He had never quite decided if Watanuki seriously believed that Idle Hands Were The Devil's Workshop, or if he was just totally attention-deficit; in either case Watanuki seemed unable to just sit quietly. He had to be doing something. Fidgeting or winding yarn or mending something with quick impatient tugs. It drove Doumeki crazy. Sometimes it took all the control he had not to reach out and cover Watanuki's thin nervous hands with his own, to hold them still for a second, to make Watanuki rest.
For instance: It was a hot day in midsummer, the sort where the air seemed to shimmer faintly with heat and even the cicadas were quieter than normal, dulled. It was too hot to be inside. It was even hotter outside. Doumeki was dressed in an old yukata that his grandfather had owned, worn thin and white at the edges. Watanuki was dressed in a thin shirt and pants because he only wore yukata on special occasions. There was a little bit of precious shade under one of the temple trees. Doumeki was stretched out on the ground, staring lazily up at the pale blue sky. It was a day for sleeping fitfully. It was a day to think of nothing and then take a nap. The only thing to do was wait until the sun set and the air finally cooled enough to breathe.
Watanuki sat bolt upright against the tree. He was knitting. His needles flashed as he worked the row, so quickly that all you could see was a blur of wood and red wool. Every time Doumeki had almost drifted nicely off to sleep the movement of Watanuki's hands would catch his eye.
"Aren't you hot?" he said finally.
"It is 35 degrees Celsius in the shade," said Watanuki precisely. "What do you think."
"You should stop knitting then," said Doumeki, correctly translating this as 'yes but I am not going to let a little thing like heat stroke stop me from being insane'.
"Summer is fleeting," said Watanuki. "Frostbite is forever."
It was too hot to say things like 'would you stop and rest for one goddamn second?' Doumeki sighed and closed his eyes. "We can have watermelon later," he said.
"Are you expecting me to cut it up?" said Watanuki.
"I can cut up a watermelon," said Doumeki. "I can even put it on a plate."
"Huh," said Watanuki. "Is this like the way you can cut a piece of bread?"
"I don't know how to tell you this," said Doumeki, "but normal people can look at a piece of bread and think, That looks tasty, and not That is one and a half millimeters bigger than the piece before and slightly crooked."
Watanuki didn't deign to answer. His needles made small, soothing clicking sounds together, almost like a bamboo pipe in a garden. Doumeki took a deep breath and released it. The heat of the air, the grass beneath him. The warm and living earth that supported them. The sound of the cicadas and the quiet rustling of the tree in the tiny breeze swooping over the temple grounds. As he breathed deeper and deeper, it seemed like he could feel all of them. Watanuki was a sharp but not unpleasant presence beside him. Not blending but complementary, he thought. A contrasting color. Doumeki could feel his own heart beat, a strong, slow sound that resonated all through his fingers and toes. His breathing slowed even more.
He didn't quite fall asleep and he wasn't really meditating. It was more that he was just drifting. He was thinking about waking up when the clicking of Watanuki's needles slowed and finally fell silent. Doumeki held himself relaxed and still. If he was lucky, and Watanuki thought he was asleep....
Something brushed lightly against his hair, once, twice, and then settled into a sleepy rythym. Watanuki's fingers sank into Doumeki's hair and combed through it lazily. Doumeki didn't smile, didn't move. His scalp tingled deliciously.
He sank into sleep.
When he woke up, Watanuki was no longer petting him, but he was asleep, leaning against the tree in a natural, graceful pose that would give him one hell of a neck crick when he woke up. It was dusk and the fireflies were coming out to dance. Doumeki stretched deeply and and got up. He looked at Watanuki carefully, to be sure to remember how he looked like this.
He went to get the watermelon.
note: 35 degrees Celsius is 95 degrees F.
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