Synopsis: Haruka Nanase meets Aki Yazaki on a bridge and learns that the wind has blown her scarf into the river below. At the Iwatobi Swimming Club, Rin Matsuoka makes himself known as Haruka's rival to a curious Nagisa Hazuki, then races Haruka without warning. The result? One annoyed Haruka Nanase.
While walking to school the following day, Haruka is reminded of a procession of solemn figures dressed in white that he and Makoto saw long ago. In school, their class decides to plant a flowerbed around the cherry blossom tree beside the swimming pool to commemorate graduation. Later, Haruka runs into Aki again as he rides his bicycle towards the Iwatobi Swimming Club. They notice her scarf once again trapped on the river bank and Haruka falls into the river in his attempt to recover it. He wakes up in the hospital with Makoto and Rin nearby because they had rescued him. As the two boys head for home, Rin admits he was scared. Makoto doesn't react until he is alone and his tattered emotions find expression.
The Misagozaki Shrine at the top of the hill in Haruka's neighborhood is beautiful, its history and purpose as a protective element over the fishing village known to the inhabitants of Iwatobi Town. Haruka's house sits half-way up to one side of the long flight of steps leading to the top while Makoto Tachibana's house sits opposite, a little ways way down. Haruka leaves his bicycle at the bottom of the steps because it's the quickest way to the main road.
Makoto is nowhere to be seen, so Haruka heads to the Iwatobi SC on his own. After passing through the village, he comes to the Mutsukibashi Bridge spanning the Shiwagawa River, its water churning below. At the center of the bridge, he notices Aki Yazaki, paused with her bicycle, staring at the river.
He pauses when he reaches her, chiding himself for wishing Makoto were with him to save him the trouble of getting involved. Then Aki speaks, telling him that her scarf is gone. Haruka sees it drifting away in the river, but there's no way to retrieve it. He tells her this plainly and moves on, only recalling the encounter when Makoto arrives at the club. Makoto doesn't mention Aki, but Haruka wonders if he met Aki, too, and if she told his friend about Haruka's cold attitude. Deciding that it's unimportant, he heads to the pool.
Nagisa and Rin are also at the club. Haruka notices Rin and moves to a distant short lane, telling Makoto to check his time. Nagisa approaches Rin and asks if he's Haruka's friend. Rin says they're rivals. Nagisa begins chatting away and Rin is irked, wanting to race Haruka, especially after Nagisa asks who is the faster swimmer.
Nagisa demonstrates his breast stroke, which Rin thinks looks like a "grasshopper" stroke. He then entices Nagisa to the short lane where Haruka is swimming an elegant crawl while Makoto keeps time. When Makoto tells him that Haruka is at the 50m mark, Rin dives into the pool and begins stroking as he surfaces.
At first, Rin is ahead but soon after the final turn, he feels a change in Haruka's swimming. It's not like Haruka made a faster turn or is swimming with more strength. No. But there's a feeling of great energy emanating from the dark-haired swimmer. Rin drives forward, eager to win. Touching the wall and lifting his head, he shouts, "Who is it?"
Makoto and Nagisa point to Haruka who is leaving the pool, his breathing normal while Rin struggles to recover. He asks, "So, Nanase's 100, how many seconds?" Haruka takes the stopwatch from Makoto, looks at the time, then hands it back before heading to the locker room. Makoto turns to Rin and says, "It got reset."
Haruka is annoyed with himself. He swims in tournaments all the time, but Rin is the only swimmer who openly challenges him. The idea that there might be someone who feels the water more than he does vexes him and he loses his desire to swim.
In the break room, he looks at the photos on the wall that span years. Seeing one with a smiling boy holding a trophy, he grows even more annoyed at the thought that he might have to look like that one day, too.
Haruka meets Makoto at the bicycle rack. Haruka is in a funk, wishing Makoto didn't speak his mind so freely while aptly expressing Haruka's thoughts. Rin exits the club, heading in the opposite direction on foot. Makoto sees him and offers him a lift, but Rin says his house isn't far.
