It’s been a pisser of a day.
That’s really all Kiyoharu can think as he trudges down the sidewalk, his only pair of dress shoes squelching at every step. His shirt is plastered to his chest, more or less transparent; although he has attempted to keep the rain off of his head by draping his suit jacket over his hair, it feels rather futile, considering it, too, is soaked through.
Three losses in a row, in unofficial games, were bad enough. Two losses to the smirking, redheaded bastard were worse. Add to that the fact that his wallet is probably back in his hotel room – or, hell, stolen, he wouldn’t put anything past these people at this point – and the fact that every cloud in Korea is gathered over his head, and, well. Assuming he doesn’t die of pneumonia next week, he’s sure this will all be hysterically funny on the flip side of never.
A taxi pulls up to the curb. He ignores it and keeps walking; this isn’t the first driver attempting to get an easy fare, but he’ll be damned if he’ll take a ride on sympathy, and that’s the only currency he can really command at the moment. The hotel’s barely half a kilometer away at this point; it isn’t as though he could actually get any wetter.
He barely hears the door of the taxi open over the pounding of the rain. Someone falls into step next to him; after a moment, Kiyoharu looks up through the curtain of his sodden hair and into the face of one redheaded bastard, who is looking, as usual, rather pleased with himself under the dome of a black umbrella, which he makes no move to share.
They walk in silence for a few moments before Kiyoharu snarls, “What?”
“I thought,” Ko says, in his careful and accented Japanese, “that you might want an umbrella.”
“I don’t see you offering,” Kiyoharu points out.
Ko shrugs and says, “I do not see you asking.”
“Some helpful passerby you are,” Kiyoharu says with disgust.
“If I offered, you’d expect a catch,” Ko replies with a shrug. “I hate to disappoint.”
“I keep thinking you can’t possibly get any worse,” Kiyoharu says. “I keep being wrong.”
“You must be used to it,” is Ko’s uncomforting response. After a few moments of silence, he says, “I don’t suppose you checked the weather forecast this morning.”
“I don’t suppose you’d like a fist to the face,” Kiyoharu retorts; it’s weak, but really, this is the best he can do at this point, and he’ll be damned, damned, if he asks for the umbrella now. The last thing he wants is to owe this man another favor; he knows firsthand that Ko always collects on his debts, and he doesn’t like being jerked around – well, he does, usually, in the moment, but not after – so he sighs and says, “It doesn’t matter now, anyway. I’m soaked.”
Ko gives him a slow once-over, lingering on the mostly-transparent shirt. “Yes,” he agrees. “I noticed.”
They keep trudging. The sidewalk is beginning to resemble a river, and the hotel is still nowhere in sight. Kiyoharu’s teeth begin to chatter. Oh, hell. “Fine,” he spits out. “Fine. Give it here.” He tugs on the umbrella; Ko comes along with it, sidestepping to stay under its cover.
With an arch look, Ko points out, “You may have noticed I only have one.”
“If you think I’m walking arm in arm with you,” Kiyohau says, “you are even more batshit crazy than I thought.”
Ko gives him an unreadable look but does not comment. Kiyoharu puts as much distance as possible between them while still remaining under the flimsy cover of the umbrella. It gives him some small satisfaction that the left side of Ko’s suit is now subject to the weather. “You’re getting drenched,” he points out after a few moments.
“Very observant,” Ko says dryly. The hotel finally comes into view as they crest a hill; it might be the best damn sight of Kiyoharu’s life.
“Yeah,” Kiyoharu says, “well. Thanks.” He almost chokes on the word, but it needs to be said. “Now please go away.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Ko says pleasantly. “As you have mentioned, I’m drenched. Because of you. The least you could do is invite me in to get dry.”
“You’re drenched because of you,” Kiyoharu says, a little hopelessly. Ko keeps looking at him, nonplussed. “Damn it,” he says. “Damn you. I knew there was a catch.”
“Yes,” Ko agrees, and smiles, just a little bit. “You did.”
To hell with it, anyway. It isn’t as though he can think of a surer way to get warm than inviting Ko up; he can curse himself for it later, but right at the moment the idea holds a certain appeal. “I’m getting in the shower and staying there for about a year,” he feels the need to point out. “My shower is even tinier than your umbrella.”
Ko’s smile grows into a full-blown smirk and he says, “I’m sure we’ll manage.”