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Free! Eternal Summer
Shigino KisumiFree! Eternal Summer
Surprisingly, there are in fact different levels of panic... The first level is just above worry, the second is when adrenaline decides it's time to kick in, the third usually makes your heart pound so loud you can hear your heart in your ears. It keeps going as such until you reached the final stage, where you act without even thinking. This final stage has a name; 'Fight or Flight', where you can complete impossible tasks-- such as a young mother can lift a car to save her child crushed underneath or an old granny can punch hard enough to send a man twice her size flying back... It's a heart stopping fear, a fear that leaves you acting beyond yourself and beyond your control. Kisumi found himself at that stage, without even thinking the basketball player was ripping off his shirt and diving into the water from the back of the speeding boat, his body sliding into the water less than a meter from the propellers-- which were running at a high speed. He didn't even care if he was injured-- it didn't even cross his mind. His only though, his only concern was Hayato. The water and Kisumi didn't get along like it did for Nanase Haruka, or even Tachibana Makoto-- Kisumi wasn't a fan of getting wet, nor was he a strong swimmer. But in this moment, he could swim a marathon and beat Matsuoka Rin in the race.
It only took a split second of no one paying attention to safety nor the child. Kisumi's Step-Father was driving the boat with the brother-in-law, Kisumi's Uncle, and his mother were sitting near the back talking to her sister with wine coolers as they speed through the ocean along the surf. Even Kisumi was just lounging against the boat's side (starboard?), enjoying the feeling of the sun, the salt and the surf billowing through his thick peach-toned locks. If Kisumi had blinked, he would have missed it-- but he was just about to complain to Hayato to get off the rail when it happened-- The boat caught the jump of a wave wrong. The force of the boat landing upon the water was enough to jostle the whole of it, enough to send the child from the front end into the water-- a very dangerous thing because the boat went right over him. Kisumi watched as time slowed down, as Hayato flew into the air, grabbed for the bar with his wee hands... Kisumi was up on his feet before Hayato vanished. He knew Hayato couldn't swim, he knew the boy was to young to know the basics.
It took only seconds for Kisumi's life-vest and shirt to be undone, he had been holding Hayato's after the first half of the ride. He had no time to reflect on how fortunate it was that he took it, just the thought to toss aside it and his own before yanking free his shirt. A foot hit the seat that his mother and aunt had previously been seated on, before his second step pressed to the plexiglass of the end of the boat. He grabbed the edge of the boat, right above the motor, and pushed off with his strong right leg into the water. He was completely submerged before his shirt hit the deck, a deep, short dive and a quick turn in the water had the teen swimming in the deep, seeking his brother. Even if it stung, Kisumi's eyes were wide open, scanning the water quickly before he spotted the tiny, sinking form. His Step-father had killed the engine the moment his eldest son hit the water, and Kisumi stayed under while scanning the deep-- and now that he saw Hayato he shifted his form to press against the fibreglass. Pushing off the boat as hard as he could, Kisumi's hand reached for his baby brother as he kicked as hard as he could. Fingers laced around the child's wrist, another arm looping around his middle.
His feet touched silt and muck-- not something he wanted his brother near ever-- it felt so vile and dirty. Pushing off the floor, he kicked as hard as he could, dragging the baby with him. PLEASE PLEASE!-- Within moments he was surfaced with a sputtering and panicking Hayato in his arms, the child clinging to him and crying loudly. There was such a wave of relief, Kisumi tread the water one handed and hugged his baby brother so tightly. He would never let harm ever come to Hayato, he vowed as he swam toward the dead boat. Lifting the boy from the water once he had a hold of the side of the boat (Port?), Kisumi watched as his parents held the child and coddled him. His mother was a mess of sobs and tears, and his Aunt was trying to calm her. Taking his uncle's offered hand, Kisumi was pulled back into the boat, just to be covered with kisses by his aunt and hugged tightly by his mother, both sobbing and clinging to him. A towel dropped on his head and once the women calmed down Kisumi knelt by his baby brother and just pulled him into a tight hug.
