shut and threw it across the room.

Disgusting. He couldn’t believe that he had thought himself heterosexual at some point.

Although he couldn’t claim that it was sex that was holding his attention.

It was Rin, from start to finish. Rin’s laugh and Rin’s stutter and Rin’s warm hands tugging him off somewhere. Rin’s piercing red eyes – the anger and determination in them, but the passion too, the sheer ferocity of his love. Rin’s teeth worrying his lip and Rin’s eyes narrowing or widening. Rin’s muscles tensing and slick with sweat in the weight room, Rin’s hair plastered to his head as he climbed out of the pool, Rin struggling not to smile at the stray cat he had stopped to stroke. That was why Haruka was so attached, damn it all. That was why his mind was a whirlpool of cherry-red eyes and sharp teeth, that was why he got up in the middle of the night and let Rin challenge him to a race, that was why he–

“Sensei,” Rin interrupted from below him. Haruka realized with a start that he had stopped moving, eyes fixed on Rin’s and hands only loosely holding his thighs. He cleared his throat, slightly embarrassed, but was cut off by Rin, whose tone was slightly irritated. “Sensei, you’re treating me like porcelain.”

Haruka blinked. “What?”

Out of nowhere, Rin’s legs clamped around his torso and jerked him closer with the strength of endless hours in the weight room. Haruka, caught off guard, let out a surprised noise at the sudden movement. Rin’s face tightened in pleasure. “Haruka Nanase, I might be a sub but I’m not a fucking fairy.”

Haruka placed a hand on Rin’s stomach, unsteady but beginning to come back from his mental tangent. “What are you saying.”

Rin snorted in irritation. “Do I have to spell it out for you?”

Haruka tilted his head.

“Fuck me,” Rin ordered him, slowly and deliberately, "until I don't know my own name."

A wave of heat rolled down Haruka’s chest and into his cock. Rin smirked. It was almost as if he knew that he was driving Haruka to distraction.

Oh, who was he kidding. Rin knew exactly what he was doing. Haruka’s eyes narrowed. “You asked for it.” His hips tensed, then snapped forwards. Rin’s exultant cry faded into a long, slow groan that rang out in the dimly lit room as Haruka’s fingers clenched around his calf muscles. Haruka gritted his teeth, realizing rapidly that he wasn’t going to last much longer. Rin was so hot, so tight, and his eyes, half-obscured by tangled red hair, were burning into Haruka’s and-

Rin came dry, entire body spasming around him, and Haruka was gone, heat blazing through his veins and a soft groan escaping his lips as he came deep in Rin.

His thrusts slowed, and, finally, stopped. Haruka paused for a moment, hair hanging over his eyes and chest rising and falling rapidly. His limbs felt like jello. Warm jello, as if he were glowing.

On second thought, that was kind of gross. Haruka pulled out, beginning to soften. It didn’t escape his notice that Rin’s body was still taut with tension, but he took a moment to recover his breathing anyway. Rin twitched impatiently, but he waited.

Finally, Haruka collected himself. He lifted his eyes to examine the situation. Rin was still quivering, and on a whim, Haruka upped the vibrations on the ring. A shudder wracked his body, and Haruka pressed the small up button again, eyes fixed on Rin’s drawn face. The redhead’s lips were pressed tightly together, but his eyes were imploring.

He was perfect.

Haruka shook the thought from his head. He couldn’t go on an emotional tangent every time he saw Rin hard; nothing would ever get done. “Make some noise,” Haruka instructed his student instead, idly clicking the power up again. Rin let out a soft curse, but he was done with defiance.

Haruka was struck by a sudden, powerful urge. He leaned down, kissed chastely at the tip of Rin's cock, and finally freed it from the confines of the panties. Rin shivered as Haruka licked slowly and lovingly - they were both done with teasing.

Haruka swallowed him down, withdrew, swallowed again and again, sped up the pace. Rin cried out, a noise that faded into a shameless moan as the stimulation continued.

“Ready?” Haruka asked him.

Rin gasped out assent. He hiccupped a little, eyes watery and pleading. His cock was as red as his hair, and straining with the need for release.

“Hmm.” Haruka considered. Without warning, he swallowed Rin down to his base and finally clicked the cock ring off, swirling his tongue around the head and staring up at him.

Rin came spectacularly, arms jerking desperately at his bonds, head thrown back and with a moan straight out of Haruka’s fantasies. Haruka’s tongue slid across him until Rin had come down from his high and was merely whimpering softly at the overstimulation. Haruka released Rin with a slightly wet noise, licking cum off his lips, and moved quickly to unclick the handcuffs. Rin collapsed into his teacher’s side. Haruka could feel the rapid heartbeat against his ribcage.

“Good?” he asked, concern creeping into his tone, and Rin nodded so fast his head crashed into Haruka’s arm.

Fuck yes, sensei.” His voice was soft and shaky, and he nuzzled into Haruka’s warmth. Hesitantly, Haruka wrapped an arm around his shoulders, and felt Rin’s answering smile against his chest.

For a long moment, there was nothing but silence.

“Come on, let’s get you cleaned up,” Haruka murmured, sliding off the bed and leading him towards the bathroom. Rin followed docilely.

With his barriers broken down, Rin was positively charming. As Haruka moistened the washcloth to wipe down his chest and stomach, Rin leaned into his chest and placed soft kisses on his neck and collarbones. He reached for his battered toothbrush as Haruka rinsed out the cloth, and nestled into Haruka’s body, gazing tiredly at his reflection.

“You’re a lot more pleasant when you’ve just been fucked senseless,” Haruka observed dryly.

“Mm,” was Rin’s only reply. He offered Haruka the foamy toothbrush as he spit into the sink.

“No. That’s disgusting.”

“You just swallowed my spunk.”

“You’ve been scraping that across your abnormally shaped teeth and leaving the bacteria to fester for months.”

Rin rolled his eyes and went back into the bedroom, shimmying into a pair of Haruka’s sweatpants and a ratty gray t-shirt before he began making the bed.

“We’re just going to sleep in it again.” Rin startled slightly at the voice right behind him - he hadn’t even heard Haruka emerge from the bathroom.

“It’s different,” he retorted. “It is! Ugh, shut up. Where did you get that stuff, anyway?” he muttered, petulance somewhat tempered by the worn dolphin plushie he’d grabbed from its place by the pillow and hugged close to his chest.

“College.” It was an easier explanation than the truth. Haruka pulled on a pair of pajama pants, clicked off the light, and crawled underneath the covers.

“Old lech.” Rin’s words were muffled as he curled into his teacher’s bare chest, still hugging the stuffed dolphin.

“I’m only twenty-two.”

“You’re a bitch.”

“Look who’s talking.” Haruka’s hands slid down lightning-fast to Rin’s bottom, earning him a squeak and a swat with the dolphin.

“Go to sleep, asshole.”

Even in the dark, Haruka’s smile showed in his voice. “Goodnight, Rin.”