The Dog and the Horse

"How was school today for you three youngsters?" asked Shigure brightly. Tohru beamed kindly at him.

"It was wonderful! We learned all sorts of fascinating things about medieval history."

"Oh? That's very nice!" exclaimed Shigure in return. "What about you two boys? Anything to add?"

"It was fine," said Yuki simply as Kyo rolled his eyes at Shigure's request.

"Oh come on Kyo!" pouted Shigure. "Why must you be so silent and stony?"

"Get off me!" snapped Kyo as Shigure grabbed his arm in a dramatically upset way. Tohru's smile did not falter but she was obviously a bit unsure how to react.

"Why did you even come to pick us up today?" demanded Kyo.

"What? I just wanted to see you all! I missed you so terribly today. Yes, I felt rather lonely," said Shigure with a fake sad expression. Tohru of course began to comfort him but Kyo merely stared at him dully.

"Your editor is stopping by today, isn't she?" he accused in a bored voice. Struck momentarily silent, Shigure then energetically waved away Kyo's words.

"How rude Kyo! I wouldn't do such a thing! Why that would be just so mean!"

Meanwhile, Yuki spotted something off the side of the road.

"Shigure," he said quietly. Shigure turned and followed Yuki's gaze. Immediately his posture straightened and his seriousness returned.

"AHHH!" cried Tohru, rushing over to the fallen horse. "Is it- is it Miss Isuzu?"

"Tohru, Kyo, Yuki, go back to the house and call Hatori," commanded Shigure. The boys automatically turned to go but Tohru looked frantically between Shigure and the horse.

"Will she be ok? Can you handle her on your own?"

"Rin will be fine," Shigure assured her. "Now go." Finally Tohru allowed herself to be dragged off by Kyo and the three teens rushed off to the house.

"Oh Rin…" whispered Shigure, placing a hand on the horse's strong body, feeling it's heaving breaths beneath his fingers. Thinking ahead, Shigure looked around for her clothes. Collecting them together, Shigure sat and waited patiently beside the horse.

For a minute at least.

"Come on Rin," he murmured, already bored. "Wakey wakey."

Gently flicking the horse's forehead, Shigure noticed with satisfaction that it reacted with a snort and shake of the head.

Suddenly, the horse's eyes shot open, but only for a moment before the horse quickly disappeared, to be replaced by the form of a striking young woman.

Lunging to her feet, Rin looked as if she were about to dash away.

"You can't run around like that!" shouted Shigure. Stopping, Rin looked over her shoulder at Shigure who was holding up her clothes teasingly.

"Now come and behave or you won't be getting these back," he blackmailed with a smirk.

"Pervert," Rin shot at him in disgust.

"It's really not like that," he disagreed. "I just want you to settle down and talk to me for a moment."

"Give me my clothes and maybe I will," she said icily. Pursing his lips, Shigure threw her dress and stockings over to her and she quickly disappeared behind a tree. Stepping out not long after, Rin was now fully covered, to Shigure's mild disappointment.

Immediately Rin turned to leave, but having expected this Shigure grabbed onto her hand before she could run off. Spinning around to face Shigure, Rin ignored her raging heartbeat as she attempted to pull her hand back, but Shigure's grip was relentless.

"You're going to kill yourself acting recklessly," he said quietly, but firmly.

"That's not your concern," she replied.

"What were you doing here today?"

"That's none of your business!" she snapped. Now Shigure loosened his hold enough that Rin was able to yank her arm free.

"Rin, I'm worried about you," he said forcefully.

"Liar!" she sneered. "Why would you care?" Without waiting for a response, Rin forced herself to turn away from the attractive young man, and she walked away confidently into the forest, her long black hair blowing out behind her.

"Because I would hate to see that spirit of yours crushed…" Shigure said to himself as she left.

Shigure was not left much time to brood as Hatori soon arrived at the scene. Putting on a broad grin, Shigure said,

"Hatori! Thank you for coming so quickly. As you can see, you are no longer needed!"

"Where did she go?" asked Hatori.

"Oh you know. Away," responded Shigure enthusiastically. "Would you like to come to the house? I can make you some tea!"

"By which you mean that you'll get Tohru to make us some tea, yes?" replied Hatori.

"Of course!" agreed Shigure without missing a beat. "Now come. You know as well as I do that Tohru will be more than happy to see you and make tea."

Consenting, Hatori allowed himself to be pulled away by his friend.

"What about Miss Isuzu?" he asked quietly. Shigure smiled softly.

"There's nothing we can do for her right now. Only hope that she knows how to take care of herself."

"Somehow I tend to doubt it…"

Two weeks later, Shigure stepped into his home, apathetically dropping the groceries right inside the door as he stretched out his arms with a yawn. Scratching his head, Shigure walked forward into the dining room. What he saw there stopped him short.

"Idiot girl…" he muttered fondly. Strolling over to the unconscious figure, Shigure scooped the young woman into his arms and carried her upstairs to his study.

