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Word Count: 1037
Summary: Continued from Day #16 - Makoto and Haruka go visit an aquarium.

Something was off with Makoto, Haruka knew that, but he couldn't quite place a finger on what exactly it was. There was something different in his eyes today, even though his smile was the same, gentle smile that he always wore. There was something in the undertone of his voice that Haruka couldn't quite place, but it wasn't so off that it was out of character.

But then again, they were at a large aquarium, after a long train ride, and it was Christmas Eve. It had been a present from both their parents, knowing how much they loved the sea life and because it had been such a long train ride, they were allowed to stay overnight at a small hostel, in a room just big enough for two futons for the two of them. They were in Nagoya, because Nagoya was the home to one of the two aquariums on Japan to be the home of Orcas. It would be the first time for both boys to be seeing those animals close-by, and to say that Haru was excited was an understatement. Therefore it was easy for him to ignore anything and everything that was off with Makoto that day.

Makoto looked at his note every once in a while and pointed out when the dolphin show would start. He took extra care that they would get a seat in the back rows, probably afraid that Haruka would go and undress to swim with the mammals, but all Haruka had eyes for were the dolphins and his friend. At one point he got so excited that he grabbed Makoto's hand and squeezed it tightly when the dolphins seemed to jump higher and higher with every note of the underlying musical.

"Makoto," he breathed, feeling as if his heart was going to be jumping out of his chest.

His friend only squeezed back and his smile spread all over his face.

After the show was done, Haruka kept holding onto Makoto's hand, feeling like a little kid again and needing the other as his anchor in the real world, despite the fact that he was usually the other's anchor. But that was how their relationship worked; they both were the other's anchor in life.

"What do you want to do next, Haru-chan?" Makoto asked, leaning down slightly to whisper into Haruka's ear. Surprisingly, this made the smaller boy blush deeply and he asked for a drink. His friend nodded, and pulled him towards the area with the vending machine. There, he got them both a bottle of water, handed one Haruka and then checked his note again.

"Haru, let's go see the Orcas," he suggested as Haruka hid himself behind his water. Makoto was quite proactive that day, not asking him for what he wanted to do, no instead he suggested what they should be doing, leading his older friend around as if he was the dominant in their relationship. Try as he might, Haruka knew that Makoto always asked him for his opinion while Haruka waited for Makoto make up his mind and ask him what he wanted to do. Therefore, it was always Haruka who said what they would be doing, in one way of the other.

"Hm... okay," Haruka agreed and put the bottle into his bag. He lifted his hand to take Makoto's again, but he hesitated and let it drop again as a family passed by them. He didn't want to cause the kids any trauma, seeing two boys holding hands.

They ended up in front of the large tank that was the home of the family of Orcas living in the Port of Nagoya Aquarium, beautiful creatures. Of course, Haruka knew that the pool they were living in was probably too small for the four of them, but he was fascinated nevertheless.

Face pressed to the window of the aquarium, he didn't notice how Makoto had stopped walking a little bit behind him and was watching him look at the orcas in their element.

"Haru," he called out softly, thus gaining the other's attention. Haruka turned around, eyes wide with awe.

"Since you said to do it properly," Makoto mumbled and knelt down, pulling a small velvet box from the pocket of his jacket'. He took a deep breath before he looked up at the other, green eyes sincere and void of any and all insecurities that might have been there when he asked, "Haruka Nanase, do you want to marry me? I promise I will always ensure that you will be able to swim free."

The people around them stopped, but neither of them noticed, Haruka because he held his breath, not knowing what to say, and Makoto because he waited for Haruka's answer.

It felt like an eternity that he needed to breathe again, but then he let out the breath that he had been holding with a soft snort.

"Idiot," he mumbled and knelt down as well, placing his hands around Makoto's larger ones and the small velvet box. "Stupid... stupid Idiot Makoto."

"Huh? What does that mean?" the taller one asked, suddenly sounding extremely confused and all of his self-confidence was suddenly gone.

"I told you... I don't care that much about marriage," Haruka said softly, a smile on his face as he closed the velvet box. "But with you... I guess I can live with that."

The smile didn't leave his face, enjoying to look at Makoto's confused expression. "I don't need a ring. Just having you by my side is enough."

The confusion didn't leave Makoto's face, even as Haruka pulled him up with him to a stand. "...is that a yes?"

"Only if you find a way for me to swim with the dolphins."

"I-I don't think that's possible..."

Funnily enough, some people in the crowd around them gave them directions to a love hotel with a giant pool, guaranteeing them that it would feel like just like swimming with the dolphins. Needless to say, Haruka was thrilled and even though Makoto was so embarrassed he couldn't answer, he was unable to say no to those sparkling blue eyes.
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