Title : In the Dark (part 4)
Author : amythest_n_ice
Rating : PG right now
Pairing : Will be Aaya/Tori
Link to part 3
Link to part 5
As soon as they got to Hatori’s house, Shigure shuffled Yuki off to the kitchen to put some tea on while Hatori guided the silent snake into the second bedroom, which would be his while he was there.
“How are you doing Aaya?”
“Fine, why wouldn’t I be?” Ayame asked sadly.
“Come on, it’s going to be OK.” Hatori told him, nervously drawing him into a gentle hug.
He had seen Shigure hug Ayame hundreds of times, but had always shied away from the thought of hugging that willowy body when he was younger, and after Kana, he hadn’t really wanted to touch anyone. As the slender body leaned into the comfort he offered though, he wondered what had scared him so much. Ayame was warm against him, and while the slight body was undeniably feminine, he could in no way be mistaken for a female in his arms.
“Come on, the other two went to make tea, I shudder to imagine what state Shigure has left the kitchen in.” He finally mused into the silky hair under his chin.
“At least I won’t have to see that,” Ayame said, genuinely brightening up a little.
Hatori snorted, and slipped a hand under Ayame’s elbow to lead him from the room. He couldn’t help looking at the youngest of their trio as he guided him from the room, Ayame was one of the more fragile among the juunishi, but he didn’t let anything keep him down for long, he was stunningly beautiful, energetic and creative. Why wasn’t there ever any romance in the snake’s life. Shigure was a letch, and would go after anything in a skirt, even if he didn’t catch them that often, there were not a lot of girls that would accept not being allowed to hug a man. Hatori had tried, with Kana, but he had never seen Aaya show interest in anyone.
“Shigure, how can you make so much mess, making one pot of tea?” Hatori demanded, seeing the devastation in his kitchen as he eased Ayame into a chair.
“It wasn’t just one pot of tea, there are sandwiches too. Dearest Aaya-chan must be famished after all that dreadful hospital food.” Shigure informed him gaily, pointing out the misshapen sandwiches.
Hatori saw Yuki giving him an apologetic look, and shrugged, offering a faint smile before returning to the ‘debate’ with Shigure.
“He was in hospital overnight, Shigure, Ayame is not starving, and even if he were, I seriously doubt that ham and strawberry jam would be appealing.” Hatori objected, examining the contents of the nearest sandwich.
“Ham and strawberry jam, in one sandwich? Gure-chan, that is revolting.” Ayame shuddered, his nose wrinkling.
“Oh, but it’s one of my favorites.” Shigure pretended to be wounded, picking one up and biting into it happily.
“Shigure, you are seriously weird.” Hatori informed him, disgusted.
“What? What did he say?” Ayame asked.
“It’s not what he said, it’s what he did.” Hatori told him.
“Oh God, if he ate one, I do not want to know.” Ayame gagged.
Yuki smiled quietly, he had never seen his brother acting ‘normal’ before, he always seemed to be over the top, going out of his way to grab Yuki’s attention. He decided he liked him better like this, not blind, obviously, but acting like a normal person.
“Ayame, if you’re hungry, I’ll make you something.” Hatori offered.
“Either one without the other would be nice, thank you.”
“I managed to rescue some of the ham sandwiches before Shigure-san got to them with the jam.” Yuki offered, passing a plate over to Hatori.
“Thank you.” Hatori nodded to him.
“OK, Aaya, give me your hand,” Hatori said. Ayame complied, and Hatori guided his hand to where the sandwiches were, and then the tea, then left him to eat by himself while he went to do something with the devastation Shigure had left behind him in the kitchen.
“I’ll help.” Yuki told him, getting up. He should have remembered the chaos that Shigure had always caused just by walking into the kitchen before Tohru came to live with them.
In the middle of cleaning up the kitchen, Yuki glanced over and saw Ayame sitting with his head bowed, while Shigure talked to him in a low voice.
“What do you think they’re talking about?” Yuki asked as Ayame shook his head slowly to whatever Shigure had said.
“I don’t know, I’m a little concerned that he’s making sure Ayame can hear him, but as long as he’s not upsetting him, I don’t think I’ll worry about it too much. They’ve been friends a very long time.”
“You all have. How do you cope with him?”
“Infinite patience.” Hatori informed him dryly. As they watched, Shigure kissed the top of the bowed silver head, and rose, squeezing Ayame’s shoulder gently.
“Are you done Yuki? We should be off, I have an editor to prepare more torments for,” Shigure said.
Hatori walked them to the door, and waved Yuki ahead to the car as he caught Shigure’s arm.
“What were you saying to Ayame?”
“Nothing much, I just wanted to be sure he was all right.”
“Don’t upset him, Shigure, he can’t cope with much more right now.”
“It isn’t me upsetting him that worries me, Haa-san.” Shigure told him darkly.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Never mind, I have to go.”
“Wait, Shigure. Is there something I should know about Ayame?”
“Haa-san…….. I can’t, I have to go. Take care of him, I’ll come over to look after him tomorrow while you’re at work.” Shigure sighed, walking away.
Hatori watched until the car was lost to sight, then went back inside, he stood in the kitchen doorway for a moment, watching the still, silent figure sitting at the table, his head still down.
Ayame jumped, his head snapping round in Hatori’s direction.
“So, Tori-san, what now?” Ayame asked with forced cheer.
“We get your hair washed, see if we can get the blood out of it,” Hatori said, lightly carding his fingers thought the silky strands.
“Really? Which shampoo did you bring?” Ayame asked brightly.
“I have no idea, Ayame, I picked the stuff up, I didn’t post mortem it.” Hatori told him, fighting a smile, even though there was no one there who could see it.