Cataracta's Notes: Hello! This won't make much sense until after you read the story...but it wasn't actually raining when I wrote this. Nor was it remotely wet. It was actually very sunny. Nice day, and all that hooplah. Anyway, I just sat down and wrote this on a whim. So please don't kill me for grammatical errors, OOCness, or anything else. As for the OOCness, rain does funny things to people, no?


"And the best part of my life…is the worst part of your day…"

-Splender, "Save it for Later"

Something about the way the rain was falling was making tears come to Mimori's eyes. She lifted her face and let the cool drops slid along her cheeks, mingling with her tears as she tried to rationalize why she was crying. There were several explanations, she knew, but none seemed to fit the occasion.

Lifting a hand, she clasped the pendant hanging around her neck and opened her eyes to the pouring rain. She stood on her apartment's small balcony, her view of the rain-soaked Lost Ground breathtaking due to the HOLY's headquarters height. Everything, including herself, was soaked and it gave the entire land a surreal quality. Everywhere, everything glittered.

Smiling, Mimori walked to the balcony ledge and leaned on it. Water was dripping from her hair and her pristine white lab-coat, but she found she couldn't care. The sound of the rain was soothing, and Mimori closed her eyes to savor the feeling of serenity.

It wouldn't last, she knew, and she had a feeling that that was what kept her there. The knowledge that the serenity would disappear back into the chaos of HOLY and the Lost Ground kept her from wasting any of the rain. She opened her eyes and smiled, lifting cupped palms to catch some of the droplets.

Mimori brought the small cache of water back towards her face and studied her reflection. Her tears – which she could still feel on her cheeks – were invisible, hiding amongst the rain. Heavy with the water, her dark blue hair was something short of black while her honey brown eyes were serene.

She smiled once more and let the water drain from her hands, stepping away from the railing as she spun in a small circle. Laughing, she spun once more and listened to the rain as it pattered. Mimori felt happier, more at peace, than she had in a long time, and for the first time since coming to the Lost Ground, she let her emotions take control.

She danced, but it was a simple dance. Mimori spun and laughed and smiled and leaped, her mind anywhere but in the HOLY building. She twirled gracefully among the droplets of rain, her wet hair twining about her shoulders and neck. The pendant that she so cherished spun and twirled with her, and Mimori couldn't surprise a small shout of happiness.

It seemed like forever until she finally stopped spinning, her arms spread and her eyes shining. The rain had lightened from its hard downfall to a simple pour, and Mimori knew that she had to return to work soon. She lifted her hands and her face to the rain and smiled, laughing softly.

Giving one last serene smile to the droplets, Mimori turned and froze. Standing in front of her balcony door was Ryuhou, his eyes and stance awed as he watched her. Out of habit, Mimori's hand flew to the pendant around her neck and she clutched it tightly. She watched Ryuhou as he watched her, and for a while the only sound was the rain as it splashed against tile.

x

Ryuhou glanced around the mess at the sullen faces gathered there and immediately noticed the absence of Mimori. The rain fell hard and insistently outside and he could hear the droplets as they pounded against the steel of the building. Something about the way the rain was falling was making his heart kick in his chest and Ryuhou stood, setting down his coffee as he turned and left.

He could feel his co-workers glances on his back as he left, but he paid them no attention. Striding through the hallways, Ryuhou stopped to glance out of one of the numerous windows and found himself approaching it without thinking. The window was splattered with rain and the droplets ran down the glass in rivulets.

Ryuhou frowned slightly as he placed his hands against the cool pane. He didn't like the rain, never had. It seemed to bring up the worst in people, seemed to bring up the worst memories. His own memories flashed through his mind and he ripped his hand from the window and continued walking.

Gritting his teeth, he forced the memories to the back of his mind. He could feel the twinges of power that alerted him to the fact that his alter was prepared to form. Grinding his teeth even harder against each other, he slowly forced himself to calm down. God only knew the last thing he needed was to destroy half of HOLY headquarters because of some water.

Feeling slightly more in control of himself, he resumed walking. Ryuhou felt silly that he was letting weather of all things bother him. What happened to his iron control? He snorted quietly and tapped the controls to his room. The door slid open with little noise, something that Ryuhou was grateful for.

He opened the door to his balcony and stepped outside into the pouring rain. It soaked him nearly as soon as he left the cover of his apartment, but Ryuhou ignored the cold and wet as he strode to the railing and leaned against it. Running a hand over his face, he shook some of the water from his hair in a futile attempt to stop the water running down his face.

It was no use, as he had expected, and the water continued to drip from his bangs and eyelashes into his eyes. Exhaling through his nose, Ryuhou closed his eyes and concentrated on keeping his emotions under control. He had fallen into a steady rhythm of breathing, and he could feel his body relax.

His head snapped up as he heard laughter. Glancing up, he realized that it was coming from Mimori's balcony. He frowned, thinking that it was far to cold and wet for her to be outside. The laughter continued, and Ryuhou found himself curious. Firmly, he forced the part of his mind that told him he just wanted to see the dark-haired beauty to accept that he was just worried for Mimori's heath.

