welcome to lorem (ipsum)!
Ipsum. A mega-city that is located beachside, with mountains and a river surrounding its expansive homes and towering buildings. The city is beyond beautiful... yet none of the residents have any idea how they arrived, and have yet to leave, because Ipsum is a city you can never leave -- not by choice. People appear here without any knowledge where they are, no one knows what country or world they are even in. Yet, the city still provides for her people. Jobs, homes, goods are all readily available, and there is a place for everyone, be it the good or bad — Ipsum shall provide.
Please make yourself at home… you will not be returning to yours any time soon.
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Free! Etenal Summer
Nanase HarukaFree! Eternal Summer
There was a sense of belonging one had when in their own homeland. That they had a feeling of safety, of security that comes with familiarity. But when thrust into a foreign land with a language you only held an elementary understanding of, whose laws and customs you not only didn't understand but didn't know at all, you found yourself feeling isolated and confused. Anxiety came with that feeling, and even with someone who understood and knew... you cannot help but feel at a loss.
Even when confronted with the language, to you, it's nothing more than words with no meaning, strung together in a necklace of confusion. To not hear the background of Japanese left Haruka hyper-aware of its absence, replaced with words that held no meaning to him. He couldn't help but listen, reaching out for even a simple word he understood within the babble around him. A "you" or a "thank you", but with how the words seemed to stream around him-- not even that was found.
And yet, Rin seemed at ease as they walked. Which only served to make him angrier. Haruka couldn't help but follow him past the shops, the signs-- it was that he was his lifeline and Rin didn't even seem to be bothered to let him walk near, but to follow him like a kitten lost and following a human into the unknown-- yet Haruka was as trusting of this moment as a kitten would be of a stranger--
Yet his call was ignored. Rin seemed to have no interest in what was going on in his mind, Haruka could see that smug look on his face even though his back was to him, eyes closed, sharp triangular teeth peeking through smiling, plush, parted lips. It pissed Haru off. To be ignored, to be lead like this...
He was ignored until the reached outside, Haruka knew that he had to stay close to Rin, else he would be lost without hope of ever finding his way. The text on the signs around him seemed like scribbles, yet he was able to pick out letters, it was gibberish. To him. He knew they formed words, they gave instruction-- yet for him they were meaningless, and a sign of letters.
"Where are we going!?" Haruka demanded, panting as his panic and anxiety mixed with confusion and anger. Rin just smugly talked about taking him places, and that they needed to get on the bus.
It was cold. This was Australia, how was it cold? Haruka knew this place as hot, yet here it was... freezing. He could only sit in his jacket, his bag set to the ground at his feet as he let his thoughts consume him-- an action Haru had taken so many days now. He had stood, his fear and his anxiety had caused him to give up on everything, his uncertainty of the future...
Glancing towards Rin, he opened his mouth to speak--
He was alone.
Rin had left him behind....
Standing from the fountain's edge, he looked around frantically, calling for the man who had brought him here. Seeking any sign of him as his heart started to pound in his ears, his eyes frantic for any sign of the shark-like man. He rarely raised his voice, yet in this moment his panic had him close to shouting--
He was standing there holding two bottles of water, Haruka could only pant as his horror, feeling the eyes of those who were around them on him. He had been shouting in a language they probably had never heard before.... He could only glare, his fear and humiliation having a grip on him-- he adored this man and yet he was so angry at him for leaving without a word.
"I just bought us some waters..." His tone held confusion. Haruka frowned and turned his head, his pout loud on his lips.
They sat again and were soon talking softly, the onlookers moving on. Rin spoke of how they first met... How he had admired him... Yet Haruka couldn't understand why anyone would admire him, he was not only weird... even more so when he was that young... he wasn't worth the admiration. He wasn't worth the attention.
"Common, I wanna take you somewhere." Rin stood and turned to Haruka, that annoying smile on his face. Somewhere that had calmed him? Haruka sighed and gathered his things and his water and started to follow the man. He was cold, he wanted inside somewhere to warm up.
"Haru, you have to try this! It's world famous!" Rin had exclaimed on the way to wherever. But Haruka was doubtful it was 'world famous' as Rin claimed. Yet, they sat at the strange shack, the man holding up two fingers and ordering them food. Haruka could only stare as a brown pie covered in red sauce was placed before him, before his oceaniac blues lifted to stare at the Redhead with an annoyed gaze.
"What is this?" He asked, before lifting his own to sniff at it. Mind. Changed. It smelled heavenly, yet looked so weird.
"A meat pie! Just take a bite, Haru! It's so good!" Rin explained as he placed money into the clerk's hand, explaining in English something about him, he knew it. As the two conversed in the language he didn't know, Haruka opened his mouth wide and took his first bite.
