Rainy Days

Rating: K+ for mild swearing

Summary: Kaidoh wishes it would rain every day.

A/N: I can't believe I managed to write so much with so little happening.


It was easy to ignore, at first. Almost like it wasn't even there, really, it was so miniscule that Kaidoh never gave it a second thought. He felt it though, at certain times, sometimes it felt like he got stabbed in the chest, and other times it felt like he was shivering, but in a good way. Nonetheless, these ... feelings ... were small, easy to ignore, easy to push to the back of his mind, to never think about it, to never confront it.

That was then, this is now.

They're alone together a lot of the times, what with him being the tennis club captain, and Momoshiro being the vice-captain. This means that they get to spend a lot of time together, whether Kaidoh wants to or not. It's tiring to be around him; he's always full of energy, and always ready for a fight—but that's not what tires him out. No, it's those gnawing feelings that are at the back of his mind, fighting to come forwards, bugging him, prodding him until he's so self-conscious about it, he just starts another fight with Momoshiro to get it off of his mind.

Yeah, it was easy to ignore when he didn't have to spend so much time with him, but it's getting really hard to ignore it now when they're around each other every day. It doesn't even need to be anything significant to set him off, to get him to feel those creepy crawling stings in his stomach, it can be as simple as a laugh, a smile, a push, or a shove. Well alright, it can be anything—as long as it comes from him, then his body reacts to it against his will.

He never asked for these pesky and annoying feelings. He'd be more than happy to throw them in a pit of lava, to never see it again. But apparently, that's not how it works. Not at all; he's got no control over it. Before, when it was still small and insignificant, something so subtle he only noticed it a few times, he still had some control over how much he saw him, to keep those feelings under lock. Not now though, not when they run the tennis club together. Not when he's forced to see him almost every day.

It annoys him throughout the day; it washes over him like a wave of insanity, and he's left feeling vulnerable, terrified, shocked, and there's this longing inside of him that keeps getting worse. He hates feeling like this, but he's constantly reminded that he does have them, inside of him, annoying him, confusing him. He hates it.

"It's going to rain today," says Momoshiro. He's looking up at the grey coloured sky; it's so gloomy and dark and depressing, sort of how Kaidoh feels. The exact opposite of Momoshiro, really, because that guy is always rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes, he thinks he sees Momoshiro shine for real, like he has a bubble of sunshine around him, that makes those crawling feelings in his stomach restless and bounce around.

"Then hurry the hell up and bring the equipment inside," commands Kaidoh.

He sees Momoshiro turn towards him, with that insulted look on his face, as if it pains him to even associate himself with Kaidoh, those lips pulled down and his eyebrows lowered, close together. Kaidoh knows it all too well, that look he only uses for him, because Momoshiro hates being around Kaidoh. Maybe it would be easier to deal with these feelings he doesn't even want, when the source of those feelings didn't hate his damn guts. Then maybe Kaidoh wouldn't be on edge all the time. Then maybe he wouldn't be feeling that sharp pain in his chest almost constantly, making it harder to breathe, harder to function.

Momoshiro huffs indignantly, then picks up the casket full of tennis balls, and brushes past Kaidoh, shoving hard against his shoulder. He does it on purpose, to agitate Kaidoh, and yeah—it works. But what he doesn't know, is that he just made something crawl inside of his stomach, and now it feels like a thousand pins are rolling around it, and he gets this shortness of breath. To cover it up, to make sure Momoshiro will never find out, Kaidoh glowers at him with his scowling face, and he hisses, long and drawn out—to steady his breathing really, but Momoshiro doesn't need to know that.

"Mamushi, give me the key," says Momoshiro.

Kaidoh grumpily walks over, he's being influenced by the gloomy weather, and hearing Momoshiro call him Mamushi isn't helping one bit. He feels irritated already, as if he's standing on the tip of a mountain, and any small thing could shove him off. He takes the key out of his pocket, but instead of handing it over, he flings it at Momoshiro. The idiot catches it though, and he gives him that look again, that 'you are as significant as a dead ant' look. It makes him uncomfortable, feeling lower than dirt, so to avoid seeing Momoshiro look at him like that, he turns around and looks up at the sky. There's a flash of lightning above the clouds, very far away from them. It's not just going to rain, it's going to storm, he better hurry up. No training for him today.

Momoshiro locks up the storage shed, and they both walk inside of the locker room, to get undressed and to hurry up and go home. There's a silence between them, one that Kaidoh is all too aware of. When they're alone, Momoshiro, the idiot who won't shut up, becomes a lot more quiet. He knows and realizes this all too well; Momoshiro is simply a lot less happy around him. This makes him feel as if he fell through a glass door, and he's being hit by flying pieces of glass shards, piercing into his skin, and they stay there, irritating him. Reminding him of Momoshiro's disdain for him every time he makes a move.

"You still gonna train afterwards?" Momoshiro asks out of the blue.

Kaidoh grunts in response. "Of course not, it's going to storm, that's dangerous. Dumbass."

The thing he realizes the most, is that it's all his fault. Momoshiro looks at him with that disapproval in his eyes, because Kaidoh is a big lump of grumpiness, that no one can have fun with. He's a fun sucker, he knows this, it angers him, but if he doesn't act like it, then Momoshiro will find out. Find out about his hidden feelings, and that's something that must absolutely be kept as a secret. If he would ever act nice to the idiot, he's sure he'll be found out. This does come with the side effect that Momoshiro hates his guts.

Perhaps things would be easier for him if Kaidoh knew how not to insult him every time he opens his mouth. Then maybe he wouldn't look at him as if he were some sort of roadkill, rotting on the streets, maybe he'd smile at him too. Maybe the queasiness in his stomach would finally dissolve. Maybe he could finally fall asleep at night without any nagging thoughts or worries.

But it's not like that, not at all.

"I was just asking, asshole," he says. Momoshiro bends down to untie his shoe, his arm brushing against Kaidoh's leg in the process. Instantly, he's hyper-aware of it, and he tries to shuffle away from Momoshiro in an inconspicuous way. Momoshiro of course, being one who sees the fine details, notices this, and is about to comment on it, when a shower of rain falls upon the rooftop.

Click, clack, tick, tick.

It's raining, quite harshly, and now Kaidoh is even more gloomy; he's going to have to walk home in this weather.

"Wow, would you hear that," says Momoshiro in awe. "Guess we didn't escape our fate after all."

