The Story Continues

Walking In the Rain

Standing just inside the bar, Magnus stared up at the grey sky and watched as the rain fell in a steady and overwhelming torrent. It wasn’t a brisk shower, but a downpour. Something that happened frequently at this time of year in Lagaard. And thankfully, it did little to hamper exploration efforts of the labyrinth.

The rain wasn’t a problem at all. And Magnus did enjoy the rain, especially listening to it patter against the window as he watched from inside.

It was just a minor annoyance when one was caught out in it. Getting wet and cold, the way the clothes would cling to his body wasn’t something that was particular nice. Or comfortable.

At least he wasn’t the only one to have been caught unaware by the rain. Next to him stood Shen, the stoic ronin looking out at the rain with his usual impassive expression on his face. If he had been alone, he probably would have made a run for it, get soaking wet and get a gentle scolding from Lynus.

Speaking of Lynus, he and Axel were also stranded at the bar due to the rain. They, however, had the hindsight to carry a couple of umbrellas with them.

“Here,” Lynus said as he handed over his umbrella to Magnus and Shen, a gentle smile on his lips. “I can share with Axel. You and Shen can share that one. I don’t want you two getting wet and catching colds.”

“T-thanks,” Magnus murmured as he received the offered umbrella, holding it in his two hands.

Lynus continued to smile at him as he turned to Axel, whom of which had already opened the other umbrella and was lingering just outside the awning of the bar. The very second Lynus was within reach Axel slipped an arm around Lynus’ shoulders and pulled him close to his side. Lynus, in turn, slipped an arm around to rest on Axel’s back.

“Stay close or you’ll get wet,” Axel said.

Lynus looked up at him and smiled brightly, with a slight teasing edge. “I don’t think you need an excuse to hold onto me, do you?”

Axel laughed. “How about you hold the umbrella and I carry you?”

“This is fine!” Lynus laughed as he nestled himself against Axel’s side, the two of them barely paying any attention to the rain or their surroundings as they walked together. Too caught up in each other.

It made Magnus feel a little envious, to be honest. To be so close, uncaring of who would see…

Wordlessly, Shen took the umbrella from him and opened it in preparation of following their lead. It made sense that Shen held onto it as he was taller than Magnus; he’d hold it over the both of them.

“It is getting late,” Shen said. “We should head back to the inn as well.”

Mutely, Magnus nodded his head. He then moved to stand next to Shen, allowing the Ronin to lift the umbrella over the two of them. He moved as close as he felt he was allowed to while also giving the older man his personal space.

“You’ll need to stand closer than that,” Shen unexpected said as he glanced down at him. “Or your shoulder will get wet.”

“O-ok,” Magnus practically squeaked as he moved closer to Shen, hunching his shoulders in embarrassment as his right shoulder brushed against Shen’s arm.

Feeling intensely awkward and nervous, Magnus followed Shen out into the rain. He tried to concentrate on his surroundings and not think about the way he was standing shoulder to shoulder with Shen. He was so used to walking a step or so behind him.

Glancing around in a somewhat skittish manner, Magnus noticed that the rain was getting heavier. Some of the rain was slipping pass the umbrella and landing on his shoulder. But the way they were walking, they couldn’t possibly be able to move closer together. They were already shoulder to shoulder.

Unless…

Magnus felt a blush spread across his cheeks and he barely suppressed the urge to squeak out in embarrassment.

It was…a silly idea. He had seen Lynus do it many times before. It didn’t look hard. All he had to do was slip his arm through Shen’s, hooking their arms together. His arm was right there, after all. Right next to him, holding the handle of the umbrella between them.

Shyly, Magnus glanced up at Shen before flicking his eyes down at his powerful arm that was free of any armour. Slowly, he reached up with his right hand, hesitating for a few moments before pushing forward and slipping his arm through Shen’s, hooking their arms together.

Shen immediately stiffened and while Magnus immediately glanced at the ground, more than certain that his face was beet red, and he felt Shen turn to look down at him in question.

He didn’t say anything though.

Instead, Shen unexpected reached over with his right hand to grasp the handle of the umbrella. He then dropped his left arm, seemingly allowing Magnus to better able to hold onto his arm. Magnus felt his blush deepen further as he continued to look shyly to the ground. He, however, slowly reached over with his left hand to gently touch Shen’s arm, curling closer to him.

And Shen made no attempt to push him away.

Magnus felt a small, shy smile slip across his lips and he subconsciously move closer to Shen, wrapping both his arms tightly around Shen’s as he leaned his head against his shoulder. And the mighty Ronin still made no attempt to dislodge him or anything of the sort.

In fact…it appeared that Shen was taking the long route back to the inn.

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