Normally, Haruka didn't like beef. He didn't actively avoid it like Rin did with his beloved Saba-- but he also preferred Saba. However, the beef that was within his mouth in this moment was like heaven had touched his lips. It wasn't like anything he could get in Japan, there was nothing like it in his memory. It was rich and umami, it was savoury and earthy, with the sweetness of the red sauce-- a form of ketchup-- melding with the perfectly flaky and crisp crust with a hint of butter in it. It was... amazing...
"Good, huh?" Rin cooed out, Haruka's eyes lifting to pulse as he chewed, which made the man laugh, "You've never held that look for anything but Saba and water, Haruka!" He was laughing, happy it seemed that Haruka was enjoying the small pie.
Swallowing, Haruka corrected him, "And you."
"Haa?" Rin lifted his own pie, his brow raising high as he took a bite of his own pie.
"I've held this look for you... Like I am now." Haruka said, offering the first smile in days. Rin choked.
Haruka just sat by the shoreline, watching the waters receded back into the ocean... This ocean has a different scent to the ocean from his home. It felt different, and the wind held a different scent. It was subtle, It was soft-- but Haruka could tell. Yet, Rin was happy to pull off his shoes and roll up his pants. It was annoying, to have him talk about Sousuke and how they fought all the time. He didn't seem to understand... He and Makoto never fought. Makoto had never given him a reason to be upset, and yet he finally had--
But deep down, Haruka knew he wasn't mad at Makoto for deciding his future, for finding himself a dream... No, Haruka was mad at himself for not having those things, he was angry that he would be losing his oldest friend. And it manifested as a fight when Haruka could no longer handle the idea.
"It was our first fight." He told Rin in a soft tone, his eyes focused on the foreign waves. Glancing up to the redhead, he sighed and pouted to the side again. Not because he was annoyed because that stupid look was cute. He fought all the time with Rin, it was nothing new... But whereas Rin was hot-headed and impulsive, Makoto was agreeable and kind. It wasn't the fight that upset him, it was the fear of losing the man when he had no idea what he wanted in the future.
Makoto had been in his life for as long as he could remember. He had talked him into swimming lessons, he had been so reliant on him even at a young age. Only once before this year did he worry that he would no longer have Makoto in his life when he considered taking his own life. Haruka had called him stupid then, looking back it was the worst way to talk someone out of such a thing... but Makoto's fear of the ocean and yet he was willing to throw himself into it...
Haruka sighed loudly and looked up at Rin as he walked in the water. He had told him about his own fear his first time here, and how the ocean connected him to Japan and that calmed him. Haruka wondered if Rin hid how he was truly feeling often like he did... He sat, hugging his knees, complicating...
"Common, I have somewhere else to take you," Rin said suddenly, which caused the Aquatic teen to gawk a moment. He wanted to put his feet in the water, but Rin was already pulling his shoes on. They had a week, so Haruka hoped they would return as he stood.
It was starting to sink in how out of place he was in Australia. How people could speak in a language he couldn't understand-- It wasn't something you thought about, really, when surrounded by your own tongue... How different languages were. How in different countries around the world, people actually understood what was being said at this moment, there were people speaking words you'd never understand. It was a fleeting though often, even natural-- However, to be thrust into it, it was harrowing to the mind to actually comprehend it. And Haruka was realising how small he really was in this world...
He heard his name spoken in the conversation that Rin was having with the two westerners, his eyes flicking to gaze towards them. That was when Rin called him over, much to his dread. Walking over, he frowned at Rin, "You know I don't understand English." He muttered, before being faced with the very language. He blinked a few times and swallowed hard, trying to understand what was just being said.
"Welcome to Australia, Haru!"
It was spoken slowly, and he could gather the meaning, Welcome __ ____ Haru. Welcome to Australia? Our Home? It was one of those.
"It is nice to meet you. My name is Nanase Haruka." he choked out, trying hard to remember the little English he had. Before anything else could be said, Haruka was being welcomed by another, a little dog barking happily at him. Rin explained her name was Winney, and then there was laughter before they were walking inside...
He couldn't help but feel like he was isolated in a world that belonged to Rin. A world he could have no part of... And he suddenly understood Rin all the more.
Haruka would dare to say dinner had been lovely if he could have been included in the conversation. Rin had started to act as a translator, but soon he was forgotten, left to sit in silence with the feeling of exclusion that had become so prominent on this trip. Why had he even come? He knew the moment he stepped on the plane he was going to regret it-- hell the moment Rin told him to pack his bags he knew he would....
Yet, here he was with Australia as the first stamp in his passport.
Climbing from the car, he stood to the side as Rin spoke with Lori and Russell. The called his name, with some words he didn't understand. To be polite, he lifted his hand, and just gazed upward at the hotel they would be staying in. Sydney was beautiful at night, and yet he found himself isolated and alone. His lone lifeline was Rin, and he couldn't help but feel like this was wrong.
He had seemed so happy in the pictures with his homestay family...
