(bonus continuation of chapter 1)

Kurosaki was fast asleep, and to be honest he was in the middle of a pretty good dream. Of course, he isn't consciously aware that he's dreaming. To him, there's nothing abnormal about being surrounded by beautiful girls. But his dream fantasy is quickly cut short, and Kurosaki feels a heavy pressure on his chest. Finding difficulty in breathing, he snaps back to consciousness with a gasp, and frantically looks around the room. He didn't see anything with his eyes still adjusting to the darkness, but the tightening around his chest was still there. He moves to sit up, but he can't.

Kurosaki peers down to his side, to the source of his constraint. Squinting a little, he's able to make out the figure of his best friend. There lay Kizami, who had his strong arms wrapped around Kurosaki's small frame so tight, he was cutting off the smaller boy's air supply. Kizami was awake, clearly conscious of his actions, however he had his head buried into Kurosaki's side and couldn't see that Kurosaki was awake.

"K-kizami..can't.." Kurosaki rasps out, to which Kizami loosens his grip considerably, but doesn't unhand his friend.

"Ah..sorry, Kurosaki.." Kizami mumbles, being further muffled with his face pressed to Kurosaki's chest.

Kurosaki was perplexed. This was very strange of Kizami…he's never been the particularly affectionate type, and didn't really hug anybody (if that could even be called a hug), so something was up. Kurosaki leaned in closer, his vision now clear as can be, and takes a closer look at his friend. Kizami was visibly shaking. Any noise that he was possibly making was drowned out by the sound of the rain outside.

"H-hey..Kizami..you okay?" he said, reaching down to put a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder. Kurosaki's touch quelled Kizami's shaking considerably and he finally pulled away from Kurosaki's side, still not letting him go, but pulling his face away and giving Kurosaki a silent nod, refusing to look up at him.

Kurosaki just sat there, observing Kizami silently. That nod was the only response Kizami gave, and Kizami's eyes remained affixed to Kurosaki's side, where his face was smothered before. This was so weird! Kizami wasn't even behaving like himself; something was obviously wrong. But with his friend refusing to speak, Kurosaki wasn't getting any answers. Finally, a noise broke the silence and dragged Kurosaki from his state of confusion: a crack of thunder far off in the distance. Looks like the storm hadn't let up since the two friends went to sleep. When the thunder shook, Kurosaki felt Kizami flinch, and grip his shirt a little more tightly for a brief second. Kurosaki blinked and shifted his gaze back to his friend. No way…


Kizami glanced up at his friend.

"Are you...are you afraid of storms?.."

"Of course not! Idiot!" Kizami barked, a slight faltering in his voice, "Why would I be afraid of something stupid like that?!"

Almost instantly, as soon as Kizami finished scolding Kurosaki, the room fills with a flash of light, and thunder booms so loud it's almost as if the storm were right outside their window. The loud rumble sends a jolt up Kizami's spine, causing his to snap back to clinging to his companion, just as tightly as before. Kurosaki choked, coughing a little to relieve some of the pressure Kizami was putting on his ribcage. He looked down. Kizami has his face buried in Kurosaki's shirt once more, and all Kurosaki could see was his mop of black hair. Kizami was trembling more noticeably now, almost quaking, with fear. Kurosaki could actually feel Kizami's vibrations against his own body.

So, he was afraid after all.

It makes sense, though. When they were kids and Kizami slept over, if a storm started, Kizami was nowhere to be found- no matter how hard Kurosaki looked. He must have been hiding. It's not uncommon for children to be afraid of thunderstorms, but for that fear to have followed him to adulthood, Kizami must not have had anyone to help him cope with it.

Kurosaki smiled, chuckling a little under his breath. Seeing Kizami like this...it wasn't particularly funny, but it was just sort of…endearing, in a way. He did feel kind of bad for him, though. Poor guy. Sighing a little, Kurosaki reaches over, running a hand through Kizami's thick hair.

"There there, Kizami…" Kurosaki hums, stroking his friend's hair for a bit, before drifting lower, rubbing his back. He wasn't even sure if this kind of contact would help Kizami calm down, but it always worked for Kurosaki when he was a kid, and it calmed him down just a minute ago.

Sure enough, Kizami's quivering stops, and his breathing slows. His constricting arms around Kurosaki loosen, and his eyelids grow heavy. He just sort of lays there, his arms loosely cradling Kurosaki's smaller frame as the world around them grows dark and silent. The unexplainable fear that plagued Kizami's heart was gone, with a strange warmth replacing it. Kizami was calm, he was content, he was safe. He lets his eyelids fall, and the last thing he sees before drifting off to sleep is Kurosaki's smiling face, looking down at Kizami with tender, caring eyes.