Your pencil sketched across your notepad, the teacher's metaphors barely penetrating your state. "And now, you all have a few minutes to converse," Ama-sensei said. You ignored the instant flood of conversation, burying yourself into your drawing.
“Who is that?” A curious speaker asked.
You hesitantly glanced up at the owner of the voice. A boy stood over you, his ocean blue eyes inquisitively scanning over your drawing.
“It’s my OC,” you replied nervously. You turned your head back to your desk to add some shading onto his hair. “He’s drowning,” you added when the onlooker didn’t walk away. His shadow blocked your view of the top of your drawing, causing your lips to curl in agitation.
You whispered, “Would you please move?”
“Do you swim?”
You looked up, the sun glaring in your vision. His expression was deadly serious, as if he was daring you not to answer. You managed a shaky laugh. Why is he even talking to me?
“Do you like to swim?” He stared at you with those deep blue eyes, his jaw set in determination.
“You’re not going to leave until I tell you, are you?” You sighed down at your drawing and started to smudge the shading. The end-of-class bell chimed and as if to prove your point, the boy didn’t even budge an inch. The rest of the class moved like a gigantic wave, rising up and swallowing piles of textbooks off of desks.
A trio of boys formed by the door. You watch them out of the corner of your vision as they glanced anxiously around. Their eyes settled on you and the inscrutable boy blocking your light. “Haru!” The tallest waved his arms.
“Haru” kept his gaze fixated on you, but his nose twitched. The trio walked towards you, and the shortest (a blond boy with way too much happy) bounded up to your desk on his toes.
“Ooooh! Pretty drawing!” His magenta eyes widened and he poked your OC. “Who is that?”
“Don’t touch it! Please!” You quickly grabbed your notebook, hugging it to your chest.
“Answer the question,” Haru demanded.
“Fine! Just please… I don’t really like people…” You sighed and tilted your head in thought. What did he even-?
Oh yeah. “The answer is no,” you frown.
“Whaaa?” The three other boys exclaimed.
“Haru-chan!” The annoying short one clutched at Haru’s shirt and started to shake him like a toddler on a sugar high. “Did you just confess to y/n-san, Haru-chan?”
How does he know my name? And… confess? Like a crush? You paled as your face twisted into a look of horror and you struggled for words. Instead of speaking you decided to glance up at Haru, waiting for him to deny everything. It was his stupid fault anyway.
The dark haired teen’s eyebrow twitched uncertainly and a dark aura clinged to his figure. Haru looked as though he was about to explode, his face was turning a vivid purple and his foot began tapping against the floor. You suppressed the urge to scream and toss your textbook at his face. He… He’s kind of scary...
“I do not understand,” he muttered. “That is not humanly possible…” His hands crashed down onto your desk, rustling all of your papers. “Surely there is some mistake!”
“What did he ask her?” One of the guys (let’s call him glasses kid) said.
“He asked me if I like to swim…” your voice trailed off.
“And you said… NO?” The other three boys gaped along with Haru, and all four regarded you with a look as if you denied being part of the human race.
“I’m leaving,” you announced. You scooted back your chair and grabbed all of your folders. “Good bye.” You rapidly walked out of the classroom, shooting a few alarmed glances behind you as you fled.
Makoto, Rei, Nagisa, and a very disturbed Haru stared after you in silence.
“She defied the water,” Haru muttered. “She must reform her ways or die.”
*** The Next Day***
You sighed into the hazy morning as you walked into Iwatobi High. Once inside your classroom, you found your path barred by that tall guy from yesterday.
“Ohayo, y/n-chan,” he said with a warm smile.
“Hey,” you replied curtly with a hesitant wave. You weren’t used to people talking to you at all, and you didn’t understand why people would be bothering to talk to you now, of all times.
You slid into your chair and flopped open your sketchbook. Absently, you turned the pages until you arrived at a blank one.
“Would you like swimming if I gave you this?”
“Huh?” Your nose wrinkled in confusion as you stared up at an unidentifiable thing dangling in your face. “What the hell is that?” You felt your eyes spinning as the wooden carving bobbed in front of your face, showing no sign of moving any time soon.
“It’s the wooden totem bird that the swim club is trying to use to bribe people,” a student seated in front of you mumbled. A tone of annoyance laid in his voice and you snorted.
“Iwatobi doesn’t even have a swim club,” you said.
The keychain rattled as Haru fiercely shook it. “Y/n? Do you like swimming?”
“No, Haru!” You cried out. “I don’t like swimming and that bird of yours isn’t going to change anything either! I don’t want it!”
The carving quickly withdrew from your personal bubble and you shrank back in your seat as Haru loomed down at you. “You shouldn’t say things like that in front of Iwatobi-chan.”
“Nanase, please sit back down. As a Greek philosopher once said…”
***That Week... A later day**
Class had just let out, and it was time for lunch. You meandered aimlessly through the halls for a quiet place to dine. You turned the corner and your eyebrows rose in surprise.
A fairytale trail of your favorite candy snaked down the hallway and around the next bend. Your mouth watered in awe and you rushed forward towards the first piece of candy. You popped it into your mouth and devoured the next, and the next…
The trail had led you outside towards the athletic part of the campus. You glimpsed the last piece of candy resting next to a pool-
A pool? Since when did Iwatobi have a functional pool?
