Chapter 2: The Steamy Bit

Author's Note: Just noticed this, but on the PC I'm using, some of the double quotes appear in a different style than those I have previously typed on my other writing implement (Sony Reader PRS-650, if anyone is curious.) Is that change appearing in the document on ? Let me know in the reviews, or send me a private message, I'd really appreciate it.

"Yes Charlie, we're good, no we don't need a room upgrade, alright thank you good to know BYE-BYE!" I unceremoniously slammed the door shut, engaging the lock and sinking to the floor with a sigh of relief.

"A little pushy, isn't he?" Chocolat asked, giving me a smirk. I laughed, "That's one way to put it, I suppose."

As I began unpacking, I noticed Chocolat out of the corner of my eye. She was relaxing on the bed, her eyes unfocused as she contemplated something. I placed the clothing we had brought to the side, sitting down beside her, placing a paw on hers. "You OK?" I asked. She blinked, shook her head, and looked up at me.

"What was that?" She asked.

"You spaced out for a minute, something wrong?" I asked, and Chocolat shook her head, looking away for a moment before turning back, smiling again. I dropped the subject. Chocolat would tell me when she was ready.

"So what are we doing now?" Chocolat asked, and I grinned, grabbing her paw in my. "Please don't lead me on..."

"Now, now, my dear Chocolat, if I told you it wouldn't be a surprise!" I said; giving a sigh as Chocolat gave me a begging look. "Oh, fine, but just because it never ends well when I try to resist that look. One hint, I hope you like warm water."

"That's a terrible hint." Chocolat said as she pulled her paw away from mine, giving me a look of mock anger as I rounded the corner.

I poked my head around the corner, giving a smirk. "I know."

"You know, sliding those ice cubes down my back was uncalled for." I whined as we walked through the building.

"Yeah, and giving a terrible hint was also uncalled for." Chocolat replied, smiling deviously.

"Hot springs. That was the answer, did you not bother to read the signs when we came in and when we were walking here?" I said, giving a sigh.

"Hot springs? What are you planning?" A sly grin appeared on her face, accompanied by a light blush.

"Now Chocolat, beautiful, when have I ever planned ahead? Now come on, muscle relaxation and whatever else hot springs have or have not been proved to assist in await." I replied, grinning roguishly.

"You planned this, didn't you?" Chocolat asked; eyes narrowed as she examined the sign and details written below for the umpteenth time.

'Dual Gender Sauna & Hot Spring'

'Please remove all articles of clothing and jewelry (Removal of under garments is not required)'

Listed below was the usual disclaimers and severance of any responsibility in the event of any injury.

"Maybe I did… maybe I didn't." I replied, grinning, as I began removing my shirt and pants, stopping at my boxers. Chocolat and I were close, but not that close. The thought brought a furious blush to my face, one which I would attribute to the sudden heat of the hot spring if anyone should ever ask upon it.

My blush burned ever brighter as I casually looked over Chocolat. Her fur was a dark brown, comparable to her namesake sweet, quickly switching to a pure white area at her middle. For a half second my eyes decided to commandeer the brain functions necessary to ponder what color her fur was beneath her bra and panties (my brain deeming the cat paw design on said garments to be worth a few extra seconds of gazing), before being reprimanded and sternly instructed to look elsewhere. Thankfully, Chocolat didn't notice.

I hope.

I slipped a foot into the water, giving a sigh as I felt the muscles in my feet relaxing, the tension fading away as I sat down comfortably, hissing quietly for a moment as my body adjusted to the heat, a few scars from adventures past momentarily complaining as they were irritated by the warmth. I cast a glance up at Chocolat who had yet to enter the spring. That same dazed look had returned, and I frowned. Whatever was going on was seriously killing the mood I had planned. I splashed a little water at her, laughing as she jumped and glared at me.

"Come on in, the water's fine." I smirked. "I won't bite, if that's what you're afraid of."

Chocolat rolled her eyes and slipped into the pool, giving a quite moan as the tension left her own body. After a moment of adjusting, she sidled up against me, resting her head on my shoulder. I slipped my arm behind her back, pulling her closer as I sank lower into the water.

"I've got to admit…" Chocolat began; purring contentedly as she absentmindedly watched the steam hang in the air. "You certainly know how to make a girl feel special."

"Oh, but we haven't even reached the sensual massage!" I said, grinning as I moved the paw behind Chocolat, resting it on the small of her back as I began to gently glide my paw along her back, steering clear of her hips and lower.

"W-what are you doing!" Chocolat murmured, a low moan escaping her lips as I worked at a particularly tense spot.

"I'm surprised you haven't figured it out yet, Chocolat." I replied; smiling as I gently moved her to face away from me. "This trip is all…" I laid a kiss on her shoulder where yet another tense area dwelled, "About…" I placed another kiss on her neck, electing another moan from the beautiful Caninu before me, "You." I leaned around, placing a kiss on her cheek, noting the blush that had taken up happy residence upon it.

Chocolat wrestled her way out of my grasp, turning, and my smile fell, knots forming as my eyes found her own, and the tears that were streaming from them. "W-why are you doing this to me? Why do you have to be so… so nice! No one's ever made me feel like this, not even Red or Elh, and then you just come along and-" She choked on the rest, and I pulled her close, resting me head in her hair as she pounded her fists against my chest.

"You were never worried about how much it would cost you guys, were you?" I asked, running my paw along the small of her back, "You were worried about how much I would have to pay, what I would have to do to make ends meet." Chocolat made a noise of affirmation, and I smiled sadly.

Carefully, I took hold of her chin, lifting her gaze to meet mine. "I said it before, and I'll say it again, Chocolat." I wiped a stray tear from her face. "You're worth it. Seeing your smile when I hold you, hearing you giggle when I do something stupid, being there for you when you're scared or lonely, everything about you is worth more than I could pay in ten life times. You're everything to me." I placed my lips to hers. Chocolat shook against me, and I frowned. "Jeez, way to make a guy feel loved. I pour my heart out and you're still shaking."

"That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me…" Chocolat replied, and I realized with a smile that she was shaking with laughter, not sorrow. "How do you expect me to top that?"

"I don't expect you to top that." I replied, grinning. "Now… How about that massage I was talking about?"

"Should we really be doing this?" Elh asked, turning to Red, who grinned back.

"Hey, I'm just watching out for my little sis. Is that so wrong?"

"Well… it depends." She replied, smirking.

"Depends on what?" He replied, frowning as he watched Drake get closer to his sister.

"Whether or not you care that Drake dipped into your savings for this little excursion." Elh replied with a smirk.

Silence filled the air as Red processed this.

"He's dead when we 'get back' from our trip." Red replied; fuming as he imagined the new fuselage he had been planning to purchase for the Dahak Mk2 disappearing from his price range.

"Speaking of, get over here handsome…~" Elh purred, pulling Red closer to her.



Hope you enjoyed, and I'll try and work on some new material for the Solatorobo archive on as soon as I can. Until then, please review, favorite, watch, and I'll see you in the future!