Fuuta's curled up on the sofa with a damp washcloth pressed to his forehead and a headache to match. He's never been fond of rain at the best of times, and now when the horizon lights up in sharp pulses and the sky cracks with ear-splitting sound, his stomach is twisting and turning into what he's fairly sure is a fisherman's knot. Maman and Bianchi have settled him with blankets and soft pillows and Tsuna's doing his best to keep Lambo and I-Pin quiet, although it's really a lost cause as far as Lambo is concerned.
Fuuta shifts his head on the sofa cushion, wincing at the slight movement. He takes care not to let the washcloth touch the cushion; he already feels guilty enough about making so much extra work for Maman, and she doesn't need stained sofa covers thrown into the bargain.
"Fuuta-dono? Art thou alright?" Iemitsu and Basil have been in Japan on 'official business' for a week now, and Maman is absolutely ecstatic. She's never without a huge beam on her face nowadays, lighting up the house like a beacon, and Iemitsu loves to make jokes about how their little family has grown so much in just over a year.
"I'm fine, Basil." A distant roll of thunder is echoed by the ache in his gut, and his arms tighten around his chest reflexively. "Just let me know when the thunder and lightning let up." That's the worst of it, because while the rain makes him feel light-headed and dizzy, thunder and lightning wreak havoc on his insides. He knows which he prefers.
Basil nods in assent, pulling up a chair next to the sofa and settling in to read a CEDEF report. Fuuta reckons Maman must have asked Basil to keep an eye on him, and stops there because a sharp, blinding flash streaks across the angry-dark sky and suddenly it hurts to think.
He thinks he must have made a sound then, because Basil lays his file aside and runs a hand over Fuuta's sandy-blond hair. Fuuta opens his mouth to protest because he really doesn't want anyone going out of their way for him, but all that comes out is a slow shaky groan as Basil cards his slim fingers through his hair and slides gently. His breath hisses out in broken exhalations and he dimly registers that his head doesn't ache quite so much anymore.
Fuuta's eyes flutter closed and he lets Basil pet him into oblivion, and it's not until just before he falls asleep that he realises he can't hear the thunder anymore.
"Shut up," Fuuta grumbles as he stumbles into the kitchen half-awake. The thunder rolls louder in response, and Fuuta doesn't feel like breakfast anymore.
"Good morning to you too," Tsuna observes, not looking up from where he's valiantly defending his toast from a pouting Lambo. Reborn and Bianchi are helping Maman with the grocery shopping, and he has the misfortune of being left in charge.
"Good morning is an oxymoron," Fuuta points out as he gropes his way into the bright kitchen, refusing to open his eyes and acknowledge the fact that he's not in bed anymore. Tsuna just rolls his eyes, used to Fuuta's equivalent of 'waking up on the wrong side of the bed'. Basil just smiles at him sympathetically, not that he can see it.
"Good morning, Fuuta." Tsuna's managed to get him to break the '-dono' habit, but not much else. He gets an incoherent grunt for his troubles.
Lambo finally gives up on his - Tsuna's - toast and runs in erratic spirals round the table. "Hey, Fuuta! Let's go outside and make mud pies!" Tsuna groans in exasperation.
"Lambo, don't - I'm late!" He wolfs down the last of his breakfast and grabs his backpack. "Hibari-san's going to kill me!" Tsuna hustles out the door, trips on the doorstep and prays he doesn't get struck by lightning as he makes a beeline for Namimori University, where he is promptly set upon by a passing wayward Chihuahua.
Lambo makes a face at Tsuna's retreating back and turns his attention back to Fuuta. "Fuu-ta! The sky's clearing! If we don't hurry we won't have any mud left!"
"Lambo! That's unhygienic!" I-Pin scolds. Fuuta makes a helpless face at Basil, a powerless slave to the children's whims. Basil smiles back reassuringly.
"We shall go when the rain lessens, if that is alright with thee," and he produces a grape candy as a bribe, which Lambo accepts after proclaiming that he's going to make "the biggest mud pie in the world, ahahahaha!" Fuuta wonders just when he started feeling like a grouchy parent with caffeine-withdrawal, but he agrees anyway.
