A/N: For best atmosphere, I highly recommend listening to rainymood . com
Also, I decided to use the Japanese name for Cinnabar because it sounds more name-ish, since this is a human!AU. I know, I'm weird like that.
Meeting in the Rain~Phos POV~
With a pneumatic hiss, the bus's double doors fold outward, leaving you standing on the threshold of two worlds. Just an hour ago you were eager to get off this cold and dreary tin can, but seeing the hellish landscape of crashing rain just beyond makes you seriously reconsider all your life choices leading up to this point. Almost. The din as rain pummels the roof sounds even louder now, a machine gun rattle that you can practically feel on the surface of your brain. In front of your toes is a yellow line running across the floor with bold capitalized letters screaming STAY BEHIND.
The universe itself seems to be telling you this is all a big mistake. Not that you've ever bothered to heed its warnings before.
"Are you going or not?" the bus driver, slouched low in his seat, says without looking at you. His hand wraps around the knob of the gear shift as he gives the engine a threatening rev. Stalling for time, you turn at the waist to let your gaze rove over each empty seat before landing on the driver, lifting two index fingers to point at him.
"Any chance you could loop around one more time?"
Another hissing sound signals that the doors are closing and you act on instinct - the only thing you have going for you at this point - turning yourself sideways as you leap between them. The doors close on your sleeve, jerking you back. It comes free with a quick wrench but your foot slips off the bottom step, sending you tumbling straight into a deep puddle. The shock makes you splutter and flop, splashing yourself even more. Before you can get your numb legs beneath you, the bus's wheels spin, kicking up a wave of muddy water that slaps you in the side as it drives off. Lightning flashes menacingly overhead; you can only hope that it will soon find you amidst all this water and end your pathetic existence. Unfortunately, it merely blinds you as you lie on your back waiting for death.
Through the endless rolling thunder, you can pick out footsteps approaching. They're subtle, clearly skirting the deepest puddles and only making a faint splish when it's unavoidable. The footsteps stop by your ear and you fully expect more water to be kicked over your face. When nothing happens for several seconds that feel like minutes, you raise your hands to the sky, opening your mouth wide.
"O angel of destruction, Shiva, come to end my suffering! I beg you, make it quick!"
There's an awkward pause.
"What are you doing?"
You open your eyes to see a pale face bent over you, half obscured by a veil of brilliant scarlet hair. The expression is hard to read, which strikes you more so as a feature of the face than a perceptual failure on your part.
"Traveling," you respond simply.
A raised eyebrow. "That usually involves... moving."
Your arms are still sticking straight up in the air. Seeing this, the stranger deliberates for a moment before grabbing one of your hands and hauling you up to your feet.
"There's a bus stop over there. We can wait out the rain."
You follow close behind, thinking about how warm the hand felt on your clammy skin. The bus stop is really just a bench with a thin roof over it, but right now it looks to you like a bomb shelter with a heater and covered top to bottom with blankets. You throw yourself down on the middle of the bench and quickly start wringing out your clothes.
From the corner of your eye, you watch the stranger sit as far to the end of the bench as possible, leaving a yawning gap between you. Probably thinks I escaped a psych ward.
You finish squeezing your clothes out in silence, wracking your brain for a conversation topic. Your red-haired companion doesn't seem to feel the weight of awkwardness hanging in the air, content to stare distantly into the haze of rain.
I guess I could say 'Thanks,' but it sorta feels like I missed my chance.
You sneak another glance but only a sliver of face is turned toward you.
I doubt I would even get a response... then again, I've made it this far throwing caution to the wind.
Your eyes land on a puddle near your feet, your face reflected back by the light of the full moon. You test an inviting smile, smooth your sodden hair back into shape and, satisfied with the outcome, toss out a wink and a "Cute" whispered under your breath. Then you turn in place on the bench, your thigh making a wet squeak as it slides on the metal. Your mouth falls open to say-
"You meant to say 'god,' earlier."
