makikoigami: (GW - Heero)
[personal profile] makikoigami
Title: Your Atlantis 2/?
Rating: PG
Pairings: Makoto Tachibana x Haruka Nanase
Wordcount: ~2,600
Spoilers: The whole series
Warnings: Angst and fluff? Something along those lines.
Disclaimer: I wish I had more merchandise...
Summary: Makoto tries to cope with life alone and has an encounter with a cat and a girl.
Notes&Comments: The plot thickens. ...What plot? OTL

Life at university was hard.

Life in Tokyo was even harder.

But what was the worst was life without Haru.

Makoto sighed as he took the plastic bag from the counter of the convenience store and made his way back to the dormitory, where he would shovel the bento inside into his mouth, think of nothing and then try to weed his way through his homework.

Above all it was exceptionally hard to live in the city when it was summer and all he wanted to do was to jump into a pool to cool down, but unfortunately he didn't have time to do that. He would take cold showers every night and every morning in hopes that he would be able to sleep, but he would just toss around until he felt like he was slowly simmering in his own sweat. Opening a window didn't help either as there would be no breeze coming over from the ocean and, in addition to that, it was unbearably loud on the streets at night.

Makoto missed Iwatobi; the breeze coming in from the ocean even in a summer heat like this. He missed it with all of his heart, but he knew that this was for the better. Here - alone - he would be able to concentrate on his studies better than with Haru around. Because as things were, simply the memory of his - he almost didn't dare to think it - boyfriend was already distraction enough.

He couldn't help but think back to the day just before he had left for Tokyo, the night that had been so full of everything that he had dreamt of for so long and the acceptance and love that he had felt from Haru's side. It hadn't been easy for him, talking about his deepest, darkest feelings, the ones which he had carried around with him for the past five or more years. He had honestly feared that Haru would be disgusted with him, that he would push him away. Makoto had never thought about the fact that Haru could accept his selfish request or be even more than open to reciprocating his feelings. He hadn’t thought that there would ever be a way for him to be accepted, for that monster inside of him that he feared to be welcomed so easily.

Although, there were things that he wanted to do but that he was still scared to do. It had been nice touching the other, but for some reason he had felt as if something was missing, as if there was so much more to explore. Thankfully his dormitory had Wi-Fi which meant that he didn't have to go to the library to research about these things when he wanted to know how love between two men actually worked.

Not that he had time to do so.

Upon his arrival in Tokyo, Makoto's days had been filled with homework, social gatherings and the search for a part-time job, since he didn't want his parents to pay everything for him. He ended up with a job for a parcel company on Saturdays and Sundays where he had to carry lots of heavy boxes, but that was something he was good at and he was able to shut off his brain for a while, which was also a good thing once in a while. That way he didn't stress about his studies or his friends, especially Haruka, even though he wondered what the hell he was doing.

Not that trying to get in touch with him was ever a fruitful endeavor.

Of course, Makoto had tried calling Haruka, every day at first, but after the first ten times that Haruka failed to respond he just shrugged it off. Eventually he decided to put faith into the fact that they would see each other again around Christmas, since Makoto planned to be working during the summer holidays to save enough money for the rest of the year, mostly for his expenses to go back home during winter.

Meanwhile, there was enough for him to do.

There were a few cats he passed by every day he went to his lectures, usually at the same point, and while Tokyo's cats were a lot fiercer than his sweetheart at home - the cats in the city in general were quite different from the ones he was used to. But in the end, they were all cats after all and he just knew how to handle them. They eventually warmed up to him as he started sharing his mackerel sushi with them. Soon enough they would follow him even when he was in a hurry, begging him for attention and food and Makoto being Makoto he hardly refused them although sometimes it was only a quick pat on the head.

One of the cats reminded him remarkably of his boyfriend, having a dark grey fur and stunning blue eyes that befitted no street cat, so he dubbed him Haru, just to feel a little less homesick. Haru became closest to him over the weeks and soon he would follow him back to his dormitory, begging to be let inside. But since the dorm allowed no pets whatsoever - not even electronic ones! - he had to apologize over and over at the entrance before he had to leave him outside to feel better about it. Not that the cat seemed to care one bit.