"If you weren't so slow, we would have been home by now," says Kaidoh sully. Because it's true, Momoshiro is the laziest, and slowest person he knows of.

Momoshiro punches the side of Kaidoh's arm, and it sends a shock of electricity running through him, his arm feels like it's been struck by a lightning bolt, and he gets this shortness of breath again. He glares at Momoshiro and rubs the spot that he hit, not because it hurt, but because those tingly and creepy crawling feelings were still dancing on his skin.

"I was gonna offer you a ride home, but to hell with that. Go walk home alone and get soaked for all I care."

Ah, there it is again, that tightness in his stomach, those needles piercing his skin; he did it again.

"I don't care," says Kaidoh. Of course, that couldn't be further from the truth, because he does, he really, really does. But this is how he is, and this is how Momoshiro sees him. The grumpy fun sucking snake. That's his bubble; a gloomy bubble.

They both finish getting dressed at the same time, or perhaps Kaidoh subconsciously dressed a little bit slower so he didn't have to leave Momoshiro behind alone. Either way, they pick up their bags and walk towards the door and open it.

It's a very heavy rainfall, it's so dense and thick that he can barely see the car lights shine through it from the street across them. The sound is simply deafening, pounding on his ear drums, it cancels out the pounding of his heartbeat. The drops of rain shatter on the ground, and it splashes on his shoes and pants. Momoshiro stands next to him, looking carefully at the weather, probably pondering whether he should wait till it clears up a little bit, or just suck it up and go home. Whatever decision he'll make, Kaidoh will do the same.

"You don't happen to have an umbrella, do you?" he jokes.

How he can joke with this gloomy weather, and the fun sucking grumpy snake next to him, Kaidoh doesn't know. "No, I didn't know there would be a storm today."

"Don't you watch the weather?"

"Don't you?"

Momoshiro looks at him like that again, and Kaidoh slouches his shoulders and looks down at the ground, at the tiny little droplets falling apart, kind of like how he's feeling right now.

Momoshiro folds his arms and leans against the doorway. "I was late today, I didn't have time to tune into the weather channel."

"Late, of course," Kaidoh snorts. The sound of thunder roars in the background, it sounds dangerous and close.

"Jerk."

"Idiot."

Momoshiro slaps Kaidoh's arm, and he immediately does the same to him in return. He doesn't mind, despite being completely aware of their skin touching. It distracts him from about those bubbling feelings inside of him. He can just fight Momoshiro instead, and never give it a second thought. At least, that's the plan, but no matter how hard he tries to ignore it, Momoshiro grabbing his arm and yanking him by his shirt to pull him closer leaves him breathless. The pounding of his heart against his chest hurts, the electricity firing through him hurts, those glaring eyes staring into his own hurts—everything hurts.

He feels his arm getting drenched in rain, and within seconds, the entire half of his shirt is soaked. Their tussle together made them leave the safety of the locker room, and stumble outside. Momoshiro lets go of Kaidoh's shirt; he's the one that's completely outside, and he's also completely wet.

His usual stupid hair that stands up straight, is now flattened, and it sticks to his forehead, touching his eyes. Rain trickles down his body in every direction, it's even dripping off of the end of his locks of hair. Kaidoh is mesmerized, and he can't do anything but stare, but to stand still in the rain and watch the other boy in front of him heave in his breath and exhale it slowly.

"This is all your fault, Mamushi," Momoshiro says as he brushes away the hair from his eyes.

Yeah, he knows; it is his fault. Completely and utterly his fault. The way Momoshiro can never look at him with those gentle eyes that he looks at with everyone else is his fault, he doesn't even deserve it.

Momoshiro steps further away from the locker room, into the dense rain and the thundering storm. He raises both his arms and stretches them away from his body, his head pulled back towards the sky, as if he were welcoming the rain. Kaidoh can see everything in sharp detail; his white t-shirt is now completely see-through and it clings to him, showing the skin underneath, he can see all the fine muscles that he built up during years of tennis. He takes it all in, and the feelings inside of him keep building up and are slowly getting out of control. And then Momoshiro starts to laugh out loud; it's the most precious sound in the world.

Even though he's standing in the gloomy and dark rain, even though there's grey clouds right above him, kicking up an angry storm—Momoshiro is simply shining with sunlight. There's this bubble around him that feels warm, feels soothing, as if it's repelling off the rain, the gloominess, like there's not a care in the world. Like he's having fun, and he's brimming with happiness, despite being completely drenched. Despite grumpy Kaidoh standing in front of him.

Kaidoh lifts his arm, and reaches out to him; at his bubble. That soothing and warm feeling that he radiates. He wants to touch it, he wants to feel it, he wants to get inside of it, and laugh along with him. Like the world raining down on him doesn't matter.

A loud thunder bolt jolts him back to reality, and he quickly retreats away from Momoshiro. Fuck, he was so hypnotized by it, he almost did something he never should have done; to show Momoshiro any kind of affection that he cares. That he cares about the idiot. It's a secret he's never going to tell him. Not now, not ever. If that means being the grumpy snake, then so be it.

Even though it hurts him and gnaws on all of his insides. Stupid Momoshiro and his stupid happy bubble.

"You are going to catch a cold," calls out Kaidoh.

Momoshiro puts his arms down by his side and cocks his head to the left as he looks at Kaidoh. "I didn't know you were so concerned about my health, Mamushi."

"I'm not." He is. "But if you get sick, I'll have to do more work." And he'll worry. He'll worry a lot.

"Well, speak for yourself, you're drenched too."

It's something he didn't really realize himself, because he was too focused on Momoshiro, but he's right; his clothes are completely wet, and it's actually rather chilly now. "I don't catch colds," he says in deadpan voice.

Momoshiro huffs and crosses his arms again, something which he's been doing a lot lately. "Shut up, of course you do. You're not superhuman or something. Well, you might be an alien, that would explain a lot. Sometimes you turn green."

Kaidoh simply hisses at him, narrowing his eyes and clenching his fists. Despite these annoying feelings he doesn't have any control over, this does not make him immune to hating everything Momoshiro does. Everything he does either rubs him the wrong way, or rubs him the right way.

Momoshiro tilts his head to the side, like a sort of 'come here' motion. "Come on, I'll take you home."

Kaidoh shoves his hands in his pockets, and starts to walk through the rain again. "No thanks," he says. "I don't want to get on the back of your stupid bike."

