Notes: Another summery fic, inspired by how extremely stormy it's been lately. Oh, and a shea butter/cocoa butter lotion commercial I saw on TV. :p
Disclaimer: No, alas, I do not own Digimon or any of its characters. Or Taichi's apartment. Or the food in his fridge. I do own some scented candles. But I don't think those are the same ones in this story.
Waiting for the Storm
"Shit, that was a big one," Taichi breathed, awestruck, as a crash of thunder rumbled through the air with enough force to split the sky.
"Tai, watch your language."
The brunette turned away from his bedroom window, smile wide and sheepish.
It had to be some kind of mom super power that she just happened to be outside his bedroom at the exact moment he'd used a swear word. That, or she had hidden cameras monitoring his every action, which would explain all those times she'd known he was about to pilfer a cookie or terrorize the cat when he was younger. That old "I've got eyes in the back of my head" story only sufficed for so long, after all.
Another room-rattling crack caught the boy's attention, and his gaze snapped back to the window to watch. He was hoping to catch a really sweet bolt of lightning – just one would do – and hoped that last explosion hadn't been the result of one. If the punishment for going outside during a thunder storm wasn't something akin to complete and utter isolation from all of humanity for the few days following the infraction, Taichi would've been down on the street by now, able to look in any direction he pleased, which were the best conditions for being able to catch a glimpse of some awesome lightning. As it was, he ultimately valued his social sanity over the momentary joy of seeing the sky light up with natural electricity, and his vision was confined to one direction, and one direction only. If luck was on his side, it would be the right direction.
The light above him flickered briefly, a mere tease of a power-outage, and as Taichi glanced quickly in the direction of the flicker, he frowned.
"Aww, c'mon! Go out, you know you want to!"
Deciding to entreat the storm instead, he looked out the window again, looking as high into the sky as he could.
"Just one little power failure, that's all I ask! You could do it, really you could! Please?"
"Just who are you begging…and for what?"
Taichi turned his head to see Hikari bounce into his room and onto his bed. He opened his mouth to answer just as another thunder clap sounded, and Taichi couldn't help but imagine a giant in the sky playing a game of bowling, a slow rumble building up as the ball rolled down the lane and then – BANG! – a bowling ball the size of a house colliding with redwood-sized bowling pins. The sound vibrated in the air, and Taichi shivered with the thrill of it.
"You better not've made me miss one of those really huge lightning bolts!" he warned, flailing his hands about himself in an effort to demonstrate just what he meant.
"One of what kind of lightning bolts?" his sister teased, giggling, trying to get him to repeat his wild gesticulations.
The glare he sent her way was amicable, but, nonetheless, he directed his line of sight to the sky again. It was such an interesting color, he thought, with varying shades of dusty gray, depending on the thickness of the dense storm clouds, tinged with a yellow like damp hay. It gave the sky an ominous feel, a sense of something sharp, a promise of excitement.
"You can hang around," Taichi offered absently, crossing his arms on the windowsill and resting his chin atop them at the point where they overlapped, "as long as you don't distract me."
Knowing that was the best she was going to get from her brother at this point – there'd been so many distractions already – Hikari found a place for herself by the window and took to studying the effects of the storm. The rain was coming down in heavy sheets, and already the ground was saturated and flooding, river-like currents running along curbs and down shallow inclines like tiny ocean waves. Whatever trees and plants that had managed to survive the hot summer thus far were flattened by the sheer force of the precipitation, shelterless and helpless to save themselves. The young child of light hoped that once the storm passed, the plants wouldn't have drowned.
A bolt of lightning shot through the sky and illuminated the ground and the buildings below with a momentary flash, a huge photograph being taken from the heavens. The instant the light was gone, a low roar built up in the air, and when it cracked with a sound like the apartment had exploded, Hikari jumped, and the light on the ceiling flickered again.
"Do you think the power will go out?"
Taichi spared his sister a look for just a second, but she caught the glint of mischief, the adventurous smirk that curved his lips on one side.