He also befriended a handful of people. Half of them were living in the dorms with him, and since the rooms were so tiny and they shared showers and a rather small community room, Makoto just wanted to get along with everybody on his floor. But as things were, some people were not as social as he was, so he just let them be. Others were even more outgoing than him and invited him to a lot of parties, telling him that he would be so popular with the girls there because he looked good and was tall and muscular.

Makoto could care less about that, so he smiled and hid the fact that he already had somebody at home who was waiting for him. The main reason for that was because he had listened to previous conversations from everybody, teasing other guys about being gay when they clearly weren't, just to smite them. He also heard them tease another guy, telling him how a long-distance relationship would never work since love was a fickle thing and since he was young he should just have lots of fun while he was still able to.

He had felt pretty lost then, terribly naive and started wondering if he could trust Haruka to be faithful to him or if he could withstand any and all temptations in the big city. His imagination derailed towards ideas that he did not like and as he started imagining him being whipped by some dominatrix, he shook his head and pushed those thoughts out of his mind, but vowed not to tell anybody about Haruka, about his love at home.

Unfortunately, this meant that he had to attend some of those parties because apparently, "I have to study" or "I have to work tomorrow" were no valid reasons to stay at home every weekend. He tried his best not to care about anyone too much and hoped that they didn't care too much about him and for most of them it worked, which was a relief.

One of the people who cared was a girl from his Japanese class, who happened to be living next to his dormitory room. They seemed to be running into each other everywhere and anywhere and he once saw her slipping some mackerel to Haruka the cat as he was waiting outside for him to feed him.

"Hey." Makoto said softly, announcing his presence and hoping not to startle her too much, but she jumped up to her feet and almost fell back over. Worried, he reached out to her and caught her arm, which turned her momentum around and she fell right back forward, towards him, landing face first against his chest.

"Ah! I'm sorry!" Makoto said quickly as he was sure she was able to stand on her own two feet again. He backed up a little just to find her all red in the face, which in turn made him blush as well. "Sorry! I didn't mean to, um, I mean, I just wanted to feed Haru and you were just... feeding him, so I didn't want to startle you-"

"Haru?" the girl asked and her shoulders jerked slightly.

"Uh, yeah, that's... what I named the cat..." Makoto explained, frowning a little as her shoulders twitched again. "...Why?"

Looking up, he saw the girl had deep lilac eyes, matching her long jet-black hair perfectly and she was trying to hold back a laugh. "If that wasn't a boy, I could have imagined you had named the cat after me."

"Huh?"

"My name is Haruka Keioh, but my friends call me Haru. Nice to meet you." she said and bowed a little. "So, tell me. Since you're obviously responsible for getting the cat here, why did you give him a girl's name?"

"Ah! Um, about that, I... Oh! My name is Makoto Tachibana. Nice to meet you," Makoto replied instead, figuring it would be easier to explain if she knew his name. Haruka frowned and tilted her head a bit to the side as if prompting him to go on. "It's... a girlish name, I know, that's why the cat has... a name like that?"

That reasoning was really weak, but he hoped it would work.

"'Makoto'? It's not really a girlish name, I think." Haruka gave back. "Although, most Makoto’s I know were girls, but they were never really all that girly, so it's not as bad as you think it is? At least that's what I think."

Makoto listened to her talk and realized that she must have been from Tokyo, or any other big city, because he knew that people from big cities saw things differently than people from the countryside like he did. He chuckled softly and then smiled at her and he could have sworn he saw her blush again.

"Well then, if I told you about my friends Nagisa, Haruka, Rei, Rin and Gou, what would you say to that?"

"...are they all boys?" Haruka asked tentatively, tapping her lower lip with her index finger. "I mean, I'm pretty sure about Gou and Rin and Haruka, since you named the boy cat Haruka, but the other two..."

"Hahaha, almost. Gou is a girl and she prefers being called Kou but everybody else are boys-"

"Ah! Could it be!?" she said suddenly, recognition spreading over her face.

"Huh?! What?!" Makoto asked, startled and scared by her sudden outburst.