Their vacation was 'saved', they said. He was so brave, not even hesitating to take to the water to save his brother. Lucky, Kisumi though, the water was only about 10 meter deep, he knew he could swim that deep if he had too... But...Hayato had never really been the same after that…
S W I S H
The moment had the teen holding his breath, as the ball hung in med air as the clock behind the glass backboard ticked down from 00:02. Exhaling as the ball fell perfectly into the net-- no bounce, no rebound, no spinning the rim-- the free throw's point of origin being behind the three point line. Violet eyes widened as they observed the perfect shot sink into the net, the buzzer sounding in his ears just as it made the additional three points suddenly burn brightly on the board. The score read 129-128, Sano winning by a single point. Before the pink haired teen had a moment to take in what had just happened, he felt the impact of four bodies pressing against him, clinging to him, soon followed by the rest of the team he was a part of. Shock gave away to happy tears, a wide grin and pure, uncontainable joy. They had won, Kisumi's free throw from as far back as the wing, he didn't even have time to let the shock sit in as teammates hugged him, jumped up and down around him, screamed loudly or even cried happy tears. Sweat logged rosette locks and matching hewed cheeks where ruffled and pat respectfully. Finally, Kisumi's hands went up to the air, and the teen let out a celebratory whoop before joining his mates in celebration.
This why he loved the game, more than just running for miles in a few hours, dripping in sweat, half breathless and he swore his fingertips were numb. No. The feeling of working together, to reach a greater goal. He had called a name, the ball had come his way as the seconds ticked away, and with a single shot on the basket they had pulled ahead by a single point and had won the nationals. The half started with their team 40 behind. But with Kisumi, the trump card coach called him, on the court-- they had caught up quickly.
The roar of the crowd was so loud, the stadium in Tokyo had been the stage and Kisumi had played as hard and fast as he could. Crying out as ice and coloured enhanced water hit his head and shoulders, his yelp undignified and girly. He hadn't been the only one hit by the impact of the ice bath, other teammates were also soaked to the core-- but Kisumi had to admit that the ice felt so nice to his overheated form. Laughing loudly, Kisumi's arms looped around his two closest friends on the team-- This was the moment that he had been working so hard for-- so many days of training, so many evenings running, so many drills and injuries and sweat, blood and tears-- All for this moment.
However, that moment of celebration ended too quick for the rosette. It had been a whirlwind of emotions, the award ceremony had both expected and unexpected aspects. He knew that the team would be given the national's cup, however-- Kisumi found himself with a medal of gold with three coveted letters moulded into the precious metal, held around his neck with a red and white ribbon. He had never thought that on top of winning the nationals, an nationally televised event, that he would also be named MVP of the year-- Most Valuable Player in all of Japan. He could not contain his tears of happiness as he was given the medal, his team and family and friends all cheering for him as he accepted such an honour.
Kisumi was so proud of himself, walking toward his family to speak with them. His step-father patted his shoulder, his father rubbed at his head, but Kisumi wanted two people at this moment. Hugging his mother tightly before dropping to hug his baby brother and lift him up, the teen found himself so happy. It was like a dream had come true for him, and without a doubt he could go to Tokyo U like he desired, full ride, on the back of a basketball. Lifting Hayato up so that the boy could sit upon his shoulders, Kisumi laughed happily and ran around a bit with him, to take the kid to meet his team and coach. He handed the medal from his neck to the young boy so that he could share in his accomplishments-- something the child clung to in an effort to insure that it did not drop.
"Oniichan." The child above said to his brother below, to which violet eyes lifted to behold the angelic face. "One day, I want to win an award like this myself." His words were so innocent and yet filled with pride. Kisumi felt his own pride swell as the boy clung to the medal like it was a treasure, yearning for his own. It was a wonderful thought, Kisumi mused. Hayato winning a medal of his own. The mere thought made the teen want to beam.
Kisumi just smiled warmly and pulled the boy from his shoulders, dropping down so Hayato could find purchase on the wooden floor. Staying knelt, Kisumi's fingers moved to play in the boys short locks-- he was and always would be thankful for the little boy, he would and would always love him and support him through everything, no matter what. There had been a time where Kisumi had been the one to feed him, bathe him, put him to bed. He was like a son he was to young to have, honestly. "You can do anything you put your heart too, Hayato." Cupping his brother's chin, Kisumi smiled warmly, then playfully pinched a cheek, "You just gotta decide what sport you like."
Before Hayato could speak, Kisumi knew what he would say. "Swimming!"
"Of course. I know you will swim on the national stage one day." He said warmly, chuckling as he took Hayato's hand, "You keep swimming and one day... you'll reach your dream.”
