Time frame: Before school starts or early on in the school year
Takahashi Makoto lay flat on his back as the rain shifted from drizzle to pour. He eventually realized that the playground was at best a mediocre shelter from the rain, but it was vaguely dry under the slide and he was very willing to wait the storm out.
The rhythm of the rain had steadily increased going from a subdued pita pata, to a rather frenzied pitpatpitpitpat. Yuki had forgotten to bring an umbrella with him, not yet having to adjusted to the new climate he hadn’t known it was rain season.
Today the sky had decided to fall down on them solidly, soaking his hair and uniform so that strands of his black hair clung to the sides of his face, sticking like cobweb. It rained harder still until the water seemed to blur his vision. It was too wet, too windy, there was no way he could walk the rest of his way home in this weather.
Schoolbag serving as a shelter of sorts over his head he ducked into the children’s park that marked the halfway point between his school and home as he recently learned. The wet sand molded around his shoes with each step until he made it under the playground set. There was a long slide on one end and a set of rope ladders on the other end. He was standing under the platform that the ropes lead to; another boy around his age was hiding under the slide. It was nice to know he hadn’t been the only one who’d been stupid enough to leave without an umbrella. He smiled a little at the other boy waving with one hand while his other hand wringed the water from a clump of his hair.
It took a moment for Makoto to realize that he had a visitor and another moment for him to respond in anyway. "Oh," he said, "Hello." He then remembered that there were certain obligations one must fulfill when meeting a new person. He blushed at his forgetfulness and mumbled an introduction. Obligation fulfilled, he returned to what he had been doing for almost five minutes, staring at his reflection on the underside of the playground's metal slide.
He hadn’t fully expected a response, he’d smiled almost automatically, a friendly gesture if an empty one. He tilted his head slightly at the muttered introduction before smiling again, trying to not seem outright scary. “Amano Yuki, nice to meet you,” he replied in a soft murmur that was partly lost to the patter of the rain. “Would be nicer if we met under better weather,” he intoned with a friendly smile at the other boy, trying to make conversation. The rain showed no signs of stopping or even slowing, it was better than spending the whole time in drenched silence.
Makoto, unfortunately, had not been paying any attention to Yuki at all. This may have been for the best, as Makoto had never been particularly good at small talk and outright hated discussions on the weather. The conversation might have ended all together had Makoto not had a habit of thinking aloud. It was indeed because of this habit that there was only a temporary, almost unnoticeable, pause in the conversation. "I'm all blurry," he said, entirely to himself, "Why am I all blurry in the slide but not in the mirror?" Makoto then remembered Yuki and turned towards him in an effort to pretend that his comment has somehow been related to the conversation.
The comment seemed to come out of nowhere. Yuki blinked for a moment as if it would clear his thoughts and allow some kind of normal response. “I guess it’s because the slide isn’t polished? And maybe the surface isn’t completely even,” he responded neutrally though the conversation confused him. He wasn’t even completely certain the comment had been directed towards him but the other teen was looking his way so he answered as it was only polite. “Mirrors and slides don’t serve the same purpose,” he added as an afterthought. Hopefully Makoto didn’t take the comment in a way that made Yuki seem like he thought the other teen was slow.
"That's true," Makoto responded thoughtfully, "It would probably be bad luck to slide down a mirror." Makoto realized that his meaning might not be clear so he added, "Because, you know, it would break. Huh. I bet that would hurt a lot." In his mind's eye, Makoto saw imaginary glass doing very bad things to his imaginary body. Makoto did the only thing that made sense, he cringed.
Yuki cringed with Makoto as his mind went through the same process. Glass stuck in bad places. “That would really hurt,” he agreed lips still tugged into a slight grimace. He cleared his throat slightly feeling a bit more comfortable. It was certainly a strange ice breaker. “And a slide wouldn’t hang well on a wall,” he resumed their train of thought for a moment before adding again, “Like mirrors, you know.” He tugged at the collar of his damp shirt and jacket.
Makoto's eyes were drawn to Yuki's collar. His train of thought lost, he stared at the place where Yuki's neck met his shoulder for several minutes.
There was a lengthy silence as Makoto stared at Yuki. He glanced down, wondering what was drawing the attention. His hand fell to his side, collar still zipped up tight around his neck, damp and constricting. He cleared his throat awkwardly, dashing his foot against the slightly damp sand and drawing a streak.
Makoto realized that he had been staring and was suddenly very worried that he had distressed his new friend. "Oh god! I'm sorry. I just space out sometimes. I don't mean to be rude." For the moment, he was entirely preoccupied with forgiveness.
He waved his hands placating, or rather frantic to be truthful. “No, no it’s okay, I zone out too, see.” He demonstrated staring out at the rain blankly. He shook himself a little, smiling widely at the other boy, “See, nothing to worry about.”
Makoto, in an uncharacteristic fit of paranoia, was unable to believe Yuki. Yuki's hands were moving too fast and his smile seemed fake. Makoto pulled his knees to his chest. "You don't have to spare my feelings."
“No, no that’s not it,” he flailed for a moment and again before his head flopped to the side slightly tiredly. He wasn’t exactly the best with people beyond being polite and Makoto was…a little strange. So his formulaic mannerisms didn’t seem to work. He straightened and rubbed the back of his head a little, part of him wondering when the rain would stop. “I mean um…do you live in this area?” He inquired politely, completely changing the topic.
Makoto's eyes glazed slightly, and for a moment he looked confused. Then the question caught up with him. "Oh. Not far? Three or four blocks that way?" he pointed, "What about you?" Makoto grinned.
