I have spent the evening gardening with Yuki, harvesting just enough that I can make a delicious dinner with it. I will make leek, but I'll cook it seperately. I think Kyo knows well enough how much he doesn't like it. I have seen his face two seperate times he's been forced to eat leek. It almost looks as though he's in pain. I won't make him even have to taste it.
I make dinner and serve it, then call everyone to the table to eat. Kyo sees leek on Yuki's plate and begins to shout until he notices that there isn't any on his plate. The smile that lights up his face makes it all worth it.
We eat in relative silence with only a smattering of conversation. Everyone is enjoying their meal, and we're all happy and warm. Few things in life could be better.
Once we're finished eating, I begin to take the dishes into the kitchen to clean them. I am overjoyed every time I see Kyo honestly smile like I have tonight. In this line of thought, I am surprised to suddenly see him in the kitchen a few minutes later with the rest of the dishes piled in his arms. "Didn't Yuki or Shigure-san help you?" I ask as I help unload the dishes into one side of the sink.
He shakes his head. "I told them not to bother. I've got nothing to do tonight, I figured I'd help you."
I feel myself blush a bit. "Thank you, Kyo." I turn back toward the sink and suberge my hands in the soapy water. "Would you mind drying for me?"
He seems to make a towel appear from nowhere. I wash, and he dries. We've careful not to touch, even as we hand off clean dishes. But, standing close to him, even without touching, still feels very good.
"Tohru..." I hear him say, and I turn to look, a plastic cup slipping from my soapy hands to land inside a soaking pot. He smiles. "Thank you."
I smile back. "Thank *you*, Kyo. You're the one helping me, after all."
He shakes his head and vigorously dries a plate, his bracelet rattling just slightly. I am reminded of how hard things are for him sometimes. "No, Tohru, thank *you* for everything you've done for me. I can't tell you how much happier I am now that you're in my life. Tohru, I..."
I hand him the final dish to dry. He does so in silence. "What is it, Kyo?"
He leaned over at this point and placed a soft kiss to my cheek. I leaned into it just slightly, then felt a familiar rush of wind against my cheek as Kyo became an adorable little cat sitting at my feet; scowling. "This isn't fair," he said.
I dried my hands and picked him up, holding him close to my chest. "It isn't fair at all. I admire you for being able to stay happy even with this. I'm glad I make you happier, even if you likely wouldn't spend half as much time as a cat without me around." I walk back into the dining room and sit at the table, my feet underneath the kotatsu to keep them warm. I sit Kyo on top of the table and scratch his head slightly. He purrs and nuzzles against my hand. His fur tickles me slightly, but it's a pleasant feeling nonetheless. It's a cool night, and, in truth, it's making me somewhat sleepy.
I pick Kyo back up and lay down, sliding further underneath the table and laying Kyo down on m chest. He curls up against me and seems to smile. "You're so comfortable."
He is more open in his cat form, but that isn't saying much. He's such an open person as it is... I can't help but love him. I scratch his head more, but not behind his ears. I know he hates that. I find myself running my hands over his entire body, testing to find out which places feel good. I blush to imagine doing this to his human form. When he reacts positively to something, I do my best to repeat the action.
He likes it when I press my hand to the top of his head and gently move it all the way down his body, keeping just enough pressure there for him to feel it. He likes it when I scratch him just in front of his tail. He also likes it when I massage his belly. He doesn't like it when I do anything hard -- it's just all gentle. For as brash as Kyo may be, I can't imagine him wanting anything that isn't soft and gentle. Even the blanket on his bed is a soft blue thing of fleece, tattered from years of use. He draped me in it once when I was sick. Not since the last time my mother cared for me did I feel so loved. It was a nice feeling. I'd like to feel like that every day.
Kyo seems to have fallen asleep on my chest, and the weight there is just a bit too much. I shift him off to the side and wrap my arms around him. He is as soft and comfortable as his blanket. Before I know it, I have drifted off to sleep as well.
When I awake, my surroundings seem a bit odd. I open my eyes and see Kyo in front of me. My arms are still entwined around him and he's smiling. I find my hand tracing along the line of his arm, and he seems to purr. That's when it hits me. He's in his human form, and I'm touching him. I must have gasped at this realization as he's woken up and is yawning. He reaches up a hand and strokes one finger along the side of my jaw. He looks confused suddenly. "What's wrong? You're crying."
"You're human." He lookes shocked, and then he is suddenly a cat again. "Don't you see? There's... there's a cure. Or, maybe a prevention... something..." My bottom lip is trembling and Kyo pads up and nudges my nose with his own. "I love you, Kyo," I say to him.
He doesn't say anything, but he doesn't need to. I know very well that Kyo cares for me.
We spent another hour or so just cuddling -- being with one another. I was more comfortable than I had even been before, even laying on the floor, half-wedged under a table. I was with Kyo, without interruption, and it was better than anything else I'd ever had happen to me. I was comfortable, loved, and I finally had hope for the future.
We did finally separate. I picked Kyo up, grabbed his clothes from the kitchen for him, and put him in his room, placing a soft kiss on the delicate fur on the top of his head before I said goodnight. He gave me a soft lick of my fingertip in return, and it seemed a wonderful gesture.
There might be a future for us. That idea will keep me going even if everything else around me fails to. Kyo... my gentle Kyo... I look forward to being able to touch you whenever I like. Now that I've had a taste of it, I don't think I'll ever get enough. But, here's hoping that I get close.