Looking at the clock, Kisumi felt so much dread. It was so late, he was worried he would miss Rin. His best friend had told him to be there 20 minutes ago, and Kisumi was still about five minutes out from the bus station. On his lap was his gift to the red-headed swimmer-- really cool shark stationery, a small MP3 player (they looked so cool, and this one was simple yet still awesome, he thought. It was no iPod, but it was still cool!) preloaded with some songs that he knew Rin liked, and a letter. There were other things in the gift, like snacks, and a picture of the three friends taken over the summer. But he was late, worried his gift would go ungiven, and that he wouldn't be able to say goodbye. His mother had taken to long to get ready-- She claimed she needed a shower and to take twenty minutes to put on her make up. IT WAS JUST HER DRIVING HIM TO THE BUS STATION! He had even gotten in trouble for rushing her, it was ridiculous.
He knew-- he just knew he had missed Rin. He didn't even wait for the car to completely stop once his mother pulled up, and he was sure he left the car door wide open as he tore from the car toward the double doors. He needed to say goodbye, he would hate himself if he missed Rin. Maybe the bus was late, maybe he hadn't left for the airport in Osaka yet. Maybe he was not too late... Feet slapped to the tile as the young boy ran through the terminal, seeking the right platform. Looking up, he tried to remember what number Rin had said, running toward what he thought was right. Pushing the door open, the boy found himself almost in a panic. As he ran toward the proper platform, his eyes fell on Sou-kun, sitting on a bench looking forlorn. Rushing toward the boy, Kisumi looked around a few times, his breath lost and his heart racing. He couldn't have--- there was no way Rin would leave without telling him goodbye! They were all best friends, they were all friends to the end!
Kisumi opened his mouth to speak, to ask Sosuke where Rin was, when his bus was going to leave. Kisumi couldn't help but hold out hope that Rin's bus was late, he believed it hard enough that he was sure it was going to be true... However, when the taller boy stood and looked at him with an angry gaze, Kisumi knew he had missed Rin. It was a gaze that made Kisumi recoil, all his fears sinking into reality-- any lingering doubts were dashed and subsequently crushed with Sousuke's cold words as he walked past.
Everything in Kisumi just broke, an earth shattering break. He had missed Rin by not a few minutes-- But damn near a half hour. When his mother decided to shower before driving her son, Rin had been getting on the bus. He hadn't even thought of calling. His bus had pulled away fifteen minutes later, leaving Kisumi no chance to even say his goodbye. He was supposed to be there, he would have given anything to see Rin off. But Sousuke was angry with him, his harsh words punching him like a fist to the gut. It was hard to lose one friend in one day and Kisumi knew that with no fault of his own that he had just lost a second. The boy was left standing there in shock, as the realisation of what had just happened sunk in. Two people he valued, looked up to, strove to be near whenever he could had walked from his life, people and ideas and plans just stood in the way of making his life perfect...
It was so painful, tears brimmed up in his eyes as he fought back the pain from the exchange he and his other best friend had just had. He had wanted so badly to be there, to see Rin off-- But he had missed it. Rin didn't even get his gift-- why did his mother take so long? It was like she wanted him to suffer, like he had to be punished in the worst way. Kisumi doubted he would ever forgive his mother for this. He had never had friends like Rin and Sousuke... and now he was left with nothing. Nothing because she had to put on a fucking mask to drive him. He had told her that morning that he needed to be at the bus station before 3:30. And she pissed that away.
His cheeks were stained as he threw the present for Rin into the trash, Sousuke's words ringing in his ears as he moved to sit on the bench to sob.
It was true, all of the fears and feelings that Kisumi had following around the duo all these years, watching them plan things and ditch him... Kisumi was nothing but the third wheel, the unwanted addition-- the unwanted addition to the pair. The odd man out. No, who he had though were his friends, weren't... And it was painful and a shock to the system to realise. After how much he had helped them, played with them, grown with them. He was nothing, nothing to him.
After a few minutes, Kisumi walked from the platform with the present in his arms, fished from the rubbish, rubbing at his eyes as he walked to his mother. He couldn't even look at her, he couldn't face her. Because of her... Because he was late... How could he even look at her?
Did he reach Rin? No, of course he didn't. Why would he have the gift in his arms still, why would he be crying like a baby if he had? He just walked past her, and went to find the car. Kisumi just wanted to go home, hug his pillow and listen to his new MP3 player, and cry over the picture of the friends he had just lost...
"Sousuke! Where is Rin?" the pink haired boy had asked of his friend, taken aback by the glare that was aimed at him. There was so much dread as the boy walked past him.
"Not here. He left." Sousuke gruffed out at him, causing the pre-teen to turn and face Sousuke, looking alarmed at the man's rough tone.
