Authors Note: I dont know how much I could ever thank all of you for such kind reviews! They truely make me want to write faster, despite my current lack of time. And if you haven't noticed, the rating has now been raised from PG to PG-13 on account of the following chapter, I do not believe would be correctly rated if it stayed the same. This is probably what the rating will stay at, for I am not planning on adding anything that would be considered worse then what this chapter contains. But anyways, I hope you enjoy this chapter, and once again, sorry for the lack of humor which the previous chapter contained. This one is sort of on the more serious side until the end.

WARNING: This chapter is rated PG-13 on accound of a VERY MILD shonen ai scene. I doubt this story will contain anymore, so please don't leave if you dont like shonen ai, for its not what you think it is right now. If you read you'll understand what I mean.

Chapter Three
Winter Sickness

Written by: Nao

A loud crash had been the source of what awoken the slumbering dragon. He groaned and rolled over to look around, still half asleep. He didn't notice anything so he sighed, shook his head, and flopped back onto the couch. Hatori had never been the one who could fall back asleep once he had woken up, so he just laid there with his eyes shut, resting.

The dragon moved his hand, about to stifle a yawn that had come upon him when he suddenly got a thermometer shoved into his mouth. He nearly gagged on the object that was carelessly put into his mouth without warning, and glared at the snake whom had been the one to do so.

Ayame was now standing there, holding the end of the thermometer in his friends' mouth, and watching a watch which he had on his right wrist. He hadn't noticed the dragons look that was aimed towards him, and either chose to ignore it, or completely missed it when he looked over and grinned. He pulled the object from under the other mans tongue and looked over it. "Oh my goodness, Ha'ri! You have such a high fever!" He dramatically yelled which caused his companion, Shigure, to do the same and quickly gasp.

"Ice! Ice! I'll go get some!" The dog nearly sprinted out of the room, and returned seconds later with about four ice cubes that were wrapped in a damp paper towel. He lunged towards the dragon and knelt next to him, placing the ice on the other mans' forehead. As he did so Hatori shivered slightly, and got sight of the thermometer that the other was still holding. At the reading, he rolled his eyes. As it seems, 98.9 degrees was what the other considered a fever.

Shigure continued to sit there, not toying with the corner of the paper towel as he held it. "Any better, Ha-chan?" He asked quietly to the other man and looked him in the eyes. Hatori didn't know what feeling was building up inside of him at the moment as Shigure simply watched him, as he waited for an answer. He simply nodded, not wanting to sat something that would bring the other two there back to how they were fixing him up yesterday.

Shigure grinned and remained there for a couple more moments before the deep voice of Ayame broke the silence. "We should check his temperature again, shouldn't we, Shigure? To make sure it's going down?" He asked happily to his friend. Shigure merely nodded and then a mischievous glint sparkled in his eye as he looked over to Ayame.

"I'll do it this time." He said in a husky voice, but shook his head as soon as he was offered the thermometer. "I won't be needing that. I've got a better way." He replied in the same deep voice before turning back to face the sickly dragon. Hatori didn't know what to make of what he was saying, after all, this was Shigure whom was saying it. His ideas and concepts were usually much different from normal society'.

But what came next he would've never though even Shigure would come to think right to do in this scenario. The dragon was frozen in spot as he watched as the dogs' eyes fluttered shut and his lips parted ever so slightly as he moved his face towards the sickly mans'. At first they were inches apart, then centimetres, and then—

Hatori awoke with a start as his eyes snapped open. He was breathing heavily and could feel the blood rush to his face, tinting his cheeks a shade of red. His eyes darted around the room, and blinked as he saw the sleeping form of the dog whom had been the source of his current state of blushing.

There was Shigure, snuggled deep into a blanked with his head on a notebook, which was on the table. Hatori shook his head and struggled to stand up and then walked over to the other. He took a quick glance around, but saw no sign of the snake at the moment, but shrugged it off.

Once reaching the resting place of the dog, he sneered slightly at the sight of a small train of drool down Shigures' chin, and then on the paper. He shook his head and carefully as he could lifted the mans' head up and slid the notebook from under it. Even though he knew he shouldn't snoop at the other mans' work, he wanted to see what he had previously been writing, before he fell asleep on his oh-so-comfy table.

Hatori quickly flipped though a couple of the pages till he reached the back of the journal. From what it seemed, Shigure was writing another of his dime-store smut novels. He shook his head and looked over the final page:

Even into the late night, rain continued to pour down with no signs of stopping. Every citizen of the small town seemed to be inside their homes or other buildings to shelter themselves from the rain. But, unbeknownst to other people of the town, the brunette, Kanai, remained under the willow tree, weeping in time with the rain.

She felt as though her world had shattered and been discarded, that she no longer had any reason to continue on living her painful life. She had been blamed for the accident which had nearly killed her fiancée, and no longer could she bare to even look at him.

She was a disgrace, a total and complete failure. He had been there to catch her every time that she had almost hit rock bottom, but she couldn't even save him this one time. He would always make her smile, laugh, or simply happy.

