Just a series of fluffy, plotless pieces that I wrote to get some reprieve from the angsty Takari I tend to write. They actually belong to a particular story universe, which I will define later on.

For readers of the Perhaps Universe – the next chapter of Perhaps Love will be up very soon, and I hope this piece will help with the wait.


Umbrella

Hikari has a mission and is protective of umbrellas.

Hikari doesn't like thunderstorms. She doesn't like the thunder, or the lightning, or the rain. But she is fine with thunderstorms if she could be inside, curled up with a good book and a mug of hot tea. Today, however, she is outside, with only an umbrella to buffer her from the raging storm. Between the wind and the rain, the umbrella might as well have not been here. Now her new sundress is completely soaked and her hair is windblown.

She stares unhappily into the distance. Where on earth is Taichi? Why isn't he calling her? His flight got here on time and he's never kept her waiting before.

There is another strong gust of wind and, before Hikari could react, it blows the umbrella right out of her hand. "Wait! Please come back!" she cries out, as if her plea would change anything.

Of course, the wind doesn't listen, and Hikari could only watch her umbrella bounce on the pavement a few times before it disappears down the street.

Now Hikari feels even more upset and she has to remind herself that she is much too old to cry. That is her favorite umbrella, made from a soft gray cloth emblazoned with the symbol of Light. Takeru had it custom-made for her last birthday. She glances down at the umbrella she is carrying for Taichi. She could use this one, she supposes, but she is already wet and she doesn't want to risk the wind blowing this one away.

With a sigh, she cranes for another look at the road. To her delight and surprise, a taxi is pulling up to the curb. To her slight disappointment, the person who gets out is not her brother.

"Hikari, what on earth are you doing?" asks her husband, quickly hurrying over to join her.

Hikari does not answer. Instead she edges closer and allows him to embrace her. Takeru is dry and warm, and she inhales the familiar scent she has come to love.

"I thought you don't like getting wet," he says, kissing the top of her head.

"My umbrella flew away," she explains. "It was my favorite one."

He laughs as he positions his own umbrella over her. "I will get you another one," he promises. "Why are you outside in the first place?"

Hikari sighs. "Taichi is supposed to be getting here right about now, and I don't want him to get wet," she says, muffling her face against his chest.

"That explains the extra umbrella," he says, as if one of universe's great mysteries has just been solved.

She looks up at him earnestly. "We both hate thunderstorms, big brother and I. When I was younger he always let me crawl into bed with him because he knew I would get scared. It's the least I could do to return the favor right?"

Takeru laughs. "Right," he says. "I will wait with you then. Come on, let's wait in the lobby of the apartment."

"But Taichi –"

He strokes her back. "He's probably just delayed by the rain," he assures her. "We can still see the road from the lobby."

She sighs. He does sound very reasonable, and the promise of being inside and dry is very enticing. "All right," she says, giving in and allowing him to lead her back inside.


The storm stops soon after, although by then Hikari has fallen asleep, her head lying in the crook of Takeru's neck. He smiles as he listens to the even sound of her breathing. She was up pretty late last night, getting the guest room ready for Taichi's arrival and acting as excited as a child waiting for Santa Claus' visit.

Quietly, Takeru drapes his jacket around her and hopes that she wouldn't catch a cold, both for her sake and for his. After all, Taichi will not be pleased to find his sister in less than perfect health.

And speaking of whom, his brother-in-law has just gotten off the taxi and entered the lobby, his computer bag over one shoulder and the handle of his suitcase in his hand. He looks around before he finds them. His eyebrows are raised in question as he surveys the young couple.

"Hello Taichi," Takeru says with a weak wave. "How was your trip?"

"It was good. The flight was on time but we hit a bit of traffic on our way over here." Taichi blinks at his sister. "What are you two doing? Is she asleep?"

"It was raining," Takeru says, by way of explanation. He hands Taichi the umbrella that Hikari has been clutching to her chest.

Taichi glances out the glass front door at the now sunny sky and then at his new possession. "Of course," he says. "Well…should we go in?"

Takeru gets to his feet, careful not to jostle Hikari, and gently scoops her up. He chances a look at Taichi. Even after ten years of dating and then marriage, he is still not completely certain that Taichi won't someday murder him surreptitiously, when she isn't looking. In his arms, Hikari sighs and curls closer against him.

"Taichi's here," he tells her, when her eyes open briefly.

"Don't forget the umbrella," she murmurs.

"We didn't," Takeru says, and risks his life to give her a quick peck on the lips, which ends up lasting quite a bit longer than intended.

After he finally pulls away, he chances a look at Taichi, who is staring straight ahead. "Any time now," he says, starting toward the elevator.

Hikari, now awake, laughs as Takeru sets her down on her feet. Then, hand in hand, they chase after Taichi, not noticing that his mouth is quirking into a fond smile.