a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.
Akira Kurusu awoke in a bed that was not his own, blindly reaching for glasses just out of reach. He lay face-down, crisp white sheets bearing the heady scent of musk and a night that he could still feel, heavy and warm on his shoulders.
The sleeping figure next to him shifted and Akira turned to look at his bedmate; eyelids fluttering in sleep, stubble casting shadows in the half-light of the morning. Akira never noticed before, but Iwai Munehisa had a kind face. The shop owner’s hand was curled around his hip possessively, fingertips warm through the sheets, and Akira sighed contentedly. The air was still, the sky outside grey and cloudy and pregnant with rain; the young phantom thief wished that he could bottle this moment, take a breath of it whenever he wished...
“Mune,” he whispered softly, shifting closer to the older man and giving him a gentle nudge. He felt some trepidation in waking him, but the risk was worth it to see those steely grey eyes slowly open and greet him with an unguarded smile. Iwai stretched, raising his head to see past Akira to the clock on the bedside table, dropping back to the pillow when he realised it was either too early or too late.
Akira didn’t care.
“No school today?” Iwai mumbled, voice thick with sleep.
“Sunday,” Akira whispered, pulling the thin sheets tight around himself. He could be dressed in the thickest winter coat and still feel naked in front of Iwai. He hummed, tenderly running a hand down Akira’s flank before pulling him close, unable to hide a smile as the boy looped his arms around his shoulders. He shivered as Iwai pressed a stubbly kiss to his neck.
“You wanna go again?” he grinned, and Akira swatted him playfully.
“Never stopped you before.”
The shopkeeper laughed, low and dirty as he peppered kisses along Akira’s collarbone, hands idly wandering down his flank, his lower back, giving his ass a gentle squeeze through the sheets.
“Mune,” he warned, though there was no malice behind it. He’d let Iwai do anything to him, loved it when the older man pinned him to the mattress and made love to him, long and slow and hard until he was gasping for air.
Iwai was a tide, and at times Akira felt like he would drown.
In one fluid movement, Iwai was on top of him, bedsheets draping off his shoulders to reveal sprawling tattoos and toned muscle and scars that Akira wanted to question but didn’t dare. He leaned down to press a searing kiss to his lips, eliciting a soft mewl from the boy beneath him as Akira draped long, slender arms around his neck.
“Iwai,” he murmured softly, and the older man nosed at his cheek, placing butterfly kisses on the impossibly soft skin there.
It was then that the heavens opened, rain falling from the sky in droves, a cascade of crystal. A good-luck charm from Kaoru tinkled in the breeze. Iwai cursed, the window left open. He moved to pull it closed, but Akira grasped his hand.
“It's raining,” Iwai said dumbly.
“I like the smell,” Akira murmured, and he laughed when this was met with a frown, “it's different in the city,” he explained.
“A delinquent schoolboy with a thing for older men and who loves the smell of rain,” Iwai mused, “you’re pretty deep, kid, I’ll give you that.”
“‘M not a kid,” Akira protested weakly as Iwai kissed him again.
“Sure,” he teased, “virgin.”
“You’re blushing,” the shopkeeper chuckled as Akira turned to hide his face, taking the opportunity to suck a bruising kiss onto his neck.
“Still as chaste as a virgin, too,” Iwai teased, stopping to caress his partner’s jaw softly with a fingertip.
“You’ll leave a mark.”
“Good job your uniform has a turtleneck, then,” the older man grinned. Akira rolled his eyes and smirked, instead turning his attention to the erratic fall of coarse hairs along Iwai’s forearms, caressing them with a fingertip. Silence settled over them like a warm blanket, and the only sounds were that of rain falling and of distant sirens and traffic as the city breathed and pulsed around them.
“I’m not a virgin any more,” Akira said quietly, contemplatively. Iwai pressed a kiss to his forehead and shifted, settling by his side with an arm curled protectively around his shoulders.
“I know,” he agreed, “I guess that’s my fault, hm?”
Akira hummed in agreement, snuggling closer to Iwai, the breeze from the window raising goosebumps on his pale skin.
The shopkeeper leaned down to press a kiss to his forehead before reaching over to the bedside table to retrieve the boy’s glasses. Akira took them gratefully, blurred shapes in the morning light becoming clear. He regarded Iwai, expression lax from sleep, thick stubble ghosting his jawline.
“Gross,” he said playfully, frowning at Iwai with a something between a grimace and a smirk.
They ate breakfast with Kaoru, who was much more accustomed now to seeing them together than the first time Akira had stayed over. Iwai’s home was small, messy, and cluttered with stock from the shop below. The roof leaked, the plumbing was a disaster, and most of the floorboards creaked. There were cobwebs upon cobwebs, and since it was close to the train station, the passing carriages rattled the windows
at all hours of the day.
