title: Isolation Exercises - Completion
fandom: Free!
characters/pairings: Makoto/Haruka/Rin
rating: Mature
warnings: sex
summary: It starts when Makoto has to take a business trip...
notes: another part of the Happy Household Club, a part with plot!! yay!

Makoto half-sat up against the pillows. He was still catching his breath. Rin's head was near his feet, and he was still grinning. Haru was curled up in between them, like their bodies formed a curvy triangle. Haru looked like he was sleeping, but Makoto could tell from his breathing that he was still awake.

He cleared his throat gently, and then said, "There's something... I think we should talk about."

One of Haru's eyes opened.

"Bloody hell, Makoto, you wait until we're all... post-coital, and then throw out the heavy relationship talk?" Rin pouted.

"Sorry," Makoto chuckled. "I didn't mean it like... that is, I don't think it's a bad thing... per se... but well, we always kind of do better if we can express things... physically, right? So now is the perfect time."

Haru opened both of his eyes, looking at Makoto concerned, and he unfolded his body a little.

"We're not letting you break up with us. That's absolutely not allowed," Rin narrowed his eyes.

"And that's the last thing I want, but it's funny that you phrased it that way..." Makoto started.

Rin looked alarmed.

Haru sat up more, and put his hand on Makoto's chest. "What's wrong?"

"No, it's not... I don't think anything's wrong per se, it's just... recently, I've come to realize... or, that is, I think I've realized something..." Makoto fumbled.

"How can you think you've realized something?" Rin tilted his head, pondering the philosophical ramifications.

"Ok, look, I'm not saying this right, so let me just... let me dive right in," Makoto took a deep breath, and smiled at Haru. "Ok... when I was in Sapporo... I have to confess." That got both of his lovers' attention, so Makoto continued on quickly before they started to think something weird. "The whole time I was gone, I was worried... I was sure that by the time I got back... that the two of you, alone, would have decided... well..." It was more difficult that he'd anticipated saying, as if he was concerned that, by voicing the fear, he would make it real. "That you'd realize that you were... better off without me, and that... or... that you two would become closer and I'd become... unnecessary..." Makoto tried to laugh.

Haru's eyes widened and he scooted closer to Makoto.

Rin rolled his eyes, but he reached out and caressed Makoto's ankle. "Idiot. I hope you're not still thinking stupid thoughts like that."

Makoto smiled warmly at Rin. "Well... not exactly, but..." He licked his lips. "I mean. I'm... I'm not the only one to think that way... am I?" He looked at Haru. "You... you didn't want us to have sex while you were gone," he pointed out.

Haru lowered his chin, and sighed. "I can't help it. You two have always had the stronger connection."

"Eh? What the hell, says who?" Rin objected.

"It's true!" Haru insisted. "When you first transferred... you were always chatting up Makoto. And then... you two shared a first kiss. And a first time."

Rin flushed. "Yeah, but you were right there, so that... that doesn't even count..."

Makoto was blushing, too. "Rin only transferred, though, to chase after you. It was all about you for him. And even for you... you really only got motivated about swimming with Rin, and... and everything was about him, too. And as for the first kiss... Rin was just playing a joke on me!"

"Idiot!" Rin hissed, pinching Makoto's leg hard. Makoto yelped, but Rin just huffed. "Was not! Anyway, I don't know what the hell is with you two. All this shit is meaningless. You both have been together since like birth or something. You'll always be together. If we ever broke up... and we won't because I won't let us, but if we did, obviously you and Haru would stay together and I'd be the one left out."

Haru shook his head intensely. "No one would choose me over Rin. And we've been friends forever, but that's... that's exactly why you and Makoto are better suited to each other. You're both... social, interesting." Haru was pouting.

It was amazingly adorable. Makoto just shook his head in wonder. "No, I've always been the third wheel. I think you two needed me at one point, to translate and to keep you from being too competitive, but... it wouldn't be like that anymore."

"There's no way either one of you would pick me over the other," Rin insisted, sounding... hurt.

"There's no way either one of you would pick me," Haru sighed.

"Ok, ok, let's stop..." Makoto waved his hands around. "Because this is... extremely counterproductive, and anyway, this is exactly my point... Each one of us is afraid that... that a three-way relationship can't last..." his voice wavered a bit. That was the darkest, most insidious fear. They all looked away from each other. "And..." Makoto cleared his throat. "It seems as if... we're all convinced that we'd be the one left out, while the other two would continue together."

There was the silence of acceptance after Makoto stopped speaking.

Feeling like actually talking about their worst fear was going to cause everything to crash down around him, Makoto rushed on, "But that's... that's why... Rin, Haru, I personally don't ever want to choose between you! I can't! I love you both so much... I could never, ever choose... and I would never want to!" he insisted. He reached out to touch both of them, grab their hands, anything.

They looked at Makoto, at his hands, at each other. "Me, too," Haru passionately agreed.

Rin grabbed Haru's hand, and then laughed. "Well, duh, I just said that, I'm never letting either of you go!"

