Fanfic Recs / Free!

Proof that the remaining 10% is worth drowning for here.

These are recommendations for Free! fanfics, all of which have to be signed to stay on the page. Feel free to add a fanfic of your own to the list, but please use the template found here.

Authors and Websites

Free! Kink Meme
  • Recommended by p0np0n_panda
  • A kink-meme site for Free!, designated for fans to enjoy written prompts and ideas.(Due to the nature of the meme, the content can range into NSFW-territory.)

EzzyDean AO3 Link
  • Recommended by p0np0n_panda
  • A writer who creates a great deal of stories for Free!. Mainly ship-fics. From drabbles, oneshots, and multi-chapters. There’s no short supply multiple-pairings for curious shippers in the Free!dom. Having a multitude of creative stories about AU's, crossovers, etc. Ratings vary from general to mature but it’s worth a look into.

  • Recommended by kilala2tail
  • No matter the genre you're in the mood for, this is an author that any Free! fan looking for a good read should check out. Mainly Mako Haru (but willing to touch on other ships), there is no shortage of insightful works that really do the characters justice. If you're interested in reasearched and well-done meta thoughts, check out their tumblr when you have time.

General Fics
Stories focused on friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused, day-in-the-life, anything that isn't focused on romance.

The Plan by sonnet 009
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Status: Complete (Oneshot)
  • Synopsis: The boys discuss their first kisses.

The Wall Street Cops by Spatialist
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Synopsis: Detective Inspector Haruka Nanase is, as his assistant Nagisa likes to say, "all work and no play". But it's hard to be cheerful when there are crimes to solve and dangerous criminals to chase. When an infamous serial killer resurfaces and the case lands in Haruka's division, he's forced to take on the help of Private Investigator Makoto Tachibana.

The Sea Horse of Iwatobi by RyuDanna
  • Recommended by nanakiro
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: Haru doesn't like to revisit the past. He's spent more then enough time alone in those waters. But since discovering who and what he was swimming for, Haru has also found there's good things here. Wondrous things. Happy memories. Warm emotions. They fill the sea of his mind with life and light. And illuminate things he's forgotten. People he's his 2nd cousin who just turned up at his front door. (Take note: This is an Original Flavor fanfic taking place after season 1, with a surprise appearance from a forgotten character.)

The Palace That Rose From the Sands by Anonymous_Ostrich
  • Recommended by dabeccanator
  • Status: Completed
  • Synopsis: Hafa has wandered the desert for years under the affliction of a terrible curse.
  • Tags: Arabian AU, Fluff and Angst
  • Comments: It's a really good Free Arabian AU fic, however the characters will not be referred to by their canon names but they will be called by Arabian names may sound somewhat similar. For instance Hafa=Haru, Makarim=Makoto, Najiya=Nagisa etc. It does steer into NSFW territory but those scenes are few and far between. There is a sequel in progress and can be read here.

When Haru Met Makoto by Einzel
  • Recommended by dabeccanator
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: Free! UA where Rei was part of the original relay team and Makoto becomes the new fourth member of the Iwatobi Swim Club. Follows the structure of the anime going by the subtitles produced by Horrible Subs, but bases back-story more closely on High Speed! and includes references to the Fr Fr! specials and drama CD content where appropriate.
  • Comments: It's an interesting retelling of the anime where it switches two characters and it also expands on some parts. For example Haruka's parents as well as the incident in episode 6 are a couple of the many parts that are expanded on.
    • To this troper, When Haru Met Makoto comes across as little more than a blatant retelling of season one with a few added bits. It's worth the read, but it sticks a little too close to canon for this troper's taste.
    • Well, that's basically the point of this fanfic: it is supposed to be a retelling of season one, but also a "what-if" as well (along with a bit of fan service for Mako Haru fans).

Crossover Fics
Shingeki no Puru by nimrochan
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Crossover with Attack on Titan
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: Haruka Jaeger, like the rest of humanity, is forced to live the life of trapped prey as man-eating Titans roam the outside world. His dream is to one day kill all the Titans and swim all the waters of the world, including lava. He does not understand what lava is.

Aguamenti by derasorea
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Crossover with Harry Potter
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: "You're a wizard," someone tells Haruka Nanase when he makes a swimming pool boil. This is the story of The Boy Who Dived, a boy who learns that there is more to life than water and wizardry.