Akira loved the place.
“How’s school?” Akira asked Kaoru as they sat around the kotatsu. Akira had been surprised by just how much tradition had seeped into Iwai’s home.
“Not bad,” Kaoru said quietly, regarding Akira like he was a rare bird. Their relationship was a complex one, with Akira being treated like an older brother, a close friend, and the obligatory ‘dad’s new boyfriend’ all at once, “how’s it for you?”
“It's good, thanks,” Akira smiled, pouring Iwai another cup of tea. The shop owner thanked him absently, lost in his newspaper.
“I’ve been meaning to ask, actually…” Kaoru said nervously, trailing off and not quite meeting Akira’s eyes. The older boy waited patiently; Kaoru would never open up if forced, “um...would you...would you help me with a project?”
“Sure,” Akira agreed immediately, “what’s the project?”
“Don’t be so hasty,” Iwai interjected.
“What’s the project, Kaoru?” Akira asked again, ignoring the protests from his lover and earning himself a nudge. He flashed a disarming smile at the gun merchant.
“Its for my English class...I had to write about someone I admire and I...I wrote about you. I hope that’s okay?”
“Why me?” was the first thing that fell out of his mouth. Kaoru looked flustered, “no, I mean...why me of all people? You must have had someone better than me to write about.”
“You’re...you’re cool,” Kaoru mumbled, a blush creeping across his cheeks “and you’re clever. And you always help me and my dad out.”
“So I was...hoping you could read it? And maybe let me take a
photo of you? We get extra credit that way.”
“You don’t have to say yes,” Iwai cut in, ignoring the frown that
this elicited from Kaoru.
“Of course I’ll help,” Akira nodded, “no problem, Kaoru.”
“Really?” Kaoru’s face lit up, and Akira’s agreement was worth it just to see his smile. Iwai ‘hmph-ed’.
“Still not sure why you didn’t write about me,” he said glumly.
“I wrote about you last time.”
“What was the subject?” Akira asked.
“Um...it was...‘the embarrassing or painful time of someone you love’. I wrote about dad accidentally setting fire to the back room.”
Akira glanced at Iwai, eyebrow raised.
“It was an accident,” he said. The young Phantom Thief smirked.
“You have got to let me read that one.”
It turned out to be a lazy Sunday, as most Sundays are. Kaoru met a friend at the batting cages, and so Akira took Iwai to Leblanc. Sojiro regarded the pair with a raised eyebrow and a skeptical glare, but made them coffee all the same. Kaoru met them in the coffee house once he was done, and took the train home an hour or so later. The rain didn’t relent all day. They were content to just sit and chat.
Akira revelled in the petrichor. The earthen, ozone scent of the city bathed in rain. He cherished it, finding comfort as he always did on rainy days. It mingled with the scent of fresh coffee and the delicate mustiness of the attic room above.
“Are you staying here tonight?” Iwai asked once Sojiro had gone, leaving the cafe and it's closing up to the young delinquent. They stood in the doorway, Iwai sheltered under the awning, Akira leaning on the doorframe.
“I really should...it's a school night. I wish you could stay here with me.”
“Yeah...not sure your minder would approve. Plus, I can’t leave Kaoru alone overnight.”
“I know,” Akira stepped closer, the splash of the rain misting his skin as he looped his arms around Iwai’s neck. The older man leaned to kiss him softly, pulling away just to smirk and whisper “forgive me.”
With that, Iwai pulled the younger man out into the rain, relishing the shriek that this elicited from Akira before pushing him against the opposing wall and pressing a searing kiss to his lips as the rain continued its relentless downpour.
“Iwai…” Akira gasped in between kisses, glasses becoming smeared with rain and fogged with their breath.
And honestly, Akira could’ve stood in the rain all night. Even as his pale jeans turned dark and his casual blazer became sodden with rain, and his shirt went see-through. Even as his hair lost its usual soft curls and became a slick mess and the rainwater dripped down the back of his shirt. Cool droplets ran over the small of his back, quelled by Iwai’s warm wandering hands as they clung to any stretch of skin that they could find.
“I love you,” the gun merchant whispered into the cool evening air of the alley in Yongen-jaya, and Akira’s heart stopped.
“I love you too,” was the shy response from the delinquent high-school student as the rain continued to pour and the distant crash of thunder sounded overhead. A storm was coming, and Akira felt his body thrum. Iwai loved him. They kissed once more before parting with a soft smile, a gentle caress, a promise of forever...
“I’ll see you soon,” the older man said with a smile.
Akira watched his lover disappear into the rain before he stepped across the street and back into the cafe.