I bet there are probably 54 posts about all this by now, but the more I watch the bed scene the more I love it and I came across a few comments saying that it came off as “one-sided” on Rin’s end. No way I would have been able to shut up after that lol
The tl;dr of this would be that imo the post that said s1 was about Haru’s feelings for Rin and now we have Rin’s feelings for Haru is 100% spot-on.
When I look at their bed scene, I personally see a lot of validating (hence reciprocity) going on from both ends of the spectrum; Haru does so consciously, while Rin not so much - but that’s actually what makes the whole thing even more beautiful. Because just like in S1ep12 Haru poured out his feelings to Rin and willingly made himself vulnerable because these were things he needed Rin to know, whether Rin felt the same way or not - Rin is doing exactly the same thing for Haru here.
Look at Rin’s expression and at the way he prefaces his confession. He acknowledges that Haru may not remember; in fact going by his expression, I believe he is actually betting on Haru not remembering it. That he assumes that he doesn’t. Because while that day became a pivotal moment of Rin’s life for Rin - for Haru it could have been just another race.
So why should Haru remember a random race that happened ages ago against an unknown kid? Why should Haru find it memorable?
But Haru takes Rin by surprise - because he does remember.
So, that day that could have been trivial for Haru? It wasn’t. Just like Haru made an impression on Rin from the get-go; it was the same for Haru. Of course, us as the viewers and readers know this because of High Speed - but Rin had literally zero clue. He had absolutely no way to know this, and no leeway to get to that conclusion on his own.
So right here, by admitting that he does remember it - Haru is essentially validating (returning) Rin’s feelings and consciously doing so.
To me, that is precisely why we see Rin’s surprise change into that pretty, warm expression and his body language do a 180º turn. He lays open and comfortable now because he has just been reassured. So feeling empowered by Haru’s admittance (again: reciprocity), Rin carries on.
And that right there is one of the things that reminds me of S1 ep 12:
Because if you look at the storyboards, they read: “As he takes in Rin’s tears, Haruka smiles. Haruka is relieved that Rin feels the same way he does." (x) As we all know, Haru’s smile came right after Rin admitted that yes; he wanted to swim with them, too. Thus not only returning Haru’s feelings, but validating them; letting him know that he placed the same amount of importance on swimming together that Haru himself did.
So if you ask me, their relief during both scenes are most likely meant to be one and the same. But I digress before this gets awfully long! lol
What I actually meant to talk about is that in my eyes Haru wasn’t the only one doing the validating here. Rin himself did, too - and that is key. Because what exactly are the feelings we see Haru validate?