Makoto felt a little silly, three naked grown men holding hands, but... he squeezed his lovers' hands, just for a moment. "When I was alone... I should have said something. Told you guys what I was thinking, what I was afraid of, but... it was just too scary. And then after..." he smiled, and looked down. "Well, after I got to thinking about it a bit more, I started to think... well, how do we make sure that... that nothing happens, like... that we can stay together forever and all? I don't really have an answer, but I figured out that bottling things up... wasn't the answer, so..."

Haru took a deep breath, and Rin bit his lip. Theirs was... an unconventional life choice, to be sure. Makoto's siblings knew, but he'd never had the courage to just come out and tell his parents the full extent of his relationship with his roommates. He wasn't sure Rin had told his mother, either. Haru's relationship with his parents was... different, but. They couldn't talk about their arrangement with people at work, so he always had to be vague about his personal life. That was stressful, and the fear that some stress might cause cracks, friction...

"I've got it!" Rin leapt to his feet on the bed, and struck a triumphant pose. "I know what we've got to do!"

Haru and Makoto stared at him with more skepticism than awe so Rin continued, jumping out of bed to scurry around, grabbing his backpack. "Every coach I've ever had - and I always say the same thing to my team, and my students - is that you can never accomplish anything without a goal. That's what we need!" He came back to bed with a notebook and a marker.

Makoto raised an eyebrow and Haru was looking totally nonplussed.

Rin just shook his head, barely able, it seemed, to contain his glee. "See, boring people find someone of the opposite sex, and they get married, and they have kids. And bam, there's their goal in life. Keep the kids alive, get them on their own, retire... it's all set up for that one path, all of society. But, we're doing our own thing. We can't get married... not even in an unconventional way... and I don't think we want any kids..."

Haru and Makoto nodded. Makoto added, "Nope, I'm good with the idea of someday being an uncle."

"Right!" Rin smirked, pointing his marker at Makoto. "So! What do we do? Look, it's like... when I was training, especially as I got closer to the Olympic trials, I had a time in mind. I had it written in my locker, and I'd even write it in my palms, and that was all I thought about."

"We remember," Makoto nodded. The ink from Rin's palm ran and smeared all over his back that one time...

"Right! This is like that!" He wrote on the top of the page, GOALS. "If we're all working toward the same goals, if we're all focused on the same thing, well... that's how we know we're all in this together. And when we reach one goal, we just set another! That's how we make sure that we all know... this... our life... it's something that belongs to all three of us. Together." Rin just beamed at them.

For a flash, Makoto was reminded of the Rin that transferred to their school and barreled his way into their lives. He couldn't help but smile, and even Haru seemed to be on the same page.

"What sort of goals, then? Like... Swim in every ocean in the world? Like that?" Haru asked.

"Wait..." Rin frowned slightly, glancing at Makoto. "You've already swum in the Indian Ocean... actually, we all have, because we took that trip to India... and obviously, we've swum in the Pacific. We swam in the Atlantic while we were in Rio... Doesn't that just leave the polar oceans?"

Haru nodded, and then thought about it. "But... there's all kinds of really interesting sea life there... whales, and penguins, and bears..."

That did not seem to convince Rin. He looked at Makoto. "But..."

"It's fine with me," Makoto beamed. "As long as we're together, we can do anything, right?"

Haru nodded firmly.

Rin smiled. "Ok, then..." He wrote, SWIM IN THE ARCTIC AND ANTARCTIC OCEANS. "What else? Ah, you know, I've always wanted to go to Uluru, you know, Ayer's Rock, since I was in Australia. I never got any further west than Canberra. Would you guys...?" Rin looked at them, and his expression was more hopeful, sweeter than Rin normally ever looked.

"Of course we should go," Makoto immediately answered.

"Is there water near there?" Haru asked hesitantly.

"Haru!" Makoto cried out.

Rin snorted. "It's pretty dry, but there are springs and stuff there. Don't worry, we won't let you dry out. Stupid fish," Rin teased.

"Whatever, I just wanted to be sure," Haru sniffed disdainfully.

Makoto shook his head.

"Makoto?" Rin turned to him.

"We're taking turns?" Makoto's eyes widened.

"Well, we're all making goals for all of us, so... yeah!" Rin laughed.

Makoto thought about it. Frantically. "Well, I mean... um... there's... oh! I mean, we've already talked about it, but... we should get a house."

"THAT'S IT!" Rin once again jumped to his feet on the bed. He was still spry, after all.

"It... is?" Makoto laughed nervously.

"Don't you get it!?" Rin practically fell into Makoto's lap, laughing. "A house is a long-term, major financial commitment. And it's a legally binding contract. I mean, like the mortgage and ownership... if we all pay for it, then we all have legal rights to it... See? Don't you get it?" He looked from Makoto to Haru and back again in quick succession.

"It's like getting married," Haru stated.