"Are you those underdog medley relay swimmers from the Tottori regionals who got this amazing time but had to be disqualified in the end because they used a swimmer from another school?! I heard they all had girly names, but were really strong!" Haruka gushed all over him.

Makoto chuckled in embarrassment, scratching his index finger lightly against his cheek. "That was two years ago..."

"So it really was you?! That's amazing! I happened to be there that day, I was swimming breast the previous day and we stayed to watch the boys' relay because our school participated in that, too! Ah, it's too bad you guys got disqualified. It was such a great sight to see!" Haruka rambled on, making Makoto's smile and blush spread further over his face.

"It didn't matter then... We weren't swimming for a trophy then, you know?" he explained, still holding no regrets about that time.

"Eh? You weren’t? Then why would you enter a tournament?!" Haruka asked, looking appalled. "I mean, you could just swim on your own then, right? Why enter a tournament if you didn't want to win?"

"Um, that was mostly because we were such a small club at our school and trophies meant more budget which we could use to swim in a pool during winter..." Makoto explained with another sheepish chuckle, realizing that winning never mattered for the cause of winning. "But, as you see, swimming competitively is something entirely different than just swimming to improve your time or swimming just for fun. It's hard to explain if you haven't experienced it yourself, but it's... a sight you don't see just like that."

Haruka looked at him, eyes wide, incredulous, just before she started giggling. "Tachibana-kun, that's quite the romantic thing to say," she explained between bouts of giggles and a beaming smile.

Makoto couldn't help but blush at her cheerful personality, the way she didn't find his words ridiculous, but just a little funny. He didn't think that romantic was a bad thing, but still he wanted to say that it wasn't his way of expressing the things he just said but Rin's, who was such a hopeless romantic that it was ridiculous sometimes.

"Ah... it is, isn't it?" he admitted, chuckling himself as his memories went back to his last year in elementary school where Rin had kept bugging them - mostly Haruka - to swim with them because he wanted to show them a sight they hadn't seen before. "I guess I'm quite the romantic guy then, hahaha."

He meant to say it as a joke, but even Haru the cat looked up at him with a judging look while Haruka turned a deep dark shade of red. When he belatedly realized that he had been full-out flirting with her and that this could easily have been a clumsy attempt to hit on her, he turned almost the same shade of red. He cursed himself for that, because he hadn't wanted to flirt with anybody, ever, in his whole life.

"Ah! I didn't mean it like that! It's just... um..." Makoto flustered, not knowing what to say.

"W-would you be interested... um, I cooked too much... if you want to you... you could come over and we could eat together..." Haruka trailed off and Makoto heaved a deep sigh, actually glad that he had been to the convenience store before.

"I already ate, so I'm sorry to decline, but no." He replied, smile turning apologetic.

"T-Then, maybe tomorrow?" Haruka tried again and then Makoto remembered something.

"Ah!" he exclaimed, his face losing all of its color at once. "I'm sorry, Haruka-chan, but tomorrow is not possible either. I'm sorry I have to go right now, too. Thank you for taking care of Haru for me! Bye!"

"Huh?" Haruka replied, bewildered as Makoto left her behind. "What's... going on?"

~*~


The dormitory rooms were tiny with just enough space for a bed and a desk, but at least he was living alone and didn't have to bother about a roommate. This came in handy now that Makoto hurried back to his room, having almost forgotten what day it was over all of his homework and studies.

Tomorrow was his boyfriend's birthday and he had nothing prepared.

Well, that wasn't exactly right. He already had a perfect idea what he wanted to give his boyfriend as a present, it was just for the fact that he hadn't prepared anything yet that was bad. Thus, he sat down in front of his laptop, trying to find everything he needed at an online shop that would send things over night or at least within 24 hours so that Haru would get his present until the next night. He managed to get what he wanted, wrote a note for Haru to keep an eye on his phone later that day and then he leaned back into the chair, suddenly feeling exhausted.

Tiredly, he succeeded in dragging himself to bed before he fell asleep in his chair, even if he hadn't managed to change his clothes. His last thought before falling asleep was that he had to apologize to Haruka-chan later for leaving so suddenly and being rude.
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