Project: SasuSaku Month!
Theme/Prompt: Alternate Universe/Umbrella


pitter patter

since the return
of her stay on the moon,
she listens like spring,
and talks like june.

hey, hey

...

When he first saw her, she was carrying that umbrella. It was sunny outside, and she was balancing herself precariously on the edge of the curb, placing one foot carefully in front of the other without falling into the street. One hand was out, to keep her balance, and the other…

The other was holding the umbrella.

To tell the truth, it appeared to be more like a parasol. It had the feminine and dainty qualities that came with the typical parasol. It was a light, light shade of pink - a shade of pink so light that it could hardly be discerned as pink if not for the similarities between it and her…

And her pink hair.

The parasol was a pale pink and the edges were trimmed in lace and she was twirling it lazily in one hand as she walked along the curb.

The sun beat down harshly in the throes of midsummer, but she appeared unaffected.

She was impervious to it all.

She swayed a little as she lost balance before quickly regaining it, strolling along like a tightrope walker in a circus. And then, all at once, she wobbled, stumbling into the street before straightening up and dashing back to the curb just as a car sped by, honking at her.

Her empty hand came up to rub the back of her neck.

"What happens if a car comes?" he spoke up, finally, just loud enough so that she could hear.

She whirled around, hair flicking easily, searching. Her eyes focused on him, then. She smiled charmingly, twirling the umbrella over her shoulder with one hand as she walked backwards on the sidewalk instead of the curb.

"I suppose…I die."

She slowed for a minute, ducking her head to find the curb before aligning herself with it and beginning to walk backwards.

"But…not if you save me, Stranger," she continued, lips pulling back into a cheeky grin. The parasol tipped with gravity, then, and the sun caught her eyes, sparkling in amusement.

"Save you…" he sighed. "And risk getting hit myself?"

She sighed dramatically, putting her hand to her forehead in a mock-swoon. "A horror, I know. But such is the price of chivalry."

And then she did stumble, again, her heels tripping her up as she walked backwards along the curb. Her ankles caught, and she fell back into the street, her hand catching her on the side. The summer dress she was wearing hiked up her thigh, and her head snapped up, eyes flooding with fear, to catch the glint of the front of a taxi only a short distance away.

Eyes widening, he sprinted the few steps to her and caught her wrist roughly, dragging her up just in time, pulling her flush against him as her umbrella flew wildly and hit him in the side.

They were frozen like that for a moment as the angry man in the taxi honked and rolled down the window as he sped surely above the speed limit, shouting obscenities at them and driving at the same time. But even through all of this, his hand was still locked around her wrist tightly, and her hand was slowly turning whiter.

And then she laughed, throwing her head back. And she laughed and laughed and laughed.

He could only stare down at her, caught between perplexity and irritation. "What?" he bit out, annoyed.

"Not as graceful as it could have been, Stranger," she managed to say between giggles, "but passable."

She wrenched herself out of his grip, then, righting herself on the sidewalk, swung her parasol back over her shoulder.

"I'm Sakura," she said, a smile on her lips. "Thank you for saving my life."

.

.

He was passing through the aisles, looking for that idiotic friend of his who had dragged him in before promptly ditching him to look for instant ramen…and that dainty little cashier with the luminous eyes that blushed under said idiotic friend's gaze. That was when he saw her perusing through an umbrella rack in Super Target, fingering the materials of the rainy day umbrellas.

It was still sunny outside. Cloudy, but sunny, nonetheless.

Sometimes, he wondered about people.

The words spilled through his lips before he could hold them back and walk away, as if he hadn't seen her at all in the first place. "Don't you already have one?"

She looked up, and upon seeing him, the corners of her lips tipped skywards. "Are you stalking me?"

He snorted. "I have better things to do."

The corners of her eyes crinkled in amusement. "I can imagine. Saving the world and other extreme sports. And, for the record, I fell into the street again, but this time, a bus ran down my parasol."

He raised an eyebrow. "Close call."

Her happy expression melted off of her face, replaced with a dejected one. "I'll miss her. She was a good little parasol. But it appears as though I've found another!" she exclaimed, pulling out a rainbow polka dotted one.

"So you have."

She turned, about to prance away, and then turned back around. "You know, since you know my name, it's only fair that I know yours, Stranger."

"Sasuke."

She smiled winningly. "It was nice to see you again, Sasuke."

.

.

It was raining.

Finally.