"EXACTLY!" Rin beamed brighter than Makoto had ever seen him beam before. "This house... won't just be a house we can move into... we're going to build our dream house, and it will be this big, huge, wonderful, physical thing that proves we're in it for life with each other... it will be our marriage!"

Makoto felt something wonderful bubbling inside his gut. He smiled at Rin. "Are you... proposing to us, Rin?" he teased.

"Yes!" Rin laughed. "Makoto, Haruka... Will you build our dream house together with me?" he asked, not able to maintain the serious tone throughout.

It was enough.

Haru leaned over and kissed Rin, and then Makoto did the same. And then Haru kissed Makoto. "All right. Let's build a house."

"Our house!" Rin whooped, and then he flipped to a new page in his notebook. He drew a big, sloppy house-looking symbol, and then looked at them. "This is our dream house, so... what should it have?"

"An indoor pool!" Haru leaned forward intensely, speaking quickly. He absolutely wanted to be sure he got his first request in the list.

Rin rolled his eyes and laughed, "Yeah, yeah, we coulda guessed that one..."

"But it can't be a full-sized pool," Makoto warned sheepishly. "We don't want to have to wait thirty years to be able to afford this. Twenty-five meters, three lanes... mm, and maybe a hot tub..."

"Ooh, good one!" Rin beamed. Haru let out a sigh of relief as Rin wrote out, INDOOR POOL, and HOT TUB. "What else? Ooh, what about a wine cellar?"

"You don't drink that much wine," Makoto frowned.

"I just like the sound of it. Wine cellar... it's very sophisticated, isn't it?" he winked.

Makoto shook his head. "Wine cellar, fine..." Rin wrote it down.

"A huge bath we can all fit in. And a king-sized waterbed!" Haru added, excited.

"Are all of your requests going to be water-related?" Rin sighed.

"And a huge aquarium for fish," Haru continued, and there were stars in his eyes.

Makoto smiled affectionately, and winked at Rin. "Well... we could design the master bedroom around the king-sized waterbed. As long as they design it so it won't cause a disaster if it leaks... it's fine with me."

"Could be... very interesting," Rin agreed, and he had stars in his eyes, too, but Makoto was sure he was imagining something far different from what Haru was. "Ok, we got three person bath, king-sized waterbed, huge ass aquarium... Makoto?" he looked at Makoto expectantly.

Makoto bit his lip. Dream house... "Well... we should have... an herb garden. I think that would be nice. At least one traditional Japanese room, so we can have a proper shrine for our deceased..." They had a little display for Rin's father and Haru's grandparents now, but... "And..." Makoto bit his lip. "We... we could have a cat? Or... even a few cats?" he looked at Rin and Haru hopefully.

"Good grief, all you two are thinking about is water and pets. You want a cat? I never knew you liked cats so much," Rin teased, shaking his head, but he was looking at Makoto warmly.

"I knew that," Haru blankly informed Rin, missing the joke.

"Shut up, brat," Rin sighed, and he wrote down CATS, GARDEN, and TRAD. ROOM. "Ok, so we'll have... an indoor pool, a garden, cats, fish, three person bath, and a king-sized waterbed. Sounds pretty good."

"We should have at least a guest room or two, as well," Makoto reminded Rin. "Oh, and a family room."

"Why do we need guest rooms? Won't that take us away from our waterbed and hot tub and cats?" Rin made a face.

Makoto laughed. "Well, Nagisa and Rei will be visiting from time to time," Rin made a face, so Makoto reached out to pinch Rin's cheek. "Plus, we'll someday have nieces and nephews, and we'll want them to be free to come over and stay and all."

"Just... not all the time. Because. Waterbed and hot tub," Haru hedged.

Rolling his eyes, he made sure Rin wrote it down. "I think we'll be able to take a breath from the fast-paced world of waterbed and hot tub to entertain guests every now and again," Makoto sighed.

Rin winked at Haru. "I don't think he fully appreciates the fast-paced world of waterbed and hot tub, but that's ok. He will... once we move into our dream house."

Makoto just shook his head, but that was fine... They...

They had planned their dream house.

Rin jumped up, and tore out the page from the notebook. He grabbed some tape from the desk, and taped the page to the wall. "There it is, boys. Our goal. Our promise. Our life together." He beamed. "Now... how do we accomplish it?"

"We'll need an architect..." Makoto said, feeling a bit of reality creep in.

"And we'll need land," Haru added.

"And we'll need an estimate, so we know how much it will cost to build... so we know how to save..." Rin nodded.

And then he leapt into the bed, falling on his lovers.

He looked up at them. "This is what we're going to build together."

Both Makoto and Haru wrapped their arms around Rin, and started to kiss him, and each other. "You had a good idea there with the goals," Makoto purred lovingly.

Rin flushed, and half-shrugged, as much as he could sandwiched between Makoto and Haru. "The house was you, though."

"The pool was my idea," Haru added.

Makoto laughed.

"This is... going to be good."

First SetSecond SetCool Down • Completion