Chapter 10

Kyomi laid in bed that night with her dog snuggled next to her grinning at the ceiling. She was remembering when she had just arrived earlier that evening. She had let Lucy off her leash before the front door was opened. Lucy had gone bounding past Yuki who opened the door for her and ran straight to Kyo and Shigure who were sitting at the table. Shigure received the brunt of the small dog's affection, but Kyo was the first target. She went straight to him and jumped in his face to give him kisses. The poor boy jumped up from his seat. "YAAA! Shigure! Why is there another damn dog in your house?!" Kyo pushed Lucy off him and she went to pester Shigure who accepted her affection gratefully.

"Oh! He's so cute Shigure! I wonder if she has an owner?" Tohru said having come to see what the commotion was about.

"Oh, she does indeed. In fact, this adorable little dog is Kyo's niece." Shigure teased.

Kyo's face went blank in confusion. "Huh? Is there another dog spirit or something?"

Shigure laughed, "Not at all. The appearance of Lucy must mean her owner just arrived."

"Stupid cat, like the world could handle another person like Shigure." Yuki said finally rounding the corner from the hall. Kyomi had gone to place her dog's water and food bowls on the porch.

"Damn rat! I know that there's only one dog spirit! I'm not stupid! The way Shigure explains anything never makes sense!" Kyo had jumped to his feet and was rounding at Yuki who kicked him straight through the door right past Kyomi who had bent down to set out Lucy's bowls.

Surprised, she popped her head into the hole to look at the occupants of the room. Seeing an amused Yuki and Shigure, and Tohru all but freaking out, she looked at what had come through the door. Her brother was picking himself up off the ground just past the porch. Thankfully, he hadn't gone into the pond this time.

Kyomi had to stifle a giggle as she asked, "Kyo! Are you alright?"

Kyo jumped out of his skin since he had no idea she was there. His sister couldn't hold back the laughter at that point and laughed so hard she fell on her backside from her crouched position. Shigure just smiled at the sound and Yuki seemed pretty pleased with himself even though he had no idea how Kyomi's day had gone.

"I'm sorry! I don't mean to laugh at you Kyo! The way you jumped reminded me so much of a cat I can't help myself! I'm so sorry!" Kyomi gasped finally reigning in her laughter. She wiped the tears from her eyes as she got herself up as well. "I'm truly sorry. Are you really alright? Does you flying though the door happen often?" Kyo decided to give her a break knowing what today was for her.

"I'm fine and no it doesn't. What are you doing here anyway? I thought you were sick." Kyo said, his slightly pink cheeks the only thing hinting at his deep embarrassment at being beaten so easily by that damn rat again, and in front of his sister of all things.

"Sick? Did Shi tell you that?" Kyomi asked raising her eyebrow at her brother, then turning to glare at the puppy who was making eyes at her like one as well. He was also holding her dog up to his face snuggling it for dramatic effect.

"Who me? I just gave Kyo a list of some groceries to take to you, that's all." Kyomi rolled her eyes at his antics as she gave her brother a hand up off the ground.

"Well, I definitely wasn't feeling well for awhile today, but it wasn't because I was sick." Kyomi said starting to inspect the door.

"EW, you talk about those things in front of respectable men? Have you no shame? OUCH!" Shigure had started out teasing her, but she came at him and whacked him on the head with a piece of wood from the door.

"Don't you start puppy dog. You know very well today was my anniversary and not only that, two years ago I had soldiers at my front door to tell me my husband was dead so yes, it has not been a great day. Now stop being ridiculous or I will whack you again." Kyomi had been annoyed with him, but once she was done with her rant, she felt much better.

Yuki was standing next to Shigure staring at Kyomi. He said quietly, almost under his breath. "It's like Kyo 2.0…" He was rewarded with a hearty whack on the head himself though still softer than she had hit Shigure.

"Can it, mouse."

"I'm actually a rat." Yuki said evenly while rubbing his head.