Another bolt of lightning, a crash of thunder, and then the rain was coming down so hard it was nearly impossible to see out the window anymore. The water came down the glass like a transparent curtain that blocked nothing but distorted everything. With the next rumble of thunder, the walls shook, the light flickered again, this time more violently, as if grasping at its very last strings of life. The light struggled, but one more moment of pounding rain was all it took, and then it was gone. The house went silent with dead air as both the constant hum of machinery and the gentle whir of the air conditioner were cut off. The room was almost completely dark, and Taichi leapt to his feet in triumph.
"Yes! Mom! Let's break out the candles!"
The power outage would make up for any lost lightning-spotting opportunities. Taichi rushed through the house, tearing through the drawers and cabinets for a candle, any candle. Once he found the stash, the chunks of wax were thrown to the floor in anticipation of finding a lighter or some matches. Before Taichi's mother had even reached the kitchen, Taichi was on the floor lighting candles, surrounded by cabinet doors that were wide open and drawers pulled as far out as they could be, about to topple onto the linoleum below.
"Taichi! You're going to make a mess!"
"Find a place for these," was all he said, having completed his task of bringing light to the apartment once more.
Taking an especially large candle that smelled like trees into his hands to bring into his room, Taichi got up off the floor and headed out of the kitchen. On his way, there was a frantic pounding at the door, like someone was being chased by a killer and was desperately seeking safety.
"I've got it!"
He opened the door, and a pair of wide blue eyes stared at him, swimming with frustration, disbelief, and desperation.
"What the hell are you doing out in weather like this, Yamato?" Taichi demanded, ushering the other boy inside.
"Well, it's not like that was my idea. It was beautiful out twenty minutes ago!"
"And look, you're shivering! C'mon."
Taichi dragged the blond to his room and, after setting the candle on his desk, dug a pair of pajama pants and a large T-shirt out of his drawers and tossed them to the other boy.
"Get out of those clothes before you get sick," he demanded when Yamato quirked one thin eyebrow at him.
"Don't you have anything…better?"
"What does it matter? You're completely soaked! Now be grateful I gave you anything to change into and change into it already!"
With a wry grin on his face, Yamato headed to the bathroom to change.
"As if you would ever make me stay in clothing this wet and cold…ever," he challenged on his way out, and Taichi smiled warmly at his retreating form, knowing he was absolutely right.
The brunette sank onto his bed, noticing that Hikari had gone, probably when he'd left to retrieve the candles. He almost got up to visit her in her room with the intention of inviting her to hang out with him some more, but as he was rising to his feet, Yamato sauntered back into his room, running a towel through his hair, looking absolutely ridiculous and yet utterly endearing in clothes that didn't fit him at all.
As long as Taichi had known Yamato, the blond had never worn anything that wasn't carefully selected to flatter his frame and his features, and here he was, in plaid flannel pants that probably barely stayed above his hips and a T-shirt so big he could probably fit two more of him in it before it started getting snug, and Taichi could swear he'd never looked better. He looked…almost cuddly in such cozy clothes, face flushed a deep pink from the rain, yellow hair looking golden with the moisture and matted down around his face but for the ends, which flared out away from his head as they dried. Taichi smiled, resisting the urge to gather the other boy in his arms, bury his face in the crook of his neck, and inhale the scent of warm rain and Yamato.
"I hope you don't mind," Yamato was saying, "but I grabbed a towel to dry myself off with."
"No problem," Taichi shrugged.
"So…how do I look?"
Wrapping the towel around his shoulders, Yamato posed like a GQ model, slender fingers gripping the ends of the towel, hip cocked to one side, face pointed towards nothing in particular, a dreamy look in his eyes.
"Great, as always," was the simple reply, and when Yamato blinked rather rapidly in response, Taichi knew he'd caught him by surprise with it. That knowledge sent a pleasant fluttering sensation to his stomach, but it was interrupted when he was caught in the face with the towel.
"Hey!" he protested lamely.
"Didn't know where else to put it," the blond explained.
"Uh-huh. So what were you doing, anyway, going out in the rain like that?"
"Well, it started harmlessly enough. I was in my room, looking outside, admiring the weather, when I thought, 'Why don't I go for a walk and visit Taichi?' So I did! On the way, it started raining, and by the time it got this bad, I was already almost here, so I figured it made more sense to keep coming rather than turn around and go all the way back home. The storm came out of nowhere. If I'd known I was going to be out in it…well, I never would have made the trek."
