I heard them come in. Everybody in the house was listening for the sliding of the doors. When I heard it, my heart took a strange flying leap, going up and then plummeting to my toes. My knees trembled and I gripped the edge of the counter to keep myself steady. Though we'd all heard the tired footsteps on the stairs, none of us dared approach the trio so soon after their ordeal.
I looked down at the stove in front of me. Steam was rising merrily from the pot. I took it off and slowly gathered together a tray for tea. I carried the tray out to the table where Shigure sat. He was staring intently at the wall as if he could see through it. I poured some tea and pushed it across to him.
"Thank you," he said quietly, like he was afraid that his words might disturb the three upstairs.
Nodding silently, I sipped my own tea, not even tasting the hot liquid that slid down my throat. I wondered where Sensei was, but I didn't have the energy to search for him. I felt as if the rain had sapped the strength from me as it often did to Kyo. Instead, I sat trying to hear a sound, any sound, over the patter of the rain on the rooftop. I was so focused that the clink of Shigure's teacup on the table startled me and I splashed tea out of my cup. My fingers stung as I put down my cup. Feeling clumsy, I quickly wiped at the small spill. Shigure seemed not to notice at all.
Frustrated with the silence, I pushed my cup away and stood. "I'm going upstairs," I announced.
Shigure finally glanced at me. "Are you sure that's a good idea Kagura?"
"I have to do it. I have to know," I said, clenching my fists.
He nodded. "Try not to disturb them."
I didn't answer him as I left the room, but I was quiet on the way up the stairs, hardly daring to breathe let alone charge up them as I wanted to do. As I reached the top of the landing, I realized that I did not know where they'd gone. I looked at the various doors along the hallway. I felt like a contestant on a game show. What was behind door number one? Would there be a prize? Or would I find a nasty trick? I wouldn't know until I opened them. Taking a deep breath, I moved to the first door. It was Yuki's door. I tapped quietly against it. There was no reply. I hesitantly slid the door open to look in to an empty room.
One down. Two to go. I moved along to the next door. Kyo's door had seen better days. I realized that I probably shouldn't batter away at it like I always do. I pushed the thought aside though as I tapped on the door. Again there was no reply. Peeking inside, I saw no one. My heart beat swiftly in my chest as I turned to look at the last possible door. Tohru's door. I padded down the hall, stopping in front of the door. I stared ahead looking at her name penned neatly on a little sign. There was a little blue bow on the bottom corner. I remember asking her where she got it. There's one at home on my door as well. Suddenly, the door with the cute little nameplate seems very forbidding.
I bit my lip as I fought to bring my hand against the door. There was no sound as I pressed the flat of my palm against it. "Knock," I told myself. "Just knock." But I couldn't. My hand refused to cooperate. My fingers curled into a fist and I wanted to hurl it through the door. I wanted to smash my hand down on the nameplate and watch it splinter to pieces. I couldn't do that either.
I took a deep breath and then another. Closing my eyes, I opened the door. It didn't make a sound as I stepped into the quiet room. I could hear their breathing over the heavy thud of my heart and slowly I looked around. On the bed, the three of them were curled together. Yuki rested near the wall and Kyo on the edge with Tohru nestled between them. She had each of their hands clenched tightly in hers as if they were her lifelines. Despite the hell they must have gone through, they still looked so content, so happy.
My head felt heavy. I looked my eyes following the path of their dirty wet clothes strewn carelessly about. I knelt down, collecting the pieces and gathered them into my arms. It's not fair, my head told me. Yes, but it's right, my heart replied. I knew my heart was right, but that didn't make it hurt any less. I clenched the wet clothes to my chest, hoping that they would in some way dull the pain. It still hurts, but there is nothing I can do but accept it.
Unnn, so tired. I wrote this in about thirty minutes. I edited it, but I dunno if I missed anything. Anyway, let me know what you think. ^_^