Akito was lounging in her rooms, waiting for Shigure. Insolent dog, she thought, who was he to keep her waiting? Having no clock or other time-keeping device in her room, she had no real way to tell how long it had been. But it felt like hours. She sighed heavily and began to get up, peeling away her kimono as she made her way to her closet. Akito picked out an old, silk bathing robe that was ash grey and left her quarters to go to the baths. She passed a nervous looking maid and told her briefly where she would be when Shigure came to find her.

Once in the large, empty bathing room, she slipped out of her robe and into the gloriously warm water. Sinking into the steamy pool, Akito began to flick at the water, bored. She tried to remember what Shigure had told her when she was younger, about shooting out a stream of water from her mouth like a fountain. Akito opened her mouth and took in the water and then proceeded to try to fountain out the water. But all that came of her concentrated effort was a measly trickle of water down her chin. She glared at the water as if willing it to do her bidding, and when that didn't work, she sunk low in the water admitting defeat, allowing the water to cover her head in its warmth.

Her head was lifted out of the water a moment later, and then her body began to follow, too. She snapped open her eyes to find a concerned looking Shigure dragging her out of the steamy warmth. "No," she murmured, "I like the water." And she tried to slip back in.

Shigure smiled down at her, "It seemed like you were liking the water a little too much. You were under the water for just over a minute." But he let her slide back into the water.

She glared at him and snarled, "You seem highly concerned about me after ignoring me for half the day after you promised you'd be right back!"

"Hatori and I were discussing something very important, and although my mind was on you the entire time, I couldn't leave. I'm sorry. I did come though, didn't I?" He smiled lazily and began playing with her hair.

Akito slapped his hand away, "What is more important than coming to see me?" She demanded.

"Your health. Hatori and I were discussing your health." He replied simply before going back to playing with her hair. This time she let him.

Frowning, and not satisfied with his answer, she asked, "What about my health?"

"Well, for one thing, your weight. You are almost five feet and three inches, and yet, you weigh only ninety-four pounds."

"So?" Akito demanded.

"So, it's a very unhealthy weight and probably the reason you still haven't gotten your period even though you're sixteen." Shigure undid his own robe and went into the water beside her.

"Well, who wants to bleed every month, anyway? It's stupid. And since I'm God, I shouldn't have to!"

Shigure laughed and pulled her closer to him, "If you're so much of a God, then why do you enjoy being touched?" He ran his fingers down her back, taking pleasure in the way she shivered at his touch and instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck. "And kissed?" Shigure kissed her neck so lightly, just grazing her skin with his lips, that she gave an involuntary moan for more.

He pushed her away as he became aware of his own want and need of her. But Akito was not going to allow this dog to push her away. He wanted her as much as she wanted him. And she was determined to have it show. Akito grabbed at his shoulders, pushing herself above him. Wrapping her thin legs around him, she found his lips and kissed him with as much force as she had.

Shigure smirked, but wasted no time in kissing her back. God, she was so irresistible. Having given into both of their hormones earlier that year, he didn't really hesitate anymore. He knew she was seven years his junior, but when she acted like this, he could forget the age difference in a heartbeat.

Akito bit his lip when she noticed he had stopped kissing her, and was pleased when he kissed her even harder. The tops of her legs ached and were shaking unsteadily. Thank God for being in the water, she thought, otherwise, I would have fallen a long time ago. But Shigure's kisses were making her dizzy, and the hot steam was not helping. Her head clouded, and she saw black and white spots going in and out of her vision. When Akito's eyelids started drooping, she sunk in the water, not able to get back up. She vaguely heard Shigure frantically calling her name, and thought she felt those powerful arms gather her up against his chest.

Shigure picked her up as easily as a feather and laid her gently on the floor. Pulling his robe about him and covering up most of her body with hers, he left. Shigure barged into Hatori's office without waiting to knock on the door even though he heard voices coming from inside the room. "She passed out in the bathhouse." He laid her tenderly on the examining table and then saw who had been in with Hatori.

"Ayame. What are you doing here?"

"Ah! Shigure! How can you be so heartless! Is that all the welcome I get from my best friend?" Ayame clutched his chest in mock pain. Shigure quickly apologized and turned to find Hatori already examining the small girl wrapped up loosely in a robe.

"She needs oxygen and a cold bath. How long was she in there?" Hatori questioned Shigure.

Shigure knew that Hatori disapproved of his relationship with Akito, but Hatori needed to know. "We were in there for about an hour, I was told by the maids she had been in there thirty minutes before I came in."

Hatori sighed and massaged his temple, "Is my assumption correct when I say that the two of you were engaging in strenuous activities for the majority of the time?"

Ayame giggled at the way Hatori worded the phrase, "Why Haa-kun, you made that sound so awkward and dirty! Akito is, after all, a young blossom and needs the experience of an older and wiser man to help her along her way to womanhood. I praise Shigure's kindness and tenderness!" Ayame winked at Shigure, who couldn't help smiling.

"Yes, because I'm sure Shigure is not enjoying himself every step of the way." Hatori muttered. "Shigure, can I trust you to do only what I tell you and nothing else?"

He nodded.

"Take her to her rooms and give her oxygen through this mask for an hour, then give her a cold bath, just give her the bath. Stay with her throughout tonight and tell me when she is able to hold an entire conversation without tiring. I'll come in and have a look later. Don't leave her side!" Hatori handed Shigure a mask attached to a portable tank.

"Don't let our beloved flower wilt, Shigure!" Ayame called to him. Shigure lifted Akito gingerly and carried her out of Hatori's office. Passing through the halls to her rooms, he came across Ren. Ren took one look at the helpless and frail girl in Shigure's arms and let a manic grin spread over her face.

"Don't tell me he passed out on you! What a stupid boy, too weak to do anything with anyone. I'm not like that. When you get tired of that pathetic thing, you can come find me. I won't die on you! Ha!" She laughed as she came closer to stroke Shigure's cheek.

Glaring at her, Shigure shook his head away from her touch, and pushed past her to Akito's rooms. Behind him, he heard one of the older maids calling Ren back to her rooms. Good, he thought, that bitch wouldn't bother them anymore. He was able to push Akito's door open with his elbow and close it behind him with his foot. Shigure placed her gently on her large bed and placed the mask over her nose and mouth. And he waited.