Wolf's Rain Fan Fiction ❯ Signs Of Paradise ❯ Cat Gives You Indegestion ( Chapter 6 )
Disclaimer: I don't own Wolf's Rain.
Ch-san: woo! Another chapter! Sorry that it took so long. But anyway, here it is.
The wolves spent the night in the graveyard under a tree near Hideki. Its leafy span protected them from most of the rain, and was large enough to give each wolf a little room to move around. The four males, used to sleeping together from their many days of traveling, were huddled close. Ayume was still sitting by the freshly dug grave, hugging her knees as the persistent storm beat down on her. Sludge and mud swirled at her feet. The boys were more than a little worried.
"Ayume, you've been out there for almost four hours! Get under this tree now!" Tsume yelled. She didn't move.
"Ayume, please! Come here!" Toboe begged. Still she did not budge. Kiba stood, waltzed over, and bent down beside her. He pushed back a plait of her soaked hair, tucking it behind her ear.
"If you want to catch a cold, that's your business, but I really don't feel like burying another corpse," he whispered over the rain. Again, she remained still, but she looked at him out of the corner of her eyes. He was smiling. Reluctantly, she stood on wobbly legs. Kiba reached out and steadied her. Silently they trudged through the saturated earth and plopped down under the creaking bows of the tree. Ayume shrugged off her soggy coat, draping it over one of the easy to reach branches. The removal of the coat revealed a pair of waterlogged jeans and three layers of white tee-shirts, one long sleeved, one short sleeved, and a tank-top. All three shirts clung to her unusually skinny figure.
"Wow, you're…tiny," Toboe pointed out.
"What do you mean?" She asked curiously.
"I mean your waist. Didn't Hideki feed you?"
"He took very good care of me."
"Then why are you-"
"Hey, you try living off a can of dog food a day and see how fat you get," she smirked.
"Only ONE can?! I'd die!" Hige yelped.
"Yup. Hideki had to treat me like a dog, because if anyone found out I was really a wolf, he could get sued and they send me…back…to…" her voice trailed off and her eyes fell to the grass at her feet.
"Take you back to where?" Tsume asked. She shook her head and fell over on her side.
"Never mind," she said. "I'm never going back. That's all I know. That's all…" she curled up into a ball and closed her eyes. The rain beat against the earth. A soft thunder rolled in the distance.
The sun did not rise that morning, or rather it was hidden behind a thick smattering of murky grey clouds and sheets of driving rain. The four males awoke at around the same time, but Ayume was so utterly exhausted that she remained asleep. At first Toboe was worried, but Kiba assured him that nothing was wrong. He had said that "after being awake for almost two days, having gone through the emotional torture of losing a close loved one, and not eating since God knows when, I'd be surprised if she woke up before tomorrow night." The young pup fell silent, for he knew Kiba was right.
When the boys finally decided that they couldn't live another moment without food, Hige rallied up Tsume and Toboe to go with him. Kiba was left behind to look after Ayume while she slept. They remembered being jumped and almost killed in this town before, so if they were going to leave a sleeping woman all alone they might as well tie her up and place her on a silver platter. In other words, while the other three men were out playing hunter, Kiba was stuck playing watchdog to an unconscious gal.
For the first half an hour, he stared out at the driving rain, wishing that it would let up so they could leave. `This place is killing her. If she stays here much longer, she'll go insane with grief,' he reasoned. As he continued to think, his eyes glazed over and he no longer saw the rain, much less heard it fall. `Why was Hideki murdered, anyway? Was he dealing with a wrong crowed? Or did he do something that made someone want to seek revenge? No, he didn't seem the type to do something bad enough to make someone want revenge. But, maybe, what he did wasn't bad…what am I thinking? Ugh… Great. This whole thing is giving me a headache.'
Ayume groaned in her sleep and shifted from her side to her back. Kiba, startled by her sudden movement, whipped his head around. Slowly, his heart rate returned to normal. `Heh. Jumpy, are we? Don't worry; she's fine,' he assured himself. `I wonder what she meant by "they'd send me back to…?" Back to where? What happened to her that made her this way?' She moaned again, snapping him back into reality. Her face contorted, relaxed, then screwed up again.
"She's having a bad dream," Kiba said aloud. With a shaking hand, he pushed the stray hair away from her face. He gulped and cupped her face with his still trembling hands. `What am I doing? What the heck am I doing? And why…'
"Why am I so nervous?" he whispered to himself. "It's not like…" Suddenly, she mumbled, stretched out one of her legs, and slothfully opened her eyes. The air caught in Kiba's chest. `Oh God,' he thought. `I'm dead.' She blinked sluggishly at him.
"Kiba…" she breathed. "What are you doing?"
"I, uh…" he stuttered. "I was just…" He groped the corners of his mind for the right words, but none came. He couldn't think of anything to say; to explain himself. She didn't seem to mind though, because she smiled weakly at him and closed her eyes.
"Mmm…your hands are nice and warm…" she sighed. He realized that he was still holding her face. Shocked at himself, he drew his hands away as fast as though he had been burned. She frowned and shivered.