A playful smirk was playing across Yamato's lips, less sardonic and crooked than his smirks usually were and more genuine, happy, and silly, a rarity that Taichi could barely spot in the glow from the single candle flickering in his room. Feeling lucky to have caught it, he feigned hurt and said,
"What, I'm not worth the risk of getting struck down by lightning or swept away by a flood?"
"You're not worth the risk of screwing up a carefully styled head of hair with a little rain," Yamato countered, moving to plop down on Taichi's bed, managing to make even that movement look graceful.
"Oh, the guy who just admitted that his hair is more important to him than his best friend is just making himself at home. I see how it is, just insult him and then completely take advantage of his hospitality."
He could hear Yamato chuckling, but now that he was all the way over on the bed, Taichi realized how dark the room really was with only one candle and announced his intention to grab a few more before making his way out of the room. The air seemed cooler outside of his room, easier to breathe almost, and Taichi smiled a little, thinking about how Yamato just had that breath-catching kind of quality about him. Amused at himself and pleased with his company, Taichi returned with two candlesticks in one hand and another fat scented candle in the other. While he was placing them around the room, he heard the other boy shift on his bed.
"So what were you doing before I got here?"
Surprised at himself, Taichi froze near the window in his placement of the last candle.
"I completely forgot! Come here."
Yamato obeyed, settling down by the window so he and Taichi were facing each other.
"I was watching for lightning."
"Yeah…I wanted to see one of those really cool lightning bolts, the ones that are all…big and…awesome."
In his struggle to find the right words for the lightning he was looking for, Taichi found himself flailing his arms around in a gesture similar to the one he'd used with Hikari. Laughing, Yamato reached out and took hold of one of Taichi's hands to stop him, and Taichi felt a jolt, in his pulse, in his gut, at the contact. He stopped the flailing, though he didn't know if it was from Yamato's gentle encouragement or his own surprise at the touch and his reaction.
He's touched me before… he thought, hearing a low roll of thunder outside. Maybe it's all the electricity in the air.
"I know what you mean," Yamato told him, drawing him out of his contemplation. And even though his eyes were full of amusement, Taichi knew for a fact that he did.
Then Yamato was pulling his hand away, slender musician's fingers, smooth from care but lightly callused from the guitar, sliding across Taichi's palm. The movement had been seemingly natural, and quick enough, but the sensation left the brunette's hand tingling and sent a shiver down his spine. Once their hands weren't touching anymore, the blond turned to look out the window.
"So you haven't seen anything really great yet?"
"Well…" Taichi began, keeping his eyes on the boy across from him. When he didn't continue, Yamato glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, and the glimmer in Taichi's eyes and the warm smile on his face filled in the blanks for him. Flushing lightly and swallowing a lump that had suddenly formed in his throat, he turned back to the window.
"I mean," he started quietly, "as far as lightning."
"As far as lightning, no."
Yamato bit his lip to keep from smiling at the unspoken compliment. He didn't want to give Taichi the pleasure of knowing he'd complimented someone so aloof and self-confident as himself. Instead, he took a deep breath to prepare something to say and paused, lungs half full.
"Do I smell chocolate?"
Taichi furrowed his eyebrows and sniffed. Then it dawned on him. He smelled like chocolate! He'd forgotten until just that moment why. As he saw it, he had two options. He could lie and tell Yamato that he'd been rolling around in a pile of chocolate bars, or he could admit that he'd used some of Hikari's cocoa butter lotion earlier that day. Even though the lie about the chocolate bars seemed much more appealing, the words that came out of his mouth before he could stop them were,
"Oh, yeah…well, Hikari's got this new cocoa butter lotion and I gave it a try today."
Yamato's lips curved slowly, but before he could start laughing, Taichi jumped in to defend himself.
"My arms were really dry! It was uncomfortable, I had to do something! And, fine, I'll admit, it smelled really good. Alright, fine, I wanted to try! It sounded like a good idea at the time."
"No, you know what? It's fine, I'm not gonna make fun of you," Yamato cut him off.
Taichi stared incredulously, disbelieving.
Feeling generous, Yamato just smiled and said, "It's kind of…cute."
"Cute." It wasn't said as a question, but Taichi still wasn't sure he'd heard right.