Not being around Momoshiro is his number one priority right now, to make sure he won't lose control like he did just moments ago. If he's not around him that much, then he won't notice—he won't notice the beating of his aching heart. If they're apart, then he can manage, he can manage these feelings, but not now. Not when they're stabbing him from every angle possible, and they're clouding his vision and judgment. He has to get away from him, now, preferably forever.

"Fine, suit yourself, asshole." Momoshiro finally walks away, towards the direction of the bike stalls.

Kaidoh stands on the same spot for a long time, simply gazing into the distance that Momoshiro disappeared in. The rain feels like nothing but icicles stabbing him. He's pretty sure that even the contents in his bag have now been soaked with water. Then he turns on his heel, and he walks home with his head down.

The rain never clears up, it continues even till the next day. Kaidoh decides to cancel practice, it's not like they have an indoor tennis court to practice at. No tennis today, no practicing either, nothing to do but go home and work on homework.

"Yo, Kaidoh. Got an umbrella this time?" asks Momoshiro. He walks up next to Kaidoh, they're standing at the school entrance, watching the rain.

"Only an idiot wouldn't bring one," says Kaidoh with a sneer. He opens up his umbrella and lifts it above himself.

"Walk me home," says Momoshiro. It's more of a command than a request though.

Kaidoh stares at Momoshiro for a few frozen seconds. "No," he replies steadfast. He steps outside in the rain, but Momoshiro quickly hurries after him and huddles next to him under the small umbrella.

"Don't be an ass, walk me home. You're the one with the umbrella," says Momoshiro. "It's in return for me offering to take you home yesterday!"

"You didn't take me home yesterday, stupid."

"The offer still counts for something, right?"

They're so close their arms are touching, the warm skin of Momoshiro caresses him like a very soft feather. The electricity is back again, as well as the thumping of his heart. He jerks his arm away and steps to the side, so that Momoshiro is out in the rain, and not under the umbrella.

"Hey!" he yells, and quickly runs back under, their arms banging against each other.

"Stop it, go home with your stupid bike," Kaidoh hisses. He doesn't have time to be playing Momoshiro's games, he needs to get away from him. Away from those annoying electrifying feelings. He pushes against Momoshiro this time, but he pushes back. The rain simply continues to fall down harder, it's even worse than yesterday.

"I left it at home today!" complains Momoshiro.

"Then deal with the consequences!"

"No! It's raining really hard!"

"You should have thought of that before coming to school without an umbrella, you idiot."

"It wasn't raining that much this morning!"

They're pushing each other, under the black umbrella, at one point Momoshiro even tries to grab for it, which makes Kaidoh hiss and splutter and quickly pull his hand away. This lasts for another good ten minutes, and they've walked for a while, still shoving and pushing, the sides of their shirts wet and damp. Kaidoh would have liked to say, that this wasn't bad, walking home like this, except he grows more self-conscious by the second, and each spot that Momoshiro touches, whether by accident or on purpose, gets set on fire and it's burning him—drowning him in a sea of flames.

Even the downpour of the heavy rain can't cool him down.

The rain doesn't show any signs of stopping; it's getting worse. There's so much wind going on that despite carrying an umbrella, he still gets water on his clothes, from a thousand scattered droplets in the air. His umbrella isn't doing much anymore, not with that wind.

"Why is it so damn windy," complains Momoshiro. He stops shoving Kaidoh and simply walks next to him, and Kaidoh is a bit too stunned with electricity to do anything about it at the moment. The friction of their arms, the friction of their short sleeves, it's slowly driving him nuts. The rain isn't making him feel better either.

Suddenly, Momoshiro pushes Kaidoh to the side, towards the side of a secluded building.

"What are you doing?" asks Kaidoh annoyed, and offers some resistance.

"There, let's take shelter under that roof for now."

He stops pushing Kaidoh, and they're pressed up against a wall, with a slanted rooftop covering them, enough to keep them dry and out of the rain. Kaidoh begrudgingly closes his umbrella, shaking it a few times to get rid of the water that's trapped inside of it. Momoshiro slides down the brick wall and sits on the concrete ground, leaning against it.

"Stupid rain, why won't you stop?" he mutters darkly.

"I'm sure it'll listen to you," Kaidoh remarks.

"Shut up, stupid Mamushi."

"What did you call me!"

"Mamushi!"

Kaidoh hits the top of Momoshiro's head with his umbrella, then sits down next to him as well. The insides of his stomach are screaming in high little shrills when his shoulder bumps against Momoshiro's. He doesn't care right now though, the rain is annoying, the wind is irritating, and Momoshiro is being Momoshiro and thus a waste of space.

"Guess we'll just wait here till it clears up a bit," says Momoshiro, staring at the heavy rain in front of them.

Kaidoh says nothing, but concentrates on his breathing. In and out, calm, controlled—he can't go crazy right now. He tries to ignore the friction of their arms, the burning fire that arouses from it.

"Hearing the rain is kinda soothing, don't you think?" comments Momoshiro. "Sort of makes me sleepy."

Nothing could ever make him sleepy with these crazy feelings kicking up a storm inside of him. He says nothing, and for a long time, Momoshiro doesn't either. Despite the silence, his heart continues to beat faster, harder, louder, it hurts, it really does.

The precise moment that Momoshiro decides to lean his head on Kaidoh's shoulder, is the moment Kaidoh thinks he might have been injected with lethal poison, because he can't breathe, he can't move, he's frozen yet ablaze with fire. Momoshiro's cheek rests on the end of his shoulder, pressing up against him, and fucking up all these feelings he was trying so hard to control. Now there's nothing but Momoshiro's happy bubble filled with sunshine, taking him over and making him feel so much more alive than he ever felt before. He wants to pull away because of the immense emotional impact it has on him, but he also wants to stay like this and savour this small moment in time where he can naturally touch Momoshiro without repercussions.

Time passes quietly, though you'd have never guessed that it was quiet inside of Kaidoh, not with those feelings racing through his body. Kaidoh shifts his weight a bit to get more comfortable, but in doing so, Momoshiro's heavy head falls from his shoulder, right onto his lap. Momoshiro takes in a deep breath, then nuzzles his face into Kaidoh's thighs.

If he wasn't yet frozen completely before, he is now. The idiot has dozed off, or perhaps he's been asleep all this time.

