I decided to write this after watching Wolf's Rain and Hige was acting funny and stuff like that. Hige is so lovable. But personally I like Kiba the most. Hehe, well anyway, I think I'm getting better, and I hope you think the same! Please Read and Review! Thanks much. Ja ne!


Chapter 1


"Hige, will you stop sneezing already?" Tsume glared back at him. Hige rubbed his nose.

"You think I want to sneeze or somethin'?" he yelled back. Tsume just glared and looked away. Hige sighed. Toboe looked at him for a moment. "What are you looking at?" Hige asked.

"Why do you keep sneezing, are you sick?" Toboe asked, a bit of concern in his voice.

"Eh, it's probably just a little cold, nothing to worry about. For all I know, it might just be something in the air," Hige shrugged his shoulders. Toboe stared a moment longer, as if in disbelief, then turned away. His reddish copper hair bouncing as they continued walking. Kiba had remained silent through most of the walk. He just walked next to Cheza, hand in hand. It seemed natural for him to do that. It just seemed like it was supposed to be.

Tsume didn't say much either, but then again, Tsume never talked very much. There wasn't much to say at all. No conflicts, well not serious ones like they had before they met Cheza. When they were around her, the felt at peace with each other, and them selves. Everything was right. She would lead them to paradise and they could all be happy. The only problem was, they didn't know how long it would take to get to paradise. Or what danger they would met along the way. But no one thought about that at the moment. Everyone just walked. It was like they weren't thinking at all.

Hige held back another sneeze. He used part of his sleeve and rubbed his nose again. He saw Toboe give him another glance of concern. He worried about all of them, more than himself sometimes. He cared almost too much. But somehow, Hige liked knowing that someone was actually worried if he lived or died. That thought comforted him.

"Hige are you sure it's just a cold?" Toboe walked beside him now.

"Don't worry kid, I'm fine!" Hige smiled one of his big funny looking smiles. Toboe still gave him a look of disbelief. Hige sighed. "I can guarantee you that I'm fine, so stop worrying, OK?" Hige ruffled Toboe's hair. He smiled again. Toboe smiled with him.

"You two better stop the chit-chat, you're falling behind!" Tsume yelled to them. Hige and Toboe stared up ahead, where they stopped on top of a hill. They didn't realized they had slowed that much. "I said hurry up, or we'll leave you!" he yelled. Toboe ran up the hill. Hige quickened his pace, but didn't run. He soon took his spot in the back of the line again.

The moon was full and silver. It shone with a gorgeous light. It proved to be helpful as the ventured through the empty land. Though they had light, they had no warmth. So they decided to stop for the night. If Kiba had a say in it, they would still be traveling, but Hige and the others convinced him that they needed to stop and rest for once. Rest, that was something that didn't come very often for any of them.

Toboe noticed that Hige seemed colder than the rest of them. Well, he thought, Hige does have a tendency of exaggerating things. But Hige had been acting worse than usual. Toboe decided he would have to keep an eye on him. He stopped for a moment and thought about it. For once he was the one watching and not being watched.

"Well we can't rest long, so get to sleep," Kiba said as he found a comfortable spot on the ground. Cheza was next to him.

"Yes, we all must rest," Cheza smiled. Everyone gladly sat around her. The gentle scent of the Flower Maiden drifting around them. Even Tsume relaxed as he sat down and curled up next to Cheza. He never let it show very often how much he loved being around Cheza.

The night drifted on slowly. Every now and again, Toboe would wake up and check to make sure Hige was all right. Every time he did, Hige was sound asleep. Now nothing seemed wrong with him. Toboe thought it would be best if he just stopped worrying for the night and got some sleep. That would be the best thing to do right now, he thought.

Early the next morning, Kiba woke everyone, urgent to move on. Though no one knew why, no one was going to find them out in this barren waste land. No one would want to come there because of the rapid changes in weather, it could be warm when you start then go to freezing cold. So they didn't know why Kiba was so worried. But then they remembered, he wanted to get to Paradise at all costs.

Hige sneezed again, followed by a slight cough. Everyone stopped for a second. He looked up and noticed them staring at him. He laughed a nervous laugh, and they turned away and walked on. Except for Toboe. He stood in front of Hige with an intense look. Hige backed away some, but Toboe just stepped up to him again.

"What do you want Toboe?" Hige asked.

"You were lying, it's not a cold is it?" he replied.

"No, I'm just fine, now let's go before we get left behind!" Hige grabbed Toboe's arm and pulled him along.

"Hige! Don't pull so hard!" Toboe yelled as he was dragged them.

The day seemed like it would never end. It was only noon or later. The sun gave some warmth in its golden rays, but barely enough to warm them all. Whenever they found some, they would stop to drink the fresh water. They needed to stop for Cheza mainly. So they just drank when she did. Toboe had been keeping a sharper eye on Hige. Nothing seemed worse, other than his sneezing and his newly developed cough.

But what Toboe didn't know was how Hige was really feeling on the inside. Hige knew he had a slight fever, he could feel the warmth of one beginning to burn in his mind. His stomach was uneasy, but the cold water usually helped calm it down. He knew he had something more than just a cold, but he just couldn't figure out how he got it. Nothing had happened to him that could cause this. THINK HIGE!! His mind screamed at him. What did you do, why is this happening? He asked himself.

Hige fell to the back of the line again by mid-afternoon. Though no one really noticed, except for Toboe. But he just thought he was getting lazy. That's what everyone thought. He got so lazy on a regular basis, that they didn't think anything of it. But the truth was that Hige was losing the energy to move faster. To him it felt like he was being drained completely of his strength. He could feel the full power of the fever now. It was more intense then he thought it would be.

The uneasy feeling in his stomach grew more and more. Soon whenever they had water, it didn't help. He would drink it only because it soothed his dry throat. He nearly stuck his head in wanting to cool his fevered head. But the water was getting harder to find, and the dryness of the land grew. Soon Hige felt like he could barely lift his feet off the ground. The pain was going through all of his body now. His head burned, his stomach was tied in knots. His arms and legs were stiff and sore. The pain of this illness whatever it was, was consuming him. Where ever it came from, it was planning to take Hige down. How ever it got there, it wasn't going away.

Hige tried not to drag his feet. He didn't speak at all, his throat hurt too much. Where did the water go? His mind asked. Hige shook his head. If he kept thinking about it, it would only get worse. So he tried to avoid thinking about any of it. He just thought about what he would once he got to Paradise. Hige, stop, you know you're body can't take much more, his mind wanted to rest too. No, he told himself. I can't stop, not yet. He argued with his mind. But his mind didn't want to go on, it knew that this wasn't good to keep moving like this. His mind finally decided he had to stop, even if his body didn't want to.

Hige collapsed on the dry ground, the pain of the illness consuming him in darkness . . .