As Makoto and Haruka reach the Mutsukibashi Bridge, Rin catches up to them, running past. Haruka clicks his tongue in his mind, irritated to see Rin running in perfect form. As he passes Rin with his bicycle, Haruka steps on the pedal a little harder. Makoto calls to Rin, asking how many kilometers it is to Rin's house.
Rin replies, "Three and a b...," but his voice is lost in the wind.
As Haruka heads to school the following morning, he grumbles to himself about the weather and the way people walked in groups. It reminds him of another time when he and Makoto saw a procession of figures dressed in white with their eyes downcast. Among them were some children, one of whom, a little girl, looked up and glared at him. Makoto is scared, holding onto the edges of Haruka's clothing. Haruka isn't scared, but his unease causes him to grab Makoto's hand before they run away.
His memory is interrupted by Aki Yazaki calling to him. She seems happy today, which Haruka thinks doesn't fit with the cold day and the swaying poplars lining the road. When she says his face is red, Haruka looks away. When she reaches out, he brushes her off, feeling guilty for being unpleasant. They finish walking to school in silence. That, Haruka thinks, is appropriate.
In Homeroom, their class debates how to commemorate graduation. Aki suggests planting flowers around the cherry blossom tree that grows beside the swimming pool. Haruka prefers that the tree be left to stand alone in a dignified manner, but Makoto agrees with Aki and soon, the entire class is excited about the project. Pushing his feelings onto others makes Haruka uncomfortable, so he says nothing.
Makoto approaches, asking if he's okay because his face is red. Haruka doesn't like making others worry, but he does feel feverish. Rin arrives, teasing Makoto about the flowerbed idea and the two banter, hurting Haruka's ears. Rin notices and asks if Haruka is feeling ill. Thoroughly annoyed, Haruka leaves the classroom.
After school, Haruka mounts his bicycle in order to ride the two kilometers to swim club. He thinks of Rin running to and from practice and wonders if Rin feels the water more than himself. Haruka isn't like Rin, interested in times or training, but Rin is a strong swimmer. This bothers Haruka, so he leaves the bicycle behind and begins to run to practice.
Haruka knows he has a fever, but believes being in the water will cure him. As he runs, however, he begins to sweat and feel shaky. He stops, trying to control his erratic breathing. Aki pauses her bicycle beside him, asking if he's okay. That's when she notices her scarf trapped along the river bank below the embankment. Haruka offers to retrieve it, but she says it's too dangerous. Feeling unsettled that Aki noticed his distress, Haruka ignores her and begins to descend the embankment. Growing dizzy, he tumbles down until his lower body is in the river while he hangs onto the now-brown scarf and the dead grass at the water's edge. The icy water is hurtful, not helpful, and he passes out.
Waking up at the hospital, he sees Makoto with Rin standing behind him. The dirty scarf is hanging nearby. Haruka demands to know what happened and Makoto explains that they heard Aki scream and when they joined her, they saw Haruka in the river. The two boys rescued him while Aki took care of the details. Makoto tells him he has the flu and Haruka feels irritated that this is why he ended up causing everyone to worry. Makoto leaves the room and in the silence, Haruka hears his uneven breathing. Noticing that Rin has said nothing, he thanks him, surprising himself with how genuine he sounds.
Makoto is walking home when Rin calls to him. It's the first sound he's uttered since the incident began. Makoto waits until Rin catches up and finds his words which are, "I was seriously scared." Makoto assures him that Haruka will be fine, but Rin says he was worried about him. He tells a disbelieving Makoto that he was shaking all over as he gave instructions, but stayed beside Haruka, even in the ambulance, holding onto the edge of Haruka's clothes. Rin thinks to himself that he's never seen anybody look so frightened and it rattles him.
After that, neither boy speaks or meets the other's gaze. Rin pushes the bell to stop the bus and looking at Makoto's still smiling face, he wonders if he's making a big deal over nothing. Once the bus leaves, however, he feels exhausted. Inside the bus, Makoto's hand begins to shake and soon his entire body is shaking and tears are silently overflowing.