For a long time now, every morning that he had stepped out of his apartment building and walked outside into the staggering heat had felt like he was being slowly consumed within the interior of the sun.

The grass in the parks was the only green plant in town anymore—and that was only due to the constant maintenance of the park staff and, of course, the aid of the sprinkler systems. The rest of town, from the decorative landscaping at the edges of the hospital, to the random trees interspersed along the sidewalks, were all a desolate brown.

But the rain had finally graced his dry patch of the earth, and he was pleased. Maybe, if luck was in his favor, the weather would cool down enough to be bearable for the rest of the week.

But even so, he had no idea what had possessed him, what had possibly grabbed at his sanity to allow him to walk in the constant downpour without some sort of cover. He didn't normally make a point to drench himself unnecessarily…but his car was in the repair shop getting its bumper replaced.

Naruto had taken his car and driven backwards into a pole. Rest assured, he was the one paying for the damages. But the time and convenience taken away from not having a vehicle was not something that could be remedied.

And so here he was, walking in the rain.

All because he had run out of tomatoes.

He just hoped that the Target employees wouldn't throw him out from dripping all over their floor. Perhaps he would purchase a towel while he was there, too. And an umbrella.

Unwittingly, the girl with the multitude of umbrellas crossed his mind. Surely she would have known where to purchase one at the earliest and closest convenience to his apartment.

It was unfortunate that she wasn't around.

Probably not in the rain, he figured, since she only seemed to walk around with her umbrellas in the sunshine.

By the time he had reasoned out that Target wouldn't possibly throw out a paying customer, he was walking through the automatic doors into the dry, cool air. He was drenched. There was water dripping off of his nose.

And his hands.

And his entire body.

He made his way quickly and efficiently to the tomatoes, picking over the best of the selection before dripping his way to the umbrella rack from the previous day.

They seemed to have an abundance of umbrellas the day before, but for some reason, probably due to the weather forecasts of rain that he had conveniently missed, they were all gone. All…except for one.

Obviously designed for little children, for little boys to be exact, the umbrella was child-sized. And ostentatiously covered in graphics of Batman.

He supposed, if his luck had been worse, there would have been a Barbie umbrella sitting at the bottom of the rack instead. He tried to reason with himself that he was fortunate, at least, for that. But as he tucked the umbrella under his arm, truly noticing the length of the umbrella compared to himself, he decidedly didn't feel very lucky at all.

The towel aisle was just after the umbrella one and he grabbed one without thought, making his way to the cash register, umbrella and towel in one hand, tomatoes in the other.

There were not many people in Target, as was to be expected in the rain, and there was no line to check out. A fortunate occurrence, indeed. He paid hurriedly and unfolded the towel, drying what he could of himself before walking outside and opening up his newly purchased, obscene umbrella.

.

.

She felt it when the rain ceased pouring down on her, and she felt it when there was a shadow from behind her, blocking the glow of the street lights from reaching her. Her fingers tugged on the wet strands of her hair, a force of habit, and looked up at the inadequately sized Batman-printed umbrella above her.

She almost smiled at that, but instead turned around, words of "oh, you should take it back—you're getting all wet instead; I really don't mind the rain" on her lips.

But those words withered to nothing as she saw who was holding it.

"Do you always come to the rescue?" she wondered at him, blinking as sideways-rain got caught in her eyelashes.

He didn't bother to respond, stating instead, "You don't have an umbrella, umbrella-girl."

"I reject the mainstream use of umbrellas." She said with an amused lilt on her lips. "Hipster, don't you see?" She laughed, then, at his flabbergasted look. "Actually, my umbrella flew away in the initial gusts of wind. They were really very strong and…it just…tugged and slipped out of my grasp."

She stepped out from under his Batman umbrella, tilting her face upwards, facing the dense clouds as the water splattered against her. In the dull roar of the pitter patter of the rain, she murmured, "I had forgotten how much I loved the rain."

In her peripheral vision, she saw the Batman umbrella slide to a close.

"When the sun comes out again," she whispered, "do you want to share it with me?"

She didn't expect an answer, but the hand sliding into her own loosely curled one was enough.

She turned to look at him, eyes the vivid green of fantasies.

And as the rain came down on them and as her skin prickled from the dropping temperature and as she could almost feel her impending cough and cold coming along as they made their way down the street, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that, after this rain, there would be a rainbow.

...


conceptions: there really is no plot here, is there. sigh. just...fluff and some symbolism. thanks to pandastacia for the thorough beta!