But, Kisumi was going to try and put on face, a smile offered meekly out of hopes that he could appease the other. "Awww! I told my Mamma we needed to leave earlier... Did he tell you to tell me goodbye? I'll really miss Ri--"
"No, because he didn't want to see you! You're not his friend, Kisumi. I am. You're just some kid that hung out with us. You don't even swim with us... You just think we're friends. We're not!"
Never have a set of words stabbed him so deeply.
There wasn't a time where Kisumi didn't find himself at least getting looks from the ladies, for as long as he could remember he could wrap a woman around his finger and have them bending to his will easily. At school it was the worst, he would playfully flirt and would laugh to himself as the girls tried not a swoon over him. It was good fun to watch girls run from him fanning themselves. It had always been that way, since middle school, and nothing ever seemed to change. Every day he would walk through the hallway of his school, and the even the upperclassmen girl would just watch him walk by starstruck. But the worst was turning girls down when they confessed. It wasn't that he wasn't interested in these girls-- well it was but-- He barely knew them. He always said they should get to know each other better before put himself on the line like that. Usually nothing would happen, but if there was a date it always ended without a second date...School life of a popular kid, the girls dubbed him the prince of Sano High School. It was annoying, to be honest. He even had a club started in his honour.
But, his homeroom was the worst. Every lunch time he would just want to eat the meal he had made himself the night before (Leftovers from Hayato's bento which he spent a good hour on to make it cool, like pikachu or a power ranger)-- but he would always find that he's have at least 6 girls around him, interviewing him or trying to garnish his attention all at once while he ate. He wasn't to sure if he was fond of it all, but he could put up with it. He wished, with everything in him, he had talked his step-dad into enrolling him into Samezuka so he could be with Rin and Sousuke and not a girl in sight!-- but they didn't have the basketball team that Sano had, or any at all. Samezuka was a swim school, Sano was known for their basketball team. Taking a bite of his rice as the girls obsessively chatted to him about crap he couldn't honestly find himself giving two fucks about, Kisumi seemed to lament a bit.
He knew once he was off from school, he would have to grab the train to pick up Hayato and take him to swim class before spending the next hour roaming Iwatobi proper. Maybe if he was lucky he would run into someone he knew-- He could count on one hand how many people from middle school he had seen. Resting his chin to his palm, the pinkette sighed loudly, just to get a ton of worried coos and woes. It was so annoying, honestly. Kisumi loved being the centre of attention, but there was a damn line, right? Couldn't a man enjoy his beef cutlets and rice and stupid octi-weenies in damn peace?
Promptly, Kisumi closed his bento box and stood, before smiling sweetly at the ladies, "I'm going to eat on the roof. Pardon me ladies." Taking a quick escape from the unwanted harem, he ran from the room and jogged down the steps to make an escape and eat in the courtyard instead. He could never understand why women liked him-- didn't they know or could they tell he wasn't interested? He wanted a challenge. Gender didn't matter, looks didn't matter either (but he did know he needed someone who could match his lifestyle choices). Hell, Kisumi only cared about the personality of the person, and if they were interested in the same crap. But like hell would Kisumi pick a woman who threw herself at his feet. He might fuck her and toss her aside, but shit. Even he wasn't that cold. He wanted someone he could chase, not be chased. That was no fun.
Hand gripped the rail of the final flight of stairs, his bento tucked under his left arm as Kisumi hoisted himself up to vault over the last stairwell to the final steps. Feet swung up and over the rail, before shooting out to span the gap between the stairs. Landing on the steps like he had so many times before. However, this time, his aim had been off by a few millimetre and he landed with one foot on the edge of the step before sliding off before he had his full balance. The peach haired male instantly his footing and pitched sideways, his left hand being thrown out to catch his body before he hurt himself. The Bento luckily was the kind that locked, but while his food was safe, Kisumi wasn't so much the same. Hitting the ground hard, his head cracked the tile of the floor, and his left wrist had been twisted so far to the right he was sure it was dislocated or worse. His efforts to catch his fall had sent his palm to the floor, but gravity was not so easily beaten. His shoulder and wrist were grabbed as the teen screamed out in pain. An upper class man was over him instantly, before she realised the school prince was injured and started barking orders to call 119, and get her a first aid kit.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sitting outside the x-ray room, Kisumi's finger poked at the wrap that kept his wrist still. It could have been much worse, he was told. He was lucky his shoulder was only bruised and that he didn't have a concussion, so he could be thankful for that. But his wrist was a major worry. The doctor had told him they would need to check it for a break, which ran Kisumi's blood cold. If there was anything anyone who played sports feared, it was an injury that would have them benched longer than a single game. Especially this late in the season, when scouts were out looking at potential athletes to join their programs and uni's at a discount or even a full free ride..."Man, Kisumi... You're such a fucking moron." He grumbled to himself as he sat in the hospital wing, his wrist aching like crazy and in need serious of that x-ray to insure that it was ONLY a sprain. Lord help him if his stupid act of jumping the stairs caused him to give up his varsity career, he was not ready to be a bench warmer. He did not want his dreams to crash and burn because he was avoided gaggle of nosey bitches who wanted in his pants. This was bullshit. If his wrist was broken for real, he would be devastated, he would just kiss his future goodbye.