A Pool of Roses by HeyDickGrayson
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Crossover with Ouran High School Host Club
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: Makoto, Haru, Nagisa and Rei find them selves enrolled at Ouran Private Academy where they meet the Host Club. Will they open up to each other and finally find someone who understands them?
This is who we are by Daphneherz
  • Recommended by dabeccanator
  • Crossover with Steven Universe
  • Status: Discontinued
  • Synopsis: Fusion was frowned upon by many gems and it made Haru regret the day that he and Makoto fused. He wished that it was okay to just be them.
  • Comments: Has a character blog made by the author found here that goes into this AU more, like some more background information, and talks about some of the characters that haven't appeared in the fic yet.
    • However due to the blog it is in the process of being rewritten. The rewrite is called Unexpected.
    • Also has a couple of spinoffs like Iwatobi Gem Fics and My Makoto made by fans of the fic and character blog.

Shipping Fics

Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.

Home Port by Shimegami)

  • Recommended by: Vellophone
  • Synopsis: Rin's always brought change into Haruka, and for the most part Haruka's regarded that as a good thing. Sometimes it just takes him a while to see how it's good, though, especially when his latest declaration makes waves where Haruka never thought it would: his relationship with Makoto.
  • Pairing(s): Haruka/Makoto

i thee wed by sauntering_down
  • Recommended by El Psy Congruent
  • Synopsis: So, when they were younger, Mako and Haru "got married." Fast forward to high school. Maybe Makoto is being flirted with/asked out and Haru pretty much states Makoto is already happily married.
  • Pairing(s): Haruka/Makoto

Never Have I Ever by iceclawtwc
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Synopsis: It's a Friday night and the four athletes of the Iwatobi Swim Club are at Haruka's house. With the power out, what are four teenage boys to do with themselves?
  • Pairing(s): Rei/Nagisa, Haruka/Makoto

Leading the Lost Pilotfish by FoxyGrampaGlasses
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Synopsis: From the very beginning, he was Aiichirou. No one could ever, would ever, convince him otherwise. Someone could, however, lead him to freedom.
  • Pairing(s): Rin/Nitori

Melanoma by Rainbowkiwii
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Synopsis: It's amazing how one little brown dot can change a person's life.
  • Pairing(s): Haruka/Makoto

Eight Days a Week by fencer_x
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Synopsis: (based off of the 'Who would you choose as your boyfriend?' track of the Drama CD) Rei resents Nagisa's insistence that he would be anything less than an absolutely perfect boyfriend—and so engages him in a wager: they'll play "boyfriends" for one week, and if Rei can pull it off, he wins. But...what exactly does 'winning' entail?
  • Pairing(s): Rei/Nagisa

Tell Me by RememberingThePast
  • Recommended by iodizedpepper
  • Synopsis: It's all fun and games until someone gets punched in the gut. Luckily she's cute, so he doesn't think much of it. (gangster AU)
  • Pairing(s): Gou/Seijuurou

seen everything there is to be shown by sauntering_down
  • Recommended by Prince Kaen
  • Synopsis: Rin has a nightly visitor in his dorm room. They don't notice that Nitori is very much awake on the top bunk of a bed and listening to everything that's going on below him.
  • Pairing(s): Haruka/Rin

Bloom and Scatter by dorkery
  • Recommended by ultrawolf
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: Rin returns to Japan to look for his mother and sister. What he finds, instead, is Makoto. (Zombie AU.)
  • Pairing(s): Makoto/Rin

Catch a Falling Star by hoshruba
  • Recommended by dabeccanator
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: “Oh, darling, do you remember… what was his name? Makoto, was it?” Haru freezes in place, his breath catches in his windpipe like cloth on brambles. He feels Makoto stifle a gasp and try to shrink into himself. “I asked if you ever saw him again.”
  • Pairing(s): Haruka/Makoto
  • Comments: A lot of people claimed to have cried when reading this.

Your Protector by cottontale
  • Recommended by dabeccanator
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Never give up on someone you can't go a day without thinking about. Haru has social anxiety, a stutter, and can't seem to catch a break. Makoto is a college student/barista who wants more than anything to be there for Haru. Only, this isn't a perfect world.
  • Pairing(s): Makoto/Haruka, Rei/Nagisa, Rin/Nitori
  • Comments: A very cute coffee shop AU with an interesting interpretation of Haru. According to several reviews for this the anxiety that is shown in this fanfic is portrayed accurately so that in itself might be worth checking out to see if that's true.

