I would like to take a moment to appreciate Rin's expressions in these three scenes
(this is just my take on the scenes, though!)
The topic of the conversation was Rin taking Haru to Australia. The focus is on Haru. But Rei, Nagisa and Makoto are included for a reason; because by helping Haru, Rin helped the team.
"Is there something different about Nanase-kun? Until just recently, things were kind of strained between all of them."
Last season, it was due to what happened with Rin that Haru lost sight of himself and managed to open his eyes to his team. And this time? By helping Haru find himself and his dream, Rin helped Haru be able to respond to Makoto’s, Nagisa’s and Rei’s feelings at last. He helped them be in sync with each other again.
That trip to Australia wasn’t only pivotal for Haru’s character; but for the team, too. It was Rin’s contribution to the sight Iwatobi was able to see.
So I find this scene very moving, because those smiles on their faces? Rin helped put them there, and so I feel it’s not only knowing that Haru is finally okay, but seeing them all this way that makes Rin smile in turn. They are the nakama who “saved him”, after all. And it just makes me swell with love for Rin.
Another expression I really liked was this:
Rin who notices the look Haru is giving the stadium. And Rin who smiles to himself because he knows that Haru is going to be okay now; that what is he feeling now as he thinks about Nationals is far from being apprehension.
And then of course, the changes Rin’s expression goes through after Haru thanks him.
The surprise at hearing Haru actually say his appreciation aloud for once. You can see that Rin had not been expecting it at all.
Just like in that final scene of episode 12, Haru is doing what Rin has been wanting him to do all along and actually voicing what he is thinking. And you can see how guessing that Haru is thankful versus actually getting to hear it means the world to Rin.
He did not take Haru to Australia expecting any thank yous in return; he took Haru there with the honest desire to help him. Knowing that he succeeded and that Haru did find it is all Rin needed and more.
So hearing this from Haru is so meaningful - you can see how touched he is; imo he looks close to tearing up before he finally breaks into that smile. And even that grin is softer than his usual one; the tenderness of his expression even slips into his voice.
And lastly, of course, is this. Which to me is born out of a lot of things packed into one.
To me, Rin looks satisfied. Content. What he hoped for? That "One day I hope that we can fly together, then the light would…”
And Rin here doesn’t only look excited to me. He looks overjoyed. Because Haru is in the same world as him. Because he is one step closer to fulfilling his dream with the person he has wanted to fulfill it with since the day they first met. Because swimming together makes him feel this way.
And because they are about to blown everyone out of the water, aren’t they?
So the fact that Haru matches his expression? That he smirks back with the same amount of self-satisfaction and determination?
I am willing to bet they are both feeling it. The thrill. And they are planning to win that race, because this is only the beginning and losing is only worth it if it’s to each other
and even then none is planning to go down without a fight.