title: Nitori's study
fandom: Free!
characters/pairings: Rin/Nitori...ish
rating: Teen
warnings: slightly stalkerish tendencies, chewed pencils, teeth, fantasy
summary: Nitori worked on understanding his roommate much, much better.
notes: for swimmingharumaki, for my holiday requests! i hope this suits you, because you are awesome!!

That Matsuoka Rin was rigorous in many aspects of his life should probably not have come as a surprise to anyone who knew him well. He woke up just before his alarm every morning. He went for a run, and gradually extended his distance with time. His showers always took between three and six minutes. He dressed quickly for school, but spent time making sure his hair looked right.

His desk, of course, was perfect. His books and notebooks were lined up according to his class schedule, and he tended to study by going from one to the next in order, as if re-enacting his classes. His handwriting was not exactly precise, or especially perfect, but his characters were all roughly the same size, his strokes were tidy, and it was always totally legible.

No, as far as his roommate could tell, Matsuoka Rin had only one bad habit (should one be inclined to overlook his seeming obsession with his childhood friends).

He chewed on his pencils.

He used wooden pencils, not always, but at his desk. Nitori was fairly sure he took mechanical pencils to class, but he used wooden ones at his desk. They were wooden, and they had fish on them. Cute fish in teal against a bright blue background. After getting to know his senpai better, Nitori concluded that those pencils had to be a gift, and considering that Matsuoka-senpai was using them and even chewing on them, he guessed they were a gift from Matsuoka Gou.

Nitori's senpai did have a bit of a sister complex... he imagined.

Matsuoka-senpai had a whole cup of them. When he needed a new one, he took one out of the cup he kept in a drawer, and then sharpened the pencil until it was perfect. While he was studying, Matsuoka-senpai would sharpen the pencil two or three more times. He would never put it away unless it was sharp.

And he chewed on them.

Nitori would watch his senpai as he gnawed at the wood. It probably wasn't good for him. The paint used on the design was probably cheap. The wood itself wasn't really designed to be consumed. Plus, there was the question of the lead. No, it wasn't a good habit.

Nitori loved to watch him.

And so it happened once... or twice... that Matsuoka-senpai had dropped a pencil. Once, one had rolled under his desk, and rather than crawl under it just at that moment, he got out another pencil. Another time, it rolled under the bed. Once, he dropped a pencil when their captain came banging on their door to give them a new training schedule. Their captain did love to needle Matsuoka-senpai. These dropped pencils were all fairly short, having been sharpened, and chewed, many times. They were stubs, really. Not so useful to Matsuoka-senpai anymore.

He did wonder how pencils could just disappear in their room. He even complained to Nitori about it. The room's not that big, where the hell could it have gone? Nitori just smiled and suggested that Matsuoka-senpai not bother looking for it.

It wasn't like he'd find those pencils under Nitori's pillow.

Some of the members of Samezuka's swim team had taken to calling Matsuoka Rin the Shark.

It bothered Nitori. It wouldn't bother Matsuoka-senpai, even if he did hear them. It seemed as if Matsuoka-senpai liked sharks. He had shark towels, after all. And no one on the team knew, but he had a shark plushie shoved in the very back of his closet. His sister wore little sharks in her hair. Nitori suspected those might have been a gift from Matsuoka-senpai. Maybe he bought them in Australia. Maybe.

It bothered Nitori, because he knew they didn't call him the Shark because of his speed in the water, or the elegant and precise way he cut into the water as he dove. It wasn't because of his accessories or because Matsuoka-senpai had a spiritual connection to sharks, if Matsuoka-senpai did.

They called him that because of his teeth.

First of all, Nitori didn't think it was nice to make fun of people for things they couldn't change. For instance, Nitori was fairly short. He didn't mind being short, though he'd prefer it if he could grow a bit more. There were advantages to being short. There were disadvantages, too, especially for a swimmer, but Nitori liked to focus on positive things. He hated being teased about his height, because his parents weren't tall people, and he ate well, and he always had, so what could he do about being short?

It was the same with senpai's teeth, Nitori thought! He'd watched his roommate brushing his teeth many, many times. Many times. Every time that he could without being overt about it, and he knew that Matsuoka-senpai took proper care of his teeth. He even flossed! He did it ever evening before bed! And he flossed all the way to the back of his mouth! His teeth were... admittedly... a bit oddly sharp, but it wasn't like he'd had all his teeth pulled and surgically replaced with sharp fake teeth! (Nitori assumed; he wasn't even sure that was a Thing that people did, so.) If Matsuoka-senpai couldn't help having sharp teeth, then wasn't it just mean of people to tease him about it?

Besides... what was wrong with sharp teeth? They were efficient, for carnivores, anyway. They were clean. Nitori, personally, thought they were interesting. Possibly even... attractive. Like a kitty! And Matsuoka-senpai had a cat he cared for on campus. He didn't think anyone knew, but Nitori followed him. Sometimes. He'd seen Matsuoka-senpai with the kitty, and a cat was probably a better spirit animal than a shark for Matsuoka-senpai. Proud, diffident, stand-offish, but secretly liked to be petted... And when they yawned, you could see all of their teeth. Both cats and Matsuoka-senpai.

Yes, Matsuoka-senpai was like a kitty. And his teeth were cute. People were just mean.

Nitori came back from the shower, still toweling his hair. He wasn't watching where he was going. How could he, because he had a towel over his head? But he should have been looking.

He walked right into senpai.

"Oy!" Rin growled, baring his teeth at Nitori. "Watch where you're going!"

"I'm s-sorry!" Nitori drew back, a bit. Just a bit. Senpai couldn't be truly scary, Nitori thought. Because he couldn't believe senpai would ever truly hurt anyone, or anything. It just wasn't in his nature. But still.

