--rainfall--

The days leading into the new month had brought with them the promise of warmth and sunshine; the cold weather seemed to be lifting, just slightly, and while nobody around the school yet seemed prepared to dare shed any of their winter clothes entirely, students could be seen storing scarves and gloves in their lockers rather than wearing them around the school during breaks and lunchtimes. There had been snow, but that was gone now. Any more now seemed somewhat unlikely.

The last snow of Seirei Gakuen, Keigo thought as he stood by the window. Did we really cherish it so?

In Yoshikuni's office, of course, one felt no effect of the weather. It looked cold outside, but there was a radiator next to the window. Maybe it would rain, but you would only feel the chill to press your hands against the glass. Yoshikuni sat at his desk and Keigo stood in front of the windows facing the sports track, hands behind his back and rocking on his heels. He wasn't watching anything in particular. He wasn't here for any particular reason, but the silence didn't feel uncomfortable and he felt no obligation to either leave or to interact with the main occupant of the room.

On his side, Yoshikuni was filling out forms and doing paperwork. Standard business for a member of the Student Council. Keigo had asked earlier if Yoshikuni wanted any help in finishing his workload, but Yoshikuni had refused. Keigo asked no more on the subject, but understood. Knew. It wasn't long until graduation. It wasn't long until everything ended, if you wanted to think of it in so melodramatic a fashion. At the end of that month would come their graduation, and then--

And then. And then university. Splitting off on their separate paths. Taking different directions to their individual dreams. Until then, there was silence in Yoshikuni's office and paperwork to be done, and Yoshikuni would do it because it took his mind off other things. Keigo knew that, understood it, said nothing of it.

In another mood, Keigo might have felt the silence lacking. In these last, limited days before the end of the spring term, shouldn't they be doing more? Shouldn't they be making sure that things were set for their upcoming departure, shouldn't they be spending time with the others, making memories and lasting connections?... Maybe, maybe. Nonetheless, in that room at that moment, there seemed no rush for anything like that. Keigo knew he could open his mouth to speak if he so wished, but he didn't, and so didn't. Was there anything left to say, by this point? Maybe not. No, by this point, the silence was enough. They'd come this far. They'd earnt it.

The weather over the school seemed calm enough, but in the distance over the city region lay a darkness threatening to bring itself to the students. As Keigo watched, the wind direction encouraged cloud and darkness in their direction. Where the sky was visible, it seemed both dull and threatening, a strange yellow tint seeming to stain the sky. An early storm? Perhaps. Just looking at that colour hanging in the sky seemed to instil a particular sense of gloominess, though one that Keigo couldn't say he disliked to experience. To call it 'gloominess', it was still in the knowledge of the change of the weather. Stood there watching, it was only a matter of time before the rain came, before the weather changed, before it got worse. And he could watch it all from the comfort of the Student Council building, dry and impassive.

They hadn't turned the lights on. When they'd entered the room it had seemed light enough but now they had been there a while, the change in visibility had caught up with them. Momentarily, Keigo worried for Yoshikuni's paperwork but glanced behind him to see the small desklight illuminating his work surface. Was that enough for him? Keigo did speak then, softly, knowing that Yoshikuni would hear.

"... Would you like me to turn the lights on?"

There was a long pause, but there was also no hurry. Yoshikuni didn't turn around, "... No, I'm alright. There's no need."

"I see."

"Thank you, though."

Keigo nodded in reply, though knew that Yoshikuni couldn't see it. Knew that Yoshikuni would know that end drawn to their brief interaction nonetheless.

Such words came automatically, the easy hurdles of conversation. Keigo hadn't really expected Yoshikuni to want the lights on in the first place - if he really wanted them so then likely he would already have done something about it, but he'd had to ask. He'd wanted to ask. Now he'd asked, that matter was laid to rest; Keigo looked back out towards the school's grounds, noted the changing light quality. Looked out towards gym-short-clad students making their way around the track as a teacher - Keigo presumed it Gondawara - kept time to one side. Would the rain spare them until the end of their lesson? They had twenty minutes left. Keigo watched the clouds. Wondered. A small, vague interest. He knew he wouldn't think on the subject again once he became distracted, and so let the thought occupy his concentration for as long as it lasted.

Something of the distant view seemed hazy, and Keigo wondered if it was raining. Stared out of the window to try to make out the fall of rain, which could sometimes be hard to pick out against the scenery. He stepped closer and brought one hand from behind his back to lean on the wall beside the window, the other hand tucking into his pocket. As he did so, a stray drop hit the window. Then another. Then another. Ah, he thought. There we go.

