Tamaki could feel Eijirou's small hand within his own, and wondered when the bus would arrive.
The rain had started falling a while back, prompting Tamaki to use his quirk to sprout a grapevine from one of his fingertips in order to shelter them both. The little leaves did not do much to halt the rain but it was the best he could do.
He'd eaten some grapes earlier on in the day but, standing by a bus stop at night with the water seeping into his shoes; he wished he'd eaten an umbrella or something.
He really should've known that something bad would happen, that their parents wouldn't get there on time, and that they'd be forced to stand and wait. They'd stood there, watching for each new arrival, without success.
Beside him, Eijirou yawned, and he raised his frail free hand to wipe his mouth, as though he could wipe his sleepiness away. Tamaki gripped his hand tightly, to remind them both that they were not alone in the woods at night.
A thump sounded beside him, and Tamaki looked up with surprise to see a large figure. It was Fatgum, their neighbour so to speak.
He'd appeared from nowhere, perhaps out of the dark intimidating trees all around, or perhaps he fell out of the sky. Either way, Tamaki wouldn't be shocked.
"I..." He began before realising that Fatgum did not speak. He'd never said anything to them, in the whole time they'd know him, only made vague noises.
Bringing his gaze back to the ground, to focus on a muddy puddle in front of him, Tamaki could feel his ears starting to burn.
He'd been so irresponsible. He'd forgotten an umbrella, forgotten the way home, and even forgotten how to look after his little brother.
As though aware of his thoughts, Fatgum made a short noise which drew Tamaki from his thoughts. It was akin to a squeal of happiness, and Tamaki found himself staring up at him again.
Fatgum had pulled out an orange umbrella and was struggling to open in with his large hands. Tamaki was about to offer his help, even though Eijirou looked ready to fall over any second without someone to lean on, when Fatgum said something akin to ah ha! and pushed his hands outward to make the umbrella flourish into position.
Looking pleased with himself, Fatgum smiled. It was a broad grin that reminded Tamaki of Eijirou's summer smiles and sent him wondering down a train of thought about how similar the two were and how different he felt sometimes.
A sudden force sent him stumbling a few steps to the side. He nearly let go of Eijirou's hand but managed to stay upright. Initially annoyed at his lack of balance, he saw Fatgum nudging him with the umbrella and realised.
"Oh." The words tumbled from his lips without control. But the next ones were deliberate, "I can't take this!"
His protests became the only noise as the rain's sounds seemed to fade into the backdrop. Fatgum had brought the umbrella, had been more prepared, so it was only right that he stay dry.
This carried on for a while, and the only thing that let Tamaki know that he wasn't being ignored was that Fatgum's large eyes were focused solely on him.
The rain suddenly slowed and then stopped, invalidating the argument. Tamaki allowed his voice to slow and fade away just like the rain had.
The clouds passed on and the moon shone sudden silver light onto the dirt road in front of them. Eventually, the light made its way to them and illuminated their faces.
Yet, Fatgum's eyes were still focused on him. Tamaki knew that he must've looked very small to all who were watching.
Eijirou probably appeared even smaller with his shoulder length black hair. The rain had left them both fairly drenched and so his hair hung in knotted tendrils around his face. His clothes were soaked, creating puddles at his sides. Tamaki hoped that they’d be able to dry them off later.
The forest animals resumed their nightly song for a few minutes, as Tamaki cast his head downward.
Then Fatgum let out an enormous roar that echoed through the land and the sky. Tamaki's eyes widened and Eijirou ripped his hand from his grasp and staggered to the side.
Grabbing Eijirou's hand and pulling him closer, Tamaki watched Fatgum close his mouth and watch the sky.
A few moments of silence and then the light in the clearing disappeared, as though the moon had stopped shining.
He looked up and felt the urge to shriek.
A large bus-sized object was falling from the sky, rapidly approaching the ground. Tamaki pulled Eijirou away from the ground and covered his body with his own.
But the catastrophic disaster that he had expected never came to pass as the object landed gracefully on six legs that were attached to the base of the bus instead of wheels.
Actually . . .
It was more cat than bus, a formidable space of yellow fur and strange eyes. Its eyes lit up the road ahead of it, like headlights, and the moon had come back to reveal dark stripes across its . . . back? roof?
He peered up at Fatgum.
The other nodded his head toward the cat-bus, as Tamaki preferred to refer to it as, and one of the hole/windows, he wasn’t sure, that lined the sides stretched to become a door.
Tamaki checked on Eijirou, who was okay but most definitely awake and more than a little scared trying to look brave. Tamaki gave him a kind smile and led the way toward the cat-bus.
Stepping up into the cat-bus, he led Eijirou toward a seat, where he quietly told him that he had to stay seated for his own safety. Eijirou was attentive and nodded energetically.
Then Tamaki turned around to see the hole close up and Fatgum wave at them. He gave a cautious wave back, grateful for the help, and then fell into the seat next to his little brother, who looked fascinated by everything.
The seats were comfortable, a product of basically being piles of cat fur, Tamaki supposed.
But then the cat-bus accelerated suddenly with a bound and a pounce along the dirt road before taking a leap into the air. As the trees erupted to give way for them, the leaves being torn off of their branches, Eijirou let out a yell of awe.
All Tamaki could think was, Here We Go.