Turning, he walked back into his apartment, pausing only to shake the water from his hair and body. The heat of the building was welcome after the frigid air of the balcony as he stepped into the elevator and pressed the button to take him to Mimori's floor.

Ryuhou stared at his reflection in the silver of the steel door, and could feel the corner of his lips twitch in amusement. He resembled a drowned rat, considering that he was soaked to the bone and his hair was plastered to his forehead and ears. His crimson eyes were hard as ever, he noticed.

The door slid open and he slid out, his feet automatically taking him to Mimori's door. He knocked and waited, then frowned when there was no response. Testing the door, he found that it slid open without complaint and Ryuhou stepped inside.

He glanced around the apartment, noting with slight amusement the cleanliness that clung to everything. It made sense, he supposed, considering that Mimori was a scientist. Cleanliness would be part of her very make-up.

Switching his gaze to the balcony, Ryuhou stopped and sucked in a breath as he noticed Mimori. She was spinning around and laughing, her hair dripping and her coat soaked. Her face was happy and open as she twirled and Ryuhou felt his legs moving towards her without his permission.

The balcony door opened noiselessly and Ryuhou stepped through it, his eyes never leaving Mimori's dancing form. She seemed completely unaware of his presence, and he found that he was quite content to watch her as she spun and leaped. Her grace astounded him; though he had never thought of her as clumsy, he had never thought of her as graceful.

Ryuhou started as Mimori stopped dancing and lifted her hands towards the sky. She smiled serenely and he felt his own fears and doubts melt away at that smile. Turning, she spotted him and froze, her hand flying to the pendant around her neck as she watched him with something akin to a sheep watching a lion.

The rain had lessened, Ryuhou realized absently as he continued to stare at Mimori. Neither seemed willing to break the silence that had settled, though the rain continued to come down without a thought to it. Ryuhou watched as Mimori's hand suddenly tightened around the pendant before it relaxed and released it. She dropped the hand to her side and stepped forward slightly.

"Ryuhou," Her voice was soft and calming.

"Mimori," He returned.

The gentleness of his own voice surprised him, and he could tell that it surprised Mimori just as much. She looked shocked for a minute before she smiled a smile that made Ryuhou's heart lurch and lifted a hand palm-up in his direction.

"Dance with me?" She asked, her eyes tranquil.

Once more Ryuhou found that his feet moved without his permission and he soon found himself in front of Mimori. Lifting his hand, he placed it in hers and allowed her to step closer to him. She was warm, Ryuhou thought suddenly. Without warning, he felt tears collect in his eyes and he turned his head away.

Mimori smiled peacefully and placed a hand on his cheek. She gently turned his gaze back to her and said softly, "I was crying, too."

Ryuhou's heart gave another lurch as she slowly slid her hand to twine in his hair, her fingers coming to rest at the nape of his neck. He watched her, curious, as she leaned forward to press her lips to the corner of his eye. The movement was simple, yet Ryuhou couldn't deny that it helped calm him and take away some of his fears.

"I was crying," Mimori began, her lips brushing against his skin with every syllable, "because I was happy."

"Why?" Ryuhou found himself asking even as his hands came up to wrap around her back and press her and her warmth closer.

"The rain," She answered, "It made me happy to see the Lost Ground glitter, and it made me happy to just dance and let go for a little while."

Ryuhou glanced out at the Lost Ground and agreed with Mimori's statement. It was pretty; it didn't seem so lost in the rain. Turning his attention back to the woman in his arms, Ryuhou tightened his grip on her and pressed his lips to her hair. Her lips still lingered on his skin, though she had lowered her head so that they pressed against the corner of his mouth instead.

She was bringing up feelings that Ryuhou was fairly certain that he didn't want brought up, but he really couldn't care. Mimori's warmth, and just Mimori made it all seem worth it, made it worth it to open up a little and lower the stoic façade for a while. She was the soft to his hard, he realized, the warmth to his cold.

Ryuhou knew that he wasn't quite ready to accept that, but as he looked down at the woman cradled in his arms he knew that there was time. There was time for him to accept that, time for him to accept her and his rediscovered emotions.

Smiling his own soft smile, Ryuhou tilted Mimori's head upwards and pressed his lips to hers. She seemed pleasantly surprised, but responded after only a second of hesitation. Her lips parted beneath his and he immediately deepened the kiss, enjoying the taste of her as he pressed her impossibly closer.

"Mimori," He whispered when they broke apart.

She smiled and leaned in to press a quick kiss to his lips, "I'll always be here."

That simple statement was enough to make tears prick at the corners of his eyes, and Ryuhou buried his head in Mimori's shoulder as he thought about what she meant. She would wait for him until he was ready to accept his emotions and her and everything else that being with her would mean.

"Thank you," Ryuhou brushed his lips against her neck before settling them over her pulse.

The rain continued to fall around them, and as they stood there clasped in each other's arms, only one thought crossed both of their minds;

Don't stop the rain.

"When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure."

Alice Hoffman


Cataracta's Notes: So, how was it? As always, drop me a note and let me know!