A scream broke the still night air like a layer of thin ice cracking.

"Shiro-chan!"

In the very next second, Hitsugaya was jumping out of bed, hurrying to the room next to his and flinging the door open.

"Hinamori!" he shouted.

"Stop it!" she sobbed. "Don't hurt him… no!"

Her already piercing shrieks escalated into heartrending screams of terror. Hitsugaya shook his head blindly against the pain of hearing such misery, and clutched Hinamori to him as she shook uncontrollably in her bed.

"Shiro-chan…" she murmured softly, responding to his tender embrace instinctively.

Hitsugaya sighed in relief, and wiped the tears off her cheeks, glad that she had settled down. Holding her tightly, he kissed her, feeling tears rise to his own eyes.

"It's gonna be okay," Hitsugaya whispered, arranging the blanket over the two of them. "Keep sleeping, Hinamori."

It had been five nights since Hinamori had started to have horrible nightmares about Hitsugaya. Four nights since Hitsugaya had started to calm Hinamori down every night. Three nights since he had confessed his love for Hinamori after she stopped screaming in her sleep. Two nights since she slept peacefully in his arms after going through her nightmare. One night since he had kissed her, and she had kissed him back.

All this, and Hitsugaya still didn't know how to say, "I love you". That is, while she was awake.

"Shiro-chan," Hinamori murmured, her warm arms pulling Hitsugaya closer towards her. Suddenly, her eyes opened. "Shi-shiro-chan?

Hitsugaya leapt out of her bed and fled back to his room, ignoring the calls that came after him and cursing the blush that seemed determined to stay on his cheeks.

Hinamori glanced at her pillow, and spotted a silver strand of hair that shone in the moonlight pouring through her window.

"What just happened?"