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Rainy Mood

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You and Slick were caught completely unaware by the rain. The city had been hot and muggy all afternoon and the light pollution from the streetlamps was caught up in the undersides of the clouds during the evening and at night, when the sun went down.

Nevertheless, you’d been ambling along on the route to one of Slick’s apartments from someplace or another when the clouds opened and the heavens rained down, and the two of you were soaked in seconds. The temperature chose that time to drop precipitously and leave the both of you shivering in the sudden chill.

“Fuck!” hissed Slick, looking up at the sky in time to get a face full of rain. He yanked you under an overhang of a building and you both took a moment to exclaim in disgust over your suddenly sopping clothes.

“Goddamnit,” he snarled as thunder rolled across the sky. “Goddamnit. Your apartment is just over that way, right?”

You look at him, startled. He’d never been to your apartment. “Yeah,” you say warily. “You wanna go there?”

“No shit. I fucking hate rain.”

You look at the street signs and try to gauge where you are. Wiltshire and Banks, you see—Slick’s right, just a block or so over from your place. “Right,” you say, and turn back the way you had just come. Over one, up one, you think, and pull your coat up higher around your chin—not that it’s going to help, much.

“Why do you hate the rain?” you call over the next booming crack.

Slick’s at your elbow, putting you between him and the street. He’s hunched himself up and is taking advantage of the slight protection you offer from the driving torrent.

“It’s fucking wet,” he yells back at you and curses when the downpour abruptly doubles. It’s such a patently ridiculous answer you can’t tell if he’s answering truthfully or not.

You end up jogging for your apartment, as Slick’s too impatient to walk and turns it into an impromptu race. You enter the building’s foyer with an accompanying display of lightning in the background and take a moment to stock. You and Slick are both contributing to massive puddles, and Surly Doorman is glowering at you from his corner.

“C’mon,” you mutter to Slick and head for the stairs. Three flights later and you’re at your door, and you mutter foul imprecations as you push the key in and jiggle the lock for a moment before the mechanism decides to relent. You flick on the lights and lead the way inside.

You’ve got a cheap flat. It’s not terrible, just a one bedroom affair with a small kitchen, a bathroom, and living room. You have cheap, comfortable furniture and a small bookshelf or two. Enough for one guy. There’s some stuff on the counters, the kitchen table has case files strewn across it, there are some dirty dishes—but overall it’s fairly tidy. Even so, you feel a little embarrassed, offering this humble abode to a guy with five apartments scattered across the city and all furnished with stuff costing collectively more than you make in a year.

Slick pulls off his hat and slicks back his hair with one hand. It’s dripping like crazy, and the hat looks like it needs to be reshaped after the beating it took. You’re aware of the growing lake on the floor, and you hurriedly move into the bathroom, where you start to strip out of your wet things. Slick follows, and in moments you’re both shivering in nothing but boxers.

Even out of his clothes, Slick still looks like a drowned rat with the way his normally messy hair is plastered to his head. You pull a towel off the rack and presumptuously towel his hair dry, using the excuse of getting rid of the offending water to touch him. He sits on the edge of the bathtub shower thing while you work. When you’re finished, you start to do the same for yourself, before he snatches it from you and makes you sit on the floor so he can return the favor.

When he’s done, he leaves the towel on your head as you get up and start to throw your soaked clothing into the tub to drain a bit. “Got anything I could borrow?” Slick asked moodily, gesturing to his semi-naked state.

“We could just skip dressing and get in the bed,” you observe casually. He looked at you sharply and grinned.

“Yeah,” he said. “We could do that.”

A while later you’re dozing, curled up around the shorter man. You can still hear the rain coming down from your room, hear it strike the metal of the fire escape outside your window and rattle the window pane.

“Hey Slick,” you ask drowsily under the warmth of your blankets and lover. “Why do you hate the rain?”

“I don’t,” he grumbled half-asleep into the pillow. “I’m safe inside, aren’t I?”