“Times like this, I always close my eyes and there you are, smiling…” ~From the Japanese song “Dearest” by Hamasaki Ayumi
X X X X X X
It’s raining even though it’s summer. But for Hammie, she doesn’t consider that weird. In fact, she already expects it. The sky was already showing signs that it was about to rain since that morning. Even still, she continue practicing her spiking so that she’ll be ready for the volleyball tournament that the team will participate into by next week.
She’s really wet and the ground is starting to become slippery but she still continues practicing. She can’t stop now or she’ll never be able to perfect it. Not that she actually cares about perfection, though. But things haven’t been on her favor lately, especially when she’s busy thinking of something else as the practice went on hours earlier.
When Hammie can finally feel her muscles aching, that’s when she decides to stop. The rain keeps pouring in torrent and each drop hits her skin like bullets. It hurts, she admits that. The same way she’s hurt by the fact that someone’s making her do all this effort to do her best so that he’ll somehow notice her.
But that’s like asking for the impossible, right?
The rain keeps pouring even more but she just stays there in the middle of the court. She sits on the ground and embraces her knees. She looks up, closes her eyes and allows the raindrops to hit her tired face. She’s been through a lot for that day and she’s hoping that the rain can somehow calm her mind in whatever way possible.
It did calm her, but only for a few moments. Hammie’s frown soon deepens as she feels someone watching her. She can’t tell if that person has an ill motive for her but there’s something weird about that. Before she can even create a conclusive reason in her mind, she abruptly stands up and raises her right hand with her palm facing the direction where she can sense that mysterious person.
However, she freezes to her spot as her eyes widen when she sees someone standing just a few feet away from her position. She literally can’t move because of shock.
What is he doing in this place in the middle of the rain? He has an umbrella with him, of course. But still…
Okay, even though Naga is just standing there watching her, his expression is still the same as ever—emotionless. Even still, that emotionless expression isn’t enough to stop her heart from beating this fast. She turns around and as inconspicuously as she can, she takes a deep breath to calm herself.
Of all days she has to see him…
“You shouldn’t stay in the rain for too long,” she hears him say.
Undoubtedly, it gives her a surprise but she chooses not to blurt it out. Is he really talking to her?
“It’s okay. I’m not going to get sick even if I stay under the rain for a few more hours,” she replies without turning to face him.
No words follow after that. It does makes her a bit disappointed. This is her chance, and yet she’s not saying anything that will make her talk to him more.
“Then… I guess it’s okay with you if I stay here, as well,” Naga says soon after.
That makes her face him this time without even bothering to hide the surprise that etches on her face. “You’ll what?”
“I’ll stay here. At least, I have to make sure you’re not going to faint after a few hours of staying under the rain.”
This guy is definitely joking now, right? Well, she can’t really tell if he’s still sporting that emotionless look on his face. But then, why does she have a feeling that something might have made him like this?
Hammie can only shake her head to remove some of the thoughts that are really annoying her at the moment. “Why are you doing this? You could’ve just leave me here and go home.”
“But I didn’t. Besides, I don’t want to,” Naga says.
This guy is giving her one surprise after another. How is that even possible?
“Why?” she can only ask that since she can’t bring herself to say anymore than that.
Long silence ensues after that. Naga is just looking at her for a few moments before slowly looking away. She did the same when she feels her heart reacting even more because of his stare. What is going on?
“I’m sure you know this rain isn’t an ordinary one, right?”
Hammie frowns when Naga says those words. She faces him after looking at the sky still pouring down the rain in torrents. Now that she thinks about it, the rain did dissipate the muscle pains she was feeling a while back. And then she remembers something about a particular information with regards to Naga’s special ability.
“Did something happen that made you create this rain?” she ventures, not knowing what to do if she ever steps out of her boundary with that question.
Naga looks at Hammie and her heart constricts at the sight of the first emotion she ever saw in his eyes at the moment.
He was sad. A grave kind of sad.
“Does it have something to do with the battle three years ago?” she asks cautiously.
Naga nods and looks at the dark sky. “Today is his death anniversary.”
“I can’t cry for his sake whenever I remember those memories we created together. My clan already discarded emotions from themselves since the ancient times. But I can’t remain like them forever. And yet, I can’t bring myself to cry and feel sad when I lost him that time because of that discarded emotions.”
Hammie can’t find the right words to say to comfort Naga. She really doesn’t know anything about this guy and yet she’s doing her very best to prove herself to everyone and to gain his attention all this time since she met him.
“But that friend of mine would only be angry at me if I continue being sad for his death,” Naga continues and faces Hammie, which startles her. “And the only way for me not to stay sad for long is to watch you.”
She’s not eating or drinking anything but her reaction is close to having a food in her throat choking her because of shock. What did he say?
“Are you joking around?”
“Hammie, you know I don’t joke around. I don’t do that anymore,” Naga replies with that serious expression. Not emotionless, plain serious.
Her heart hammers inside her chest like crazy because of that. Warmth starts to creep up to her face and the raindrops doesn’t seem to be enough to cool it down and stop it from creeping up.
“W-why are you saying this?” she can only ask, her voice showing hints of desperation and confusion.
“Because I want you to know the truth. I always notice that, even if you’re tired from all the activities you did all day, you can still smile. I want you to know that your smile helps me a lot when it comes to my own troubles.”
This can’t be happening…
The guy who she wants to notice her has actually noticed her already without her knowing?
“Hammie, can I ask you something?”
She only nods since she’s still having a hard time bringing herself to say something with all the shock she got in just a day from this guy.
“You think you can help me talk to that friend of mine next time? Even just for a while.”
Seriously, how many times will Naga make her speechless? For real.
But going back to the topic, does this mean Naga knows about her ability? before she can even find an answer to that, she finds herself nodding as a response to his question.
She smiles widely when she sees his expression brightens. Still emotionless, but she can really see a certain change. Does this mean he’s happy that she agreed?
“I think I can do that,” she says soon after.
Then as abruptly as it came, the rain stops falling. The sun isn’t shining brightly just yet, but it’s enough that Naga isn’t feeling sad anymore. Maybe her smile really did help him in some ways.
“Thank you, Hammie.”
She just looks at Naga who’s looking up to the sky at the moment. Who would’ve thought that the rain could make her wish come true like this? But for now, it’s for the best if she just savor the moment that she’s with him.
X X X X X X
I’m not sure what to say with this. But I did my best somehow. You know, let me tell you something. It’s a bit hard for me to think of a Kyuranger-related story for these two, for now, especially with the 26th episode just recently aired which was focused to both of them. Naga, to be specific. So right now, I decided to post another AU Naga/Hammie fanfic. This time, it was set in a university with still a bit of a fantasy aspect. Much like the ones I wrote in “Has Become The End” and “My Heart’s Searing Pain”. Only this time, I didn’t write a sad ending one since I need to prepare myself to write another fanfic that has that kind of ending.
By the way, the battle that Hammie mentions in this story was the very same battle mentioned in the AU Sosuke/Saki fanfic I wrote (“My Heart’s Searing Pain”). So I guess you could say the two stories are related to each other in some ways.