So thing's weren't looking so great up in the mountains. A nasty snowstorm swept in, and after a few battles with monsters, Lasswell got disoriented. he didn't tell the others, the chosen one and the crystal girl. He couldn't fail them. He'd get them back on the right path none the worse for wear.
That was over an hour ago, and he knew they'd passed through this frosted glade before. If Rain noticed, he hadn't let on. Fina kept him distracted with her chattering. Sweet girl, every thought and sensation was brand new to her, so she shared freely. Although they hadn't seen the sun since starting up the mountain pass, Lasswell could tell it was beginning to set as the gray shadows grew darker, and the winds grew colder.
"We should stop here," Lasswell said. "We'll get ambushed if we continue on in the dark."
He braced himself for an argument. Both Rain and Fina were prone to bouts of stubbornness and rash action. And by bouts, he meant that those were just their entire personalities.
But he'd never say it like that. Outloud.
To his surprise, they agreed. He tuned them out as they worked together to stake the tent in the best shelter they could find beside some jagged boulders. This was all his fault. If he hadn't gotten them lost, they'd be out of the mountains by now. Fina didn't let him brood for long.
"Lasswell! Stay still!"
His hand immediately went to his sword's hilt, expecting another bas. Instead, Fina took a lock of his hair in her hands and examined it.
"They are different! Rain, how did you know they would be?"
"I learned it in school," he answered.
That wasn't good enough for Fina. "And how'd school know it?" Lasswell smirked when Rain looked stumped.
"Uh.....because sometimes snowflakes get stuck on your eyelashes, so you can see them close up."
Fina felt her eyelashes. "Mine are too short. They're not catching any. Do yours?"
"Well yeah, see-"
"Can we continue this conversation in the tent? Or would you two prefer to turn into ice sculptures?" Lasswell held the tent flap open, and all three clambered inside. It was still cold, but without the wind it was almost tolerable. In the scramble to get out of the snow and into the cramped quarters, Rain ended up with his shoulder pressed into Lasswell's chest. He could see the snowflakes sticking to Rain's long eyelashes. Lasswell felt his cheeks start to warm when he realized he had already stared for a second too long. Maybe he should sleep outside after all. They'd done it for most the journey, when the weather stayed nice. He could go stretch out and not be too many inches too close to Rain and-
"Jeez Lasswell, you're like a furnace." Rain stuck his arms inside Lasswell's coat.
Lasswell yelped when Rain's cold hands found a spot of bare skin.
"What are you fussing for?" Rain frowned up at him. "You're cold too."
"You're being a bad influence on Fina. She shouldn't learn to put her hands in other peoples clothes," Lasswell scolded.
"Fina's already asleep, jackass." Rain jerked his head to the other side of the tent. The amnesiac had already curled up under her blanket and was fast asleep, not even bothering to take the ribbons out of her hair. "So calm down and share. Your coat is better than mine."
Lasswell couldn't resist an I told you so. "You're the fool who didn't prepare for this trip like I said to."
"You're the fool who didn't blablahbah," Rain mocked with a nasally voice. He unwrapped his arms from Lasswell's waist and pulled away. The space where they had been suddenly chilled Lasswell to the bone. "Fine, I guess I'll just freeze to death."
"Why not sleep near Fina if you're so desperate for stealing heat?" Lasswell didn't actually want that either, but the words left him before he could decide better of it.
"She doesn't like being crowded, you know that. Besides, I don't think the weather ever affects her. She did just fine out in the desert. Seems here is just the same." Rain sat with his legs crisscrossed and dug through their knapsack for another blanket.
Lasswell watched for a moment, chewing the inside of his lip. He took a deep breath and let it out as a sigh. He could see it cloud in front of him. Gods it was cold. He couldn't let his bashfulness get in the way of sense. He retrieved the blanket from his belongings and laid it over his bedroll as another layer of separation between them and the cold ground.
Because that's what this was. Sense. Just that. Completely and utterly platonic, reasonable, sense.
"...Rain, come on over here." Lasswell did everything in his power to ignore Rain's triumphant smile. Lasswell pulled his coat off to drape it over the both of them as Rain wiggled up beside him on the bedroll.
Lasswell laid on his side and watched Rain arrange the coverings. He always had a particular way of layering things, even when they were kids. All the blanket forts had to be built a certain way. When they shared beds back then, it was the same deal. Lightest layer below, heaviest on top, unless one was softer than the other.
He settled in beside Lasswell after what felt like forever of fidgeting. Rain tucked one arm beneath his head as a pillow, and the other draped over Lasswell's waist, keeping him from backing out of this deal.
"Just like old times, eh?" Rain said. Lasswell could feel the warmth of his breath against his chest, even through his shirt. Or maybe that was just Lasswell's own heart, beating 1000 times a second, imploding.
"If you tickle me, I'll hang you from a tree by your beltloops," Lasswell threatened.
Rain laughed. It wasn't his normal hearty, cheeky laugh. It was softer, quieter, followed by that little tune he would hum whenever he was happy. Lasswell had long since forgotten which song it had come from. At this point in their lives, he just considered it Rain's song now.
"Maybe next time," Rain said, then fell asleep just as quickly as Fina had, leaving Lasswell alone with his thoughts.
Lasswell was in Trouble.