breakfastofchampions: (goldenhour brothers)
[personal profile] breakfastofchampions
Title: Unspeakable
Universe: Lost Princes
Characters: Fyodor (Fedya), Vyacheslav (Slava)
Rating: G
Word count: 731
Summary: Slava loves the rain.
Notes: for [community profile] origfic_bingo, for the prompt "Unacknowledged Love". Secret (noun) sounds the same in Russian (секрет), in case you were wondering, as the sound of the word is a part of this story.



It was summer, and it was raining. The sky had opened up like someone telling a secret, and that secret went on and on, pattering on the streets and windowpanes, speaking the same quiet truth over and over, but in a language no one understood, so its meaning went unheeded.

Slava loved to see and hear a storm. It drew him to the window and affixed him there, unmoving. The light from the window was pale and soft.

Secret secret secret, said the rain.

"Fedya," said Slava, "can I go out?"

His big brother was not sleeping, but drowsing in their bed. Slava knew he wasn't sleeping, because every time he asked him if he was, Fedya said, "No."

Maybe he had decided to say no to everything, like the rain said secret, because when Slava asked him this new question, the answer was the same. "No."

"But the rain, Fedya." It didn't rain a lot. It would be over soon, and Slava would have missed his chance.

He watched the droplets hit the streets, the growing puddles rising with each new strike. Each one was like a little word, a word you could see as well as hear.

"Fedya, are you asleep?" he asked.

There was no answer from the bed. For the first time since it had started raining, Slava looked away from the window and its pattering of rain. The bed was in shadow. The light from the window could not seem to reach it, but his brother's rough face was turned to the light as if he wanted to meet it.

Slava knew he should stay where he was and be good, but the rain was falling outside. He crept across the floor to the door, careful not to make a noise, as the rain murmured, secret secret secret.

He made it across the floor. The door stood behind him. It was locked, but he knew how to unlock it, like Fedya did, though he was strictly forbidden to. He unlocked it. He opened the door. It did not go quietly. It always made a noise, and it did so this time, too, a high-pitched sigh. Slava waited. Fedya's breath was steady, and he was still.

Slava bolted through the door, then down the hall, running on his bare feet, each step a quick pat like the rain falling. Each step took him farther from Fedya and where he was supposed to be, but he did not stop. After the hall, there were two more doors to pass through, and through the door was everything else in the world, which was a dangerous place, but he only wanted to go out in the rain. He wouldn't get hurt.

Each door had a voice of his own, but he didn't open them slowly, because Fedya could be waking up already, so he burst through them and out into the world, where the rain whispered against the sidewalk, and then on his forehead and his shoulders.

Slava spun in the rain, opening his mouth until it filled with water that tasted a little like metal. He held out his hands, and the little cups of his palms filled up with water, too. He was shaking hands with the rain, it was everywhere, and that secret was spoken in his ears again and again until he thought he almost knew what it meant.

Arms grabbed him suddenly, and he opened his eyes. The rain fell into them. His eyes stung, but he could see Fedya, holding him tight.

"What are you doing?" his brother asked, but Fedya could see what he was doing, so the question must have meant something else. His face was twisted. He looked angry at the water pouring down over his eyebrows.

"Fedya--the rain," Slava said, struggling in Fedya's grasp.

"Come inside now, you can't be out here like this."

He felt the rain on his feet and legs, on every part of him, his clothes soaked through. "But I don't want to." There was more he wanted to say, but he couldn't say it. He didn't know how to say that his hands had filled up with water like his ears had filled with a secret, and the rain would never hurt him.

"The rain!" he said, but like the storm's own words, no one understood.
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