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Fanfic Recs / Free!

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

These are recommendations made by tropers 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 remember to use the template found here.

You can also add to the current recommendations if you want. Refrain from posting Conversation in the Main Page though; that goes in the discussion page.


Authors and Websites


  • Recommended by: p0np0n_panda
  • Comments: 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.

Free! Kink Meme

  • Recommended by: p0np0n_panda
  • Comments: 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.)


  • Recommended by: kilala2tail
  • Comments: 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 MakoHaru (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 the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.

The Palace That Rose From the Sands by Anonymous_Ostrich

  • Recommended by dabeccanator
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: AU. Hafa has wandered the desert for years under the affliction of a terrible curse.
  • Notes: Has a sequel, The Palace Without Entrance (Dormant).
  • 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.

The Plan by sonnet009

  • Recommended by: iodizedpepper
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The boys discuss their first kisses.

The Sea Horse of Iwatobi by RyuDanna

  • Recommended by: nanakiro,Bardota
  • Status: Dormant
  • 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.
  • Comments: This is an Original Flavor fanfic taking place after season 1, with a surprise appearance from a forgotten character.

The Wall Street Cops by Spatialist

  • Recommended by: iodizedpepper
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: AU. 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.

When Haru Met Makoto by Einzel

  • Recommended by: dabeccanator
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: In which Rei was part of the original relay team and Makoto becomes the new fourth member of the Iwatobi Swim Club.
  • Notes: Follows the structure of the anime going by the subtitles produced by HorribleSubs, but bases back-story more closely on High Speed! and includes references to the FrFr! 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 MakoHaru fans).

A Warrior's Heart by donguris

  • Recommended by: Katdo
  • Status: In progress
  • Synopsis: The story of a lost boy, and the heir of an empire.
  • Pairings: Rin/Sousuke, Makoto/Haruka, Natsuya/Nao, Gou/Seijuurou
  • Comments: This fantasy AU could easily stand above many published fantasy novels. Features DragonRiders, the Samezuka Empire, man-eating sirens, a magical gemstone, and gorgeous illustrations by the author. Updates are infrequent but long enough and good enough to be worth the wait. Romance is important, but plot is more dominant. Occasional NSFW scenes.

Shipping Fics
Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.

Dead Reckoning by furiosity

  • Recommended by: iodizedpepper
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: In which Tachibana Makoto could do with a little less introspection and a little more faith.
  • Pairing: Haruka/Makoto
  • Comments: Future fic, full of fluff and hope.

2 / 13189000 by tothemoon

  • Recommended by: kilala2tail
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Even with all of Tokyo’s new acquaintances, classmates, near-strangers, and neighbors, Haruka and Makoto will choose each other.
  • Pairing: 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.-

Bloom and Scatter by dorkery

  • Recommended by: ultrawolf
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Zombie!AU. Rin returns to Japan to look for his mother and sister. What he finds, instead, is Makoto.
  • Pairing: Makoto/Rin (Pre-slash)

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: Haruka/Makoto
  • Comments: A lot of people claimed to have cried when reading this.

Chronic Attitude Syndrome by Phosphorite

  • Recommended by: sambalbelacan
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Medical!AU. 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: Rin/Haru
  • Notes: Has a sequel, Trainwreck Disorder (or, once a Mess, always a Mess).

Eight Days a Week (I Love You) by fencer_x

  • Recommended by: iodizedpepper
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: 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: Rei/Nagisa

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: One-sided Rin/Haruka
  • Comments: A really well-written oneshot, and heartbreaking if you're a HaruRin shipper.

Fathoms Below by Actual_Pixie

  • Recommended by: dabeccanator
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Merman!AU. 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: Haruka/Makoto
  • 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.

Future Earth, Future Sky by Inky

  • Recommended by: cthulhumayrise
  • Status: Dormant
  • 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: Makoto/Sousuke
  • 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.

Home Port by Shimegami

  • Recommended by: Vellophone
  • Status: Complete
  • 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: Haruka/Makoto

i thee wed by sauntering_down

  • Recommended by: ElPsyCongruent
  • Status: Complete
  • 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: Haruka/Makoto

Leading the Lost Pilotfish by FoxyGrampaGlasses

  • Recommended by: iodizedpepper
  • Status: Complete
  • 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: Rin/Nitori

Melanoma by Rainbowkiwii

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

Never Have I Ever by cosmopolitankitten

  • Recommended by: iodizedpepper
  • Status: Dormant
  • 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?
  • Pairings: Rei/Nagisa, Haruka/Makoto

Rhythm of Happiness by point0k

  • Recommended by: kilala2tail
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Arabian!AU. In which Nagisa is younger than Rei and the two end up in an arranged marriage due to an old friendship and hard times.
  • Pairing: 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.

seen everything there is to be shown by sauntering_down

  • Recommended by: Prince Kaen
  • Status: Complete
  • 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: Haruka/Rin

A Simple Mistake by Raelinae & valeforwings

  • Recommended by: p0np0n_panda
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Kemonomimi!AU. 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...
  • Pairing: Haruka/Rin/Makoto
  • Notes: Has a sequel, A Hopeful Start.
  • 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.

Your Protector by cottontale

  • Recommended by: dabeccanator
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Coffee-Shop!AU. 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.
  • Pairings: Makoto/Haruka, Rei/Nagisa, Rin/Nitori
  • Notes: Has a sequel, Favourite Thing.
  • 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.


Path of Gold by Adel Mortescryche

  • Recommended by: Dame-Amaryllis
  • Crossover with: Reborn! (2004)
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: All Tachibana Ren had wanted was to make a place for himself, away from Iwatobi and the protective hovering of his family. Nothing could have prepared him or the rest of his class for what getting through high school alongside one Sawada Tsunayoshi would mean for them in the long run.

Shingeki no Puru by Nimrochan

  • Recommended by: iodizedpepper
  • Crossover with: Attack on Titan
  • Status: Dormant (last updated July 2017)
  • 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.

This is who we are by kimie123 & Tobio112

  • 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.
  • Notes: 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.

Designation: Miracle by umisabaku

  • Recommended by: Gintama200
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Crossover with: Mega Crossover with Haikyuu!!, Kuroko's Basketball, and Big Wind Up
  • Synopsis: It all started with seven human experiments, called the "Miracles," who escaped Teiko Industries which in turn alerted the world to the presence of super-powered children. Currently, they've all settled down after their Dark and Troubled Past and are enjoying their civilian life. Unfortunately, their past isn't planning on leaving them alone anytime soon as ghosts come back to haunt them, Government Conspiracies threaten their livelihoods, and they soon come to learn they weren't the only ones they thought to experiment on.
  • Pairing(s): M/M Kagami Taiga/Kuroko Tetsuya, Midorima Shintaro/Kazunari Takao, Kasamatsu Yukio/Kise Ryouta, Himuro Tatsuya/Murasakibara Atsushi, Aomine Daiki/Momoi Satsuki, Akashi Seijuurou/Furihata Kouki, Tobio Kageyama/Shoyo Hinata, Kozume Kenma/Kuroo Tetsurou, Nanase Haruka/Tachibana Makoto, Hazuki Nagisa/Ryuugazaki Rei, Matsuoka Rin/Yamazaki Sousuke, and Abe Takaya/Mihashi Ren, and Hanai Azusa/Tajima Yuuichirou
  • Tags: Romance, Drama, Friendship, Human Experimentation
  • Comment(s): Fantastic writing! A collection of stories where the author does an amazing job at giving the character's different tragic back stories without utterly changing the persons personality while still keeping it Canon.
  • Now has a Trope Page!