Future Earth, Future Sky by Inky
  • Recommended by cthulhumayrise
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: The first time Makoto Tachibana laid his eyes on Sousuke Yamazaki was the day they had the relay race at the Splash Fest!, and it wasn’t anything special.
  • Pairing(s): Makoto/Sousuke, Gou/Rei
  • Comments: This fic is amazing. Inky has done an excellent job in her characterisation of each of our happy lil' swimmers and depicts a believable, slow burning romance between a pairing that desperately needs love. Updates regularly. This troper is pleased.

Chronic Attitude Syndrome by Phosphorite
  • Recommended by sambalbelacan
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: This is the universe where the boy had a father who wasn't a fisherman; this is the universe where that father was a doctor who owned a clinic in on the coast. This is the universe where the boy never joined a swimming club, never met a certain someone, but graduated at the top of his class to serve a life in medicine instead. This is the universe where at the age of twenty-six, he returns to his hometown. Even in this universe, it's attitude at first sight.
  • Pairing(s): Rin/Haru
  • Medical AU

A Simple Mistake by Raelinae and valeforwings
  • Recommended by: p0np0n_panda
  • Synopsis: A metahuman, a clerical error, and two surprised new owners. One small mistake on some paperwork and Haruka and Rin are suddenly the owners of a genetically modified human with bovine DNA instead of the catboy they'd wanted. Now the struggle is getting along with the new addition... at least until they can finally return him. But Makoto has secrets of his own that may just change Rin and Haru's minds...
  • Comments : A Free!AU fic between two collaborating writers that uses a thought-provoking theme and great characterization. The story contains mild hints of triggering past incidents, but nothing is explicitly shown beyond mentions within the story despite it’s rating. And the trio’s bond is gradual but takes meaningful steps towards letting each of them develop in both small, emotional ways. Letting all the characters presented handle their situation dealing with real-life issues from racism to PTSD while maintaining a harmonic and healthy relationship.
  • Pairings : Haru/Rin/Makoto
  • Mookoto!AU

Rhythm of Happiness by pointok
  • Recommended by kilala2tail
  • Status: Completed
  • Synopsis: He had allowed himself to dream—of a vibrant life that included himself joining a caravan, dancing freely as he traveled the world—and, once he found the right person, falling in love and sharing his life with his beloved. But now, as he stood in the lush garden lined by elegant white arches and colonnades, his body draped with layers of silk and jewels and a veil, the blonde boy of seventeen years felt that both of his dreams were simultaneously being crushed to dust. (Set in the Arabian! AU where Nagisa is younger than Rei and the two end up in an arranged marriage due to an old friendship and hard times.)
  • Pairings(s): Rei/Nagisa
  • Comments: From an amazing Reigisa author, this is a Splash Free AU done right. A palace guard and a dancer boy, a forgotten history, a rocky road, a happy ending, and a collection of extras.

2 / 13189000 by tothemoon
  • Recommended by kilala2tail
  • Status: Completed
  • Synopsis: Even with all of Tokyo’s new acquaintances, classmates, near-strangers, and neighbors, Haruka and Makoto will choose each other.
  • Pairing(s): Haruka/Makoto
  • Comments: The struggles of a year in Tokyo, of endless numbers and people, of falling and just being. -And of all the 13,189,000 people here in the endless city, it is safe to say, without a single doubt, that the two of them know how to be together.-

Fathoms Below by Actual_Pixie
  • Recommended by dabeccanator
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: When stumbling home from a party one night, the last thing Makoto expects is to rescue an injured merman. An inexplicable attraction leads to a romance seemingly doomed from the start, for the more Makoto learns of the alluring Haruka, the more dangerous things become not just for himself, but Haruka’s entire species.
  • Pairing(s): Haruka/Makoto with a mention of Rei/Nagisa
  • Comments: This is a Merman!Haru AU but it has some very original concepts when it comes to the merpeople folklore. Also the first two chapters do contain smut but it is toned down or non-existent in the following chapters.

Everything He Lost by yoongishade
  • Recommended by Adele Potter
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: "It took him nearly ten years to realize that Haru was everything he had ever wanted, and yet somehow, in a strange twist of fate, it only took him two whole seconds to make Haru everything he lost."
  • Pairing(s): One-sided Rin/Haruka, background Haruka/Maktoto
  • Comments: A really well-written oneshot, and heartbreaking if you're a Harurin shipper.