"Yeah. And besides," Yamato said, leaning towards Taichi and breathing in, slowly, "I like chocolate."
Okay, so maybe it wasn't generosity that was keeping him from making fun of his cocoa butter-moisturized friend but something completely different, something that made his blood run more quickly through his veins and that had his stomach doing flip-flops whenever those dark brown eyes locked onto his.
Taichi felt his pulse skip a few beats and his eyes widened slightly. Yamato had…inhaled him. He felt for a moment that he would've preferred being made fun of. At least then he could've thought of something to say instead of feeling his mouth go dry.
"Hey," Yamato finally said, slicing through the silence like a machete through a watermelon. "Don't we have some lightning to watch for?"
As if on cue, the room was suddenly lit up with a flash cutting across the sky, and a tremendous crash followed immediately. Scrambling to regain his mental footing, Taichi shot the blond a grin that said, "You haven't taken me down yet," and turned to look out the window. He could feel those cool sapphire eyes on him, silently appraising him in the glow of the candlelight, and could only hope that he looked really good just then. Suddenly, a thought occurred to him, and he turned to look at his friend.
"Did you have anything in mind when you were coming over?"
Yamato considered a moment, then shook his head.
"No, not really."
"So you just missed me, huh?"
"Hah, you wish."
"Why would I wish that? What could I possibly gain from your missing me?"
"Oh, I dunno…maybe me coming over to visit?"
"But you did that without missing me."
"Well, maybe I did miss you. I never said I didn't."
There was that fluttering again. Taichi put a hand to his stomach as if to quell the feeling, knowing it wouldn't help. The only thing that would help…well, not having those intense eyes gazing at him like they were, all fiery and teasing and yet pretty at the same time, would be one thing.
"You're just talking in circles, now. You're not making any sense," Taichi countered, turning the conversation to what he hoped was a safer area.
"You should just work faster and catch up," came the dare from the other boy.
The moment the words were out of his mouth, he thought they'd be of better use trapped in his brain, but it was too late. He'd seen the darkening of Taichi's eyes and felt the heat that flashed between them. It seared into him, gripping at his heart before swirling into his stomach where it formed a heavy knot that sunk straight to the bottom like a lead weight. Before he was really aware of it, Taichi's hands were on his shoulders, firm, and his face was inches away from his. He could feel the other's warm breath on his cheeks and the chocolate he'd smelled before was stronger, invading his senses along with the unique outdoorsy scent of Taichi.
"And what do I do when I catch up?" the brunette asked, voice low and gentle. Not a challenge like Yamato had expected to counter his own but a hesitation, a quiet desire covered up with uncertainty.
The movement to close the gap between them was slow, like an effort to overcome the forces of two magnets of the same pole, a struggle to surpass whatever doubt there might have been about what was happening. And when their lips finally met, it was the gentlest contact, the smallest amount of pressure. They pulled back from each other slowly, after a moment with their lips just touching, but neither was willing to go far.
"I've been thinking about that for a long time," Taichi said when he was sure he had a voice.
"It was nice."
"Was it –"
This time their lips met with more force, each boy seeking a fusing of mouths and a swallowing of sighs, grasping to the other as much to increase the contact between them as to steady and ground himself.
"You taste good," Taichi said when they'd pulled apart.
Yamato laughed, glad the knot in his stomach had loosened.
Content, Taichi sat back, bumping his knees against Yamato's as he did so. He had the pleasure of noticing the blue eyes warm slightly at the contact.
"So you how long have you been thinking about that?" Yamato asked after a few seconds of silence.
At that moment, something stirred in the air. Both boys sensed it and fell silent, noticing the odd way the candles wavered, like the flames were trying to leap straight off the wicks. They turned to look out the window just as a massive bolt of lightning stretched across the sky, branching wildly like a tree growing in fast-forward, crawling along the bottom of the clouds as if it were a giant glowing spider, flickering, strobe-like, from ice blue to clear green to fluorescent yellow and back again before fading into nothingness. A split-second later, the sky erupted with a deafening crack-BOOM! like the entire Earth had burst apart with enough dynamite to cover the whole continent. The figurines and trophies on Taichi's desk and shelves rattled for almost five seconds and both Taichi and Yamato felt the reverberations in their cores. When everything had passed, Taichi turned with a huge smile on his face to a wide-eyed Yamato.