The rain continues to fall down, and he's sitting underneath a small shelter with Momoshiro sleeping on his lap. Momoshiro's chest rises and falls, having absolutely no clue that he's sleeping on Kaidoh's lap. The feelings that were once so easy to ignore have taken over him completely, and he's grinning to himself, like he's skipping around on a bright sunny day, feeling happy and worriless.

Like this, it's alright. If Momoshiro doesn't know, then it's alright, he can touch, he can be happy, he can live in his sunny bubble—for as long as it takes. Just let him live in this delusion for a little while, that Momoshiro doesn't hate him, that Kaidoh doesn't have to ignore his feelings anymore, that every day doesn't hurt trying to hide it. For now, these are his raw emotions. He doesn't have to pretend, he doesn't have to hide.

The control that he exercised so vigorously before, is now lax and sloppy, and Kaidoh's fingers brush against the back of Momoshiro's head. His hair is damp, and sticky from his stupid gel, but he runs his fingers across it either way, like petting a cat. Kaidoh trails his fingers from the back of his head, up and forward, until he's at the top, then rinse and repeat. It's sticky and not all that great to the touch, but he does it anyway, this is Momoshiro, and touching Momoshiro fills him up with electricity, sunshine, and fire—all the elements in the world. It's something his body craves, it naturally reacts to it and it makes him do stupid stuff. Like making circles on the back of Momoshiro's neck, where there's no gel, and his hair feels soft and natural.

His fingers brush lower and lower, until he's really just petting the back of his neck (he'd rather not run his fingers across that mushy sticky hair again), and his neck feels warm and sensual. Almost forbidden. He uses his index and middle finger to trail around the side of his neck—his skin feels so soft—towards the front, and he keeps it there, to feel Momoshiro's pulsating heartbeat. It's warm, full of life, and sort of fast. Too fast, actually, for someone who's supposed to be sleeping.

Kaidoh's fingers pull back; he is sleeping, right? Please be sleeping. Please don't wake up. Please don't realize what he just did. Shit, he wasn't supposed to indulge his feelings for the idiot, he was supposed to keep it under lock, where it could never see the light of day. Fuck.

After another minute, Momoshiro shivers, and Kaidoh's frozen like a rock again. He watches quietly as Momoshiro lifts himself up from his lap and yawns loudly.

"I fell asleep?" he asks while rubbing his eyes.

Kaidoh says nothing, not with that big lump in his throat blocking his speech.

"Oh, it stopped raining so hard."

It did? Kaidoh didn't even notice.

"Well alright then, let's go." He stands up, and then looks at Kaidoh impatiently. "Well?" he urges on.

Kaidoh grabs his umbrella that's resting beside him and he gets up as well. Calm down Kaidoh, there's no need to worry, Momoshiro didn't realize what he was doing. No, the idiot is too dense and stupid to realize anything could have ever happened to him in his sleep. So the snake snorts and huffs, and stomps his feet on the ground, then opens up his umbrella and walks Momoshiro home.

There was no sign of the rain stopping anytime soon. Sometimes it would waver and howl like a storm, and sometimes it would drizzle, but it never stopped. The students in his school all carried an umbrella with them, they were all prepared. Except for one moron, who still didn't have one with him.

He's grinning from ear to ear, and shuffling closer to Kaidoh underneath his umbrella. "Walk me home," he says. Again, it's not a question, it's a command.

"There's no excuse for you to not have an umbrella with you this time," Kaidoh replies. He doesn't push Momoshiro away this time.

Momoshiro shrugs. "I couldn't find it, you know? Besides, I'm not an umbrella kind of guy."

Then Kaidoh shoves him into the rain. "Then stop using mine."

He quickly crawls right back under, shivering and rubbing his wet arms. "Asshole."

"Moron."

"Where's your bike?"

Momoshiro grins sheepishly. "I got a flat tire." Somehow, Kaidoh really doubts that.

The small space underneath his umbrella is perfect for making their skin touch each other. Friction, loads of friction, and Kaidoh's getting slightly dizzy, he's being overwhelmed by Momoshiro's sunny bubble. Yet that doesn't mean he hates it ... no ... he likes it. It's hard to admit it, but he does. So he lets Momoshiro stay underneath the umbrella with him this time, without much resistance, or fighting.

When they come across that same shelter from yesterday, Momoshiro once more pushes him to the side. "Come on, let's take a break!" he says. Kaidoh wants to question him why, because the rain isn't that bad as it was yesterday, but he's not about to complain, since this means he can slowly collect his thoughts and keep his feelings under control. The friction and electricity of the subtle touching is enough to make him all scrambled up in thought.

Kaidoh closes his umbrella, and Momoshiro sits down in the same spot as yesterday. He starts to wonder if perhaps, he's going to take a nap again—on his lap. He wouldn't mind that. But that's dangerous too, he might just do something more than simply petting the back of his head. Now he faces dilemma: to sit next to Momoshiro, or to stand in front of him, back turned to him, and watch the rain.

"Well, sit down," says Momoshiro as he pats his hand next to him on the concrete.

Well, if he says so. "Don't fall asleep again," warns Kaidoh as he sits down. He's sitting far away enough that they're not touching. He can manage this way. It's best if he doesn't fall asleep on his lap after all, things might just turn really bad.

"I'm not going to!" complains Momoshiro. "The sound of rain does make me sleepy though," he says thoughtfully. They both stare at the rain for a while. "And it makes me want to pee."

Kaidoh wants to laugh and call him an idiot, but that wouldn't fit his grumpy snake image, so he's silent and doesn't say anything at all, he watches the rain instead.

"You look grumpy, by the way," Momoshiro notes.

Thanks, for pointing out the obvious, dumbass. Kaidoh merely hisses at him, a clear sign that means to shut up and stop questioning him about it.

Momoshiro yawns and stretches his arms above his head. "Well, since you're not talking, mind if I take a nap?"

Yes, he minds very much. "I thought you weren't going to fall asleep."

"I know," he says in a tired voice. "But the rain makes me so sleepy. Just give me ... ten minutes." Momoshiro closes his eyes, not even waiting for Kaidoh's response, and rests his head against the wall behind him.

No, no, no—don't fall asleep. Kaidoh doesn't know what he'll do if he does, if he loses control again, anything can happen and Momoshiro isn't there to stop him. Kaidoh watches helplessly as Momoshiro starts to doze off, nodding his head every once in a while. He tries to keep those gnawing feelings under control, to pretend they're not rolling around in his stomach making him feel lightheaded and bubbly all over again.

