Author: Robin aka icyfire
Summary: The people of Los Angeles enjoy the rain at the end of "Water"
Disclaimer: If I owned them, I would make money from them. Since I don't, I'm not.
Diego walked to where his father and Victoria stood on the tavern's porch. They stayed far enough back under the roof so the rain did not touch them, but the satisfaction on their faces made him smile. "I just saw Mendoza. He was grinning as the rain drenched him. The alcalde, however-"
"The alcalde is furious because his punishment of Mendoza is over!" Victoria finished for him with a wave of her head. Diego's smile grew broader as he saw her eyes flash. "It isn't fair-to make a man stand out in a full dress uniform in this heat is inhuman!"
"This drought definitely brought out the worst in our alcalde. Did I hear correctly? He was the reason the fountain stopped flowing?" Diego asked so innocently that no one would believe he knew all of the details. He should; after all, he was the one who had stopped Ramone from taking advantage of the situation. The fountain in the plaza had provided water to the people of Los Angeles over the years when there had been no other water to be found, and its source had remained a mystery until recently. Having never dried up in known history, it suddenly stopped flowing in the middle of this drought, which was admittedly an especially bad one. Even the de la Vega well had dried during it.
Nodding, Victoria looked at him, and he saw a sparkle in her eye with which he was becoming familiar. It always appeared when she began talking about her favorite subject, or whenever he appeared. "Yes, Ramone discovered that the source of the fountain flowed through his land, so he blocked it with boulders. Can you believe he was actually selling the fountain's water to the people-oh, excuse me-he was giving it away after charging everyone for using the road to his land. When Zorro found out, he blew up the boulders blocking the stream. That's why we have water in the fountain again. Zorro rescued this pueblo from the alcalde's greed yet again."
Diego barely kept himself from laughing when she gave a short, proud nod of her head. "So Mendoza was supposed to guard the dam-" Diego said, as if he really wanted to know all the details. He worried about attracting attention to his absences, but most people seemed to accept and even expect them now.
"Yes, and since he didn't stop Zorro, the alcalde ordered him to stand guard duty in the plaza in this heat. As if the he could have stopped Zorro," Victoria finished angrily. Diego loved it when Victoria got upset about something, because he enjoyed both listening to and watching her. She was beautiful when she was passionate about a subject, with her eyes flashing and her checks flushed.
"Yes, the alcalde was yelling that he was supreme commander and that there would be no relief for Mendoza when the rain began to pour," Diego told them, unable to hide his own amusement.
Don Alejandro and Victoria both laughed, and the stiffness left Victoria's shoulders. "Yes, it does look like his orders were countermanded by a higher authority," his father noted, looking upward.
Victoria leaned on against a beam and smiled. "I've always loved the rain. I love to hear it pounding on the roof. It almost sounds like music to me." Her voice sounded wistful as she watched a couple of children playing in the rain.
"Yes, I always enjoyed the rain, too. When I was a child, I did the same thing those two boys are doing. My mother used to get so angry. I would come in soaked to the bone and my clothes covered in mud," Alejandro said with a voice just as wistful as Victoria's.
Diego looked at one and then the other. Then, he gazed out at the rain and grinned. He knew what they wanted to do, and he knew them both well enough to know that, without a push, they would deny themselves the enjoyment. So he gave them the push. "I believe this dance is mine," he said as he bowed properly beside Victoria, who gaped at him, startled by the sudden gallantry as well as the idea of dancing. She was so surprised, she said nothing as he gently embraced her with one hand on her hip and the other grasping her hand.
"Diego! What are doing-" The question ended in a shriek as he swung her out into the rain. The downpour drenched them both within seconds.
Enjoying her shocked look, he smiled down at her. It was not often as Diego-ever-proper gentleman that he pretended to be-he was given the chance to surprise her. Or anyone else really. "Why, my lady, we're dancing. Can you not hear the music?" He held her a little closer than was proper, but having never had the chance to hold her before, not even as Zorro, he couldn't resist the urge. He was going to enjoy every tiny second of this moment here, dancing with Victoria in the rain. When his mother had died, he realized that life was only moments added together and each one was so precious.
"Diego, get back here this minute!" Alejandro called from the porch. Diego laughed inside as he saw the look on his father's face. Good thing there were no flies out today; if there were, Alejandro would be sure to catch some in his mouth.
Victoria relaxing in his arms and beginning to follow his every lead told him she was getting over her surprise. When she laughed, he joined in and noticed that several of the people watching smiled at the sound. "This is wonderful! I always wanted to dance in the rain, but I didn't-." Her smile began to falter, but he refused to let her fall back into the seriousness that being an adult required. Not at this moment.
"Your wish is my command, my lady." he said playful, unable to tell or show her how serious he was with that statement. The way his heart beat at this moment, he knew that one of these days, he was going to fulfill every one of her wishes. When the mask came off for good, he was going to enjoy pampering this lady.
Only long practice prevented Diego from suddenly turning and grasping for a sword that wasn't at his side when another lady shrieked. The smile on Victoria's lips and the laughter in her eyes told him it was nothing serious. He relaxed his grip of Victoria's hand and spun her around so he could see what was going on behind him. He smiled as he watched Don Arturo leading his wife in the rain dance. Mercedes was fusing at him even as she danced. "Arturo, this is loco! We are grown adults, and we have-"
"Be quiet, dear. Enjoy the music," Diego heard, over the beat of the wind and the rain, the kind man say to his wife. They smiled at one another, and then both began to enjoy the rain.
Slowly, the entire plaza started to fill with people. Children raced out, enjoying every moment of playing, as their parents smiled and waved them out into the cool falling water. The parents, wearing bashful grins and laughing self-consciously, soon followed their offspring. The entire pueblo was having an impromptu celebration for the end of the drought. For a little while, adults became children again.
"I can't believe I'm out standing in the rain," Don Alejandro grumbled as he walked up to his dancing son. Diego hid his smile, knowing his father well enough to know the old man was enjoying every minute of it. "May I have this dance?" he asked, his voice quivering with joy. Diego smiled at his father and turned Victoria over to him. He immediately missed the feel of her in his arms as the cool breeze blew around him.
Instead of asking for another dance with someone else, Diego stood in the rain watching peasants and caballeros alike dancing, their clothes drenched with the water that was renewing their spirit. He watched children running around having fun. He saw Victoria laugh at something his father said to her. Even though he regretted having her out of his arms, he enjoyed the fact Victoria and his father were close. Don Alejandro had become a surrogate father to Victoria after hers had left the pueblo in a desire for revenge that got him killed in a revolt. One of these days, when the mask was off for good, Victoria was going to be able to call Don Alejandro "Father".
The plaza was becoming increasingly full of laughing people. For a day, the grueling work could be forgotten. For a day, the pressure of living under a tyrant could be forgotten. For a day, the adults could forget they were not children anymore.
Watching them all laugh and love together, Diego laughed. Just enjoying the moment, he let the joy overflow. Today was a good day to be alive.
Thanks for reading!