title: idle chatter
fandom: Free!
characters/pairings: Gou, Nagisa, Rei, discussion of Makoto/Haruka/Rin
rating: G
warnings: silliness, Nagisa teasing Rei
summary: Gou joins Nagisa and Rei for lunch
notes: a (goofy) part of the Household Foundation series, a pre-HHC series.

Gou plopped her bento box down on the desk that Nagisa and Rei were sharing, and moved a desk over so she could eat with them. They both gave her questioning looks, so she just shrugged.

"Hana-chan has to do extra work during breaks because she messed up on a test, and everyone else is so annoying sometimes." She opened her box neatly, noting that Rei was eating a perfectly ordered (though, somewhat strange) homemade bento, and Nagisa was eating store-bought food and strawberry milk.


"Ehh, people shouldn't have to worry about their grades so much," Nagisa sighed.

"No, you should worry about your grades more," Rei cheerfully corrected him. "You're going to have to repeat the first year."

Nagisa stuck his tongue out at Rei and Gou snickered. "I thought you two would be with Makoto-senpai and Haruka-senpai, though?"

"Haru-chan likes it when it rains," Nagisa pouted, looking forlornly at the windows streaked with water, distorting the dark sky. "He makes Mako-chan eat outside near the garden, under the roof."

Gou shook her head. "Haruka-senpai isn't going to try to swim in the puddles, is he?" Even Rei had to adjust his glasses to compose himself after picturing that.

Nagisa winked at Gou. "Nope! Haru-chan has more sense than you credit him with! We did a test, he'll only strip if the pool is this big," he demonstrated by holding his arms out like he was holding a giant tub.

"That's... interesting scientific data there. I wonder for what purpose you did that test," Gou smirked.

"It was to make Mako-chan's life easier! So he could predict when Haru-chan would try to strip!" Nagisa protested, but he was smirking like he knew just what Gou was thinking, and he wasn't going to contradict her.

"But your test did nothing to discourage Haruka-senpai from stripping," Gou pointed out. "Makoto-senpai sure has it rough... His best friend is Haruka-senpai, and then he's got my brother..."

"Ah! Don't forget me!" Nagisa complained.

"So you admit you make his life more difficult?" Rei smiled, teasing.

"Aw, Rei-chan, that's mean!" Nagisa pouted extra cutely, batting his eyelashes dramatically at Rei, who coughed a bit and turned away, failing to hide his blush. "...Ah! You mentioned Rin-Rin! They're really all getting along pretty well now, aren't they?"

"Yeah," Gou beamed. "Oniichan comes home just about every weekend now. Though, we don't see him much... he goes and hangs out with Makoto-senpai and Haruka-senpai. Last weekend, though, he made plans with them and then ditched them and spent the night with mom and I, so." She shrugged, unable to contain her obvious pleasure.

Nagisa winked at her. "That's really cute. That reminds me, a few weeks back, Mako-chan had everyone meet up at an arcade, and then he made Rei and me leave with him."

"And, this past weekend, I ran into Haruka-senpai after he left Rin-senpai and Makoto-senpai at a movie," Rei added.

"It's like... oniichan is trying to set up Haruka-senpai and Makoto-senpai," Gou started.

"And Mako-chan is trying to set up Haru-chan and Rin-Rin," Nagisa continued.

"And Haruka-senpai is... trying to set up Makoto-senpai and Rin-senpai?" Rei finished quizzically.

The octopus hot dog that Gou was raising to chomp down on gradually drifted back to the bento box as the implications set it. Finally, she rolled her eyes. "God, they're stupid."

"As Rin-Rin's little sister, aren't you worried that your big brother is being led down a bad path?" Nagisa snickered.

Gou flushed, but she immediately shook her head. "It's just like oniichan, taking two perfect boyfriends for himself."

"Brother complex," Nagisa made a face. Rei looked at Nagisa with affectionate amusement, and Gou flicked some rice at him. "An~y~way," Nagisa gathered the rice and happily ate it. "It is a little weird. I mean, they haven't even figured it out yet, but... seems like... you'd end up with two together and one left behind, huh?"

Gou and Rei glumly considered the prospect.

"Hey," Gou mulled things over, absently eating. "If you had to date one of them, oniichan, Makoto-senpai, or Haruka-senpai, who would you choose? Any way I think it over, I'd have to go with Makoto-senpai. Haruka-senpai is really beautiful, and sensitive, but Makoto-senpai just really knows how to make someone feel loved and cared for, you know?" she grinned at them a little goofily.

"Eh? No way! But Haru-chan is sweet and loving, too! Anyone would feel really happy with Haru-chan at their side all the time! No, no, I'd definitely definitely pick Haru-chan!" Nagisa objected.

"From just the three of them?" Rei frowned. "You mean you'd pick him if you had to pick from just the three of them, right, Nagisa-kun?"

"Of course, of course," Nagisa laughed, making a cute face at Rei.

Gou rolled her eyes.

Rei straightened up, lifting his chin. "Well, for myself, I'd choose Rin-senpai. He's got a magnificent form and he's really passionate. For a lover, I'd definitely say he's got the best assets."

"You've been thinking about my brother naked?" Gou asked, shocked.

"Wha... that's not what I meant!" Rei panicked. "I mean his swimming, how he goes about his training!"

"Well, if you're talking swimming, he's practically naked while doing that, so you are thinking about him naked," Nagisa teased. "And I'm really hurt, Rei. I thought we were closer than this, and now I find out you're fantasizing about other men. Rin-Rin, of all people!"

"I never said I was fantasizing!" Rei frantically objected. "We were all answering the question! It was hypothetical!"

"So, we'd all pick a different one. Hm, well, maybe there's something to be said for all of them together, then," Gou sighed.

There was quiet for a moment, and then Nagisa snickered and pointed at Rei. "You're picturing it! Now you're picturing all three of them naked!"

"Sh-shut up!" Rei turned bright red. "What do you mean?! I was not! Maybe you were thinking of... of... that!"

"Of course I was, I often do, and with us in there, too, but you were absolutely thinking about it," Nagisa laughed more heartily.

Gou rolled her eyes and ignored them. It was a mistake to join them for lunch, but it did give her something to consider.

Her brother... was really selfish, huh? And yet, she had to respect him. Just as she'd said before, only her brother could manage to snag two great catches in one play.

As long as they all figured it out eventually...