Title: Just the Rain
Pairing: It's really up to you to decide. I tried to make it deliberately ambiguous, but some of my intentions seeped through the cracks.
Warnings: TWT. Sap. Break out the pancakes.
Notes: This was inspired by one of the chapter breaks in volume 10 of the YYH manga.
Disclaimer: Absolutely, positively, not mine.
don't go away.
let me share
just a little
—caption on chapter break, Yoshihiro Togashi
It was amazing to her, that someone could be simultaneously attracted and repelled by the same thing.
But that's how she felt about the rain.
Normally, she would have reveled in the storm. The sound of rain hitting rooftops was soothing, its rhythmic pitter-patter a rare bit of routine amidst the uncertainty of the rest of the world around her. It was an odd thought, that in all its inconstancies (1), the weather was one of the few enduring phenomena she had left.
So why wasn't she enjoying this?
She pondered the question as she continued her walk to the bus stop. Maybe her normal enthusiasm had been curbed by the inconvenience. She'd never get to the restaurant in time for her lunch date if the storm didn't let up. The roads were tricky enough to navigate in clear weather, and she was sure that the bus driver would not tempt fate by driving faster just so she could make her appointment. Or maybe it was her mood. Things hadn't been going her way lately; there was only one size left of that cute blouse she had seen at her favorite boutique the other day, and sadly, it wasn't hers. On top of that, she'd been behind on all of her projects, and a dressing-down from her superiors was definitely on the horizon.
As she approached the bus stop, she was hit by another possible reason for her discontent.
"Oh! Excuse us, Miss! We didn't see you."
She resisted the uncharacteristic urge to snort. Well of course not, she wanted to say. Of course you didn't see me. You were too busy being young, and stupid, and in love to pay attention to insignificant things like where you're walking.
"That's all right."
As she walked the couple walk away, smiling and laughing heedless of the raindrops pelting them from all-sides, she wondered if maybe she was...
She sighed as she stepped under the protective roof of the bus stop. She was being stupid. So she didn't see them as often as she liked. So what? They were still there when it mattered, weren't they?
Unless they were at school.
Or in other worlds.
Or saving this one.
She was definitely being selfish with that last one.
The sound of someone clearing their throat broke through her muddled thoughts. She looked up, only to meet the eyes of a very familiar stranger.
"Oh! Hello...it's been a while, hasn't it?"
She really was surprised to see him here of all places. He seemed like a self-transportation kind of guy, too independent to allow anyone to get him to where he needed to go. But she'd been wrong before, and truthfully, she was happy for the company. It had been a while since she'd seen him last.
"Yes. It has...how have you been?"
"I've been keeping busy. And you?"
"The same, I guess. It's been really calm lately."
A quiet laugh. Already, he was starting to make her feel better.
"I'm surprised you're complaining. I would have though that you'd relish it. You never seemed like the type to go out looking for trouble."
"Oh I never said I wasn't enjoying it. And I don't need to look for it. It finds me all by itself." Here, he waggled his eyebrows in mock-flirtation and she barely stifled her giggles.
"But enough about me. What brings you out on a day like today?"
"I have a date with the other girls. We're going to catch up on everything that's been going on."
"Oh...I see...a girl's day out. Sounds interesting. Mind if I tag along?"
"Are you kidding? Go find the boys and go to a bar or something. This particular gathering is strictly invitation only."
He placed a hand over his heart with an overdramatic flourish.
"No you're not."
"No," he agreed, with teasing eyes, "I'm not."
She really should have been more concerned about the bus. It was already 12:30 and the reservations were for one o'clock. She'd definitely be late. But he was being so charming, and it had really been too long; it was impossible to do anything but smile.
"So you know where I'm off to. Care to return the favor?"
"If you must know—"
"Oh, I must."
"I am going to Kuwabara's house. We're having our own get-together. And no girls are allowed. So there."
"Oh really? Well, I wasn't going to ask anyway." She stuck her tongue out at him. "I'll bet our lunch date's going to be a lot more fun than your boy party."
"I'd doubt that. It'll be just the guys there, and we always let loose."
"Translation: someone's going to have to clean up after you four are passed out from inebriation."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Five of us. Koenma will be coming as well."
"What? His leaving the office is practically unheard of!"
"Well, it's not often we have the chance to get together anymore."
"I suppose you're right about that, at least..."
They fell into a comfortable silence after that, each lost in their own thoughts. It had been too long since they had all gotten together. But it couldn't be helped. They had to grow up at some point, and impending doom could only bring them together so many times. It might be a while until they could all get away for another celebration. And she was going to be late...
All because of some stupid rain.
Suddenly, she was back in the mood she had before she noticed him standing there under the bus stop, looking impossibly handsome, despite the raindrops clinging to his eyelashes. So much had changed. They were still friends, she supposed. But it was harder and harder to feel that way, what with all the time in between each and every party. It was a horribly selfish thought, but she missed the days when every little crisis meant a new mission. The Dark Tournament was a bloody business to be sure, and the Sensui saga still caused a few nightmares, but she had always felt that no matter how difficult things got, they'd be able to conquer it because they were together. The nights she'd spent fearing for the lives of her dearest friends were also the nights when she'd learned the most about them.
She sighed when she felt a light flurry of raindrops hit her cheek.
In resignation, she searched through her pockets for a handkerchief. A hand gently lifted her cheek up, and she watched, a blush forming on her porcelain skin at his touch.
"I miss the way it used to be."
"...Me too. A little."
He dropped his hand from her face, one finger slowly trailing the tears that had escaped her eyes. He leaned down, brushed his lips against hers. When he started to pull away, she pulled him back down. When they came up for air, many moments later, she smiled at the slightly dazed look on his face.
They stood there, hands gently intertwined, eyes searching for, but not really seeing, the bus that pulled up three minutes later. As she watched the drops hit the window, shattering like so many pieces of shining glass, she smiled, and curled up closer into his side.
She loved the rain.
(1) Worry not, this is a word. Even if it does sound like I made it up. ;)
I've been itching to write this since I got the manga. But then, the Just One Night plot bunny bit me until I wrote out that first chapter.
So who did you think it was? Shizuru? Keiko? Yukina? Botan? Yuusuke? Kurama? Hiei?
I'd love to know who you guys thought of while reading.
I really hope you enjoyed reading this, and I can't stress this enough. Please tell me what you think of this. It really means a lot.