Rating: Very Light PG (some very innocent kissing)
Disclaimer: +Anima and its related characters and situations do not belong to me and I am making no profit from this labor of OMGLOVE.
Author's Notes: ...I cannot believe I have just written +Anima slash. This is like writing Boxcar Children slash. Except not as incestuous. However! Despite the fact that this was clearly written for one reason alone - and that is to indulge my simpering fangirl adoration of Senri and my guilty pleasure almost-pairing of Cooro/Senri - it doesn't step outside the boundaries already established by canon. No, seriously. Also, what does the title have to do with anything? The fact that every time I tried to think of a title for the story, I kept hearing this song in my head. Maybe it's the song Cooro's humming. Who knows. This one's dedicated to fireun, because she encourages my delinquency in bad, bad ways.
Cooro hummed a happy little bathtime song to himself as he splashed around in the stream, letting his wings out to run water over the feathers and then shake them dry. He heard something like a soft laugh and paused to see Senri giving him a small smile, grey eyes sparkling like the granite stones on the bottom of the stream. Cooro smiled back.
"I bet I look just like a bird," the smaller boy laughed and Senri nodded, then went back to what he'd been doing. Cooro tilted his head curiously as he watched his friend. Senri was making an awkward attempt at washing his long ash-grey hair without getting his eye-patch wet, but success eluded him and Cooro could tell his friend was getting frustrated. Cooro thought it would be easier if Senri took the patch off, but he sensed the older boy had very good reasons for keeping it on. Senri might not seem as quick or bright as others, but he wasn't stupid and was often quite clever.
"Do you want me to help you wash your hair, Senri?" Cooro asked, and Senri gave him a soggy, miserable nod.
"Help," the taller boy implored, and Cooro glided closer to him.
"You need to be able to tilt your head back so the water won't go in your eyes," Cooro mused, reaching up ineffectually. Even stretching as far as he could, he could barely reach above Senri's ears. "And you're really tall."
Without a word, Senri started moving away from him and Cooro watched curiously until he saw that the older boy was headed for an outcropping of rocks near the shoreline.
"Oh, good idea, Senri!"
Cooro paddled after his friend and climbed onto the rocks, sitting with his knees far enough apart that Senri could lean back between them. Cooro smiled as he splashed his feet in the stream; Senri's shoulders were so wide that Cooro's legs bumped against the boy's muscular arms.
"Okay!" Cooro said with his perpetual cheerfulness. "Lean your head back and I'll wash your hair."
Cooro spread out his black wings as he worked, letting the sun soak into them. He felt warmed all the way through to his bones, relaxed and languid and blissfully happy. He was taking a bath with a good friend in the sunshine, and soon his stomach would be full of dinner. All was well with the world.
As he worked his fingers through Senri's hair, taking special care not to dislodge the turquoise beads, he hummed cheerfully. Senri began humming along, slightly off-beat and not quite on-key, and Cooro paused to listen before he changed his own humming to match Senri's. Their little song had no discernible rhythm or melody, but it sounded happy and Cooro liked that. Apparently, Senri did too, since the expression on his face looked more like a cat in a sunbeam than a teenage boy with hidden bear claws.
Cooro sluiced handfuls of water through Senri's hair to rinse it, then carefully squeezed out the excess water. Senri rumbled happily, almost a purr, and Coor giggled.
"You like that, huh?" He gave Senri's head a friendly pat.
Senri nodded. "Feels good." Cooro grinned as he folded in his sun-warmed wings and hopped back into the stream, but Senri caught his arm. "Now you."
"Huh?" Cooro blinked up at his friend for a moment, then brightened with revelation. "Oh! You want to wash my hair now?" Senri nodded. "Okay!"
Senri's big hands were surprisingly gentle as they threaded through Cooro's black hair and Cooro found himself realizing exactly why Senri had been purring. When Senri unceremoniously dumped a double handful of water over Cooro's head and pronounced him "Clean," Cooro shook the water out of his eyes and smiled.
"Ready to dry off and go back?" Cooro asked. "It's almost time for dinner."
Senri nodded and Cooro splashed toward the shore, looking back over his shoulder to say happily, "I bet Husky caught some fish for us! And maybe you and I could find some berries on the way back so you can make --"
As he was speaking, his foot slipped on one of the treacherous, moss-covered rocks near the shore. His arms pinwheeled and his wings shot out, trying to stop the fall, but he caught his lip on the edge of a rock on his way down and he yelped. There was a loud splashing behind him, like a large animal charging through the stream, and even before Cooro could get his arms under him, Senri's gentle hands were hauling him to his feet.
"Thanks, Senri," Cooro said, wincing as his tasted blood in his mouth. He reached up to touch his lip and his fingers came away bloody. "Ow."
"Hurt," Senri said, sympathy in his voice, and before Cooro quite knew what was happening, Senri tilted Cooro's chin up and ducked in. Senri's tongue lapped over the cut on Cooro's bottom lip, swiping the blood away, before he kissed it softly several times.
Cooro's eyes widened in surprise and he felt his face go hot. When Senri seemed satisfied that the wound was cleaned and well on its way to healed-by-kisses, he pulled back and regarded Cooro with an evaluating look.
Cooro laughed, running a hand through his still-wet hair. The act of smiling stretched his injured lip and made it hurt again, but it was hard not to smile when Senri was being so helpful, even if it was kind of embarrassing in a way.
"I think that was my first kiss," he told Senri, trying not to laugh so his lip wouldn't hurt. "Thanks!"
Senri looked puzzled, tilting his head to the side. "Better?" he asked, reaching out to brush his fingertips softly over Cooro's mouth. "Feel better?"
"Yes, thanks," Cooro answered cheerfully. "It feels a lot better already."
Senri seemed satisfied with that answer and they both stretched out on the warm grass to let the sun dry their skin. Cooro spread his wings out again, loving the way the black feathers soaked up the sunshine. He rested his head on his arms and watched as Senri seemed to doze. Senri's skin had already been a bit darker than the rest of them -- of course, that wasn't saying much when Nana was pale as milkweed blossoms and Husky's skin was so smooth and white he got mistaken for a girl all the time -- and the sun just kept browning him even more the longer they were on this journey. Cooro thought he looked toasty and warm, with droplets of water drying on his tanned skin.
Cooro liked being warm almost as much as he liked being full so he tucked his wings away so he could curl up next to Senri, pressed against his warm, brown skin. Senri made a noise that sounded like affection and contentment all rolled up into one and Cooro tucked his face into his friend's arm and fell asleep in the sunshine, happy as he could be... at least until dinnertime.