A/N: Inspired by a picture, kind of, and a gray day here. Another one-shot that stays light, as usual, although I guess there's a kiss at the end of this one. Neji makes his not-appearance again… I like having him in the corner of these. Please enjoy.

Warnings: A kiss.

Pairing: Sasuke x Naruto, light.


April belonged to the rain.

Spring had come back but winter was sorry to leave—or so the sky seemed to be saying, cloaked from horizon to horizon by clouds that dragged their feet as they followed March's dispirited heels, a retreat that left the world muddied and drenched to its bones. The sky had long forgotten summer's blue; all it remembered was rain, and rain was all there was, the tears of the old season and the fingers of the new tracing together every roof and gutter and sopping, downturned head.

The rain was nothing new, but all the same Sasuke watched the storm from the dormitory's covered porch, his hands tucked into his pockets. His errand interrupted by an element he didn't want to enter, he leaned back on his heels and listened to the piano melody drifting out of a nearby window, moving its feet in time to the raindrops as though it, too, knew this dance. Maybe it did. Maybe the shadow fingers playing that melody were listening to the rain just like he was, listening for a rhythm where he listened for a break.

Three days of solid rain. Only the piano could still be enjoying this.


Sasuke turned his eyes away from the window to stare at the figure before him, standing under the rain with nothing to show for it but a blinding smile. Naruto waved at him, blue eyes bright under the golden hair that had lost none of its brilliance for being plastered to his forehead.

"Sasuke! Come on. Come walk with me!"

Sasuke frowned. "In the rain."

Naruto grinned. "Yeah. It's great. You should see the soccer field. It's like one big mud puddle."

Sasuke looked at the bottom of Naruto's jeans, sopping with splatters of rust brown and red. He looked back at Naruto's face, and at the hand stretched out to him through the downpour, shimmering under the blush of the rain and the dormitory lights. He turned away.

"I don't think so."


A thread of footsteps raced up the steps, and then Naruto was in front of him, almost glowing as the faint indoor lights caught hold of his wet skin. Naruto put his hands on Sasuke's arms and Sasuke felt the rain right through his shirt, but it wasn't cold, like he had expected it to be—it was just warm, the way everything about Naruto was always warm.

"Sasuke, c'mon. It'll be fun. I promise, okay? So come on."

Sasuke looked down into blue eyes that weren't quite the right color today; usually Naruto's eyes were nothing but sky, but today there was a little of the rain in them, too, as though even they had not been safe harbor against the storm. Naruto didn't seem to mind. He didn't seem to mind anything but the silence.

"Come out in the rain with me. Okay?"

Sasuke looked at the rain, so thick in the air that he could taste the subtle soak of irises and salt even here on the porch. Then his eyes moved back to Naruto and he left them there, watching that familiar smile as he nodded back toward the door.

"I'll get an umbrella."

"No!" Naruto's hand had jumped to his, flaring against his skin as their fingers got tangled together, an accident Sasuke was getting used to. Naruto shook his head. "No umbrella. That ruins all the fun."

Sasuke recovered his frown. "We'll get wet."

"The point is to get wet, Sasuke," Naruto said, putting his free hand against Sasuke's chest and pushing him backward one step at a time. Naruto laughed, the sound racing up his arm to echo inside Sasuke's ribs. "Then we come back with really wet shoes and make that squishy noise all the way down the hall."

Sasuke glanced back at the door, the laughter that still flitted between his lungs pressing him backward another step. "Neji's not going to like that."

Naruto wrinkled his nose. "Neji doesn't like anything. Don't worry about him. Let's go already!"

And with that he was gone, nothing but a pressure at the end of Sasuke's hand as he was pulled out into the rain, out into the storm that blinded him at once to all but water, leaving him nothing but the throbbing warmth in his hand for a compass as he chased Naruto down the steps and down the flooding sidewalk. Naruto had started to run—he could feel it in the fingers that were tightening around his as momentum tried to pull them away—so Sasuke ran, too, trusting that guiding hand and the sound of their footfalls to lead him now that Naruto was nothing but a mirage in the rain.

"Come on, Sasuke!"

The shout came back to him from every direction, and underneath it Sasuke could hear that Naruto laughing, the echoes bouncing back to him like hailstones on the sodden sidewalk. Sasuke didn't want echoes. He wanted the real thing, and the smile that came with it, and he ran faster, not feeling his shirt getting heavier or his hair sliding down against his neck—feeling nothing at all except a throbbing inside of him, that might have been his heartbeat or Naruto's heartbeat or the heartbeat of the storm.

"Where are we going?" Sasuke called, when he was close enough to see bright blue eyes through the veil of the storm. Naruto laughed, for him this time.

"Anywhere. Race ya!"

Naruto let go of his hand. Sasuke didn't like that, exactly. He kept running anyway. He kept running to stay in step with the blur of yellow and blue that his eyes kept trying to decipher from the storm, to pull into the kind of definition that he had come to associate with that smile, the smile that Naruto seemed to keep on his face no matter what. Sasuke kept running and kept himself a pace behind Naruto, just close enough to hear the rustle of his companion's breathing chorus of the rain.

He was a pace behind Naruto as they round the corner of the commons and stumbled down the hill toward the library, caught up in their own rhythm. He was a pace behind Naruto when Naruto lost his footing and slid off of the sidewalk, his limbs and his voice a faltering cacophony before he tumbled to a stop on the soaked earth, blue eyes wide in his rain-washed face.

Sasuke stopped on a dime. "Naruto. Are you all right?"

Two steps brought him back to the edge of the puddle—the puddle Naruto was sitting up from, staring at his jeans and twisting his neck to get a look at the back of his shirt, where blue had given way to unforgiving brown. "Oh, man…"

Sasuke shook his head. "Neji's going to have a fit."

Naruto looked at his soaked sleeves and his ruined shoes and his smudged hands, and he looked up at Sasuke—and then he started to laugh, such a full and open sound that it took even the storm by surprise, and the rain took a step back, leaving them together under a hushed drizzle as Sasuke pushed his hair back from his face.

"You're soaking wet. What are you laughing at?"

Naruto cocked his head back, the whole force of his smile directed only at his companion. "I'm laughing at you."


"Yeah," Naruto said. "Because you're out here in the rain with me, and you're all wet, too."

Sasuke looked at Naruto, sitting in the puddle with his hair plastered to his glowing face, drenched and looking so damn proud of himself, and shook his head but couldn't clear his smile. Then he reached down a hand and pulled Naruto up, and into himself, and pressed their lips together, one more note in the ceaseless song of the storm.