Momoshiro's head falls over to the side and crashes against Kaidoh's shoulder; he's now completely asleep. His control slips up, and his breath gets stuck in his throat. He's engulfed by this secure feeling, it's Momoshiro's bubble again, that's making him feel happy and worriless—despite getting pricked by fear and doubt. No, no, keep control. Don't let it take over. Momoshiro's breath tickles his shoulder, breaking down his wall even more. This is bad, this is really bad. No ... well ... maybe. It's alright, he's asleep, he won't notice. Kaidoh raises his arm, then slightly turns his chest a bit so that Momoshiro slides off, and falls into his arm. He gently puts him down so that his head is on his lap again.

Kaidoh stares at Momoshiro's head, at his black and damp hair, at his prominent nose, at his closed eyes. It's crazy, it's the most dangerous thing he could possibly do right now, but Kaidoh's riding on Momoshiro's bubble, and he doesn't really care anymore. Not like this, not when he's asleep and unaware, and Kaidoh doesn't have to hold back. It almost feels natural when Kaidoh's fingers play with Momoshiro's hair again. It's full of gel once more, and it's icky and gross, but he can't help himself either way. Not when all these raw emotions are pouring out of him, it's all he can do to hang on and ride the wave.

The back of Momoshiro's neck is as soft as it was yesterday, so soft that Kaidoh can't stop trailing his fingers over it, over and over again. It's addicting, it's soothing like a lullaby. If he could do this every day, then he'd be one happy snake.

There's a look of sadness in his eyes as he remembers that he's doing this without Momoshiro's knowledge, without his permission, so it doesn't really count. Momoshiro still hates him, and would probably kill him if he knew Kaidoh was brushing the back of his neck very tenderly.

But it's so hard to stop once he starts ... those soft baby hairs growing on the back of his neck, the smooth skin on both sides, the warmth that radiates from it ... Kaidoh is simply captivated by it. Blame his hormones, blame his feelings, as long as Momoshiro is asleep, Kaidoh will surrender to them. For just a small speck in time, that small window of opportunity while it's raining, underneath this shelter—he'll take it for now.

As long as Momoshiro doesn't know, it should be fine. Yeah, it should be fine, like this.

Kaidoh spends some very long minutes repeatedly stroking Momoshiro's hair, and then his neck, sometimes even trailing his finger across his very soft and squishy earlobe. He sort of wants to scratch him behind his ear, like a cat, but Momoshiro is not a cat, but then again, it's not like he's awake either.

The rain momentarily stops, and so do Kaidoh's fingers. He pulls them back and lets them rest at his side while he stares at Momoshiro's head. He wonders if it would be a good idea to pull Momoshiro up from his lap and place him against the wall again, so he won't go waking up on his lap once more ... but before he can act on these thoughts, Momoshiro's eyes flicker open.

Kaidoh keeps his hands at his side and his body posture turns rigid and stiff. Now he's awake again, the small window of opportunity having passed. For a few seconds, Momoshiro keeps lying on Kaidoh's lap, slowly blinking his eyes. Then he finally lifts himself up from his lap, and Kaidoh suddenly finds the concrete below him very interesting.

"Your lap acts as a very nice pillow," says Momoshiro with a laugh.

A bolt of lightning surges through Kaidoh and his cheeks heat up immediately. His heart is racing by a thousand miles. He quickly stands up, to prevent Momoshiro from seeing his temporary weakness, and he grabs his umbrella, then quickly starts walking away.

"Hey, wait up!" yells Momoshiro. He gets up as well and jogs after Kaidoh.

"The rain stopped, I'm not walking you home," he says grouchy. Don't look at him. Don't notice it, don't notice it—please don't notice it. Please be oblivious.

Momoshiro gives him another one of those looks and he scoffs out loud. "Well, what if it starts again?"

"That's not my problem."

Kaidoh hurriedly parts ways from Momoshiro before he can protest more. When he's out of sight, Kaidoh slumps against a fence, drained of all his energy. That was crazy, it was just a small comment made by Momoshiro, yet it felt like one of the most important things he's heard in his life. Momoshiro, the one who hates Kaidoh, said something to indicate he liked sleeping on him. It puzzles him, baffles him really, and it makes him extremely happy and suddenly, there's this small glimmer of hope inside of him. Hope that maybe, Momoshiro doesn't hate his guts entirely.

That's a maybe though, but Kaidoh does sleep much better that night.

Before leaving to school, Kaidoh checks the weather channel, and he secretly hopes that it'll rain in the afternoon today. Luck would have it, that it'll rain the entire day, and Kaidoh walks to school that day with a slight skip in his step.

"Yo, Kaidoh, guess what happened after you went home," says Momoshiro when he greets him in the hallway.

"You tripped over your own shoelaces," says Kaidoh dully.

"No. It started to rain again. I was completely drenched when I came home," he says.

"And whose fault is that for not bringing an umbrella?" Kaidoh asks, but he does feel guilty for parting ways with Momoshiro and leaving him to walk home in the rain.

"You better take me home today, all the way."

"Why would I do that, dumbass." Can't let him know that Kaidoh was planning on this, that he was hoping for it.

Momoshiro hits Kaidoh's shoulder—another surge of electricity shoots through him. "Because you feel guilty and you want to take me home?" he says with a hopeful tone. He's not that far off from the truth.

"Don't you have a bike?"

"I told you, I've got a flat tire. Geez, you sure have bad memory."

"Who has bad memory, you idiot!"

"You do! Dumbass!"

"Idiot!"

They're fighting in the hallway, and Kaidoh feels like he's exploding with hormones. Every touch, every grab, every push, it's all magnified; it feels wonderful. There are barely any nagging thoughts in the back of his head, and it's mostly because Momoshiro is smiling with that wicked grin of his, that smile which he almost never uses with him. But now that he does, Kaidoh treasures it, and he winds up fighting a lot longer with him than usual to keep being able to see it, that sunny smile. Momoshiro's sunny bubble of happiness, he doesn't want to leave it just yet.

Eventually, they do part, because a teacher has finally pulled the both of them apart. Kaidoh's not sure why, they weren't really fighting or anything, but perhaps it looked that way through the eyes of a stranger.

As Kaidoh spends time in class, he can't help but keep looking at the clock, and every second makes the anticipation in his stomach grow bigger. He can't wait.

Momoshiro greets him with a punch on his back at the school entrance. "Thinking of leaving before me?" he asks.

