His fingers curl around the stick loosely and he follows its lead as it seems to tip this way and that. Behind him, his brother follows in quiet curiosity, not daring to speak as if it would break the concentration he can see on his sibling’s face. He has absolutely no idea what’s going on. Part of him wishes they were back inside, the early evening heat still is oppressing and he would rather be inside if he could help it but he doesn’t want to let his brother wander these woods alone.

After a long moment spent in silence, Agni rolls his eyes and sighs as he pauses and reaches out for his brother to get him to stop walking as well. “Mira, what are we doing?”

His words are low, whisper soft, as if anything else might still somehow manage to break the trance that they seem to be in. Mira blinks, almost startled and looks back to his brother. His eyes are wide but there is amusement there on his face. “I’m dowsing!”

His tone is clear and happy but his words still don’t exactly answer his brother’s question. The puzzled look on his face seems to prompt something clearer, something that makes more sense but Mira simply looks down to the stick in his hands as it stays still, not pointing in any particular direction.

“Mira, I have no idea what dowsing is, how about you shed some light?” Perhaps a little annoyed now that they’re out in the woods in this heat when they could be inside where the air is so much fresher.

Mira rolls his eyes and turns to face his brother. “I’m dowsing. I’m looking for underground water. This stick is pointing me in the right direction.”

Agni takes a moment to digest the information before he’s chuckling and shaking his head, clearly amused now that he somewhat understand where his brother is going with this idea. “Mira, you are water. I’m pretty sure that if this does work, which I’m not sure it does but I suppose it could, it’ll lead us around in circles. You might not be ‘underground water’ but you’re water and I’m pretty sure anyone else with one of these sticks-“

“Dowsing rod!”

“-dowsing rod would be pointing at you. Then they’d be all absolutely baffled and wouldn’t know what to make of it. They’d believe something in wrong and go on their merry way. Plus, we know there’s a body of water some distance off, if this rod isn’t picking up on your inner water-gift, it’ll lead us to the river and that’s a long ways away. It’s stick hot out, can we just please go back inside?”

Huffing, Mira looks hurt for several moments as he hugs his stick to himself. It is the motion he makes of wiping sweat from his brow that seems to pull him back to the surface of things and he scrunches his nose slightly. “All right, let’s go back home.”

Agni holds the door open for his brother as they step to the building. Both step inside, the stick left behind. Agni had left the subject alone while they walked back, not wanting to really anger his brother by asking constant questions and not allowing him to ‘enjoy’ his excursion into the world of dowsing.

“What gave you the idea of trying this dowsing thing?”

“What gave you the idea of trying this stupid parkour thing?” Mira snaps a little, his tone angry and Agni can only close his eyes and pinch the bridge of his nose gently.

“Okay, note made. You saw this on television and you wanted to try it. I’m not going to ask anything else. Just keep in mind that I didn’t force you to come back. You decided to come back inside yourself because we were both sweating like pigs. You could have kept going. So don’t you dare take your anger out on me.” His words are soft but steady. There is no anger to them, merely a brotherly reminder of what he feels really did happen.

Mira sighs and his shoulders drop as they finish climbing the stairs to the second floor. “Sorry, I just thought it was sort of cool to watch people wander around with dowsing rods to find hidden underground water and I just thought it’d be cool.”

“It’s an interesting idea, Mira, it really is. It’s just that today is so humid I think we could have melted if we’d stayed outside. Plus that whole fact that you are water yourself so I don’t know how well you could have managed. I could try them in the house and see if they point to you or not? If they don’t we could go outside in a couple of weeks when the heat might not be as bad and try again?”

His brother shrugs again as they step into their apartment where the air is so much cooler. Both shiver briefly from the difference in temperature. Agni steps forward, curling his arms about his brother and holding him to his chest for several long heartbeats. “I didn’t mean to make you feel bad, Mira. You know that’s now something I do intentionally. I was just worried that if I let you go out there alone in this temperature, you might not come back and when I went looking for you, I’d find you passed out from a heat stroke and then I don’t know what I would have done.”

Beneath the hold of his arms, Mira is tense though he relaxes little by little. Again he shrugs but his gaze is on the ground, as if one of his dreams had just been utterly shattered. Agni kisses his brother’s cheek before releasing him but Mira does not step away. He turns and looks to his brother with those wide, confused sort of eyes. “I’m sorry-“

“No, no Mira. You have nothing to apologize for. I’m just saying. I worry about you and this heat is terrible. Even your adored mentor Armin told us we were better off staying inside when we got back.”

Those words pull a deep blush to Mira’s cheeks and he drops his gaze again, for a completely different reason this time. “I don’t adore him. I just really like learning new things with him.”

“Same thing.” Agni teases gently, knowing he’d essentially found the perfect way to change the subject.

Mira sticks his tongue out and wipes some sweat from his temples with a softly disgusted sound. “The heat is pretty terrible, I guess I should be thankful that you dragged us back inside. I’m getting a shower. You can sit and wait and bathe in your own sweat while I do so.”

“I guess I deserve that one, have a good shower.” It is Agni’s turn to stick his tongue out.

Mira disappears into his room to gather his things for his shower while Agni wanders off to his own to merely sit on his floor to cool down. He knows a wet washcloth would do him some good but he figures that he can be patient and wait for his brother to be done in the shower. He could use the second bathroom but they’ve realized that two using the showers at once cut down on the water pressure and it was less than pleasant, so they try not to, unless it is an absolute necessity.

It isn’t long before Mira is out, feeling clean and refreshed, towelling his short hair dry. He knocks on Agni’s door to let him know the bathroom is empty and he disappears into his own room.

The day didn’t end quite as badly as it could have, Agni knows. His brother could have held a grudge of sort if he hadn’t somehow managed to change the subject. It’ll still be on his mind but not quite as much as it had been when they first stepped out into the summer’s humid heat.


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