Title: Heat Lightning
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Nickelodeon and Dan Schneider and whoever else own everything.
Word Count: 1233
Summary: He had never told anyone, but he was terrified of thunderstorms.
Author's Notes: There is a huge thunderstorm going on right now. Thunderstorms scare me. A lot. So, to distract myself, fic!
CRASH! A huge clap of thunder shakes the entire house, rattling the windows of their room. From his huddle of blankets, Josh glances at the small side window, fearing it'll manage to break itself yet again. However, the window seems to be made of stronger stuff than it appears, and it holds steady. He wishes Drake was home. The tradition doesn't work without him.
To divert his attention from the weather outside, Josh thinks back to how the tradition first started.
It was only a few weeks after their parents had gotten married. Lightning streaked across the sky, lighting the room for an instant with purple light. Josh, sitting on his bed, cringed and resisted the urge to call Drake back from where he was sitting by the huge front window, nose practically pressed to the glass.
"Wow man, that was so cool! Did you see it?" he asked excitedly.
Josh swallowed and managed to reply, "Yeah, I saw it."
Drake frowned and looked toward Josh. "You okay?"
Josh thought for a millisecond about lying, but he couldn't lie yet (and really, he still can't lie to Drake) and went with the truth instead. "No."
Josh hesitated. He had never told anyone, but he was terrified of thunderstorms. Oh sure, Dad knew, but he thought Josh had outgrown that fear when he was twelve. There he was, fifteen, and still afraid of storms.
"Well?" Drake asked.
"I don't know if I want to tell you," Josh admitted.
Drake rolled his eyes. "Come on."
Josh sighed. "Okay, but you're gonna laugh."
"No, I won't. I promise."
"I'm kind of…afraid of thunderstorms, okay?" Then he flinched, expecting Drake to break his promise and laugh.
To his credit, he didn't. He did answer, however, "Dude, thunder is just a noise."
"I know that!" Josh replied indignantly. "It's lightning that bothers me. And that can kill you."
"Maybe," Drake began, "But only if you're stupid and go swimming or stand outside under a tree or with a big metal pole in your hand."
"Or if you stand near windows or use electrical stuff or the telephone, or--"
"Okay, stop," Drake interrupted. "But it doesn't just kill you. Have you ever watched a storm? It's really cool. And even beautiful."
Josh shook his head. "No, I haven't."
"Well, you're missing out. Come over here and watch with me."
Josh spared a terrified glance at the huge window before looking back to Drake. "I don't know…"
Drake thought for a moment, ran to turn off the light, then exclaimed, "Come help me move the couch, then."
"To where?" Josh asked warily.
Drake pointed to a spot just a few feet of the TV's left. "Here, closer to the window, but still far-ish away."
Josh crossed the room and did as Drake asked.
Drake flopped onto the couch and said, "Good, now grab a blanket if you want and sit with me and watch the storm."
Josh joined Drake on the couch, bringing along a blanket and Mr. Puff-Puff to hide his face with if it got to be too much.
"See, it's not so bad."
Ever since then, the boys had watched storms together on the couch after shoving it into position. This is the first one that Drake's missed, and Josh, well, misses him. The storm is just as scary as the multitudes of pre-Drake storms. Somehow, with Drake, the storms are cool and beautiful, just as he says.
A particularly brilliant flash of lightning momentarily illuminates the room, and Josh dives under his blanket. He's managed to turn off the lights and move the couch by himself, but now he wishes he hadn't. He doesn't like being so close to the storm alone.
A roll of thunder sounds just as the bedroom door opens and shuts. Josh, half-hoping that Megan is standing there just for the irony, cranes his neck to see who's come in.
It isn't Megan at all; it's Drake. He's dripping wet, but as he walks across the room, he sheds his clothing, shivering like mad.
"Get under here," Josh commands, when Drake is clad in nothing but his boxers. He holds up a corner of the blanket and waits.
Drake obeys, still shivering, and cuddles close to Josh, seeking warmth.
Josh obligingly slips an arm over Drake's shoulders. "Why were you out in that, anyway? You're soaked."
"I had to walk from Trevor's car," Drake explains through chattering teeth.
"What did you do, take a leisurely stroll?" Josh demands.
Drake doesn't answer, just pulls the blankets more tightly around himself.
Josh shakes his head, sighs, and then pushes Drake's wet hair back from his eyes. Drake winces at Josh's touch.
Surprised and a little hurt by Drake's reaction, Josh is about to say something about it when he realizes that his fingers feel sticky. The light cast by another streak of lightning shows a dark slash across Drake's forehead, and Josh realizes that the stickiness is blood.
"Drake!" Josh cries. "What did you do?!"
Drake reaches up to touch his own forehead and groans when he feels the blood. "I didn't want you to find out. Trevor was driving me home, and he couldn't see because of the rain, right? I told him he should pull over, but he didn't. Actually, I don't know if I told him to or just thought that you would have told him to. Anyway, a dog ran out in front of us, and so to miss it, Trevor swerved, but then he hit a pole--totaled his front end. I hit my head off the dash--I guess I cut it open too. So then I walked a mile in the rain home."
"Drake, what were you thinking?! Why would you ever walk in a thunderstorm, do you know how dangerous that is?! You are such an idi--" Josh cuts himself off by pressing his lips to Drake's.
He didn't plan to do it. He hadn't even been fully conscious of feeling more than brotherly affection for Drake. But as he feels Drake kissing back, his lips moving against his own, and hears thunder rumbling in the distance, he knows he's wanted to do it for a long time.
And then the good part ends as Drake pulls away and asks, "What was that?"
"I'm sorry!" Josh wails. "I just missed you and then I was worried and it seemed like a good thing to do and I didn't think but it turns out that I wanted to do that for awhile and I just don't want things between us to--"
Josh abruptly falls silent.
"Don't apologize. It's okay. More than okay."
Hesitantly, Josh asks, "More than okay?"
Drake grins. "A lot more than okay. In fact, you could even do that again if you wanted." A drop of blood drips into his eye, and he makes a disgusted sound. "Just wait until I clean up this cut."
"I'll do it," Josh immediately volunteers, and he heads into the bathroom. He returns seconds later with peroxide, a couple cotton balls, and a band-aid. He swipes some peroxide across the cut, bandages it, then settles in beside Drake once more.
"So…are you gonna kiss me again?" Drake asks, with a suggestive pout.
Josh smiles and leans in, their lips meeting as lightning dances across the sky.