Kaidoh who's already holding the umbrella, hisses in response. Of course not, he's been waiting for five minutes already, but he's really been waiting the entire day. Momoshiro doesn't need to know that. He opens the umbrella outside, and lifts it up to shield them both from the rain.

Momoshiro huddles next to him, their arms are touching again, the friction makes Kaidoh's feelings bubble over. He can't help but think, like he's been thinking ever since last night, if they're going to stop at that place again. At that small little shelter, and have Momoshiro take a nap on his lap again. He wants it to happen, but is not quite sure if it will, since it all depends on what Momoshiro will do once they walk by that specific spot.

He sure hopes to god Momoshiro will stop.

"...And you know, I was looking for them all this time, but it seems my brother took them!" Momoshiro says loudly.

Kaidoh suddenly snaps awake; he's been zoned out all this time, while Momoshiro's been animatedly talking about some mundane topic that he doesn't care about.

"Hey, are you even listening to me?"

"No."

"What the—you're such an ass." Momoshiro shoves himself against Kaidoh, which makes Kaidoh stumble sideways for a few steps. This also causes Momoshiro to be exposed to the rain, and he quickly goes back under Kaidoh's umbrella with a shriek.

"Idiot," says Kaidoh, finding it sort of amusing.

Momoshiro looks insulted. "Shut up."

He does, but not because Momoshiro asked him to, but because they're nearing that specific spot again. He can feel nervousness swirl around in his stomach as he wonders if Momoshiro will stop there or not. Please stop there, please, please, please do. Kaidoh doesn't know if he can take the rejection all that well.

Momoshiro stands still, he looks at the small shelter, secluded in the street, surrounded by bushes. Kaidoh stops with him as well, and his heart thumps harder in his chest. Momoshiro looks at Kaidoh, then raises his eyebrows, as if he's asking if it's alright to stop over there. Of course it's alright, it's more than alright, and Kaidoh's feet start walking, gliding, across the street towards the shelter, with Momoshiro right next to him. His heart is now fluttering in his chest, with his head up in the clouds.

Momoshiro sits down against the wall again, while Kaidoh closes his umbrella. He's feeling so jittery right now, so jumpy, so excited. He can't believe Momoshiro is even there with him, that he wanted to be there. He might not take a nap again, but who knows, as long as Momoshiro makes the conscious decision to spend more time with Kaidoh than necessary, then he'll be happy. When it's like this, it seems like Momoshiro doesn't hate him, something which he only dreams about.

Kaidoh sits down next to Momoshiro, being really conscious of the fact this his arm slides down against Momoshiro's.

"Don't use my lap." Please use his lap.

Momoshiro snorts in response. "Of course not. Who would want to."

His words sting, like they usually do when it's made clear Momoshiro doesn't like him—but the idiot ends up sleeping on his lap either way, and Kaidoh's feeling all bubbly and happy again. He strokes the back of Momoshiro's head, it's so calming, so soothing, so warm; he likes being in Momoshiro's bubble of sunshine.

The rain is something he doesn't even notice anymore, not even the howling wind, he's completely engrossed with the boy on his lap. Again his fingers trail through is gel-ridden hair, and it still doesn't feel good to the touch, but he can't help himself anyway. It's Momoshiro and that's really all his body needs to know to make him feel a thousand different emotions surge up inside of him. His fingers dig against the black haired boy's scalp, down towards the back of his neck, and—he pauses briefly—down to his shoulder blades. Kaidoh is half aware his hand is underneath Momoshiro's shirt, but his emotions are sort of in the way to actually raise any alarms.

He makes sweeping motions across Momoshiro's back, then back up to the soft skin of his neck. This time he uses the entire palm of his hand to stroke his warm and forbidden neck; it feels even better like this. More daring, more electrifying. Kaidoh's thumb brushes against his neck, while his fingers wrap around, almost reaching his throat. He rubs it up and down, from his ear, to his shoulder, and this is making Kaidoh's breathing uneven and fast. So fast, but oh so good. All these emotions that are dancing in his heart.

Kaidoh wishes it would rain like this every day.

His hand travels from his shoulder, to his arm, where he keeps his hand there, holding Momoshiro. It's comforting, sort of secure, and it feels really warm. It's making him sleepy as well, and Kaidoh finds himself slowly closing his eyes, almost nodding off. The sound of thunder in the background wakes him up with a jolt; phew, good thing he didn't fall asleep. That would be bad.

Well, it wouldn't be horrible ... would Momoshiro care? If Kaidoh takes a nap with him as well?

Just once ... let him try it out. When everything is still feeling nice and warm, and Momoshiro doesn't hate him, just this once. Kaidoh's hand is still gripping Momoshiro's arm as he drifts off into sleep.

"Kaidoh," Momoshiro's voice calls out to him. "Wake up."

Kaidoh opens his eyes, and he feels drowsy and tired, and the light hurts his eyes. He blinks a few times to get rid of the blurriness, and sees Momoshiro standing next to him, holding his umbrella.

Shit, he fell asleep for real—and Momoshiro woke up before him, which is even more embarrassing.

Kaidoh tries to hide his face as he feels it heating up from embarrassment, and he quickly gets up and grabs the umbrella out of Momoshiro's hands. Still hiding his face of course.

"How long," mutters Kaidoh. Don't look at him right now, please don't look. When Momoshiro is asleep he can surrender to his feelings, but not when he's awake. Not when he's awake and next to him, and his cheeks are betraying him.

"For about fifteen minutes," says Momoshiro casually. He stands next to him under the umbrella, and they both start to walk.

Kaidoh doesn't fail to notice that Momoshiro is pressing up against his arm more than necessary, and once more he's left breathless with his heart jumping up and down his throat. He walks him home, listening to him talk about stupid subjects he doesn't care about, but he doesn't hate listening to his voice, which is why he deliberately walked much slower than normal.

That night, he dreams of sleeping with Momoshiro in his bed, with their warm bodies pressed up against each other, held in an embrace. It was the best dream he's had since he can remember.

The next day, against all of Kaidoh's expectations (but not his hopes), they do it again. In fact, Momoshiro skips the lean-against-the-wall phase and goes straight to propping his head up on his lap, which makes Kaidoh's heart flutter around in his chest. Underneath the small slanted rooftop, while it's raining, Kaidoh runs his fingers all over Momoshiro's head, down to his neck, to his shoulders, to his arms, he strokes him everywhere as he sleeps on his lap. This is the only time he can do this without being held back in fear of what might happen if Momoshiro were awake. He doesn't want to think about it, not when he's touching him, everywhere, wherever he wants.

