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The hare could not abide storms, being deeply scared of them. That was a terrible circular thing, for the very keyed up state from the fear was frightening. Spending time hidden deep enough underground could muffle the storm sounds but was not an escape.

At least this time was near enough to spring that the bear was awake to run to and huddle beside. Having a solid cave wall to one flank and warm bear to the other felt more secure in the dark. Bear murmured throatily, now and again, comfort that did not need to be words.


When the storm had finally quieted the hare, though still trembly, was no longer light-headed with fear; heartbeat slowed from racing at last. Only then did the bear turn his head away and snort wetly, sneezing long held in.

"Oh Bear, you're still not well!" Hare cried, guilty at not having remembered.

"I'm worse," Bear admitted, and rubbed down the hare's side with one paw rather than putting a wet nose to long ears. "Doesn't matter. I have you safe."