The shower slows to a light drizzle within the hour and, true to their word, Basil and Fuuta wrestle the kids into raincoats and wellingtons before taking them out to the backyard to play. Fuuta keeps his hood up and his scarf wrapped securely around his neck, but Basil doesn't seem to bother with coverings, instead opting to throw his head back and attempt to catch raindrops on his tongue. Fuuta grins at his child-like employment and decides against telling him about acid rain.
"Fuuta!" Lambo and I-Pin have grown bored with their grubby pastime and are now jumping into puddles, trying to splash each other. "Come play with us!"
Basil just laughs, correctly interpreting his undisguised look of horror. "Have thou never played in puddles before, Fuuta?" He reaches out and tugs at Fuuta's scarf, pulling him closer. "This is no way to enjoy the rain," he chides and pulls the hood of his raincoat down, so that there is nothing between the elements and Fuuta's unprotected head. It feels...
Fuuta takes time to consider this. It's... really not that bad, the light droplets pattering down, cooling skin that may be just a little heated from the way Basil's practically undressing him. Basil loosens his scarf, allowing the moisture to slide down his neck and Fuuta admits grudgingly that if he's honest with himself, that doesn't feel too bad either. And the way he shivers has everything to do with the chill and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Basil's holding his hand, tugging him forwards into a strangely inviting puddle.
When he cleans his bespattered boots the next day he reckons that maybe it was worth it.
Fuuta trudges through the streets of Sicily soaked to the bone. He's flat-out exhausted, his new suit's drenched, and all he wants to do is to get home and curl up in his warm, dry bed because even after twenty years, the rain and him still have a complicated relationship.
Unfortunately, home is on the other side of town, and there isn't a single taxi in sight.
Fuuta groans in exasperation and mentally prepares himself for the long, muddy trek back when an all-too familiar voice hails him from across the street.
"Fuuta! I thought I might be able to catch thee!"
Basil's hurrying towards him, all snug and dry under his black silk umbrella. Fuuta allows himself the satisfaction of plastering himself against his partner in greeting, so that when they part Basil will be at least half as soaked as he is. To his credit, Basil doesn't seem to mind one bit.
Fuuta reluctantly peels himself off of Basil and takes his arm, using a tone he knows he can't resist. "Take me home?"
Watching Basil blush and splutter never gets old.
They've been walking for half an hour now, and Basil hasn't said a word. Fuuta elbows him gently in the ribs. "Penny for your thoughts." Basil blinks, as though he's been drawn out of a reverie.
"I was recalling something that Miss Haru once said to me," he begins hesitantly. Fuuta waves a hand in encouragement. "Oh? What did she say?"
"She told me that two people sharing an umbrella has... romantic implications in Japanese culture." Fuuta cocks his head to the side. He's pretty sure he's heard something like that, too.
"Yeah, so?" Basil doesn't look at him.
"We - the two of us - do not get to enjoy romantic experiences often. This is... pleasant, that's all." Fuuta considers this. It's true that they haven't had time for dates lately, what with the Vongola-Shimon merger and all. He's kind of glad that Basil's missed their alone time too. Grinning, he pulls Basil closer under the umbrella and has the satisfaction of watching his eyes pop and his breath run shallow as he whispers a stream of all the filthy things he's going to do to Basil when they get back to the Vongola mansion, paperwork be damned.
Basil's never moved faster.
Fuuta stretches out in bed luxuriously, a curl of warmth in his chest as he nestles against the sheets. He's even more exhausted, but he's content. Basil stopped fretting about their unfinished paperwork around the same time Fuuta set about cleaning raindrops off him with his tongue. Now Basil rolls onto his side and manages a lazy grin.
"Perhaps thou ought to get caught in the rain more often."
Fuuta pretends to huff indignantly, but he can't keep the smile off his face when Basil nuzzles his neck affectionately and the rain pattering against the windowsill lulls him to sleep.
Fuuta decides that maybe the rain isn't so bad after all.