Disclaimer: Wolf's Rain and all associated materials belong to Keiko Nobumoto. The song Your Eyes Open belongs to Keane.

Your Eyes Open
By: Nanaki BH

"What exactly did you tell him, Tsume?"

"I asked him to be my mate."

"You what!"

Hige backed away, leaving Tsume standing alone in the moonlight. He didn't appear phased at all, even after such a shocking confession. It only went to prove just how stubborn and placid Tsume could be sometimes. He'd so badly wanted a reaction though. For God's sake, he'd expected him to yell at him and deny it until he eventually gave up and told him the truth, but he received nothing of the sort. His fists balled and on accident, he pushed his nails a little too far into his palms. Blood trickled out from his fists and splattered on the cold ground, becoming black puddles in the darkness.

"You can't just… You know you can't tell him something like that," he said quietly, looking away. Tsume didn't face him still; his arms akimbo, staring at the moon.

He shook his head solemnly, pushing his hands into his tight leather pockets. Hige wished that his back alone could convey the same emotions as his face. "I'm not telling him anything. I asked him and he said yes." He certainly didn't sound ashamed. He sounded proud, actually.

In the dark, he could just barely make out a smile on the side of his face. From the time they'd spent together, already at least three months, Tsume had never struck him as the type. He just didn't seem like the kind of person who would go looking for romance, especially not in someone like Toboe. He was a gentle, naïve kind of kid. In fact, from how they'd interacted, he had been convinced that Tsume hated him or, at the very least, thought he was a bothersome little child.

Instead, there he was, telling him that he'd asked Toboe one of the most important questions a wolf could ever pop. Something still bothered him though. There was something he wasn't telling him. Hige stepped forward again, one foot into the shade of the moon. "Tsume, do you love him?" he asked, his voice slightly louder than before, lilt hinting at his disapproval.

Tsume, as he suspected, was silent. He huffed, partly in exhaustion and partly in triumph. His silence was enough of an answer. Just when he was about to turn to leave, to go back to the grove their pack was sleeping, Tsume unexpectedly spoke up.

"I'll tell you what, Hige," he muttered softly, barely over a whisper. "I've never felt like this for anyone ever before."

It was the most bizarre confession Hige had ever heard anyone tell. He'd said it so calmly… yet he'd still avoided the question. There had to be more to it, he was sure. Tsume sounded uncharacteristically sincere though and he feared he was telling the truth. Like the night wind itself, Tsume passed him to join their camp. He caught his gaze and a pang struck his heart.

Kiba had Cheza and now Tsume had Toboe. He couldn't help but feel a little left out. He turned around and watched Tsume as he found Toboe lying beside a tree. Much like a lover, he lied down beside him and nuzzled against his furry cheek, licking lightly near his nose. Toboe responded sleepily, brushing their necks together before settling his head back on the cold earth. The older wolf picked up his head, only for a moment; just to be sure that Hige was no longer looking. Surprisingly enough, he wasn't. He had already settled down somewhere near Cheza and Kiba and seemed to already be fast asleep.

Toboe's ears perked up and he poked Tsume in the side of the neck with his nose. "Ne, Tsume," he whispered quietly. "What's wrong?"

He batted at him with one large paw. "Hige and I were talking."

"About what?" he asked. "Was he hungry?"

Tsume grinned inwardly, secretly admiring Toboe's naivety. Sure, he thought sarcastically, we were talking about food this late at night. "No, but I get the feeling that he doesn't like the sound of us being together." Immediately, Toboe's eyes showed his shock and he tensed underneath his lover's long limbs. "Don't worry about him," he assured him. "I think he needs some time to think. I think he already knew that I asked you to be my mate, but he wanted to hear it from me, face to face. Hige might just be even more confrontational than me sometimes."

The young wolf liked hearing of Tsume's self-humiliation every now and then. It made him seem real and kind and Toboe loved him for it. Since they'd first met, deep down, Toboe could tell that he was a good person; that somewhere deep inside, Tsume knew what it was like to be a person like him. Since that first day they'd met, he wanted to follow him to make sure he became the kind person he knew he could be. Of course, he also enjoyed his warmth and the protection his strong arms could give him. Every bit of him contributed to the reasons why he agreed to be his mate. He couldn't stop his heart from pounding wildly whenever he thought about it either, knowing that soon Tsume would want to consummate their bond.

Gently, Toboe curled their tails together and brushed his head against his shoulder. "Do you think he's going to be okay?" he asked, flicking his tongue against his lover's nose.

Tsume returned the odd, dog-style kiss and sunk his head to the wooded ground again. "He'll be fine. There's… somebody out there for everybody. You… know what I mean?" Oh, how it pained his masculine disposition to say that, but the kid soaked it up. His eyes glistened in admiration and Tsume knew he'd hit his mark and he gave himself a mental pat on the back. "I'm sure he's going to find that person soon enough, even if they're already right under his nose."

"You're so wise, Tsume."

He sighed beneath him and Tsume felt himself growing weary, soothed by the gentleness of the wind, the forest, and the moon. Pain still stained his heart though; a pain he could not remove himself that he hoped Toboe one day could. There was something more though, like the pull of destiny on his soul toward eternity. Perhaps that was Paradise, begging him to let it enter his heart.

He gave Toboe one last glace to be sure he was sleeping before he finally let his own eyes slip closed. He dreamed of Paradise where, hand in hand, they danced.

Author's Notes: I feel ashamed of how painfully short that story was. I'm so sorry! It's my first Wolf's Rain fic though, so I hope you enjoyed it! Tell me what you think!