Poking around the waiting room, he quickly had picked up that he could gather what was going on around him by watching body language and facial features-- two universal languages that he found himself thankful for. His eyes focused on the TV in the lobby, watching the show with veiled interest until Rin called for his passport, and soon they were walking up a flight of stairs into a room 25.
And the single bed.
"This is Australia... Maybe this sort of thing is common here." Haru offered, thinking the hotel thought them a couple. Western cultures were so much more liberal than Japan was and more open with their sexualities, Haruka rationalised. They had parades to celebrate it, whereas in Japan such things were frowned up.
"It's not! It's your girly name!" Rin retorted, which garnished Haruka's ire. If anyone had a girly name, it was Rin. His name was Unisex, whereas Rin's was not!
"It's your fault then!" Haruka retored, which quickly evolved into a blame game. They both knew it wasn't true. In English, Rin and Haruka were genderless names without meaning. Yet here they were...
Haruka barked back another blame just to get a frustrated growl and Rin storming out saying he would fix things. Honestly, Haruka didn't mind sharing a bed with Rin. They had before, they clearly would again. Pulling off his shoes and moving to lay down, the Free Swimmer once again questioned why he was here.
It didn't take Rin long to return, and without a word, he stripped off his pants and jacket and climbed into the bed so that their backs were together. Haruka sighed and closed his eyes... before Rin started to speak-- or rather growl, "I can't believe this...."
"It won't matter once we're asleep," Haruka said. It was true. There was a comfort, however, having Rin so close... someone to communicate with, to speak to after a full day of isolation. It was almost weird... he was the kind to isolate himself by choice, yet he was never truly isolated... Here he understood how harrowing isolation could be... "Go to sleep."
The light was shut off, and the two lay in silence, Haruka feeling himself doze...
"Hey, Haru... I told you I always admired you, right? You might not remember it, but I still remember the day I first met you." Rin's words were soft, like a whisper, like he expected him to be asleep as he spoke... But Haruka listened, "To be honest, it had never occurred to me that I could lose to someone. But any frustration I felt vanished when I thought, 'There is someone more amazing than me'. 'I want to be able to swim like him.'."
Haru remembered the look on young Rin's face, not one of anger he was so used to now, as the young free swimmer stood there looking at him. He saw awe in those crimson ores. Haruka looked at him like one would an equal, however, even then he knew that little redhead was something special. Just one race and Haruka knew this Matsuoka Rin would be his rival until the day he decided to stop swimming...
"... That's why it's hard for me when you're not always ahead of me," Rin continued, "Showing me what path to take. Without you, I have nothing to aim for, you know?"
"I remember it, too." Haruka finally spoke, "That tournament..." How could he forget? Honestly, Rin was dense sometimes. How could he forget something so important...
Rolling over, Rin's tone seemed happier, "Do you remember the freestyle race we swam during the tournament this last spring? Where we tied, and set a new tournament record together?"
Haruka had shifted, looking over his shoulder towards the redhead, listening. Of course, he remembered, it was still fresh in his mind. "Yeah."
"I was testing you then. I wanted to see... if that was really the farthest you could go." The man got excited, as the memory of the race flooded Haruka's mind. That feeling of being left behind so familiar now, and yet... in that race... he was determined not to be left behind, but to surpass Rin. Rin... his driving force. Rin, his reason for pushing forward...
Rin. The reason Haruka swam...
"And when I sensed you coming up from behind me, I knew for sure!" Rin's words were filling with the emotion he knew the red-head so well for. "That you were definitely going to enter the same world as me."
No, Rin was wrong... He had destroyed his chances of living up to the dream Rin placed on him. That wasn't his dream...
"Haru, during that race didn't you feel something, too?"
It made him stop, and remember... the feeling of catching up, of only he and Rin. The feeling of his fingers perfectly slicing through the water, not fighting him. That need to surpass him, to win. That drive to win that had pushed him so far. Clenching his fist, Haruka closed his eyes and smiled to himself.
Rolling over, Haruka turned to face Rin, and at that moment, open himself up to the annoying, infuriating, perfect redhead.
instead of underwear to enter water no matter the location or season. This, too, he is growing out of.
- Swimming Freestyle
- Art and Drawing
- Loyal Friend
- Very Intelligent
- Being Social
- Emotionally Cold
That one magical girl anime
Snow, you know I have been waiting with bated breath to see what you would do with Haruka and you did not disappoint! Your pull point, bringing Haru after that fateful trip to Australia with Rin...man, you really know how to capture my heart, don't you? You touched deeply upon how isolated he felt, how anxious, mixed with the anxiety and depressive notions he was already experiencing due to happenings back home. I am always blown away at the detail you put into your applications and you leave me wanting more and more with each character you bring to LI! Here's to seeing Haruka dive into all the bodies of water all around the city!.
Welcome to Ipsum Nanase Haruka! You have been sorted into NETHER! Please be sure to fill out your Claims and your Mini Profile, and let us know that you have finished that here, so we can properly sort you!