Kaidoh falls asleep with his fingers tangled in Momoshiro's sticky hair.

Luckily, he's the one who first wakes up, because Momoshiro is still on his lap, seeming to have not moved from his spot. He wakes him up and he walks him home.

This goes on, for as long as it rains. They'd walk from school together, stop by the shelter, take a nap, then go home. Of course, what Momoshiro doesn't know, is that Kaidoh treats this time as his holy grail; it's the only time he can succumb to his feelings and touch Momoshiro to satisfy his hunger for the boy. He can manage his feelings like this, with his daily dose of Momoshiro keeping him in check, and not making him go crazy from hormones. He sleeps a lot better at night as well.

Though that doesn't mean he's not being overwhelmed by other, newer feelings ... feelings that make him want to do more. Very disturbing feelings, disgusting feelings, feelings that he really does keep in check. Stroking and rubbing his head, neck, shoulders or arm while he's asleep is alright, but the things he keeps imagining are not okay. Definitely not okay.

All good things must come to an end, which means that one day, the rain has finally cleared up. Kaidoh checks the weather channel three times to be sure, but it's going to be a clear day. With not a cloud in the sky, and no indication that it'll be raining anytime soon. Kaidoh goes to school much grumpier than before.

He stares outside the window while in class, but it's a nice day; there's barely any clouds around, and certainly no rain. Great. What is he going to do now? He was doing fine like this every day, blowing off some steam and fulfilling some of his desires, but the only excuse he had was the rain. Without the rain, there will be no Momoshiro, and he'll go back to going crazy with these feelings he can't act upon. It's torture.

After a week of canceling tennis practice, the members are finally back in full gear, training and playing on the courts. Kaidoh can't help himself but sneak glances at Momoshiro every once in a while. He wonders if perhaps, Momoshiro is disappointed as well, but that seems too farfetched. Momoshiro hates him, and probably only thought he was just a pillow he could sleep on every once in a while. There's no way he would think of it as something precious like Kaidoh did. This saddens him even more; he wishes it would rain again.

"Mamushi, give me the key," says Momoshiro.

Kaidoh digs inside of his pocket and takes out the key to the storage shed and hands it over to Momoshiro. He avoids looking into those big brown eyes, he knows he'll only hurt himself more knowing they won't be taking shelter today, he won't be able to touch him anymore.

Momoshiro locks up, and they go inside the locker room to change. It's quiet as always, and Kaidoh is self-conscious about the way Momoshiro's shirt slightly touches his legs as he ties his own shoes. It's painful, even more so than it used to be, the quietness is simply drowning him.

They finish getting dressed and stand at the entrance.

"Did you fix your bike?" asks Kaidoh, who's simply looking for an excuse to spend more time with the idiot.

"Uhm, yeah," says Momoshiro.

Damn. "Good." Kaidoh starts walking away before he can't handle it anymore, it was becoming too painful. Knowing that it's over, knowing he won't be hiding from the rain with Momoshiro anymore. Knowing he won't touch his dirty sticky hair ... he feels sick and walks home alone that day.

He doesn't get much sleep, those gnawing feelings feeding on his hurtful emotions are keeping him awake.

Kaidoh checks the weather channel again, there's slight glimmer of hope inside of him, but it's crushed to death when the weather reports that it'll be sunny the whole week through. The rainy season is over. Kaidoh feels sick again, and going to school becomes a huge chore. Catching a glimpse of Momoshiro in the hallway makes him feel nauseous yet excited at the same time, it's both confusing and annoying.

To help deal with these painful emotions once more, Kaidoh simply ignores Momoshiro as much as he can, and when forced to deal with him, he acts like his usual grumpy old self.

It doesn't really help though, he starts to hate himself more and more, and he misses Momoshiro's warm bubble. Especially since he's sitting in his own gloomy and depressing bubble. Why did it have to end like this? Why couldn't they continue to do this every day?

But it doesn't happen anymore. The weather is clear, and there's no reason to walk home together anymore, even if Kaidoh desperately wants to latch onto Momoshiro and walk by his side. For a full week, nothing happens, and Kaidoh is left wondering if it was all a dream. A very good dream, or maybe even a hallucination—which is sort of creepy. Everything is back to normal again, or, as normal as can be, because after that one precious week, Kaidoh's emotions have grown and expanded. What was once so easy to ignore, is something he can't stop feeling throughout the day, it's worse when he tries to sleep and can't think about anything else but Momoshiro.

Why did it have to be Momoshiro?

It's been 8 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes since his last hallucination (Kaidoh is going through a withdrawal phase that's not making him think straight anymore). Kaidoh is starved, and tends to zone out a lot. He also tends to stare at Momoshiro a lot, and he's sure the idiot catches him a few times as well. This would normally make him slither away unnoticed with his ass on fire, but this time he just stands there with a blank expression—he thinks it's a hallucination after all.

Once more they are in the locker room together, always the last ones left, and there was an unbearable silence. Another day spend not touching Momoshiro, another day spend brooding in agony.

Kaidoh lets out a tiny sigh and stands up from the bench to walk over to his bag.

"Hey," says Momoshiro softly.

Kaidoh stops and turns to Momoshiro, who's still sitting on the bench. "You didn't tie your shoelace."

He looks down, at his shoe, and his right shoelace is left untangled; he hadn't even noticed. He was more focused on the way Momoshiro was leaning against his shoulder to care about his stupid shoelace. He reaches out to it with his hand, until his vision is blocked by a sea of black hair, and his hand is left hovering right above it.

Momoshiro had bent down to tie his shoelace instead. It shocks him, it surprises him; is this another hallucination? Momoshiro can't possibly be that nice to him, yet there he is, bending his head down and fiddling around with the laces of his right shoe.

Kaidoh sucks in a breath as all his emotions battle their way up to his heart again. He'd been trying so hard to control, so hard not to act on them, but Momoshiro is right there, and his hand is right above his head. His fingers ache, he really wants to touch that idiotic hair again, to run his fingers through that nasty gel, to touch the soft spot on the back of his head. It's so hard to control, he can't even breathe anymore.

