Chapter 2: Asking

Writing is easy, when you know who to ask...

The mid afternoon sun shone brightly in the sky, the shafts of light dancing on the forest path in front of her. It had been quite some time since Kagura had visited the inhabitants of Shigure's house. Usually she would go every weekend or so to see Yuki, Tohru and Shigure but most of all Kyou.

But today, she hoped that the three teenagers weren't there. Matters such as this needed privacy.

Her heart jumped a little as the modest but comfortable house came into view. After running up the gravel path, the boar stood panting for a minute on the porch. Slipping of her shoes, she kept them on the side of the door. Slowly she opened the shoji, only to peer into a well cleaned but lonely hallway.

Where was everybody? She hadn't seen any shoes on the veranda. Kagura's heart sank a bit at the thought that she had come all this way for nothing.

"Hello? Shi-chan, are you in there?"

The only sound was the echo of her voice of the freshly polished floor.

Hesitantly, Kagura stepped into the house, her socks moving smoothly as she wandered through the rooms.

Finding nobody, Kagura began to climb the steps one by one, almost as if in a trance. Despite the sunlight that flooded the home, it still seemed a bit creepy without the usual level of noise and activity.

She spotted Shigure's study on the right and walked toward it, wondering whether he was in there. When she knocked, no sound acknowledged her presence. The hairs on her neck stood up and Kagura felt like she was being watched. But she quickly shook of the silly notion as she opened the shoji and started to step into the room, only to be stopped by…

A hand clasping roughly on her shoulder, "BOO!"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" The high pitched scream filled the house as Kagura turned to punch the person in front of her but stopped abruptly when she heard loud laughter.

Glancing up, her eyes met merry chocolate orbs.

"Ha-ha, oh kami-sama, you should've seen yourself! Priceless Kagura, just priceless."

The shock fled from her body quickly only to be replaced by a seething anger. "SHI-CHAN! THAT WASN'T FUNNY!"

Shigure only laughed harder, clutching his stomach.


The laughter died down into small suppressed chuckles but the playfulness was evident in his eyes. After a moment, both of them calmed down and curiosity nipped at the edge of Shigure's mind.

"Kyou isn't here right now."

"Eh?" Kagura looked up at her cousin's form "I know, I came to see you Shi-chan."

"Really? Is there anything you need?"

A soft pink overtook her cheeks, and Shigure's was surprised, he had never really seen Kagura blush before except around her beloved. Since when was she so shy around him?

"Actually…there is."

Raised eyebrows met her words. He wasn't actually banking on the fact that she would say yes, but she did and now he was trapped.

"What is it?"

Her blush grew a bit more vibrant and Shigure couldn't help but wonder what this "favor" was going to be.



Kagura wouldn't look up to meet her cousin's eyes, too embarrassed by the fact that she was asking for writing lessons. Writing lessons of all things! She could feel his stare grow impatient and the thick silence that enveloped the room.

"Just spit it out Kagura!" he barked, the dog inside of himself surfacing briefly.

At the sound of his voice, the girl snapped and her booming voice filled the room, "I want writing lessons okay! I want to write a poem for Kyou but I can't write, Shi-chan! I can't write!"

Her loud outburst ended with a sob as she sank to the floor in front of his desk. The writer stood a bit stunned in the door way but he quickly regained his cool composure.

Walking toward his crying cousin, he gently folded her into his arms, "Maa, maa Kagura-chan. It'll be alright, don't worry."

Her sobs only continued but they were muffled by the cloth of his yukata. Through the jumbled mess of her words, he understood only the tail end of a few sentences.

"…you'll help me… won't you…"

It seemed as if he was between the devil and the sea. If he said no, she would certainly start crying again but if he said yes, well then…there goes his time. Ah, the life of a dog.

Before he could answer, Kagura lifted her head to meet his eyes. Big gray pools bore into his, swimming with unshed tears. She clutched the material of his shirt and whimpered, sniffling lightly.

Hey! That was his technique. Where had she learned that? It seemed that the very same technique he used on Hatori was going to bite him in the ass. Well, he had been expecting this, either sooner or later karma would screw him over. Payback was a bitch.

Shigure sighed, none too happy about his current predicament but let out a reluctant, "I'll help you Kagura."

The instant the words left his mouth, she hugged him tightly before letting out a squeal of joy.

"YATTA! You're the best Shi-chan!"

"Ah-Kagura…you're hurting me…"

She looked bewildered for a second before hastily unwinding her arms from his body and offering him a sheepish apology.

"So when do we start?"

Seeing her smiling face, a small part him felt content but the other part was still a bit skeptical about the whole ordeal. But nevertheless, he responded, "Whenever you want."

Kagura's grin grew wider, and Shigure couldn't help but feel that this going to be a lot more interesting than he had originally planned.

A/N: I know the chapter is still a bit rough around the edges but enjoy! And thank you to my reviewers!