"Oh, sorry. I'm actually not that familiar with any of the other zodiac's besides those three numbskulls and the cat." Kyomi said sincerely.

Kyo sniggered behind his hand at his sister whacking his rival and calling him a mouse. Kyomi glanced at him. "What's so funny kitty?" She asked him with a slightly evil grin on her face.

He commented under his breath, "So that's where Shigure got it…" referencing her grin. He however was able to catch her hand before she was able to punch him in the shoulder. Kyomi just looked impressed.

"Aw, no fun. I'm not used to schooling people with training." She laughed. "And just so you know, I actually was like this before I met Gure. At least I think." She looked questioningly at Shigure who just shrugged.

"I barely remember not being friends with you, so I have no idea. However, I like to think you got your mischievous side from me." He said waving his fan in front of his face.

Kyomi just rolled her eyes at him and turned back to Kyo shaking her head. "Sadly, he's right. We've been friends since we were about six."

Tohru had been watching the whole exchange silently from the doorway to the kitchen. I'm so happy that she seems to be doing well considering the day. I had no idea she found out about her husband on their anniversary! How awful! Kyo also seems to be relaxing around her which makes me very happy. She seems like a wonderful person and so much like Kyo even if neither of them want to admit it. She giggled to herself. She was wrapped up in her thoughts and hadn't realized the main subject of her musings had come up beside her to help with dinner. He knocked his knuckles on her head as she was giggling, "What's so funny? Need any help with dinner?"

"Oh! Nothing Kyo, nothing at all! And yes please. I'm almost done but if you can just take these things to the table. The rest will be done in just a minute." Tohru's cheeks turned pink at the contact and she hurried back to the kitchen to finish dinner.

Kyomi looked questioningly at Shigure who just smiled and nodded slightly. Kyomi's face bloomed into a huge smile and turned back to sit at the table and watch the two in the kitchen.

"Kyomi! I'm so glad you were able to stay tonight!" Tohru interrupted Kyomi's musings as she came in after her bath. Her face went from happy to shocked when she saw Kyomi on the floor instead of in her bed like she had offered. "Why are you sleeping on the futon?"

Kyomi just grinned at her. "I'm fine, Tohru! Just go to bed. See I'm already almost asleep." She teased and fake snored just like her son does.

Tohru giggled at her impression. "Luc is very lucky to have someone like you. In some ways, you remind me of my own mother."

"I hope he feels that way as he grows. He seems happy enough now, but I hope it stays that way." Kyomi honestly replied.

"Kyo told me a little about your parents and I'm sorry for your loss. It's not easy. I lost my mother last year."

"Oh Tohru, I'm so sorry! I think Gure had told me that before, but I had completely forgotten. I'm sorry." Kyomi said.

Tohru waved her hands in front of her, "No, It's alright. I miss her, but I'm actually doing very well. All my friends help me so much, I can't be sad."

"Yes, you can. Sometimes, you need to be a little sad. Look at me, I cried on and off basically all morning. I thought it was going to be better this year too. It was slightly, but not by much. I did play the piano again after five years and I'm here instead of curled up in a ball like last year. That is improvement at least. Everyone gets through their troubles differently though. You need to do what makes you feel better." Kyomi said, then realized she'd rambled a little and said sheepishly. "Sorry for the lecture."

Tohru just giggled. "You actually sounded a lot like your brother just now. He told me a while ago it's okay to be selfish sometimes. I don't think I'll ever forget that."

Kyomi smiled at the girl. "It's good advice. If you don't take care of yourself, your family and friends are just going to worry about you. I learned that the hard way, so definitely take his advice!" She joking shook her finger at Tohru who just giggled some more.

"Alright, now I am actually about to fall asleep on you. Will you please wake me up, if I'm not already awake, before you go downstairs?" Kyomi asked, settling under the covers.

"Of course I will. Good night."

"Night, Tohru."

