Okay, since there're so few Shido/Madoka fics around… Honestly speaking, it was hard coming up with anything to write for them, since… I dunno, they're just difficult, even though they seem the most normal couple in Get Backers. O.o Hopefully this is okay.

Anyway, I don't own Get Backers, and I've just finished Volume 10 of the manga. X(

Patter
By Aquarius Galuxy

The animals were especially quiet this afternoon. If anything, most of them were nowhere to be found. He couldn't blame them, though. A mild gloom had settled over this part of Shinjuku, suggestive of the watery pelting that heavy, slate-coloured clouds threatened.

Shido leaned back, resting his head against the rough bark of an aged oak. The ends of his bandana protested weakly against the uneven surface, but he was too used to it to really care. All but one of his companions had left for shelters drier than the one he'd picked. Granted, if he were an animal, he would have done the same. The last creature standing was a brown-feathered hawk that perched restlessly on his shoulder, snapping its beak.

A short while ago, the mellow, resonating strains of a violin had died down, leaving behind a silence that wasn't filled quite as thoroughly with rustles of leaves and faint roars of distant thunder.

He wondered what she was doing now.

A part of the clouds glowed an eerie white for a couple of heartbeats, before dissolving back to their greyish shades. The sharp talon-points on his shoulder loosened and relocated themselves as the hawk shifted on its perch.

It had begun sometime within the first few weeks of their initial meeting. Hell, if he was reckless enough, he'd say it happened on the first night he knew her. Something about the music she conjured snagged the thumping in his chest on a primal level, that led to an attraction and the most acute sense of protectiveness he had ever felt.

Perhaps it was brought on by her lack of sight, but he couldn't be sure. She could convey so much that her visual impairment made her all the more fragile. In short, she was like a butterfly, precious and beautiful and vulnerable all at the same time. He wanted to hold her and fight off every slightest threat to her happiness.

Aww, Shido-kun, you're in love! Hevn had proclaimed.

Love? It wasn't love! He exhaled sharply and turned away, as if the woman were just in front of him.

... Was it?

In some semblence of an answer, a colourless droplet fell sharply onto his folded arm, splitting into a few uneven shapes. It caught his attention just as swiftly, bringing his gaze downward. He blinked. Rogue raindrops didn't usually clear the leaves above when the rain had barely started.

More streaks of greyish-white sallied from the sky like a hail of badly-timed arrows. They hit the blades of grass with dull thuds, growing into a monotone that befitted the empty buzz of a radio. With a sudden flutter of intricate wings, the hawk took off from his shoulder, its beady eye hardly issuing an apology.

Shido glanced askance at the creature, narrowing his eyes at the departing mass of feathers. It wasn't like the bird to leave so abruptly.

And then he felt her presence, even before he heard or saw her. It brought a warm heaviness into his heart.

The rustle of her skirt hem on grass confirmed her proximity to him. She stepped forward, pausing next to where he was. "Shido-san..."

He turned in her direction, just enough to note the slender hand resting on the tree bark, and the other hidden behind the folds of her skirt.

Unwillingly, he dragged his gaze up her form, taking in the dark streaks on her dress. Wet trails snaked over her sleeves; crystalline droplets clung to her hair. She had been walking in the rain, he realised. His chest felt oddly like caving in.

"Idiot," he muttered chidingly under his breah, albeit with a hint of fondness. "You shouldn't have come."

"But Shido-san, you can't just remain here in the rain!" She had lifted her hand from the tree trunk and curled her fingers into a fist. This quiet indignance heightened her uniqueness in her own way, that differed from the clinging nature of Hevn, and the resolute independence of Lady Poison. He didn't want to admit that he was captivated.

"The rain isn't much. I've been through worse." He slanted his gaze to the far end of the lawn, torn between wanting to stay, and not wanting to reject her. At times, he felt as if he didn't truly fit in her mansion. Not a wild being like him. As an afterthought, he added, "But you belong inside. By being out here, you'll only catch a cold."

She knelt down then, slowly enough that he could stop her if he wanted.

He didn't. Instead, he returned his gaze to her, watching as she settled back on her heels and took his hand into her warm ones. "I don't want you to suffer alone, Shido-san."

Madoka referred to much more than the rain, he knew. That she, for one, would feel sad if he were to die brought on a certain tenderness in his chest he couldn't avoid.

He would protect her, even if it cost him his life.

Unexpectedly, his fingers curved over hers, and he raised her hands to his cheek, allowing her warmth to seep into his skin. She gave a tiny start of surprise. He thought he saw a rosy tint colour her cheeks.

Without quite knowing what he was doing, he leaned forward, raising his other hand and slipping it behind the nape of her neck. Strands of her ebony hair tickled the backs of his fingers. He hesitated, and she blinked twice in quick succession, lips parting to whisper his name.

It seemed to take forever before their faces were close enough. He inclined his head, and their lips met, a soft sharing of warmth that made his heart quicken. His eyes slipped shut, as did hers. She smelled of violets and rain.

It was another eternity before he felt content enough to pull away. Her empty eyes snapped open at once, and he felt the corners of his lips twitch. A deeper blush fanned across her cheeks. His heart tripped.

Her reaction had been almost identical on the past few occasions, but they were in no hurry. In truth, he was a little afraid as well, of scaring her off.

"I'll go back with you," he murmured, slowly shifting his weight to his feet.

The radiant smile spreading across her face was enough to make the journey worthwhile.

-X-

This will be all for the series…. I'd wanted to have a sequel that takes place immediately after this, but their personalities don't seem to allow it. ;S So I'll settle for a slightly different sequel of sorts, but that's either going to be rated M or T, so do look out for it next month! ;D