Waiting like this to find out his future was worse than nails on a chalkboard, how long did it take to set up to take pictures of a bone? Pulling at the wrap some, the teen looked around. He could tell that this area had two or three x-ray rooms, and any one of them could have a nurse come out any minute to put a lead vest on him and take the x-ray before sending him back to his room. One of the doors opened and Kisumi's eyes lifted to behold the back of a giant of a man, lean and tall. All muscle. The dark hair and attire seemed familiar, but Kisumi wasn't sure he had seen the face right. That huge body walked past him, his eyes glancing to admire the man and the height he had longed for--
There was no was, it couldn't be! Kisumi found himself on his feet in shock. "Sousuke!?"
The last time he had seen Sousuke was at one bus terminal when he had basically given him the middle finger. Kisumi was sure that he had heard the Sousuke was in Tokyo, breaking records and making a name for himself... Yet here he was in the hospital! What was going on? Rushing to his friend, Kisumi slung an arm around his shoulders and grinned wide.
"Long time, Sou-kun! Damn, you got tall--" that was when he noticed the pained look of his friend. The hand instantly lifted and his eyes widened. The shamed look, the male's inability to look him in the eyes, no words had to be spoken between them. He knew within an instant.
Sousuke had a bad injury.
It had been a summer from hell, and Kisumi's graduation from Sano Elementary was overshadowed by the hell that had come down upon the Shigino household. Kisumi was no stranger to the fact that his home was far from a happy one. His mother would drink from high noon until bed time, because she knew when his father got home that something by the end of the night would be broken. More than the small boy's heart as his parents went into a rage. The masks they put on were thin and obviously fake. They would pretend for his sake, but he knew that once the lights in his bedroom went off, the downstairs would alight with a living nightmare.
Hayato was supposed to save the marriage, but the poor boy had only made things worse. The fighting was out of control, and Kisumi had started taking to staying with the Yamazaki or Matsuoka households as long as he was allowed until he had to return home. He had put on a smile, he had to act like nothing at home was falling apart. Even though Rin and Gou had no father, and their mother was to drunk to care that the three children were causing havoc in the small house, it was better than home. It was hard to go home to nothing but screaming, fights about money, about him, about Hayato, about someone named Nagato. There was never a reprieve, and they lost focus on their boys to focus on their ire and hate for one another. They would fight at dinner, they would fight as Kisumi bathed Hayato and got him ready for sleep, they would fight after Hayato and he were 'asleep'... There were many nights that Kisumi fell asleep with his walkman in his ears, his pillow pressed to his ears as an added buffer. There was not a night he didn't fall asleep without crying. It had slowly gone from a perfect family to a family that was cold and distant... but then Hayato came, and hell fell upon them soon after. The boy had never known so much dread, so much pain then hearing words he knew were bad being slung back and forth down stairs.
Many nights were spent, listening to music and blocking out the fights and the sounds of his mother sobbing as his father called her nasty words, eyes closed as Kisumi quietly wondered if this was what love was like. This was his sanctuary, this was where he was supposed to come home to be safe and feel loved. He couldn't stand the sounds of their fights, walking through the door of his home would bring so much dread. He knew that no matter what happened, no matter how good a day he would have had at school, no matter how much of a good big brother he was, no matter how well he did in basketball... Nothing would be noticed by his parents because they were always fighting.
It was the beginning of summer break when he ran away. He couldn't take the screaming anymore, that night had been especially bad. He pushed open the window, and climbed out the window in nothing but his pajamas and only holding a stuffed bear and a pillow. He climbed down the tree in the back yard, and walked out the gate. He couldn't sleep, he couldn't lay there and listen, Kisumi just wanted to coil into Sousuke's bed and actually get a good night's sleep. Knocking on the boy's window, Sousuke looked shocked to see the pink haired boy outside with no shoes, a pillow and bear, with tears rolling down his cheeks. There were no words, Sousuke just ran to the front door and let his friend in. Sousuke's mother was in the living-room seconds after Kisumi was let in, the boy still crying into his hands as he finally told her what was going on in his home-- About the fighting, the bruises his mama would have some days, the horrible words and how he had to bathe and change the baby, feed the baby, raise the baby.
