title: False Start
fandom: Free!
characters/pairings: Makoto/Haru/Rin
rating: G
warnings: futurefic
summary: Makoto's day could be starting out better...
notes: i've fallen for Makoto. i'm sunk. this takes place when the three boys are about... twenty-four to thirty.

It was going to be one of those days.

First of all, Makoto woke up with Rin's big toe wiggling right under his nose. Naturally, Rin was in need of a pedicure, but if Makoto pointed that out, he knew Rin would tell him that he was free to clip Rin's toenails anytime he wanted to, so Makoto just shoved Rin's foot away and turned off the alarm. But Haru wasn't awake, and he turned over face down to his pillow when Makoto tried to wake him up. And then Rin snidely told him that if Makoto wanted to wake up right then, he could, but they didn't need as much time to primp in front of the mirror as Makoto did, so he should leave them alone.

Makoto bit his tongue and did not remind Rin that it was always Rin in front of the mirror every morning. He just got up, found some boxers, realized that not only were they badly in need of a laundry night, but Rin had been raiding his underwear again, so Makoto only had the Sailor Moon boxers Rin had gotten him for his birthday last year to wear. He put them on, though, figuring black and white kitties and moons and stars weren't the worst thing he could be found in should he have some sort of unfortunate accident, and he went to the bathroom.

The other two still weren't up when he went to take down the trash. If he didn't take it down early, there was too great a chance they'd miss the garbage man, since their building had to be the first on the route. Makoto hated it when the garbage piled up. But, when he took it down, he got caught by the old man from the third floor who gave him a lecture about young men coming home late rabble-rousing on weeknights. Makoto was pretty sure he was confusing them with the woman down the hall's boyfriend, and he was especially irked to be taking a lecture since the old man was pretty sure it was one of your pretty-boy roommates! He was doubly especially irked because the lecture ended, as it often did, with the old man loudly musing about what kind of young man wants to share a place with two other stinky guys? He was sorely tempted to ditch his natural inclination toward respect to the elderly and tell the old man to shove it. Rin would. And Haru would never have stood still long enough to get lectured. And yet, the old man was angry at one of them, even though it wasn't their fault.

Irritated, he came back up to find his roommates making out in front of the open refrigerator. The open refrigerator.

Makoto literally bit his tongue. He practically chomped a chunk right off. Even after all this time... Of course, he did do stuff with just Haru or just Rin. Being left out, though... It was his own damned insecurity, his own selfishness. It wasn't their fault. But he swept past them and went to get dressed. When he went to wash up, he realized the back of his hair was standing straight out. He tried to figure out how that was Rin's or Haru's fault, but it wasn't, really.

He did still wake up to Rin's toe in his face.

He'd just started to brush his teeth when Rin and Haru joined him in the bathroom. It didn't make any sense that all three of them, ranging from big to about normal sized men, would cram into the bathroom all at once. It never did. That didn't stop Haru, who barely seemed to be aware of the other two, and it didn't stop Rin, who edged his way to the mirror for his daily perusal of his pores that came before and after he shaved.

It happened every damned morning, so there was no point in Makoto complaining. But Rin was planted in front of the sink, and he had a toothbrush in his mouth. Naturally, Haru's answer to that was to turn on the water in the tub and sit on the edge, letting his feet get wet as he washed up there. Makoto had to practically straddle the toilet to be anywhere near the sink.

Unable to contain his annoyance much longer, Makoto singled in on the only thing that was really different this morning. "Feel free to help yourself to my boxers any time you like, Rin. Even though they're too big on you..." Admittedly, Makoto didn't mind the view of Rin as his boxers barely managed to stay on Rin's hips...

"Thanks," Rin muttered, not even paying attention to him.

Something ugly flared inside of Makoto, and he did his best to tamp it down. "Can I get to the sink for a moment, please?" he sighed, trying to keep the bitterness out of his tone, but only marginally succeeding.

Rin rolled his eyes and sighed, but he moved over. Three millimeters.

Haru was watching him in the way that he just did, so Makoto did not react. He hoped. He leaned over and spit out the toothpaste, and grabbed his razor.

"We really need a bigger bathroom," Rin grumbled, for the ten millionth time.

"Yes," Makoto kept his voice even. "On the way home, I'll get some embiggening spray, and we'll just slather that stuff around everywhere."

"Can we get a bigger tub?" Haru asked, sounding pathetically hopefully. It was almost cute.

No, it was cute, Makoto just wasn't in the mood for Haru being cute. "No," he replied shortly.

Haru's shoulders slumped slightly.

"We should have gotten a place with a bigger bathroom, 'sall I'm sayin'," Rin grumbled, caressing his beautiful, beautiful face.

"Well, when we move, we'll keep that in mind," Makoto said, finishing up and moving to get around Rin. He needed to get out of that bathroom before he lost his mind. Of course, it took them nearly four months to find this place, and it was by far the best of anyplace they'd seen while looking. Makoto didn't want to move for a good while yet.

"Is it your turn to make lunch? I want mackerel," Haru reminded him.

Makoto spoke before he thought, "I know."

Rin laughed, "Snippy!"

Haru was watching him.

