That was the word. Well fitting for the situation inside – and out.
Rain violating windows, loudly, as if trying to break them. Nothing left of the smoothing melody the drops sometimes seemed to play.
Hayato ripped his view away from the window and the thoughts, that started to consume him once more, back down onto the white paper lying on the table, just grey lines interrupting the innocent white, neatly staining it. He narrowed his eyes, looking in front of the room, looking at the white lines on green, almost immediately deciding it was useless. Teacher incompetent, nothing more.
Him. Nor his problem.
He scribbled down – in G-script, of course – trying to make sense of the situation – nothing made sense.
The piece of paper – crumpled by the end of the lesson, but not disposed yet – was stuffed deep into his school bag, to the very ground of it, the textbooks stuffed on top of it in a hurry as the bell rang. Hayato would definitely burn it later, destroy ever single evidence of his pondering – of his cluelessness – in the safety of his flat.
But that wasn’t now or soon. He followed the tenth and the baseball idiot, gaze back on the ground, lost in thoughts, thinking.
“Gokudera-kun?” Tsuna’s kind voice reached him, pulled him out of his thoughts – guilt.
He bowed. “I’m very sorry!” Gokudera exclaimed exactly at the same time.
Tsuna raised his hands, defensive, shaking his head. Little droplets flew out of his hair, where carried away by the raging storm. “No need to bow!” he then told him, voice slightly squeaking, and Hayato stood straight once more, “I just wanted to know what you wanted to eat later, mom isn’t home today…”
“Oh,” Hayato answered, and then shook his head, “Everything is fine.”
“Great!” Yamamoto intervened, cheerful. “Let’s head to my place then instead!” And to Gokudera’s horror, the tenth nodded agreeing. He promised himself not to lose track of the conversation before him again.
He betrayed himself. He lost track.
Standing inside of the Sushi-Shop, dripping wet, like the other teenagers, mumbling a greeting to the older Yamamoto standing behind the counter, hearing the other two greeting him as well, and the adult greeting them cheerfully back.
Takeshi went ahead, leading them up, but not to his room. Standing in the floor, still tripping the baseball idiot offered him a smile –
symphony and sunshine – and a towel – warm and fluffy –, Hayato sneered and took it and gave it to the tenth.
Yamamoto blinked for a second, before holding out another one, offering him another smile with it. This time, Hayato took it, starting to dry his silver hair.
The sushi was good – delicious even. But that didn’t rise his mood at all. Hayato took a deep breath and started to explain the mathematical problem once more from the beginning. Just to be interrupted by a sneeze. His very own sneeze.
Tsuna’s eyes widened in worry for a moment. “Are you alright, Gokudera-kun?” he asked.
“Of course, I am,” he answered immediately, a little to fast, “No need to worry, tenth!”
Though Tsuna’s worry didn’t disappear. “I’ll be back in a minute,” Takeshi told them.
It wasn’t quite a minute. His disappearance were more like five minutes and his arrival was also the arrival of freshly brewed tea for them. “It’s cold outside, so I probably should have offered you earlier,” he declared, rubbing the back of his head as soon as he had placed the tray on the table.
“Thank you,” Tsuna said and looked at him with something akin to relief, that Hayato couldn’t quite place. “I’ll drink up and then head home. Reborn still wants to… “tutor” me today.”
“Alright,” Yamamoto answered him, looking slightly displeased. “But you’ll still stay for dinner won’t you, Gokudera-kun?”
Hayato shrugged, he wasn’t exactly ecstatic about the company, but it was free dinner and Tsuna would be said if he declined. “Probably.”
Gokudera couldn’t quite remember when he had a big dinner like this the last time, but it had been ages. “I hope Tsuna got home save,” his line of thought was once more interrupted, but this time, not by the rain, the bell or Tsuna, but by Yamamoto.
“Why?” he asked, alerted. “Is something amiss?”
Takeshi smiled almost cheekily. “You already sneezed and the rain didn’t lessen. ‘Is all.”
“Maybe I should—“ Hayato said, already standing up, ready to abandon the dinner.
“No, you don’t even pass Tsuna’s home on your way home. What would he think if you visited him tonight and were sick tomorrow?”
His shoulders slumped slightly. “I guess, I’ll call when I get home.”
And there was the smile again –
symphony and sunshine. “Let’s call him together after dinner!”
Tsuna did arrive safely at the sanctuary that was his home. Hayato wouldn’t have the same luck, lightning and thunder mixing into the rain, barely making it more colourful, just more unpassable. Gokudera watched the outside from his seat in Takeshi’s room, who finally seemed to understand the problem, if only vaguely.
“You can sleep here tonight,” Yamamoto told him, “The rain doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon and your home is farther away than Tsuna’s too.”
“I’ll be able to handle it,” he snapped, “It’s just a bit of rain after all.”
The rain guardian didn’t look away, but his gaze lingered. “What’s up, Gokudera?” he asked.
“How does that concern you?” he hissed, eye’s narrowing and dropping onto his schoolbag.
“Calm down,” he Yamamoto tried to pacify him, raising his hands. “I’m just concerned, Gokudera, Tsuna is too. True, you normally are temperamental and rather rude… but normally you are concentrated. I mean, you don’t lose track of conversations or you try to provoke the teachers.”
Hayato didn’t answer, gaze locked with the kind brown eyes, looking at the gestures, he was making to explain, tch-ing whenever he was especially annoyed.
“You can tell me,” Takeshi then assured him, “I’m your friend! I’ll help you with your problems!”
And something in the storm guardian stopped. “Help me?” he asked or hissed, heart beating hard against his chest, “You’re my goddamn problem, you goddamn lovable asshole!” Lightning crashed down not far from then, lighting up the room, just before Hayato ran down the stairs and out of the shop, of the house, of the room.
Playgrounds were much better when it rained, he decided. They were muted without humans running around and without the every present detestable laughter.
He fell down on the bench, breathing heavily, lungs burning, eyes tearing from all the rain drops that had landed in them and the raging storm. Nothing more.
The rain still hitting everything like a punishment.
Hayato would have laughed at the approaching person, if he hadn’t felt as heavy as he did. Weighted down by the rain.
“Gokudera?” He didn’t turn. Not to look into eyes that were far kinder than his own.
“Go away,” he told him, but it didn’t sound nearly as determined as he wanted it to sound. It sounded far more shaky. Like the way his hands shook.
And Yamamoto didn’t take him seriously when he kneeled down on the ground in front of him, looking up, looking far too much like a wet puppy, far too kind. “It’s alright,” he assured him, “You’re really lovable too, Gokudera.”
Soft warmth enveloped his cold hands. “That’s not—“
Takeshi’s hands pressed his. “I like you too,” he eventually said, after what could have been hours or just minutes or mere seconds. Time wasn’t important, the little fireworks in his chest were, the butterflies in his stomach were, Yamamoto Takeshi was.
There was a silent between them, Hayato at a loss of words, the solution to his problem just presenting itself in a form far from everything he could have ever imagined.
The rain fell down, beating erratic against the things in its way, like his heart against his chest, chasing away uncertainties, beating the symphony. The same symphony he had never understood.
“I’m cold,” he mumbled.
And the smile – symphony and sunshine – was back. “Let’s go back then.”
Hayato took the offered hand without so much of wasting a thought on it, holding it without any doubt in the world.
For many ways afterwards.