She could feel his tears on her shoulder, hot and burning like acid, each indistinct little doors. Each little indistinct doors that led a straight and narrow path right into the very depths of his lying cheating heart.

Pressing his forehead into the hollow of her shoulder, she could feel him gripping her arms. Gripping them, holding them, latching onto them as if they were the tiniest last shred of self-respect he had left for himself. As if just the feeling of her clutching him like this would be enough to keep the treacherous, unbalanced pieces of his shitty life glued together, even if it was just with a lot of spit, string, and lots of elbow wax. Couldn't the guy try not to hold her so hard? It hurt.

But she held him, and he held her. She sat there with her arms around his shoulders, fingers cornering throughout the roots of his hair; so she could ring them around the back of his scalp, trying...trying her hardest to comfort him in anyway she could. He had sung for her mother when she lay on her deathbed; writing in relentless, seemingly endless agony–and the bastard had been kind enough to help take her mothers pain away.

She owed him that much. To at least try and help numb over the pain, since there was no way of getting out of it, or locking it up inside him, or even just trying to push it away. This type of pain would be everlasting–and cling to his heart forever.

So at the same time there wasn't anything she could do really, except grieve with him–for she would be lying to herself if she said she didn't at least 'not minded' Shion–though she knew it hardly helped. So at least he knew he wasn't totally isolated and alone, that the grief he had rested on his shoulders could be shared with someone besides his own now broken ego. So he knew that there was at least some, even if it was just one person, who could grieve with him.

Inukashi let out a quivering sigh into the physical world; the noise shaky and stuttering. The kind of noise you make when your either about to cry or are already crying. A sound she had learned to loathe with all her heart. Crying meant weakness. She had told herself a million, if not more, times that she wouldnt cry. That she wouldn't give into her weaknesses, no matter how shitty and fucked up her life became. But the tears–or tear–still seared an acrid streak down her grimy cheeks, and seemed to pour out anyway. Dribbling down and wetting the others shirt like rain threw a gutter.

Maybe she needed a good cry. Not for Shion, or Nezumi, but just for the little girl inside her that still needed the comfort of her canine family to fall asleep at night.

Nezumi seemed to shake more considerably with misery when she started sniffling–though she didn't cry fully–but for a while seemed then that there was nothing left to do in the sorry excuse of a world but cry and he did.

Inkukashi had always been downright horrible at comforting people. She had always been completely lost at what to say, what to do, when someone had been having emotional pain. Dogs were easy. Dogs were always natural at comforting other dogs, it was just instinct for them. It was much easier to comfort dogs, and comforting humans had always just been a side though to her. It had simply just been a careless notion she had tossed away into the back of her mind after a few years, thinking 'when the hell'll I'll need to use something as stupid as that?' or 'You won't be able to use it on anyway except the dogs, it won't matter'. But something small in the back of her mind–or was it her heart? Something inconvenient and obnoxious, seemed to be telling her to try and comfort Nezumi.

So, leaning her face a little away from him, so that she could see glimpses of his pale skin past the curtain of his hair, she lowered her mouth close to his forehead and very slowly ran her tongue along the skin of his temple. It was how dogs showed tenderness towards each other, it might not work the same on humans, but at least it was something right? She had comforted Shion the same way once, Nezumi should be grateful she even bothered to step into the room.

Gray eyes, the color of storm clouds and the ash of dying embers, peeped out from behind the veil of dark locks to narrow scrutinize her own dark brown ones.

"Have you finally come to means with my sexual advances?" the rat asked, voice thick but still miraculously able to drip with sarcasm.

Inukashi frowned. "Shut up, ass-hole. I'm trying to comfort you,"

"'Didn't work,"

"Sorry to break it to you, but the world just isn't fair. There's nothing you can do to bring him back,"

The smallest hint of laugh, partly like a growl, or a simple rumble came from the back of his throat. Maybe not so much a laugh but more like a cough. He shifted his head a little, arms that were wrapped loosely around her waist before constricting more tightly now. His chin jabbing her a little on her collarbone when he gave her the smallest hint of a smile, though perhaps it was more of a grimace.

"I know that–the world is one fucked up place. But...nevermind," he trailed off then, and rested his head on her chest a little over her heart.

"Is that regret I hear in your tone, Nezumi?"

No response.

They sat there for quiet sometime then, and Nezumi sort of just began to...cry himself out. Embracing her again in a life-line hold until his depressed wails faded to solitary whimpers that fizzled out as the lantern positioned on the kitchen table began to dim, the warm orange-yellow light growing fainter and fainter until only a minuscule, flickering flame remained. Like a single star in the sky.

The rat–she remembered thinking of him like a fox once–had gone so far. It really was a shame, he had been one hell of a fighter then; never refusing to give into the temptation of loosing himself to the trails of the world. But he had found his Achilles heel, and it had been his total demise. Pathetic.

Dogs are so much easier...she thought glumly, raising her head towards the cracked ceiling above her with a sigh. Maybe she'd be able to understand one day, what it felt like to feel complete sorrow for someone other than an animal...But today was not the day. Maybe instead of grieving, she could use this to her advantage. Nezumi still probably had all the energy he had had before, he only had a different purpose. Inukashi could use that purpose to get the upper hand. All she had to do was feign pity, feign sorrow–and then, if she tried hard enough, he would be eating at her hand like a obedient puppy. It would be too easy.

I take it back...Maybe humans really are easier than dogs...