“A little further,” he commented trying to remember exactly how many blocks were between the park and his house. He knew that this was halfway between home and school but in numbers he was uncertain. “About…six blocks,” he hazarded a guess, figuring it didn’t matter how accurate it was.
"Huh, I guess we live pretty close to one another." Makoto noted. He stared at Yuki for a moment before he got an idea. Makoto stretched out his legs in an attempt to get better access to his pockets, then proceeded to empty the entire contents of his jacket pockets onto the wet turf of the playground. No movement was made towards keeping his belongings dry, Makoto carefully began to sort through the pile that looked larger than any jacket could hold.
“We do,” he concluded, he hadn’t had a chance to meet many people in the area yet having been living here for less than a month. He walked closer to Makoto as the boy emptied his pockets, bringing himself closer to peer at the pile. He walked under the drippy bridge to share the dry space under the platform of the slide. Brushing his hair out of the way to look at the contents more carefully he asked, “What are you looking for?”
"Pen. Paper." Makoto seemed to think this explained it all. Shortly after, Makoto located a damp piece of paper, but his only pen had exploded. Makoto tried to make due and got illegible results. Matters were complicated by the fact that the paper was indeed very wet. After a minute of struggling with the paper and pen he smiled and gave his creation to Yuki. "My address and phone number."
“Oh!” He was pleasantly surprised by the offer, he dug into his own pocket to smoothly remove a small sketchpad that served as a notebook and a pencil. He scribbled down his own address and number, tearing the page and handing it to Makoto with a smile and took the proffered piece of paper. “I just moved here, you’re the first person I’ve really met,” he informed brightly as he carefully tucked the messy note between the sheets of his notebook and replaced it in his pocket.
Realization dawned on Makoto's face. "Oh. That must be why I haven't seen you around." Makoto jammed the note into his pockets, a long with several marbles, candy wrappers, a computer mouse, and the other innumerable items that had been removed from his jacket pockets.
“I’m from Hokkaido originally,” he explained, comfortable with this. He’d given this little introduction several times already so it was well rehearsed. Yuki continued as he watched Makoto replace the items in his pockets. “Just outside of Sapporo. I’ve been here about three weeks, so I haven’t really met anyone yet. You’re my first.”
Makoto sensed, or at least thought he sensed, some nervousness from Yuki. "Don't worry." Makoto said then smiled, "I'm pretty experienced! I have a bunch of friends."
Yuki smiled widely at Makoto, touched by the concern. “Thanks, everyone seems nice so far, but it’ll be nice to have someone I know to look to when I’m trying to meet the other kids around here.” The rain seemed to slow slightly though it still fell heavily, loudly against the metal of the slide. The water slid a down along the edges looking like crystals dangling from the tops of a cave the moment before it dropped.
Water on the slide was dripping into Makoto's hair. Makoto shook his head violently and sprayed everything around him with drops. His face was blank for a moment, then he grinned and said, "Hey, do you like Karate movies?"
The spray hit his cheek like a kiss softly as Makoto shook himself off rather like a damp puppy. “Karate movies? I guess they’re okay, I’m more into karate itself. I’ve been learning since I was four,” he shrugged faintly in response. “I do like Bruce Lee though,” he added eagerly as an after thought, wanting to encourage the enthusiasm around the subject so that they could chat while the sky cried itself dry.
Makoto's eyes widened. "Y-you know karate? Could you show me a little? Please? I'll... I'll do anything you want." Makoto gave Yuki his best puppy eyes.
“Huh, now?” He looked at Makoto a little shocked, trying to think if there was anything he could show with the slightly bulky and damp clothing. It wasn’t that he couldn’t move it was just that the clothing wouldn’t accentuate his movement in a way that would be at all impressive. “I can try, though I’m not sure what to show you.” He unzipped his jacket, shrugging it off to at least allow slightly more freedom of movement. Yuki was wearing a loose sweater underneath so the coolness of the air didn’t bother him, anyways his hometown was much cooler on a regular basis.
He breathed in deeply squaring his shoulders and closing his eyes before smoothly going through a few basic katas, striking at the thin chilly air.
Makoto's eyes glazed over in what those who knew him would have called "idol worship." His eyes carefully traced Yuki's every move, comparing different katas to things he had seen in movies.
Yuki stopped and glanced over a Makoto curiously before breaking into a slightly awkward grin. He swung his arm slightly, almost playful in an attempt to relax and get the weird look off Makoto’s face. “I can teach you some sometime if you like,” he offered punching the air idly before dragging his coat off the ground and dusting it off before he put it back on.
Makoto thought about this carefully. He wasn't much of a movement fan, but he did love Karate movies. Yuki seemed to like it well enough, so maybe it wouldn't be all bad. However, before Makoto thought to respond he noticed the rain was slowing and that prior to getting trapped under the slide he'd had a horribly important mission. Whatever it was, it was on the tip of his tongue. He looked at Yuki, hoping to see some hint at what he was looking for in the older boy's face.
Yuki noticed the rain slowing to a drizzle. It seemed it was now or never and that look on Makoto’s face just left him speechless more than anything else. He dusted his jacket absently again, he might still get home in time for dinner if he went now. “The rain’s slowing, I guess I better get going, dinner and all,” he trailed off a little leaving the comment open ended.
"Food. Something about food. But what was it?" Makoto scratched his head. "I guess I better head home too. It was nice meeting you, Amano."
“Likewise, Takahashi-san,” he bowed slightly before darting out into the rain. The drizzle pat at his hair and shoulders lightly, thoroughly drenching him by the time he got home. Maybe it was closer to eight blocks from the park.