About a half hour later, the girl began to stir. Regaining consciousness, she bolted up from her spot on the floor and looked around her anxiously.

"You're in my study Rin," explained Shigure. Shigure was seated at his desk with his back to Rin. "Don't worry. You just collapsed again."

"Shut up," Rin demanded, her full strength returning. Shigure heaved a sigh.

"So ungrateful you are, really…"

"I have no reason to be grateful to you Shigure," the feisty woman snapped.

"Then why are you here Rin?" he asked in a bored tone, his fingers still tapping away at his computer.

"Optimist," she replied simply. A loud laugh sounded from Shigure.

"You hardly look like the optimistic type."

"Don't mock me. Why would I keep coming back to you if I didn't think there was hope that… you'd change your mind?"

At this, Shigure finally spun his chair around so that he was facing Rin. Rin was seated on her thighs, leaning forward towards Shigure, her long silky black hair falling attractively in front of her. Shigure had removed her knee-height boots when he'd set her down, so her legs were entirely bare. All she wore was a tightly fitted black corset top and very short black shorts. A stud bracelet and black choker were her only accessories.

"You don't know what you're asking for Rin."

"I know exactly what I'm asking for," she disputed.

"Perhaps… but you don't know what it is that you're offering."

"Trust me, I understand that perfectly as well," she whispered, crawling closer to him.

"Haven't I told you before that I don't know anything?" replied Shigure, leaning down so that he was closer to Rin's level.

"Well I don't believe you," was the response. Rin began to rise from her spot on the floor, coming ever closer to Shigure's face. Shigure drew back so that he was sitting up straight in his chair.

"I'm not lying to you Rin," he said. "I know you think I'm just some sleazy, twisted, older man who enjoys getting some ass, but I'm afraid you're not entirely right."

"Are you sure?" murmured Rin. With that, Rin stood up from the ground. Stepping forward, Rin seated herself on Shigure's lap, straddling him. Shigure smirked. Running his fingers gently through her hair which fell down in front of him, he stared deep into her eyes.

"So what is it you would like my dear?" he asked. "In return for one night with you I tell you everything I know about the curse, is that it?"

"The curse… and how to break it," she said. Rin's eyes widened in surprise as Shigure suddenly placed his hands on the small of her back and pulled her even closer to him.

"I'm afraid… one night isn't what I'm looking for," said Shigure. As he said this, Shigure picked up the girl and set her down on the floor. Propped up on her elbows where Shigure had set her, Rin pushed herself off of the ground and leapt to her feet, standing very close to Shigure.

"If you help me to break the curse I will give myself to you as many times as you want," she offered desperately. Shigure chuckled. Reaching out, he softly stroked her stunning hair, running his hand seductively all the way down her back.

"I don't want to take you in that way."

"Then what do you want?" she cried. "What can I give you other than my body?"

"It isn't your body I want… I want you, Rin," he said softly. Eyes widening in shock, Rin was rendered speechless. Looking directly into Shigure's eyes, she said,

"I thought you just saw me as a girl." Shigure smirked.

"I don't think anyone sees you as just a girl," he told her. "You are… quite a striking young woman. Is it truly any surprise to you that I want you?"

Rin found herself being pulled tighter against Shigure's body, and she found also that she didn't mind. Loping her arms around Shigure's neck, Rin reached up towards his lips. Needing no more encouragement, Shigure met her lips in a hungry kiss. The kiss quickly became more heated and Shigure untied Rin's top, letting it slide to the floor. Next to go were her shorts, then his robe.

Lying on the floor together some time later, Rin was curled up against Shigure's naked body, her head resting gently on his chest.

"The dog and the horse…" he murmured. "Were you aware that we are in fact supposed to be compatible?"

"I've heard something like that," she replied. "I may have laughed derisively when I first realized what it meant." Shigure scoffed.

"How rude…"

"I see things a bit differently now," she whispered sincerely.

"I'm glad to hear it my love," said Shigure, softly stroking her hair. "Now will you please stop pushing your body's strength over the edge? What if I hadn't been the one to come home and find you today? You might have given poor Tohru another heart attack." Rin chuckled.

"I'll be more careful." A brief pause of quiet followed.

"Shigure…" she whispered. "What do you know of the curse?" Shigure looked at her in surprise.

"I… I honestly don't know how to break it." For a moment Shigure was afraid that Rin would jump up and leave him, but she did no such thing.

"I was afraid of that…" came her strangled whisper.

"Together we can find it," he whispered to her. "I won't allow you to put caught in these bonds forever." He paused in thought, before proceeding carefully.

"There is… one thing I know."

"Tell me."

"There is one who has already broken free."

Rin sprung up and turned to Shigure.

"Tell me everything." Shigure propped himself up on his elbows and leaned in close to Rin's face.

"Absolutely. But first… kiss me."

Smiling boldly, Rin kissed Shigure passionately, and he drew her back down to the floor with him.