Makoto took a breath. "I just... I only meant... You have it everyday. I do remember." He slouched off, though. Now, he was annoyed and guilty. Great combination.

He threw on his clothes quickly, and then went to the kitchen. Rin complained, but taking their lunches to work saved them a lot, and that was money they could use for vacations and for their future. Plus, well, Makoto preferred it, and Haru didn't care.

Rin was outvoted.

He was just putting the finishing touches on each of their boxes when his cell rang. His heart sank, because he recognized the ringtone. He took a deep breath before answering, making sure to sound chipper when he greeted his mother. Unfortunately, there was only one reason she'd ever call at this hour...

Haru came into the kitchen, and then Rin, and Rin was trying to grab Haru's ass and was making a bunch of noise. Makoto packed up the bentos and went out to the genkan to finish talking to his mother. She finished, as expected, with a I'm just worried about you, son!

By that time, he realized he left his keys in the kitchen, but Rin was already getting his shoes on, and would undoubtedly leave without him. Makoto went back for his keys without bothering to tell Rin to wait for him. Heaven forfend that he cause Rin to be even twenty seconds late after waking him up and making his lunch for him.

He grabbed his keys, and then turned sharply, nearly falling over when he realized that Haru was standing right behind him. "Ah, sorry! I thought..."

"Is everything ok?" Haru asked in that low tone he used when he knew that everything was not ok but he didn't know what to do about it.

Makoto flushed, and forced himself to smile, which was a lot easier to do when Haru was looking at him like that. "It's fine, I'm fine!" he assured him.

Haru wasn't convinced. "You sure? Because... if there's something wrong... Well, just say so."

The way Haru was looking at him, Makoto's heart skipped a beat. How ridiculous, at their age, after all the years they'd... but Haru still had that affect on him. Always would. "I'm fine, really," he smiled brighter, more honestly.

Haru nodded slowly, and then he took Makoto's tie in his hand, and pulled Makoto down for a slow, sweet kiss. "I don't like it when you're mad at us," he whispered against Makoto's lips.

Just when Makoto thought his head might explode, Rin whistled appreciatively. Makoto looked over Haru's shoulder to see Rin taking pictures of them - again - with his cell. "Someone's going to see those someday," Makoto sighed, trying not to be embarrassed.

"So what?" Rin laughed. "I'll just tell 'em the truth. I get off watching my roommates goin' at it." He winked at them, and pinched Makoto's ass as he tried to get by.

"Is that so? You don't like to participate?" Makoto teased him. This was an old joke by now between Rin and Makoto. It was as comfortable as Rin wearing Makoto's underwear.

"I like all sorts of things," Rin replied archly, smirking. That damned smirk. "Hey." He grabbed Makoto's arm and pulled him back. "I don't get a kiss this morning?" he mock-pouted.

Makoto indulged him anyway, and when he pulled away, he couldn't help noticing how contentedly Haru was smiling at them.

On their way down the stairs, Rin asked. "Who were you on the phone with just then?"

Makoto felt a lot better now, so he didn't even have to work hard to repress the thought, Oh, you noticed I was on the phone? "It was just my mother."

"Does she have more marriage offers for you?" Rin snickered.

Makoto did not sigh. "She just... worries..." It was hard not to sigh, but not as hard as it would have been ten minutes ago.

"You should get the folders with the pictures!" Rin made gestures that apparently indicated folders. "I bet she has some real hotties lined up for you!"

"Why would you assume that?" Makoto asked, bewildered.

Rin just rolled his eyes and laughed. "Make your mommy happy and just look at 'em! Bring 'em home so we can all look at 'em! It'll be fun."

"I'm not going to take any... That will just make her think I'm considering it!" Makoto objected.

They were out on their street now. Rin had gotten ahead of them, but he turned around and gave Makoto a wicked look. "You just let her think you're thinking about it, and it'll put her mind at ease! And you know, if you see some really hot babe, meeting her wouldn't be the worst thing... You could bring her home and we could watch movies together..." Rin suggested, his eyebrows doing something obscene.

Makoto just shook his head, smiling.

Haru tugged on Makoto's sleeve. "Hey. Don't get married," he quietly asked, or maybe ordered.

Either way, it got Makoto to flush.

"He's not going to get married!" Rin laughed, through his arms up defeat. "C'mon, a guy in his situation doesn't need a wife, anyway! After all, I can cook and clean better'n any woman," Rin winked at Makoto seductively.

"I can, too," Haru said, seemingly oddly offended by the suggestion of a wife competition. Or by the idea of a wife, it was hard to tell sometimes just what Haru was thinking.

The sun was shining brightly, and they got to the end of the block, where off in the distance in one direction, they could see the sun glistening over the ocean. The sky was blue above their heads, and the air smelled fresh. Makoto felt a strong sense of time and place, right there on the corner where they parted ways every morning.

He was right where he belonged.

"I'm going on ahead. See you tonight," he waved to the other two.

Rin didn't turn around. He waved his hand above his head, just like a teenager. "I'm bringing home dinner, so don't be late!"

"Later," Haru said, watching Makoto cross the street.

He took the stairs up through the neighborhood in the next block two at a time, feeling... good.








BACK