title: New Friends
fandom: Free!
characters/pairings: Makoto/Haru/Rin+Sousuke-ish, Nagisa/Rei-ish, Miho
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Makoto and Rin meet someone new, and things change.
notes: part of the Iwatobi Animal Shelter series. for Day 06 of MakoHaruRinWeek!!!, prompt Three+

Makoto pawed the door gently, because it seemed like the lady had forgotten that he needed to go out, and he really did need to go out because good dogs didn't make messes in the house and Makoto was a good dog but if he didn't go out, he was definitely going to make a mess and that would be bad he didn't want to do something bad, but he really had to go outside, and the lady should understand, because Makoto wanted the lady to be happy, and he definitely didn't want her to think he was bad...

"Oh, Makoto!" the lady came over to the door and patted his head, so Makoto wagged his tail furiously. "I'm so sorry, here you go!" She opened the door, and Makoto bounded outside. He ran around the yard twice, and then he went to the tree in the back and he lifted his back leg.

Yes, he was a good dog.

"Ugh, I can't believe you just do that anywhere. Sometimes, I forget how dog you are."

"Rin!" Makoto finished up, and he bounded over to Rin. "You're not supposed to be outside, are you?"

"I can be anywhere I want to be, I'm a cat," Rin huffed, straightening up and raising his paw to wash his face.

Makoto's tail thumped on the ground. "Oh, ok. But I think the lady prefers it if you stay in the house..."

"She's not in charge of me," Rin disdained.

"Of course she is, she's taller and she feeds us," Makoto reasoned.

"Yes, that's how you know she's your servant," Rin withered.

"I don't think that's how that works..." Makoto considered. But. Servant? No, that didn't sound right. That couldn't be right. Could it?

Rin's body went taut, and his attention was entirely fixed on something. His butt wiggled, and Makoto really liked that, because Rin's butt was really fuzzy and cute. Just as Makoto was about to push his nose against Rin's butt, Rin took off, pouncing on a tiny frog.

Or, well, trying to pounce on a tiny frog... the frog hopped at just the right moment. Rin quickly changed direction, targeting the frog, but the frog kept hopping, and Rin kept darting after him. Makoto trotted after Rin to make sure that he would be all right, and also to make sure the frog would be all right...

The door opened, and Makoto put his body between the lady and Rin so maybe she wouldn't see him. Makoto knew that if the lady didn't want Rin out in the yard, he shouldn't help Rin be out in the yard, but Makoto was Rin and Haru's doggie, even though he was also the lady's doggie, so...

However, the lady didn't call for him. Instead, a dog Makoto had never seen before came out.

Makoto cocked his head to the side, and he bounded over to the new dog, his tongue waggling out of his mouth.

"Hello! I'm Makoto! We've never met!" Makoto went to sniff the new dog's butt.

"Gross! Stop that!" Rin commanded Makoto.

Makoto looked back at Rin. "But I've never met him before."

"That's no excuse!" Rin called back.

"I'm Sousuke. Just a moment, I need to secure the yard," he told Makoto.

"Oh, ok?" Makoto sat down and watched as Sousuke examined the yard. Sousuke's face was all black, and sections of his body were, too, but he had sections that were just like Makoto's color. His ears were really different, though, very tall and pointed. He had a big fluffy tail and a fluffy butt. Makoto hadn't gotten a good sniff yet, but Sousuke seemed like a very good dog.

Sousuke found Rin holding down the frog. He looked at Rin and Rin looked at him. Finally, Sousuke seemed satisfied. "You're a very tiny pretty dog. I'll protect you."

"I'm not a dog!" Rin scoffed at him, flattening his ears back against his head.

"You're out in the yard. The yard is for dogs," Sousuke countered evenly.

"I'm not a dog!" The fur on Rin's back raised and he hissed at Sousuke.

"Rin is a kitty," Makoto loafed over to them, hoping to get another sniff of Sousuke. "Rin and Haru live with me in the room with Nagisa."

"Bigger dogs take care of smaller ones," Sousuke said calmly. He turned his head at the sound of a child laughing, but after a moment of no danger, he turned his head back to Rin and Makoto. "I'm bigger than you, so I'll take care of you, too."

"Oh, ok," Makoto panted happily. He went around to sniff Sousuke butt.

"Makoto, stop that!" Rin snapped. "Be less dog!"

"I don't know how," Makoto pouted, his ears drooping.

