To say Hodoka was taken completely aback would be a hell of a understatement. He looked over at Hina, the same look of shock overtaking her facial features.
"Nagi! What are you..."
"I know exactly who it is, onee-chan." A reply came back, dripping with sarcasm. He dropped off his backpack. "You have some nerve showing your face here again."
The tension in the air was palpable now. Hodoka stood there frozen, unsure of what his next move would be.
"Um..." Hina spoke first, in an attempt to break the tension lingering in the air. "Dinners ready, how about we eat."
The meal progressed in silence. Only the clinking sounds of chopsticks on bowls could be heard. Hodoka spoke first, to try to break the stifling air of silence.
"So uh, Sempai."
"Don't fucking call me that, it's cringe."
"Nagi! Watch your language!" Hina snapped. "Don't speak like that to the guest."
"Oh come on! Why are you defending him!" Nagi slammed his bowl down. "He's a bad omen. He's ruined everything! Meanwhile, you're treating him like he's some guest of honor. I know why, because he makes your heart tremble and your genitals tingle!"
Hodoka spat out his mouthful of rice back into his bowl. His eyes darted towards him, eyes wide open with amazement. Nagi seemed to have the same expression in his eyes at what had just come out of his mouth.
Hodoka snuck a small peek at Hina. Dark clouds were forming over her face, and she was slightly trembling. Her chopsticks made a terrifying sound as she set them down, making Hodoka flinch.
"Get the hell out..."
"Eh?" Both boys froze in their place. Who was she talking about? Hodoka was sweating bullets by now, terrified of the storm that was certain to arrive after the calm.
"Get out!" Hina slammed her palms onto the table, glaring at her little brother. "Out! Out!"
"Wait! It's raining-"
Before Hodoka could finish, the door was already swinging shut. He scrambled to his feet. "I'm going after him!"
Hina did not reply, and Hodoka took the hint. "I'm going to borrow your umbrella." He grabbed his poncho, slipped it on, and raced out the door.
"Nagi!" His voice was drowned out by a clash of thunder. He looked up at the sky, dark clouds looming overhead. The rain was going to worsen very soon. He surveyed around, there was no way Nagi could have gone far. "Nagi... there you are!"
In the corner of his eye, he spotted the boy, curled up against a corner against an alleyway. His shoes splashed on the ground as he ran over to him.
"Leave me alone." Nagi wrapped his hands around his knees, pulling them in towards his knees.
"Nagi, let's go inside." Hodoka crouched down so he could get to his level, holding the umbrella over the both of them.
After a moment of silence, Nagi sighed. "Mom's apartment was destroyed by the flood."
"The old apartment. That was the only thing Mom had been able to leave us. All our belongings were washed away. To make ends meet my sister has been working in addition to attending school. I'm not old enough to work yet, so I can't help her alleviate the duty." He continued on. "The flood destroyed the homes of several of my best friends. They couldn't afford to relocate in Tokyo, so they all had to move away."
Nagi looked up at Hodoka. The earlier hostility on his face and in his voice were entirely gone now. "Love is the strongest thing in the world, isn't it? Enough to delude ourselves into thinking we can surpass even fate. She waited everyday for you there, praying for you to come back." Nagi closed his eyes, his voice laced with ice.
"Megumi-chan was washed away by the flood. I'm waiting for her to come back as well. Several people I know of lost family members. They're also waiting for their loved ones to come back."
"..." The more Nagi spoke, the more Hodoka felt the weight of his words crushing down on his soul. The broadcast he heard on the ship was just mere statistics. The destruction of Tokyo he witnessed for himself was just a movie scene. Upfront and personal however? This was a horror story, enough to make his spine crawl.
"Nagi, please... let's go." Hodoka finally worked up the courage to speak as he pleaded with him. "A storm's coming."