Kisumi didn't want to go back, he didn't want to continue to listen to it. But Sousuke's mother called his Mama, and soon the woman was there to get him. Dragging his feet, and hiding in the closet, he tried to avoid going home. His heard his mother tell the neighbours that Kisumi was exaggerating, that they had a few minor tiffs. Kisumi couldn't help but feel so... hurt that his mother would call the fights 'tiffs'. He was dragged home, and was sat down.
He had expected to be yelled at, but this was nothing that he expected. He expected to be grounded, he expected to lose his toys and his outside privileges. But the next day he didn't even want to get out of bed, his back hurt so much. His mother had screamed at his father as the belt slapped against the bare skin of his back, teeth grit to keep from screaming-- his father had warned if he cried or screamed he would make it worse. He was only struck a few time, and every time his mother tried to stop it she was shoved away, and Kisumi was forced to watch her hit the tile floor as she cried for her eldest son. Kisumi could barely see as he took the punishment, the pain was blinding, as were the tears that ran down his face. Thankfully, his mother took the belt away finally, and started screaming at the man. She even hit him with the belt a few times. When she told Kisumi to go to his room, and Kisumi ran for the stairs. He couldn't sleep that night, tears running down his face as he tried to nurse his wounds, unable to get comfortable. He told Sousuke he was sick and couldn't play, a lie because he didn't want to move farther than his window to tell it. He had lost all faith and trust in his father that day.
It wasn't the last time he found himself at the receiving end of his father's rage, having to explain away bruises and cuts as sports injuries while playing with Rin and Sousuke. Miss Yamazaki started offering to let him spend the night when Rin did, insisting to their parents it was good for the boys. He started taking taking sleeping gear to Sousuke's house just in case he was told to stay. He would eat with the family and dodge questions about bruises on his arms and face with a smile, like he was actually proud of his battle scars-- but he knew they knew his words were just excuses. Just lies he was told to tell by his mother.
Something had to give.
One night right before school started, he was roused from his sleep by his mother. He was half asleep, and didn't understand why she was getting him up. The sun was still asleep, the clock by his bed blared 03:26. It was to early for him to be awake, and he knew it. Walking with his mother, holding his stuffed bear tightly, he followed her into Hayato's room, before following her down the stairs. It didn't dawn on him that they were leaving. He could see his father sitting in the living room, a drink in his hand and a cigarette in his lips as his mother pushed him towards the door.
His father was once such a jovial man once, Kisumi had inherited his deep violet eyes that were a Shigino heirloom. But he couldn't remember a time where they were bright and full of life-- no, now they were dead. Lost and dead. And they had been for a while. Everything in Kisumi wanted to run to his father and hug him, even through all the pain and punishments, Kisumi still loved his father. He knew that by taking the hits, he was protecting him mother some. Kisumi also knew that his father was at the breaking point. His father was his father, would always be the man who taught him how to shoot a basket and how to dribble, bought him his first ball and was his biggest fan at every single one of his games. He wanted to say goodbye, he didn't know when he would see the man again-- but before he could even break away, his mother pushed him outside and dragged him to the car.
They drove to Iwatobi, to Kisumi's grandma's house-- his mother's mother. She had taken the boys into her arms, looked at her eldest grandson with so much pain and pity as she looked over a healing bruise on his chin from when he was pushed into a wall a few days prior. He was sent to his aunt's old room to sleep, and found the bed actually warm and very safe. It was the last time he saw the house he had grown up in, the house a few doors down from two of the most important people in his life-- Sousuke and Rin. It was a bittersweet feeling, bitter to know that he wouldn't being going to Sano Middle School with Rin and Sousuke, but sweet because he knew the fighting would stop, yet still bitter because he knew... He knew that by leaving, he knew that he would have two addresses, split holidays-- It depended who claimed him on their registry, but he knew that this meant that he would be separate from one parent. That summer, his family was shattered to the point of no repair.