Sousuke bent down and sniffed at Makoto's butt. After he'd satisfied himself, he straightened up. "No, you're dog enough."

"Good!" Makoto beamed.

"Idiot," Rin muttered under his breath, letting the frog go.

"I just can't believe this is happening," Aki sighed, gulping down her tea.

"Don't fret, honey," Miho patted her hand. "It's a good thing, it means they really trust you. And they have big plans for you!"

"Yeah, but I can't take any pets with me, and I'll be gone for at least two years, and you've already got so much to handle here..." she sighed.

"Getting a promotion and going to live in Hong Kong is a good thing, and Sousuke and Rei will be happy here." Miho smiled, putting her finger in between the bars in the cage of the dazzling rainbow lorikeet. Rei was still preening, completely uninterested in them. "I'll take good care of them until you can come home and take them back."

"You're a life saver, Auntie Miho," Aki smiled ruefully. "You'll send me tons of pictures, right? Sousuke is going to give you no trouble at all, I promise. He's been really well trained. You know how mom is..."

"Of course, don't give it a thought. I'm looking forward to it," she winked at her niece. Another big dog in the house, even if he was a well-trained German Shepherd, plus she was only hoping Rei and Nagisa would get along... However, she wouldn't let her niece worry, not when she had more important things to be thinking about.

That was all part of being a good aunt!

Nagisa hopped from one perch to another, looking the New Bird over carefully. He landed on the same perch as the New Guy, and he slowly sidled over next to him. He looked the bird over, and took in all of his feathers. Finally, Nagisa straightened up, puffed out his chest, and declared loudly, "Pretty bird!"

Rei fluffed out proudly, and raised his beak with pleasure.

Sousuke watched the birds attentively. "Your bird is very loud," he told Makoto.

"Yes!" Makoto agreed, his tail waggling. "Nagisa makes all kinds of noises!"

"Hm," Sousuke watched Nagisa closely, not yet sure that he was all right.

"We're going to eat that bird someday," Rin said conversationally.

"Aw, don't eat him," Makoto pouted.

"Makoto," Haru jumped down from on top of the cabinet in one neat leap. Sousuke watched him distrustfully. "Bedtime."

"Ok, Haru!" Makoto got up and went to the bedtime blankie. "Sousuke, we sleep here and the kitties sleep on us so they stay warm."

Sousuke nodded, but he was watching Haru. "That... cat is suspicious."

"You're suspicious," Haru scoffed, kneading Makoto in preparation.

"I think I should do another check of the perimeter," Sousuke looked at the door intently.

"The lady keeps the door closed all night, though," Makoto cocked his head to the side, wondering what a perimeter was and why it needed to be checked.

"Hm. How would we be able to respond to an intruder then?" he asked Makoto.

"What's an intruder?" Makoto asked happily.

Sousuke sighed.

Haru curled up on Makoto's back, and sighed. "Bedtime."

"It's bedtime, Sousuke," Makoto whispered to the other dog.

Sousuke nodded. "Fine." He turned to Rin and looked him over. "Tiny pretty dog, you may use me for warmth," he told Rin.

Rin bared his fangs. "I keep telling you, I'm not a dog!"

"He thinks you're a dog," Haru snickered sleepily, smiling.

"I think you're a dog," Rin snapped back.

Haru hissed in reply.

Before they could start fighting, Makoto cheerfully called out, "Night, everyone! Night, Rei! Night, Nagisa! Night, Haru! Night, Rin! Night, Sousuke!"

Rei excitedly squawked in response to his name.

"My new bird! My new bird!" Nagisa bounced around enthusiastically.

"Too noisy," Haru huffed, wrapping his tail around his body.

Sousuke picked Rin up by his scruff, and carried him over to Makoto.

"HEY!" Rin complained, squirming about, but Sousuke dropped him next to Makoto, and then Sousuke laid down next to them.

"I'll take first watch. Sleep peacefully," he told them.

"Er, ok!" Makoto put his head down, but his tail was still swishing happily.

"Makoto, tail," Haru sighed.

"I can't help it!" Makoto laughed. "Our family is getting bigger! Isn't it great?"

"It isn't," Rin huffed, but he curled into a ball, unable to resist the body heat of two big dogs.

Sousuke's tail swished a few times, hitting Makoto's tail. He missed his girl, but there was a lot of work to do in this house, so he would just keep busy and not think about it.