He watched as the students on the track slowed to a halt and gathered around Gondawara. He watched as they all made their way back to the changing rooms, starting at a walk but then running as the rain caught up with them. Keigo let a smile ghost over his lips, remembering similar past experiences. Would today's rain mark itself in the minds of those pupils, or would it be forgotten as soon as the weather cleared up? He didn't know and knew he could never know, but that was alright. Even in a shared situation, everybody had a different experience. (On that thought, Keigo glanced over his shoulder at where Yoshikuni sat, only able to see his back from that position. He was still writing. He didn't notice Keigo's movement, and so didn't return it. Again, Keigo didn't mind.)

Keigo liked the rain. He liked the sound of it, he liked the sight of it, he liked the scent of the land after rainfall... he even liked being in it, though not for too long, not when it was too hard. Walking home in the rain was fine. The change in weather always brought its own atmosphere, small differences he liked to notice and mentally compare. Walking home in the rain slowly was always interesting, to him - even the enthusiastic fangirls would ignore a member of Seirei Gakuen's Student Council when it was raining and they were in a hurry to get home. Girls would run past shrieking about the weather, and Keigo would smile. All part and parcel of what rain did.

So different to snow, too. During the earlier months, students would watch the silently falling snow from their classrooms and hope that it held for when they were able to get out; snow was colder but more pleasant to walk through, calmer, inoffensive. The same students would watch as the rain started and held and hope that, in those last minutes remaining of the school day, it might lift by the time they made it to the main entrance. Not everybody, Keigo knew, liked walking in the rain.

He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and though soft, the sound of that movement was still the loudest in the room. He brought his phone out without looking towards Yoshikuni, knowing that the sound would have disturbed him too. A message. He checked it. From Akihiro. "Where are you?"... Keigo tapped out his reply, "The Student Council Building, why?"

"Good. I'm waiting outside it. See you there."

Keigo stared at that message for a few moments, then looking back towards Yoshikuni. Yoshikuni didn't turn around, but he did speak.

"... Who's it from?"

Keigo debated for a moment on whether to reveal that particular identity, but couldn't lie to Yoshikuni. "... It's from Akihiro. He's--... he's waiting for me." He realised that Yoshikuni hadn't required elaboration on the content of the message, but hadn't been able to help himself.

"... I see. ...Well, you shouldn't keep him waiting."

That message had disturbed the silence and broken the equilibrium, and Keigo suddenly had a vague sense of not knowing exactly what to do. Akihiro was waiting for him, but was it really alright to go and see him? If Yoshikuni wanted him to stay around then he'd stay around, but he had the feeling that Yoshikuni had no particular desire for or against that path of action. There was nothing desperate about this situation.

Do you mind?

"... Well then, I--... I'll see you tomorrow, Wada." Keigo was already walking to the door. He looked back to Yoshikuni's desk and Yoshikuni looked up, this time.

"Of course. See you tomorrow, Katsuragi."

A small nod, then that gesture replied. Keigo closed the door softly.

There was nobody else in the Student Council building to note Keigo's departure, and so he made his way to the main door quickly. He opened the heavy oak and stood for a moment on seeing Akihiro on the other side, wearing his t-shirt but carrying an umbrella. Keigo smiled at him, "... You should really prepare for changes in the weather, Akihiro."

"Yeah, shut up, I've heard it already from Megumi. So it was warm this morning, so I left my jacket in the hallway, whatever. Just 'cause you always got your blazer."

"Because it's the correct school uniform."

"Oh god, don't start on that again..."

"I won't, I won't. ...So what brings you here, then? I assume there was a reason."

Akihiro smiled, knowing he had the upper hand with the statement upcoming. "Did you bring your umbrella this morning?"

"... No. I didn't."

"Got one stored off in your locker?"

"... No."

"Yeah, too full of uneaten packed lunches I bet. Think about your question again, Keigo; why do you think I'm here?"

"Alright, alright. Are we ready to go now?"

"I'm ready, don't know if you are..."

"I'm fine. Are we going to the cafe?"

"Depends what you feel like. Up to you, I don't mind..."

Keigo closed the door behind him and said nothing as he stepped underneath the umbrella, walking at Akihiro's pace as they kept to the path that ran alongside the sports track, that eventually led to the school gates. It was perhaps a little early to be leaving, but Keigo hadn't had lessons that afternoon and Akihiro--... well, you never knew with Akihiro. Would some of those fangirls spot them? Maybe. Maybe there'd be rumours around school the next morning of that Katsuragi and that Jinguuji sharing an umbrella, but Keigo didn't mind. Whatever they wanted to think. They didn't talk about it and they didn't make an issue of it and neither of them said anything, but Keigo privately cherished the thought.

And as they walked away from the Student Council building, Keigo knew that Yoshikuni would be standing in that window that faced the path.

(He didn't look back.)