But all that was in the past. Frozen like the cold snow on a winter day, to forever be preserved and haunt them both.

"Kanai! Ka-chan!" She looked up slightly at the call of her name. Who would be out in such horrible weather looking for her? Once again she heard the call, and her lips curled into a frown. She wasn't mad or even angry that her fiancée, Hatomi, had come to find her. She just knew she didn't deserve to be found, or him for that matter.

Late into the night she listened as he continued to call out to her, even as the rain steadily changed into snow; but still, she remained there, under the giant weeping willow that preserved all her happiest memories. This was the tree that Hatomi and her had first met under, shared their first kiss, admitted their love, and finally where he had proposed to her. Just thinking of all those memories caused her eyes to fill up with tears.

And one thing she knew was that this would be the place where it all would end. She would become a preserved memory at this same spot, and spend forever and a day under that tree, to preserve both the memories of her, and the life that she once loved.

The night ultimately got colder, and sleep overtook the young womans' form, and at the end, that sleep became the eternal sleep which she had been longing for. Selfishness consumed her soul at the end. She didn't want to leave Hatomi, but she didn't want to have to live with the memories of a lost love like theirs for the rest of her life on this planet.

Hatori stared at the notebook for a moment before ultimately throwing it to the floor, awaking the sleeping dog with the echoing noise. "What was that?" He asked, rubbing his eyes and then looking over to Hatori. He then noticed his journal, which had been tossed unceremoniously to the floor. His eyes turn downcast, and he didn't make eye contact after that with the other.

"What the hell is that, Shigure?" The dragon asked, keeping his normal tone. He had noticed after the mention of 'Hatomi' just whom the story was about, even though it was twisted to please the morbid novelist. Him and Kana's tale of their relationship was the center of the story.

"It's just something I made up, Ha-chan." The dog murmured, eyes remaining downcast and an aura of sadness enveloping him. That had been something that the other had not meant to see, at least not yet. Besides, he wasn't going to even give it to Mii, his editor, before he got an okay from the dragon.

"I don't enjoy you writing about my own personal business." He said and picked up the notebook and tossed it onto the table in front of the dog. "Get rid of it." He finished, harsher then he had meant it to be, then walked away into the kitchen.

Ayame stood at the stove stirring a pot of beef stew, and grinning. Hatori just stared for a moment before taking a seat at the table. "Don't tell me you made that." He commented and received a round of laughter from the other.

"No, no, no! Of course not! I could never make such a delicious meal like this! The younger children and Tohru made it for you! Isn't that so sweet?" He asked, in a loud voice, still laughing slightly. Hatori's smile returned slightly. He didn't believe he could ever get sick of Tohru's cooking, and having it was always a treat. "I'm just warming it up! I hope you're hungry." The snake announced before pulling the pan off of the stove and putting it on a towel. He then shut off the burner, picked the pot back up by the handle, and shifted it to pick it up and put it on a pot holder.

In the process of moving the pot of stew off of the towel, he had failed to notice that the towel had slipped over on the counter, and onto the previously used burner. He was about to scoop some of the stew into a bowl for Hatori when suddenly a small draft of dark smoke passed him. He sniffed at the air slightly and then covered his nose. "Did I truly burn the stew?" He asked and then turned back to face the burner and his eyes widened. The towel had caught fire. What a perfect thing for Ha'ri to get worked up about.

"Fire!" He screamed. "Water! No, no! Flour! No, not that either!" He then grinned slightly. "Fire extinguisher!" He quickly searched through the cabinets looking for a fire extinguisher.

By this time Hatori had jumped out of his seat and tripped over his own feet to go save his kitchen from the fire which obviously wouldn't be put out anytime soon by the snake. He ran over, grabbed the towel, and quickly tossed it into the sink. He rushed over, grabbed a bag of flour, and dropped it, causing its contents to fly everywhere. His eyes then widened as he picked up the remainder of the bag and its contents, and dumped it on the fire, and then turned on the water.

About ten minutes later Ayame was sighing and looking into the pot of stew, which had a thin layer of flour on it, as did almost everything else in the kitchen. He let out an overdramatic sigh and shook his head. "Look at this mess." He said, stirring the flour into the stew and scrunching up his nose slightly. "I think it's ruined."

"You think?" Hatori said sarcastically and shook his head. He was coved in the white powder, though somehow it seemed as if Ayame had escaped the explosion of flour completely, for he had absolutely none on him, unlike the remained of the kitchen. Hatori rubbed his temples and then started to attempt to rid himself of the powder.

This day was turning out to be just as horrible as his previous time with the Mabudachi Trio the previous day. He shook his head. How in hell would he ever get better at this rate?

"Ah! It snowed!"

"No, silly puppy! Ha'ri was clumsy and made a mess!"

"Oh...with what?"

"I'll leave that to your imagination!"

"Both of you, shut up and start cleaning."
To be continued...