With your curiosity sparked, you sprinted towards the pool. The calm water glinted in the afternoon sunlight and a grin spreaded onto your face as you approached it. You waddled towards the edge, your jaws chomping away on the mound of deliciousness inside of your mouth.
Its so pretty… So calm and blue… I can’t imagine anyone… drowning… in… it…
The water curved over your head, swallowing you like the throat of a giant. You desperately flailed your arms through the endless blue as the water seeped into your uniform. Frantically, your legs kicked on their own accord and your eyes scanned through the water for the blaring sun. You felt your mouth giving way and just as water started to seep in between your lips, you spotted it.
You twisted yourself in the water and kicked your legs until your mouth broke the surface. The air popped your ears like a balloon and you spat out the taste of purifying salt.
“What about now?”
“HARUKA NANASE, I WILL KILL YOU IF ITS THE LAST BLOODY THING I~~ BLUBBB!” Your screaming died away to a wail as the water lapped over your head again. You clawed at the surface and felt tears forming in your eyes. “Haru!” You screamed, bubbles racing out of your mouth.
I really am going to drown. Maybe… Maybe its not such a bad way to go…
You started to blink your eyes closed and let the water overtake you when an arm wrapped around your waist. You stared in surprise, the salt water burning your eyes. Another arm gracefully curved through the water and you felt yourself being pulled towards the surface as you were hugged against someone’s chest.
You grabbed their shoulder with one hand and wrapped the other around their chest just as the two of you broke the surface.
Air… You gulped it down, feeling tears mix with the water dripping down your face. You snuggled your face into the crook of your savior's neck.
You heard heavy breathing as he dragged you toward a ladder and you heard his calming voice somewhere on the edge of your thoughts.
“I said wrap your legs around my back,” Haru said. Not a trace of emotion in his voice.
You let out a whimper and complied without even a complaint, wrapping your legs around his waist and hugging his back. You felt his muscles flex through your soaked uniform as he slowly climbed up the ladder.
“My lunch…” you murmured. “Its at the bottom of the pool.”
Haru sighed and twisted his neck, casting a glance at the blurry box at the bottom of the deep end. “You can have mine.”
You closed your eyes and took in his comforting scent. Fresh air… He smelled like fresh air. And feminine shampoo. You managed a weak giggle.
“How did you know my full name?”
“Oh!” Haru opens the door to the school and a burst of cold air made you tremble into his form. “Uh… I honestly don’t know…” you fibbed.
“Hmm,” Haru commented. He bounced you higher onto his back, seeming indifferent to the wide eyed stares that students gave as the two of you passed. You wondered with a flush of heat if you should be walking now that you’re inside… “Here.”
You looked up and saw the nurse’s door. Haru gently slid you off of his back and slowly turned around to face you. His cheeks were tinged pink, and his mouth was curled in an uncertain frown. “I- I am sorry for that, y/n…” He glanced away out of embarrassment and you felt your own cheeks burn even brighter. “Just, why don’t you like to swim?”
“It’s my friend!” You blurted. You pursed your lips and clenched your hands. “She… she was bullied in middle school, and drowned herself when she was 13. I’ve never gotten over it. Infact, my OC… It’s actually her own OC. Her genderbend.” You averted your gaze as Haru watched you with uncanny concern. “I- I’m sorry… I shouldn’t have said that.”
“No. Don’t be so sorry.” He suddenly reached out, firmly clasping his hands on your shoulders. “I’m the one who should be sorry! But it just bothers me that anyone would use the water with that intent!” Haru’s eyes sparkled and his fingers dug even tighter against your skin. “Promise me that you won’t, y/n, okay?” His voice was laced with alarm, sending chills down your spine.
“Ha- Haru! I promise! I won’t! And… I knew your name… because…” You forced yourself to gaze up into his eyes. You saw yourself reflected in the powerful ocean of his eyes. You took a deep breath and squeezed your eyes shut. “I like you! A lot!”
Your eyes widened in shock as a pair of lips slammed into your own. You felt Haru’s tongue passionately glide over your lips and you relaxed into the kiss.
He broke away and you stifled a giggle as you smiled at his pink face. His eyes nervously scanned over your face, twitching from your forehead to your lips but never meeting your eyes. After a beat he leaned forward, and you closed the distance between the two of you once again.
“Excuse me.” You heard a voice say. “Am I interrupting something?”
The two of you quickly broke apart and you glanced up in alarm into the face of Miss Ama-sensei.
“The nurse is on her lunch break,” she commented as she looked the two of you over. She laughed nervously, her hands fidgeting at her sides. “Haru, why are the two of you all wet?”
“Because the water brought us together. Excuse me.” The teen cuffed your hand with his own and dragged you away from the nurse’s office and back outside.
“Haru! Where are we going!”
“Back to pool,” he muttered. His feet sped across the ground and you had to sprint to keep up with him. “I’m going to teach you how to swim, without drowning.” His strides paused and he sent you a cautious, caring smile. “If you don’t mind, right now. But I’m teaching you at some point.” You swore you heard him add “There is no escaping from the water” under his breath but you shrugged it off with an energetic nod.
“Teach me how to swim, Haru!”
And when you arrived at the pool, he laced his fingers in your own and led you into the water. One slow step at a time...