Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters presented here and am not making any profit off of this whatsoever.
Title: Talking About The Rain
Word Count: 2,080
Rated: PG-13
Romance: Otogi Ryuuji x Mazaki Anzu
Notes: This takes place a few years after the Ceremonial Duel and was written for the fourth season of the Yu-Gi-Oh Pairings Challenge. Comments and criticism gratefully accepted.
Summary: Otogi and Anzu find that they've got a lot more to talk about than they ever imagined.

Anzu liked to walk in the rain, as long as there wasn't too much of it. Storms weren't her favored rain to walk in by any means. But the rain that was coming down right now was light and soft, and there were even a few spots of blue sky off in the distance, which made this the exact kind of weather that she did like to walk in.

She did not expect to see someone she knew coming down the sidewalk towards her, with the most disgruntled expression that she'd ever seen on his face ever. Otogi Ryuuji just didn't do disgruntled. He was generally too laid-back for that, too involved in impressing everyone around him with how laid-back he was. But now, he looked annoyed.

"Hey, Otogi!" She waved to get his attention. "What's going on?"

The young game designer sighed a deep, heart-felt sigh and shook his head. "Hey, Anzu. Great weather we're having, isn't it?" He shot a look up at the sky that could've blistered paint, if there had been paint there to blister in the first place.

"I think so." Anzu replied firmly, not quite glaring but the next thing to it. "It's fun to walk in the rain like this."

That earned her a quick glare. "Do you know how many times I'm going to have to wash my hair to get all the frizz out of it from this humidity? And the moisturizer I'm going to need too!"

Anzu couldn't help herself. She just laughed. "You sound like one of my cousins. She's always complaining about something!"

Otogi glared at her for a few more seconds, then began to laugh himself a little ruefully. "That did sound kind of silly, didn't it?"

"Don't worry about it." Anzu shrugged some and plucked at her own shoulder-length hair. "It happens to me too, but it's worth it. Besides, isn't being in the shower kind of like being in the rain too? Only it's one you can turn off."

The other grinned. "I never told you that I liked baths better than showers, did I? Especially in my hot tub."

"No, you didn't." Anzu looked at him levelly. For all that they were friends, there was a great deal that Otogi just never told anyone. As far as she knew, none of them had even seen where he lived in the seven years since they'd met him.

He just shrugged. "Guess you never asked, either." He tossed his hair over one shoulder and grinned at her. "Why don't you show me what it's like to like walking in the rain, then?" There was a gleam of challenge in his eyes, and Anzu seldom turned a challenge down.

"All right, I will." She gestured around them first of all. "Just look at everything. It looks sort of greenish, doesn't it?" There was a faint green haze in the air, and she noticed as she herself looked around that the blue skies were being blocked off by thick clouds. It looked as if the rain were going to get worse. But so far it hadn't.

"I suppose." Otogi shrugged briefly. "It looks kind of weird."

That wasn't how Anzu thought about it, but maybe it could be, to some. "It makes the air feel good too. Fresher. Cleaner. Like it was just washed."

Then she decided not to just tell him about it, but to show him. "Come on. We're going walking." There was no reason to just stand there when they could be moving. She took him firmly by the arm and headed down the street, moving forward without a bit of hesitation. Otogi only blinked a few times, but kept up with her easily.

"Are we going somewhere in particular?" he asked before they'd went too far. "Not that I've got plans for a while but I'd like to know where I'm going. If that's okay with you." There was a charming tilt to his lips when she looked over, belatedly realizing that someone like Otogi might possibly have some more plans for his day than hanging out with her.

"Well, no, not really," she replied a bit hesitantly. "If you do have somewhere to be, don't let me stop you."

"If I did, I would've said something," Otogi retorted with a toss of his head. "Trust me on that one, Anzu. I don't hang out with people unless I want to. And since I don't have anything else to do right now, you get me."

Anzu rolled her eyes and grinned. "Is that like getting the booby prize?" she teased.

"I'd think of it as the grand prize myself." Otogi shot back. Anzu's grin widened. She hadn't had wordplay like this with anyone in a while and it was kind of nice. Better than nice. Refreshing.

"I'm sure you would." She glanced around some; they weren't too far from a park and aside from walking in the rain, sitting in it and watching it fall was one of her favorite pastimes. "Come on, this way."

She dropped his arm and headed there, noticing vaguely that her fingers tingled slightly where she'd been touching him.

The park she remembered was wide and pleasant, with a lake that had water lilies and other water plants floating in it, and plenty of benches to sit down and watch the rain fall from. Anzu picked out one and sat, Otogi beside her, and looked around until she found the direction she wanted to watch. The show would start sooner or later, she was certain of that.

