Disclaimer: This isn't my sandbox, I'm just playing in it for a while.

Notes: I stole these prompts. You hear me? I stole them like the dirty thief that I am. This is the 20th prompt (a certain je ne sais quoi) from the Theta List at 30kisses on LJ, and I haven't properly signed up for a challenge there, I stole the list because I needed something to get my creativity going.

This chapter contains Shizuru, Botan, and platonic cuddling.

Being spirit-sensitive in Sarayashki was...inadvisable. A million different things tugged at her awareness; chills ran down her spine and her hair stood on end almost constantly.

But not when Botan was around. The ferry girl exuded a sense of calm that Shizuru could never really pinpoint, was never sure where it was coming from, just that it was, and after a while she decided that she didn't care as long as something, anything kept the goosebumps and uneasiness away.

Most of the time it was enough to just sit in the other woman's presence, let the ebb and flow of her spirit wash everything away. Sometimes it wasn't. Hanging Neck Island. The anniversary of her mother's death. Any time Kazuma went on a "field trip" with Yuusuke. Those times Botan came over (and she never really had to ask, she just showed up, and Shizuru was never anything but relieved when she did), settled onto the sofa, and let Shizuru rest her head in her lap.

Botan would settle that sense of calm over her like a quilt, let her rest, and it always left her senses pleasantly dull for hours afterwards.

And to be honest, the fact that Botan was willing to share her gift overrode any curiosity about what exactly that gift was.

(I'm back! Hopefully for long enough to finish this, finally. I'm also posting over at AO3, under the name Nochi, and that's where I'll be posting new stuff unrelated to this fic.)