Watching his friends swim competitively had not only been a pleasure, it had been completely thrilling. They didn't have to win to impress anyone, their swimming was as breathtaking as the day was long. Even if they had come in 6th place, Kisumi couldn't help but be proud of them. Being the 6th best high school swim team in Japan was better than being the 7th or 8th! Hell, the beat out Samezuka, and had their team cheering for them! Hayato had screamed the loudest for 'Coach Makoto', But Kisumi cheered for the whole of Iwatobi-- even if he only knew two of the members personally. It had been a treat, worth the trip in every sense of the word, Kisumi mused. And, as an added bonus, it gave Hayato a drive and a dream, something he had not expected from his little brother.
After the festivities, Kisumi sought out his friends-- the winners NOT losers who couldn't even swim because Sousuke was a stubborn idiot and ruined his stupid arm again. Besides, he spoke to Sousuke before the match and caught Rin right afterwards-- with Hayato on his shoulders. They both seemed proud and okay with the fact that they could not swim relay. Iwatobi had worked so hard for their spot. It didn't take long to spot the Tachibana twins running past, screaming for their brother loudly. Hayato, however, spotted Makoto before Kisumi did-- Kisumi blamed the boy's height as his disadvantage but Hayato insisted it was because Kisumi was blind. Laughing at his little brother, the pair of rosettes walked toward the tall brunet, a wide grin playing across Kisumi's lips as they made their approach.
"MAKOTO!" he called out, one hand lifting, the other firm to Hayato's mid back to keep him in place on his shoulders. Soon they were upon the family, and Kisumi was setting Hayato down so that his shoulders could get a break-- any injury after being scouted was still a worry for the male. It was shocking to Kisumi that he was recognised and even remembered by the Tachibana Adults-- he had not seen them in almost four years. Kisumi was shocked at how tall the twins were, watching them as they spoke to Hayato excitedly about playing video games. After Kisumi went about making his reintroductions, and introduced Hayato for the first time to the Tachibana clan, the basketballer shifted his gaze to his old and dear friend, "Mako-kun! Hayato has something he wants to tell you!"
Beaming, he watched as the jammer clad male dropped to Hayato's level. It made Kisumi so proud he knew he could trust one of his dearest best friends with his little brother, and that he could see that Hayato looked up to Makoto so very much. Kisumi adored the gentle man, and had since middle school. He was the first friend that Kisumi had made after Sousuke and Rin had left from his life. It was a thrill that Makoto knew Rin, the boy having been in his classes in primary school. His pride swelled ten fold as Hayato spoke to Makoto of his new dream in a fashion only a child could portray.
"I want to swim like Coach Makoto one day! I want to swim relay and be just as fast!"
Kisumi just smiled at his friend warmly, before rubbing Hayato's head with a warm chuckle. It only took a few more of moments before more parents and the rest of the swim team came together. Kisumi was introduced to Nagisa (A cute blonde that was as hyper as all three children in the group combined) and Rei (A megane clad teen that was way too smart for his own good, probably smarter than anyone he had ever met) and their parents and siblings, and Haruka's parents as well (Who said they remembered hearing about him in middle school, which shocked Kisumi). It was also shocking to see Haruka's parents smile warmly at him and be so kind with Hayato. How was Haruka so cold when born to such warm parents?
That smile didn't falter from Kisumi's face as the four friends and the parents spoke of going out to grab lunch for the boys, who swam so hard. It was a hard fact that he was quite used to the action of plans being made in front of him, his presence ignored. Kisumi was forever the third wheel with his swimmer friends. Rin had always asked if he wanted to come along right after plans were made, but with Makoto and Haru, they had always had a habit of ditching him.
No, this was not his celebration. Both sets of friends had all but moved on from him. Makoto and Haruka had Rei and Nagisa-- friends who shared their passion for swimming. Rin and Sousuke had each other, as well as their team. Kisumi was quite used to being left out of all the plans, even if Makoto was good at playing basketball he couldn't get the b-ball hooks into the kid. He preferred swimming, and would do anything for Haruka. Kisumi had his team, but that relationship with them was much different that what he had with Makoto, Rin, Haruka and Sousuke...He hadn't noticed his smile had faded, but Hayato tugging on his pants snapped him out of his trip down memory lane to behold not only Makoto's Jewel greens trained on him, but a mop of blonde and pink hues in his face, talking to him. His personal bubble was utterly invaded, and his eyes widened in shock.
"N-Nagisa-san?" Kisumi blinked a bit, leaning back only slightly.
"You're coming with us? Right? I mean, Hayato is a swimmer and you're Mako-chan's and Haru-chan's friend- so that means you're part of the team! The more the merrier! Common, Haya-chan, Kisu-chan! Let's go get burgers!"