Kyo had been on his way to the bath when he had heard the girls giggling. He had heard them talk about his advice and his face was now bright red. He hurried to the bathroom before anyone could see.

….

The next morning, everyone except Shigure was sitting eating breakfast. Tohru had woken Kyomi up and they had made breakfast together. Kyomi lamented the fact that she had lost all ability to cook Japanese cuisine, but boy could she make amazing Italian, German, and Mexican foods! Since she lived in Germany, she had picked up a few favorites like currywurst and schnitzel. She also told about the white asparagus and the festival that accompanied the harvest of that vegetable. They had heard the porch door slide open and closed while on this topic but didn't think anything about it with the other people in the house. They suddenly heard a German accented voice behind them.

"Was? Wer ist dieser Tohru? Ist sie deutsch?" Momiji had come in the door and had heard them talking about cooking German food.

„Nein! Ich bin nicht." Kyomi responded slowly. She had learned the basics of conversational German, pretty much just enough to order food, ask for the restroom, and to tell people that she couldn't speak German.

Momiji was a little confused by that. „Aber du sprichst so gut Deutsch!"

Kyomi thought she understood the idea of what he had said, but returned to English just to be safe. "I lived in Germany for several years. I picked up some of the language and the cooking while I was there. Who are you?" Kyomi responded cheerfully.

Momiji was very happy to hear this. "Das ist wunderbar!" He said jumping in excitement. „where did you live?" He sat at the table facing them with his chin in his palms.

Kyomi laughed a little at his enthusiasm and Tohru cut in. „Kyomi, this is Momiji. His mother was German and his father was Japanese."

„Oh, I see. I'm Kyomi McLeod. My father was actually Irish." Kyomi said, then replied to Momiji's question. „I lived in Wiesbaden, near Mainz, on the Rhein River."

"Oh, that is a beautiful area. Wiesbaden is on a hot springs so it's always warmer than the rest of the area. The river is so beautiful as well! Did you travel much while you were there?"

"Not as much as we would have liked. We worked full time which included some weekends so we never were able to see everything we wanted before we moved here." Kyomi answered.

"McLeod is a very odd name. Is it Irish?" Momiji's curiosity was never ending.

"It's Scottish actually. My late husband's family was from Scotland generations ago." Kyomi replied finishing up what she was cooking and then turning off the stove. She brought the food to the table and thankfully had placed it down when she was suddenly tackled. She heard a poof and turned just in time to catch the little rabbit before he fell down to the floor.

"Oh! You're such a cute rabbit!" She said as she snuggled him.

"Es tut mir Leid! I didn't know about your husband!" The little rabbit said as he returned her hug.

"That's alright Momiji-chan." Kyomi snuggled him right back. Suddenly the sliding door to the porch banged open startling them all.

"Momiji! What are you doing here this morning? And why are you hugging my sister?" Kyo yelled, annoyed at the boy's playfulness.

The little rabbit's ears jerked to stand straight up. "SISTER? Kyo has a sister? You are Kyo's sister?"

Kyomi looked back at Momiji and laughed as she put him down so he could transform back and go change. "I am actually and you are very lucky because I grew up with Shigure, Hatori and Ayame so I already knew about the zodiacs. If I didn't, you would have been in trouble. You have to be more careful."

"Oh, Keine Angst. I already knew you were old friends with Hatori. I saw you leave his office ages ago and asked about you. Your Schätzchen is just too cute!" Momiji transformed at the end of his sentence and ducked into the hall to change.

The siblings looked at each other and shook their heads. Tohru laughed at the synchronization and told them all breakfast was ready. Momiji finished changing and joined them. Yuki wandered in as they finished. Kyomi waved them off as they all went to school.

Shigure shuffled into the room as they left.

"You still sleep this late Gure?" Kyomi asked sitting back at the table with a cup of coffee she had scrounged.

"I was up late finishing my draft thank you." Shigure commented back.

"Ah, so you won't mind if I call you editor to let her know its ready to be picked up." Kyomi said going to the phone.

