The echoing pang of a saucepan falling to the hard floor made Yukito jump from his sleep. The wooden door to the shed was open and he could see the door to the house open when he sat up. Yukito immediately threw on his sandals and kicked them off a second later once he got into the main house, forgetting to shut the door behind him.
"Are you alright, Misuzu?" Yukito called, peaking around the corner into the small kitchen. It was chaos in there. A lone pan lay on the floor, surrounded by eggs splattered in a circle. Other foods and cooking utensils laid in disarray on the counters.
Misuzu looked up from the mess at Yukito with frightened eyes. "There's a cicada in here somewhere! I was just cooking your breakfast and it flew in!"
The silver haired boy scanned the kitchen. Without making a sound, he spotted the insect perched on a counter to the left of him. Misuzu followed his gaze and withheld a shriek. Swiftly and quietly, Yukito was able to scoop up the bug with a triumphant hold. He then flung the cicada out the door and slammed it closed before any more bugs could get in.
"Thank you," Misuzu said gratefully, leaning down to clean up the floor.
"Let me help you," Yukito replied, trying without avail to mop up the sticky white and yellow goo off the ground.
"That's alright, Yukito." Misuzu smiled wide at him. "Sorry if I woke you."
"It's fine. How are you feeling today?"
"Oh, just fine," the girl said hurriedly. She picked up the pan and set it back on the stove. "Your breakfast is going to be a little late this morning. I hope that's okay."
Yukito checked the time. "You have to get to school. Don't worry about my breakfast, I can find something. Did you already eat?"
"Okay, we shoul-Misuzu!"
It all happened so fast. The tiny blonde girl went from standing upright to crumpled on the ground in the blink of an eye. Yukito shot forward. Within seconds, he had propped her up against his chest so that he could feel her temperature with his free hand. She was burning up and her normally bright blue eyes were cloudy and droopy.
She lied to me. She isn't feeling better at all, he thought angrily to himself. How did he not see it? She was obviously still sick and might even be worse than yesterday.
Yukito gathered her into his arms and brought the limp girl into her bedroom. He laid her gently onto the bed and pulled the covers up. She was breathing heavily and sweat was starting to form around her heated forehead. Yukito didn't want to leave her alone, but he had to call her mother. Before exiting, he opened her window in hopes of the cool air calming the fever.
When he returned, she was sitting up in bed. He rushed over to her side, ready to push her back down, catch her, take her temperature, whatever she needed. He wanted to be there for her because in his heart, he knew he might not be able to stay for much longer.
Before Yukito could scold her for being upright, she said, "Sorry, Yukito," almost sheepishly. This certainly stopped him dead in his tracks. She tried offering him a weak smile.
"You aren't actually feeling better, are you?" He crossed his arms and knelt down next to her bedside.
The girl gazed down at her favorite stuffed dinosaur that she held in her hands. It was a comfort for her. Toy dinosaurs were one of the rare things that wouldn't leave her, or that she didn't have to leave herself. Misuzu brushed through its soft hair with her slender, pale fingers a moment without once looking back up. "Yukito?" she finally said.
"Yeah?" He really wished she would look at him.
"Will you take me to the beach?"
Yukito was taken off guard. Surely she didn't want to go the beach right now, mere minutes after passing out cold. There was no way he would take her while she was this ill.
"Once you're better, sure, I'll take you." Sadness cast over the girl's face, and she tried to hide it by letting her long hair drape over her flushed cheeks.
Earlier, he'd noticed the girl's deck of dinosaur playing cards laying on the floor next to her bed. He picked them up now and brandished them in front of her. This attracted her attention. "How about we play cards?"
Misuzu broke out in a huge grin and turned to look him in the eye. "Really?"
"Yeah. If you want."
"Thank you, Yukito!" She snatched the cards away from him and began to deal them happily, giggling to herself as she went. And then, out of the corner of her eye. She saw it.
The cicada was back.
She let out a yelp and leaped off her bed, as the bug was crawling around on her window sill. Yukito frantically looked Misuzu up and down, thinking this was one of her strange attacks.
"What is it?" he demanded. "Are you hurting again?"
"No!" Misuzu pointed at the round black insect with a shaky finger.
Yukito almost sighed with relief. Instead, he walked calmly to the window and flicked the cicada out. With a flourish, he slid the window closed. The pesky bug must have flew in when he opened her window to let some air in earlier.
"Thank you," Misuzu said. She sat back down on her bed and finished laying the cards out. "I'm feeling a lot better now, Yukito. Are you sure we can't go to the beach today?"
Yukito shook his head.
Misuzu didn't show her disappointment this time. She just smiled and gave a little nod. "'Kay. Let's play."
And so they did. Misuzu had to show Yukito a thing or two while they went along in the game, but both were enjoying themselves.
That night, once Haruko finally came home drunk as can be and Yukito made his way back to the shed, he found himself wondering how a week ago he was traveling, literally show by show, coin by coin, and now he was living here in this warm little house (or at least near it), with the girl from the sky he wanted to hold forever.
A/N: Thanks for reading. Seriously. I love you! :) Let me know what you think, okay? Merci.