"Nagisa, we're not getting burgers! We ruled that out!" Rei snapped as he adjusted his glasses.
"Now, guys... Let's not fight..." Makoto said, holding out his hands and laughing lightly.
"I want Saba." Haruka offered out, to which the three boys moaned out. Kisumi couldn't help but smile at this. The basketballer was blown away-- he had always been the third wheel, he had always been invited last minute-- but Hazuki Nagisa had broken the norm-- Before they even had concrete plans, Kisumi found himself on the guest list. He couldn't stop the tears, but he could hide them behind a bright smile, "Yes! Of course! We'll ride with whoever has room!"
"We have room, Kisumi." Haruka offered, not looking toward the boy. Kisumi nodded happily and lifted his brother onto his back and walked between Haruka and Makoto toward the car park, trying to contain his joy of being included and not an add on.
"Hand shakes are stupid." Sousuke complained loudly from the floor of the fort, his hands behind his head as they lounged high up in a tree in the Shigino back yard. Kisumi shot the boy a deep frown as the larger of his two best friends shot down his new and ingenious idea was instantly shot down. It was a brilliant idea, and Sousuke had flat out rejected it.
"You're stupid, Sou-kun. It's not just any handshake! It's a SECRET HANDSHAKE." Kisumi snapped back, before huffing and crossing his arms as he stood in the middle of the fort which his father had built for him in the middle of March for his birthday in the high tree in the back. It had a ladder on the tree, a tire swing and a patio around the fort itself with a cool railing. His father had seen one in some American TV show or movie or something and Kisumi had loved the idea of having one-- no one else had one! He had to have one!
"I think it's a cool idea! Something for the three of us only forever! We can be in high school and still use it!" Rin said excitedly, rocking on the seat of a chair, his feet crossed and gripped by his hands. The window was open and blowing a soft summer wind through the green fabric that his mother had put up to make it more 'homey'. Kisumi didn't mind, he liked the colour.
Sighing loudly, the taller of the three relented as he sat up from the rug on the wood below, "Fine. Two against one. We'll make a stupid handshake." Sousuke shifted to sit, clearly upset his veto was overruled. "But like hell we'll use this in high-school. I refuse!" He said in a huffy tone.
Rin and Kisumi both made a sound of approval, giving each other a high five as Sousuke relented to the idea, even with the proclamations of not using it past middle school. Kisumi's eyes were glittering as his idea was being put into action, "How should we plan it, Rin-kun?"
The Redhead cupped his chin with a thoughtful gaze, before looking suddenly excited and bright eyed. "We should each come up with a part of it! That way we all had a hand in it! Kisumi should have the first part since it was his idea, and I'll go last!" Rin proclaimed with his hands on his hips, grinning proudly.
Sousuke groaned loudly once more and fell over, as Kisumi jumped up to practice with Rin the idea he had for the first part of the handshake. It was time consuming to come up with the parts and actually execute them accurately. Kisumi had come up with a punch leading to sword arms, the last part being something all the boys agreed should be used in casual settings so they wouldn't be given weird looks.
Sousuke had come up with hand slaps, like patty cake hands-- it was so overtly simple Rin and Kisumi couldn't help but tease him. The last part, Rin had to explain it five times before Kisumi understood what exactly his idea was, and took a good hour to master. Once the handshake was perfectly done by each boy ten times without error, Kisumi pulled some paper from his bookshelf and a crayon.
"These need rules! Rule one. Only us three will know how it works! We cannot teach anyone else!" Kisumi proclaimed, writing down the Super Secret Handshake (SSH for short) rules in a royal purple. "What else?"
"The full handshake can only be done in private!" Sousuke snapped out, not wanting to be looked at like he was a loser like the other two-- at their pouts, Sousuke relented, "That way it can stay secret. Sword Arms is the public greeting."
Rin and Kisumi laughed, and Kisumi quickly started to write it down in messy Katana.
"That sounds good to me, keep it simple!" Rin said, grabbing a red crayon and signing the rules. Sousuke grabbed a blue and signed them as well, and Kisumi followed suit with the purple one. It wasn't long until the boys were down stairs to try to steal cookies before dinner-- But Kisumi knew this handshake would be an important part of their life for the rest of their lives.
- Self-Esteme Issues
- Touchy Feely
- Can be annoying as heck
Ugh, he's precious, okay. And such a good big brother. He deserves all the happiness and friends ever, especially after everything he's had to endure growing up. I don't even know this series and I just want to see him happy, okay, why are you so good at pain XD
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