"That was AWESOME!" Taichi cried and then noticed for the first time that his fingers were entwined with Yamato's.
"Yeah, it really was," Yamato breathed, wonderstruck.
Taichi lifted their linked hands and grinned.
"This too," he announced, and when Yamato smiled in response, Taichi dropped his hand only to reach out, frame either side of Yamato's face with both hands, and claim the blond's lips with a quick kiss.
"Getting used to that, huh?" Yamato quipped.
"Yeah, well, after you think about it so many times, it kind of gets familiar to you."
"Oh yeah…I did ask you a question about that, didn't I?"
"Oh yeah…" Taichi echoed, scratching his head, trying too hard to look like he'd forgotten.
"So, how long have you been thinking about it?"
Taichi shrugged evasively and said, "Thinking about what?" as he got to his feet. Before he could suggest that they go check to make sure everything was still in one piece after that house-shattering bout of thunder, Yamato was on his feet, pinning Taichi to the wall with a grin that said, "You're not getting away that easily."
"Thinking about this," the blond clarified, pressing his body into Taichi's and covering the boy's mouth with his own. Taichi moaned throatily and happily responded.
When Yamato pulled away, Taichi answered the question by muttering, "Not long enough," against the boy's lips and leaning in for more. And when they parted for good, Taichi gazed up at Yamato glassily and said, "No, really, I don't remember what the question was anymore."
A rumble of thunder reminded Taichi of why he'd stood up in the first place and he asked Yamato, "Hey, do you wanna come with me to make sure everything's in one piece? You know, after that last explosion?"
"Sounds like a good idea."
The apartment and its inhabitants, they found, were completely intact but for a few candles in the living room that were melting onto the tables. After a quick clean-up session, Taichi suggested the two of them rescue some of the perishables from the temporarily-dead refrigerator. Ready to binge on cheeses, sushi, dumplings, and various containers of left-overs, they began their way back to Taichi's room, where they were intercepted by Hikari.
"You guys are gonna pig-out on all the food we have left and you weren't going to invite me?"
Taichi laughed and Yamato smiled good-naturedly.
"Alright, alright. Carry something and you can come pig-out with us."
"The offer to eat the family food from the family fridge should be an unconditional one," Hikari answered playfully, relieving the boys of some of their burdens.
The remainder of the storm was spent sprawled out on Taichi's floor making sure the food didn't rot due to lack of refrigeration. In less than an hour, the sky cleared considerably and the power came back on, bringing the electronics back to life.
"Everybody doing alright?" Taichi's mother asked once the storm had passed.
"Yep! We kept ourselves occupied."
"Taichi!" his mother scolded upon noticing that about half the contents of her fridge had been devoured during the black-out.
"What? It would've gone bad, anyway. The way I see it, Mom, we did you a favor. Now you don't have nearly as much stuff to throw out!"
Hikari giggled at his reasoning and Yamato jabbed him in the ribs with his elbow for his cheekiness. Taichi's mother simply shook her head in resignation and walked out of the room.
"Alright, I'm outta here. You boys have fun, okay?" said Hikari as she got to her feet and left Taichi and Yamato by themselves on Taichi's floor.
"Kind of a shame the storm's over," Taichi mused, shooting a glance towards his window.
"Because…storms are so exciting, y'know?"
Yamato nodded, following Taichi's gaze out the window.
"Yeah…you always were a reckless excitement-seeker."
"Well, think about it this way. If storms weren't so short-lived, they probably wouldn't be as exciting. You'd get tired of something if it were happening all the time."
"I guess you're right," Taichi conceded when their eyes met. "Hey…"
"Can I kiss you again?"
The blond smirked, laughter in his eyes.
"You don't have to ask."
"Just wanted to make sure you wouldn't get tired of it, y'know, if we do it all the time."
"Shut up, Yagami."
They came together, laughing at themselves and each other, but the laughter died away when their mouths met in a heated, feverish kiss.
"Mmm…much better than lightning," Taichi said, hands in Yamato's hair.
"Mmhmm," came Yamato's reply as he wound his arms around Taichi's waist. "We can make our own excitement, I'm sure."