" Are you sure you'll be okay?" Tohru asked again for what seemed like the hundredth time. Kyo bit his lip and fought the urge to punch the girl in her worried little face. Of course, he'd never actually do it, seeing how he couldn't stand the idea of hitting women, but he could darn well dream. Instead he forced something of a smile and lightly tapped his knuckles to her forehead.

"I'm not five, idiot," he smirked as he pushed them towards the door. Slowly, slowly, he reprimanded himself. Slowly.

"I know, but you've been getting sick so often these past few months that I don't think it will be safe to have you home without someone taking care of you." Tohru protested feebly as Kyo shoved them into the doorway with some earnest. " Maybe I should stay he-"

" No! Uh, ahem. No, no, that's okay, Tohru. You guys go ahead to the Supermarket and get eggs, or butter, or, or whatever it is you're getting. I'll stay here. Really. It's fine." The look on Tohru's face still held concern. Kyo racked his brain as he glanced down at his wristwatch; he only ad five minutes left to get them out of the house. Then he got it.

Turning back to Tohru, he flashed her a set of pearly whites that every ounce of seasoned charisma that Kyo owned backed behind it. Not to say that it was a lot, but it was enough for Tohru. She nodded and stepped out of the doorway and began heading towards the car, Shigure following after her as he whistled.

Yuki paused in the doorway. When Kyo had smiled, a foreign chill had come over him. He stared at the redhead a few more seconds with a feeling that banked on suspicion before shaking his head and walking slowly towards the car.

Kyo stood in the doorway, smiling and waving as Shigure pulled out of the newly built highway that led off their property. When the car had passed out of sight he slammed the door shut, locked it, locked it again, slid over the couch and turned on the television with one hand as the other worked furiously to dislodge a brown packet of candy from underneath the cushions. He shoved a piece of candy into his mouth, flicked the light switch, and changed the channel to Channel 3.



Yuki shuddered uncontrollably, nearly dropping the carton of eggs in his hands. For whatever reason he couldn't get it out of his head that something was wrong. Kyo was acting strange, he mused, but I can't think of what he did to make me this suspicious. As a rat, Yuki was suspicious, smart, and quick to bite anyone who even dreamed of coming near his cheese by nature. He shuddered again. Perhaps it was a reaction to those gyoza Ayame had bought for him? No, he had checked those in case his space-cadet brother tried to slip some weird " make my brother love me again" type herbs into them. Perhaps when he had ushered them out the door this morning? But that could easily be blamed on the fact that the teen merely wanted some time alone from the rest of the household, mainly Shigure. So those weren't it. Kyo was in an surprisingly good mood today; the boy had even smiled-

And Yuki froze at that period of thought, mentally fixated himself there until he had walked across the aisle towards Shigure, tapping him on the shoulder.

" Shigure," he said slowly, " do you remember the last time Kyo smiled? Actually smiled?" Because Yuki sure did. The last time he'd seen the teen smile was when they were young, Yuki being just nine years old, and he'd managed to stumble upon the redhead torturing Yuki's beloved pet, Hillary. Hillary the chinchilla. Hillary, who'd never done anything except squeak when Yuki came near and look up with sweet innocent doe eyes. Okay, so maybe he ( yes, he) wasn't that innocent; he had had a tendency of escaping his cage and sneaking into bedrooms and nibbling on ears, equating to much screaming at the middle of the night in the compound. But besides that, Hillary had been a darling little angel. Then one morning, after Hillary had had free leave for the night, Yuki had walked into his room and Kyo had been there, stuffing bananas, which Hillary was dreadfully allergic to, down the poor chinchilla's throat, screaming: " Won't be nibbling' on my ears ever again , will you, Hillary?!" The sight had scared Yuki shitless. It haunted him to this very day.

Shigure looked at Yuki in horror. " Oh god, Hillary!" he nearly shrieked. " What if he's…… I can't bear to think about it! Get Tohru! We need to get back now!" Tohru wasn't too far off, so they grabbed her by the arm and hauled her off to the car, had a few high speed car chases, hit the neighbors mailbox and finally turned into their driveway with an earsplitting screech.

" Kyoooo!" Yuki roared as he shouldered his way into the living room. " What're you-" and then he stopped, mouth half open from yelling and eyes wide with astonishment.

Kyo lay huddled on the couch, wrapped in just about every blanket in the house. His eyes were red and tear trails lined his face, weaving a complex pattern between crumbs and the smudges left from his triple comfort strength Quintupple Stuffed Bonbons. Tissues were littered across the floor among empty chocolate cartons. In his hand was the remote, and Yuki's eyes trailed to the television.

A handsome golden-brown Latin man held a ravishing young woman against his bare chest as she sobbed loudly. With the aid of subtitles, Yuki realized that the woman was tearfully declaring that she was married to someone named Fernando, and in a secret affair with Hulillo, but the one she really, truly loved was him, Camillo, even though she was pregnant with the baby of someone she'd known for three hours.

Yuki, fighting himself not to laugh too hared, stumbled into his room for a safe place to giggle. Yes, giggle. Even naïve little 'Tohru laughed, though she didn't entirely understand why, so she too went into her room.

Kyo looked up at Shigure; his face redder than his eyes with shame. He mumbled something bitterly at the dog. Shigure stood silent for the first time in his life, then walked slowly around the couch and sat down. He popped a melting Bonbon into his mouth then turned to Kyo with a grin.

" You should've told me the new episode of 'Rugged Love' was out," he whispered.

Kyo gaped.