"Oh, um, are you cold?" he asked, finally finding something to say. She was already asleep. Kiba stared at her in confusion. `What was that all about?' he asked himself. He shook his head. Maybe he'd never know. With reluctance, he lifted himself up and strode over to the tree. He felt Ayume's robe. It was dry. Deciding that she needed some warmth other than his hands on her face, he walked back over to her and spread it out over her shaking body. Shortly after, she stopped shivering and smiled. Kiba smiled too.
"Hey Kiba! What are you doing?" Hige called. Kiba started. He hadn't expected them to be back so soon.
"Quiet!" he hissed. "She's still sleeping."
"Oh, sorry," Hige mumbled. "We found food!" Sure enough, in their hands were two bags of trash, a couple of hot dogs, and the bodies of a few-
"Cats?!" Kiba gasped. "Since when do we eat cats!?"
"Since Tsume said they looked good," Toboe grumbled, shooting the older male a terrible glance.
"All I said was that we needed some fresh meat," Tsume snorted. "What? They cheeked me!" Kiba smiled at him.
"Well in that case…" Kiba grinned. The three men looked at him like he had grown a second head.
"Kiba, is something wrong?" Hige asked.
"Huh? Oh, no, nothing's wrong. Let's remember to save Ayume some hot dogs; I don't think she'll go for eating cats," he smirked. They sat down to eat, but with a bit of hesitation. Toboe placed his hands together and bowed his head, as usual.
"Itada kimasu," he mumbled. Kiba looked at him before did the same.
"Kiba, when did you start say grace before eating?" Tsume asked suspiciously.
"Yeah, I usually say it to myself, but I've never heard you say it before," Toboe added.
"I just started, okay?" Kiba snapped. "Is there something wrong with that?"
"No, nothing's wrong with that. I think it's great, and that we should all do it," Toboe smiled.
"Whatever. Let's eat," Hige said enthusiastically. He was about to take an enormous bite out of the nearest cat when he felt eyes on him. He turned and found Toboe staring at him.
"What?" Hige barked in annoyance.
"You gotta say grace. And so do you, Tsume."
"Me?! What for?!" He snapped.
"It's a sign of thanks!"
"Kami-sama. He brought the food."
"Kami-sama didn't bring the food, WE brought the food!"
"You know what I mean, just please, say it!"
"Agh! FINE. Itada kimasu!" Tsume snarled.
"Itada kimasu," Hige mumbled. "Okay, can we eat now!?"
"Sure," Toboe grinned triumphantly. They all dug in.
However awful the meal was, it was filling, if not nourishing, and it got them through the painstakingly boring day. Since there was nothing to do but wait for either Ayume to wake up or the rain to stop, the four males rested. This was tedious, but they rarely ever had the opportunity to sleep all day, so none of them complained. The clouds above them were becoming steadily darker with the setting of the unseen sun. When at last it was night, Ayume stirred. She sat up, stretching and yawning.
"My goodness, how long was I asleep?" she asked.
"About 19 hours, I think," Hige said. Ayume stared at him.
"Are you kidding?" she asked skeptically.
"No, that sounds about right."
"Oh my GOD," she exclaimed. "How could you let me sleep that long?!"
"Because you needed the rest," Kiba mumbled. She turned and looked at him.
"I…oh, never mind." She shook her head.
"We saved you some dinner, Ayume," Toboe said, handing her three hot dogs. She smiled at him.
"Thank you, Toboe." She accepted them and bowed her head. Toboe shot Tsume a meaningful look. Tsume just snorted. When Ayume had finished eating, they thought about where they would be going. Hige said that he wasn't going anywhere while it was still raining. Tsume told him to suck it up, and that a little rain wouldn't kill him. Kiba agreed, and it was settled. Silently they slipped out into the rain and made their way across the city.
Because of the terrible weather, the wolves were not hindered by any unwanted people or animals on the streets, and allowed themselves to run without their "shields" on. They pounded their way through the driving rain in their natural forms. With only their waterlogged noses as guides, the wolves navigated their way out of the city and across a field that was more of a barren wasteland than anything else. When the metropolis was nothing more than a speck on the horizon, Ayume looked back. A glint of sadness was in her eyes. It was then that she decided that she would never go back to that city. With a heavy heart, she followed her new, unorthodox family. She was uncertain if they were leading her to her salvation or her doom. The only thing she did know was that she would follow them to whatever end.
ch-san: Okay, so it's not that long, but it's better than nothing, right? ^.^ Also, for the non-Japanese people, here's a definition of the (few) words I used:
Itada kimasu: "Thanks for the food." Basically saying grace.
Okay, well, I'll try to write the next chappy as soon as I can. Thanks for your reviews! I really appreciate them, especially the ones that say specific things, like comments on what I could do to improve, or comments on what you like about it. Not just "wow, this is really good, please update." Come on, folks. It doesn't take that much effort. But at the same time, I should shut up, because reviewing IS optional. I'm not saying "review or I keel you", I'm just saying that it's appreciated. *grin* Ja ne!