He was sort of beautiful when he was mad.

"Always sorry, sorry, sorry with you," Senpai sneered. He leaned in closer to Nitori, eye narrowing. "Just how sorry can one person be?"

Nitori snickered nervously. He edged around senpai. "Y-you're right, well, I apologize too much, anyway. I-I'm... I mean... I'll work on that... Thank you, senpai."

"Hey, Nitori. You know what you are?"

Nitori looked over his shoulder, and saw senpai looking at him like he was a tasty, bite-sized morsel. "Wh-what's that, senpai?"

"You're like a mouse who can't stay away from the cat while he's sleeping," senpai stalked closer, even closer than Nitori thought he'd get. Nitori was just in a towel, and he was very aware of senpai's body. Senpai actually reached out and put his hands on Nitori's waist, his pointed fingernails digging into Nitori's flesh. He pressed his face to Nitori's neck. "Just how badly do you want to get eaten up? You keep getting in my space... if you want me to, I can make a meal of you. Ai-chan."

Nitori's whole body shuddered. "Oh... senpai..."

Senpai chuckled, his lips just below Nitori's ear. And then he took a bite of Nitori's neck, his teeth, those beautiful, wonderful teeth, pressing in, begging access. The noise Nitori made was... it was not like any sound he'd ever made before, and then he violently pushed his bottom against senpai's groin. He wanted to be impaled, marked, taken, but he didn't want just senpai's teeth and claws!

Senpai purred, pushing his hand down to remove Nitori's towel, and take control of Nitori's growing erection. "So eager, Ai-chan! But I see the mouse wishes to devour the cat. You think you can take in all of me? Ai-chan?" He nibbled on Nitori's earlobe, and nipped at the back of his neck. One hand lazily stroked Nitori, running the flat of his thumbnail down his length from the underside, while the other hand came up to scratch at Nitori's nipple.

"I can, senpai!" Nitori declared, throwing his arms up. He reached back, and tried to grab a hold of senpai's head, tried to hold him in place, tried to make senpai bite harder, to really taste Nitori's willing flesh.


Senpai was now naked, too, and he pressed Nitori down onto his bed. Nitori spread his legs, but senpai was more interested in tasting Nitori's chest, squeezing Nitori's ass. Nitori wondered... if the mouse misbehaved, would the cat spank him? Or just scratch? Either sounded good! But to misbehave, Nitori needed to gain control of his movements, and senpai was in charge...


Nitori blinked and started as something thumped him from underneath. Nitori looked around frantically.

It was dark. He was in his own bed. The thumping, then, had been Matsuoka-senpai, kicking him. And.

"Oy, you ok?"

Nitori looked over the edge. It was dark, so it was hard to tell. Hopefully, Matsuoka-senpai couldn't see him that well, either. But. He looked concerned. "Se-Senpai?"

"You were... like moaning and shit. Was it a nightmare?" Matsuoka-senpai's voice was hushed and gentle, the voice of someone who knew that dreams could be an enemy.

Nitori blinked. A nightmare... was the perfect excuse, but... "Ah, um, not exactly. Sorry, was I bothering you?"

"I didn't say I was bothered," Matsuoka huffed.

Nitori beamed. "I'm ok. Thanks, senpai! Sleep well!"

"Whatever," Matsuoka-senpai rolled over to his side. "Just be quiet."

"Yes!" Nitori replied loudly.

Matsuoka was not considered a team player. This was a near-universally agreed upon conclusion by all of the Samezuka swim team. He hadn't joined at the beginning of the year, just up and deciding at one point that he wanted to join. Some even believed that he shouldn't have been allowed to join. He pushed people off the competition roster, after all.

He did that because he was faster than them, others, more seasoned, would reason. But still.

He would never be a team player, Samezuka decided.

It bothered Nitori. He remembered a different Matsuoka Rin, one who was at the center of his team, one who laughed easily and was a natural-born leader. Even if he'd changed somewhat growing up, wasn't he still leading by example? He didn't hang out with the guys after practice much. He often went running or to the weight room for muscle training. Couldn't others learn from his dedication? And he was faster. He'd been one of the fastest swimmers on the team the day he'd joined, and after months of training, he'd only gotten faster. Plus, he was at the top of his class. That made him the model student athlete.

Sure, he was... mercurial. Why did he insist on swimming only the free? Why didn't he bother to learn his teammate's names? Why did he seem fixated on someone at another school, a tiny, dinky school that couldn't possibly compete with Samezuka?

Did it really matter, if it made Matsuoka-senpai a better swimmer?

Anyway... it was the Captain's job to deal with the attitudes of the team. If the Captain approved of what Matsuoka-senpai wanted to do, shouldn't the team support the Captain and their teammate?

Maybe it was just that Samezuka wasn't a good team for Matsuoka-senpai...

That thought bothered Nitori, too. He wanted to keep swimming with Matsuoka-senpai.

He was preoccupied with these thoughts heading back to the dorms after evening practice. So preoccupied, he didn't even notice the object of his reflection come up next to him and throw an arm over his shoulder.

"Nitori. You shaved nearly three seconds from your time. Good work," Matsuoka-senpai said, his voice even, his eyes straight ahead. But. He seemed relaxed.

And then he gave Nitori a noogie.

Laughing, Nitori played at resisting. "S-Stop that! Thank you, senpai! Were you watching?"

"Ch, right, I've got nothing better to do than watch you," Matsuoka-senpai scoffed. "You have noticed how our times are posted on the board, right?"

But, he was smiling.

He let go of Nitori, and jogged off ahead. "Don't start slacking, though," he cautioned. "You've still got a ways to go!"

"Senpai!" Nitori complained, but he picked up his pace, chasing after Matsuoka-senpai.