You freeze like that, mouth working like a beached fish as you process the words thrown at you. A droplet slides down your spine.
"Shiva is a god, not an angel." The stranger turns toward you, chin resting on a pedestal of elegant fingers curled beneath. Brooding eyes flicker over you before narrowing and shifting back toward the road.
This attitude should be infuriating but the only thing you can think is that it's cute.
An idea hatches in your mind. Smirking, you shuffle a few inches down the bench, then stop and watch the stranger's reaction. Face turned away again, hair falling to cover what's visible. Okay. Just try to ignore this! The gap lessens by a few more inches. No response. You squeak-slide closer. Nothing. An insurmountable gap has become a mere foot of empty space. The stranger has angled away from you so you lean outward, peering in the same direction as if searching for what might be so engrossing.
"You're weird, you know that?" The bench creaks with movement, a little shift of the hips to glare at you over the shoulder.
"With a name like Phos, I guess that's not really surprising. What's yours?"
You swear you can glimpse the beginning of a smile flicker and fade from existence as quickly as it appeared.
...now what? I got a name, but there's still nothing to talk about.
You let your gaze unfocus. Grays and dark blues swim together into a painterly landscape of rippling reflections.
"So..." The word hangs in the air, suspended like a raindrop forever falling. "Rain." Splash.
A breeze blows through, making you both shiver. Shinsha huddles down, arms curling around like a blanket, staring at the ground.
"Why did you come here?"
A flash. Thunder sparking. "My teacher suggested I go on a trip to experience the real world." You pause to glance around. "It's wetter than I expected."
Shinsha leans back for the first time since you both sat down, watching you guardedly.
"Did you even bring anything? A change of clothes?"
"Nope," you say, popping the 'p.' "Planning is hard, so I figured I'd just wing it."
"Not gonna lie, that's pretty dumb."
"Cold!" you say accusingly, only half acting as your knees knock together with another shiver.
"Not my fault."
You pantomime clutching your chest in a death throe. "Ow, the killing blow!"
In all honesty, the banter warms you. Shinsha's acerbic way of speaking ignites the part of you that wants to act like a little shit right back. It feels like having a friend - Shinsha even cracks a smile once or twice while you talk.
"So you have no plan, nowhere to stay, nothing to protect you, and no one knows where you are."
"Yeah..." You don't really want to think about what you're going to do next. Besides, Shinsha is starting to talk like a serial killer sizing up the next victim. But once again, you choose to ignore all the signals staring you in the face.
"Ask me to come with you..." Shinsha says too quietly for you to hear, lips moving inaudibly, narrow shoulders rising like walls. Another peal of thunder cracks open the sky.
The sight makes you unbearably sad.
Before you've thought through what you wanted to do, you're on your feet and reaching out to take Shinsha's hands. Warm. You grip them tighter and tug until Shinsha stands, still staring down awkwardly.
"I want you to come with me."
"You're sharp and I clearly don't know what I'm doing."
Silence save for the pounding rain.
"And I want you with me. We could be like... partners."
Shinsha's face had gradually tilted lower, eyes falling behind a wall of glossy scarlet. The same scarlet as the fingernails digging into your palms.
"You're standing in the rain," Shinsha says.
You look down blankly at your wet arms, then up at the clouds above, blinking raindrops from your eye. You did it again.
Eyes widening, you look back at Shinsha. "Really?"
A nod, a roll of the shoulders, gaze canting sideways. You spot a reddish tint that might just be a reflection of that gem-hued hair. But the smile is genuine, and so is yours. You pull Shinsha out into the rain with you, splashing around, swinging your arms about and receiving all manner of insults. It feels nice.
Having a friend feels nice.
Finally read the manga recently. This story is for my friend Ruunkur who suggested a CinnaPhos in the rain human AU. I'm not super happy with how it turned out, but I wanted to just test the waters with these characters and not spend too much time on it.