"So? What do you think of the rain now?" she asked. The drops were falling thicker and faster than they had when she and he had first run across each other. The rain itself was slightly cool, and sent pleasurable shivers all through her. A tiny part of her wondered if some of those shivers were possibly because of how close Otogi was sitting next to her, but she didn't let herself think about it too much. She wanted to enjoy the moment more than anything.

"I think I should've remembered to bring my umbrella," Otogi said a touch dryly. Anzu leaned over and swatted him on the arm, grinning at the same time. "What was that for?"

"For being an idiot. I obviously haven't hit you enough. At least Honda and Jounouchi learned most of their lessons after all this time." She was quite clearly remiss in her duties to keep the guys around her from being stupid. At least that was easy to fix, though. A few good smacks should render Otogi more intelligent in no time.

Otogi rolled his eyes, settling into a more comfortable position on the bench as he did. "When did you start liking the rain like this?"

"I kind of always have." She shrugged some. "The first time I really noticed it was when I was about twelve or so. Just had one of those really good days when everything had come together right, and it also happened to be raining. So I went out jumping in mud puddles and had an even better time." She laughed. "At least until mom caught me and yelled at me for getting my clothes dirty like that."

"I never knew that," Otogi mused a little. "You know, Anzu, we don't talk nearly enough."

She glanced over at him, and caught those sparkling green eyes looking at her. He really was good-looking, she noticed. Not that she really wanted to tell him that. After all, she knew darned well that he already knew. It was another reason that he needed to be smacked a few times. She did like the way he was looking at her. It wasn't how she'd seen him looking at the girls who would follow him around even now or how she was used to seeing him look at other people in general or herself at all.

"You're right, we don't. We're going to have to fix that." The decision was made in a heartbeat, and Anzu knew it was the right one. She did want to get to know Otogi better. She had known him for seven years, but she hadn't known him at all, she was realizing. The thought of changing that was immeasurably appealing all of a sudden.

He shifted around a little, and she realized that he was coming a bit closer to her. She debated internally for a moment, then chose not to move. She was comfortable where she was, and it was getting a trifle chilly in the rain. A bit of body heat wouldn't do any harm.

"I can think of a better place to do it than here, though," he said. "There's plenty of coffee shops and buildings with roofs on them and my apartment. Just suggestions, of course."

She swatted him on the nose as if he were some kind of bad puppy. "We can also stay right here for a while. The rain's not that bad." It wasn't entirely a lie. The rain was thicker now, and lightning had begun to arc across the sky, with thunder rolling as well. She made a face; she'd come here in hopes of seeing something in particular, and if the rain didn't end soon, then staying here to wait to see it would just be miserable.

"If I catch pneumonia, I am sending you all of my doctor bills," Otogi warned her, an amused gleam to his eyes. Anzu flashed a grin back at him.

"Don't tell me someone like you doesn't have the best insurance ever," she teased.

He tossed his head proudly, which didn't have quite the desired effect when part of it flopped wetly in his face and he blew at it disconsolately. "Of course I do. I'll also send you a bill to make up for all the time I lose sitting in the hospital being horribly sick instead of being around here being incredibly awesome. And I don't think anyone short of Kaiba could afford that. Is that worth getting drenched like this?"

There was no way that she couldn't laugh at that, and with the more rain that fell, the more she really began to want to be inside anyway. This kind of rain was better watched from inside, she decided. "All right, all right. How about we go get some coffee?"

"I thought you'd never ask. I know one of the best places, and it's right around the corner. I always get free doughnuts when I go there too." Otogi grinned and winked, and Anzu swatted him again. "Hey! Now what was that for?"

"That was just because it needed to be done," she told him, getting up and starting to squeeze some of the water out of her clothes. That was the downside of walking in the rain: you got wet. Once they were both somewhat dryer, at least as much as they could be with the rain still falling, Otogi lead the way to the coffee shop.

They were less than a block from it when the rain began to slack off, and a few stray beams of sunlight shot through slowly parting clouds. Anzu grinned; maybe she'd see what she had been looking for after all. She glanced to one side, then the other, and her grin widened as it became visible.

"Otogi, that is the best part of being out in the rain," she said, motioning towards the east. He turned to see what she was looking at and slowly, his smile answered hers.

"Yeah, that is worth it. Guess you were right." The two of them stood there looking at the glorious arc of the rainbow, set against a backdrop of gray and white clouds, with rain still falling and the sun peeking through, a contrast that always glowed in the back of Anzu's mind whenever the rain started. Something like that was worth putting up with a little annoyance.

Another comparison flickered in the back of her awareness, and she smiled to herself. Maybe it was true. Maybe it wasn't. But something else called for her attention at the moment. "Come on. Let's get some of that coffee."

Otogi looked over at her, and his smile warmed just a touch before they started on towards the coffee shop. Anzu could hardly wait to get there. She was certain they had quite a lot to talk about, and rainbows and rain would just be the beginning.

The End