Momoshiro is finally done tying his shoelace, and Kaidoh expects his nice (but torturous) hallucination to end, to have him pull back and go on his merry way again. To go home alone without Kaidoh. Except he doesn't move, his head still bent down, near his belly, his fingers still on his shoes. Kaidoh's own fingers twitch as he reaches out for that black hair, that dark hair that belongs to Momoshiro. Wave after wave after wave, Kaidoh is a mess of emotions and thoughts, and he's shaking now, and filled with the strong desire, no, this urge, to touch Momoshiro. Right now.

Shh, don't touch it. Don't touch it. Don't touch it, Kaidoh! He's awake, he's fully conscious—he can't risk it now.

Ugh, move Momoshiro, stop being so close!

Touch it. Touch it. Touch it.

No, he can't—he can't!

Well ... just a little bit. Just the tip of his hair.

No, no, no.

He won't notice ... it's only for a second.

Why is he still this close!

And Kaidoh finally does it, he flicks his fingertips over the top of Momoshiro's spiky hair. Oh crap.

A sigh flies out of Momoshiro's mouth, and then he leans forward until he softly headbutts Kaidoh's belly. He stays in that position, silently, his head completely leaning against him. Kaidoh's thoughts have turned to mush, a mess, a huge chaotic mess, and he stops breathing too. This is ... a hallucination, right? Momoshiro can't be voluntarily leaning his head against him. Just no way.

Kaidoh is so convinced that this is not real, that his fingers lower down further, past the tip of his hair, and they graze against Momoshiro's scalp. All these familiar emotions and memories come back rushing to him, and Kaidoh's control is now completely non-existent. He does what he's been wanting to do for the past 8 days; he brushes his fingers through Momoshiro's hair. It's as sticky and as nasty as he remembers, yet it doesn't fail to fill him up with sunshine. Ahh, that warm bubble is back.

He closes his eyes as he lets his fingers travel across Momoshiro's head. From the front, to the back, and towards that little forbidden spot on his neck. He circles his fingers around on his neck, that very soft spot, and he's happy, really happy, not to mention a bit insane and out of touch with reality.

Momoshiro suddenly sneezes, right into his shirt, and Kaidoh stops instantly.

Wait, this is not a hallucination. This is real.

Oh crap.

Oh shit, shit, shit, shit—shit!

Kaidoh moves away, taking a step backwards, his entire face being flushed with blood, and Momoshiro almost topples forwards. He instantly reaches out to grab Kaidoh's arms.

"No!" says Momoshiro out loud. He pulls Kaidoh back, which is pretty easy to do because Kaidoh's a limp noodle. He bangs his head against his belly again. "No," he murmurs this time.

Kaidoh manages to find his voice and open his mouth. "Wha ..." Alright, he barely manages to find his voice.

Momoshiro is quiet for a while, still holding on to both of Kaidoh's arms with his warm hands, and his head still pressed up against him.

"I was never asleep," he says.

Those words ring through his ears like buzzing electricity. It takes him a full ten seconds to realize what it even means, what it had meant for him. He was never asleep. Kaidoh's stunned, literally stunned. He can't move anymore, not even if he wanted to. All he can do is listen.

Momoshiro rubs his head against this t-shirt a bit, slightly moving up. "Well, I was, the first time," he says quietly. "Until I fell on your lap and woke up." His voice sounds shaky, he's trembling—or that might be Kaidoh himself, because he's definitely shaking. "I was just gonna lay there to annoy you, until you pushed me off or something," he says, then snorts at the memory. "But you didn't ... I didn't realize you were going to ... do ... that ... instead."

Kaidoh is so dead. So, so dead. He's been found out. Completely found out. He can go ahead and jump off a cliff and die now.

But Momoshiro is not letting him go. He raises his head a bit more, dragging his white t-shirt along, showing off a little bit of skin from his belly. "Imagine my shock when you did do it. I didn't move, I didn't want you to know I was awake, because it was awkward ..." He stands up now, his head not breaking contact with his belly, and he pushes it up to his chest—he's sure his shirt will be stained with gel now.

"But I ..." Momoshiro is at his chest now, and his hands have trailed down his arms to stop at Kaidoh's own. "It felt nice." His black hair prickles the skin of Kaidoh's neck. "Really nice, actually. But ..."

Momoshiro finally pulls his head away, standing in front of him, his fingers lightly touching Kaidoh's. He looks into Kaidoh's eyes. "Why?" he asks.

Why? Kaidoh can't even begin to explain why, that would take hours. Except of course, it would never even get to that point because Kaidoh has lost his voice, it's stuck somewhere down his throat. So he does what he's been wanting to do ever since the first time Momoshiro fell asleep on his lap.

He kisses him.

It's awkward, it's clumsy, and he hits a bit off the mark because he surprises Momoshiro, who jumps back slightly. Their lips have only touched each other for a split second before Kaidoh reels back in, and he tries his best to maneuver his face into a position where Momoshiro can't see his flaring red cheeks. Except, that's kind of hard because he's right there—in his face.

"That's why," he says with a scratchy voice that he manages to dig out from his throat.

"Oh," says Momoshiro, his cheeks equally red. He looks down as well, both of them avoiding each other's eyes. "I thought you hated me," he says.

That's what happens when the snake decided to be a grumpy snake to hide his own feelings. Kaidoh realizes that was a really, really stupid thing to do. "No," he says. "I don't."

Momoshiro's fingers rub the inside of Kaidoh's palm, softly, just like how he would rub Momoshiro's head. "So, then ..." he starts, a bit unsure, "uhm ... you don't hate me?"

"That's what I said." Kaidoh is a bit impressed with himself that he's able to sound cool and collected while inside there's a huge whirlwind of feelings, shaking things up.

Momoshiro leans his head against Kaidoh's chest again, and he wonders if he can hear his heartbeat now. "Idiot, you should have said that sooner ... you stupid snake."

Kaidoh hisses, which makes Momoshiro laugh in return. Then Momoshiro finally pulls away, his hands slipping out of his fingers, and he smiles at Kaidoh. A smile which he never thought he'd see, nor would he have ever thought to see a blushing Momoshiro either.

"Come on, walk me home."

"I thought your bike was fixed."

"I never had a flat tire to begin with," says Momoshiro sheepishly.

Kaidoh looks at him, for once in his life, he really looks at Momoshiro. He then cracks a smile for the first time in a very long time. "Sure."

When they go outside, there's a slight drizzle of rain, and there's a rainbow arching across the sky.