"That's no fun Mi-chan!" Shigure pouted.

"You should stop torturing that poor woman because you're bored and can't get the woman you really want." Kyomi said as she sat back down and picked up her mug.

"Ah, but that is a game that can not be rushed." Shigure said.

"You are ridiculous. Don't call me if all your friends leave you." Kyomi said as she sipped her coffee. "You know, you should really get some good coffee if you want me to come over more often. You don't need to know how to make it, just have a good ground coffee, dark roast. Not instant… I like dark roast." Kyomi said imagining the coffee she just got at home. It was a new brand she had been wanting to try for a while. She got a goofy grin on her face as she thought.

"I've changed my mind on match making for you. You can just have a relationship with your coffee and be perfectly happy together." Shigure teased, pulling out his fan.

"You know that might be what ends up happening Shi. And who gave you permission to be match maker? You have terrible taste in men." Kyomi teased him right back.

"Only because my taste in women is worse." Shigure replied.

Kyomi shook her head. "I can't really say if that's true or not actually. I don't know anyone you have been in a relationship with."

"Yes, you do. You work with the only woman I actually dated. Mayu?" Shigure said as he got up to make some tea, finally realizing Kyomi wasn't going to do it for him.

Kyomi sat up straight and stared at him as he left the room. "You dated her? I actually like her!"

Shigure teased, "That must be why you never returned my affection as children. You prefer the fairer sex." He fanned himself at the supposed 'scandal'.

"Ha ha. She's a good friend. Has a huge crush on Tori though not that she would admit it nor would he even notice." Kyomi said contemplating whether it was worth trying to help the couple.

Shigure was a little stunned. "You noticed?"

"Yup, not that hard. He's come over a few times at lunch when he had a question about music therapies for one of his pediatric patients and we all ate lunch together. Its super obvious to me, but Tori is Tori and gets stuck in his own head." Kyomi said as she took a sip of coffee.

"Pot meet kettle…." Shigure said quietly as the tea kettle whistled.

"Did you say something about me puppy?" Kyomi asked suspiciously. He only talks that quietly when he has something to hide.

"Did you hear someone talking just now? I think it must be a ghost!" He said as he poured his tea and returned to his seat.

Kyomi rolled her eyes and stood. "You are ridiculous." She pointed her finger at him. "Call. Your. Editor. Or I will call her for you. Tori gave me her number."

She left Shigure fake crying and went to grab her bags to go pick up Luc and work at the store for a while before heading home. She was so thankful for all her friends and family even if they did drive her absolutely up a wall and force her into mild violence. Compared to throwing each other through doors however, whacking someone with a piece of wood and not leaving a mark seemed very tame.

She smiled as she remembered where Lucy was, still curled up right next to Shigure. Sure enough as she came down the stairs, neither had moved and Shigure was petting the small black dog next to him. She gave her old friend a hug turning him into a dog as well as she went to pick up Lucy's things.

"That was a little unnecessary you know." The bigger black dog commented as he fended off the smaller female's attentions.

"Maybe, but I was just making up for lost time. Plus, I was curious how Lucy would react to you." Kyomi grinned at him and giggled. Shigure pounced at her as she was bent over and knocked her off the porch.

"Ouch! Gure!" Was all Kyomi was able to get out before getting attacked by both dogs with noses and kisses from the smaller one.

When she was finally able to get them off her, Shigure transformed back to his usual self and picked himself up with dignity, dressed, and sat back down with his tea and fan.

"I wonder if you will let your curiosity get the better of you again, mmm?" He said slyly.

Kyomi was finishing getting her things together and standing up to go. She came and ruffled his hair before leaving.

"Probably, but definitely not when you two are together! Too much puppy for me." She laughed. "But seriously Shi, thank you for this. I needed it more than I knew. Having you all back is beyond anything I could have hoped for."

Shigure had stood up as she was finishing thanking him and he pressed a soft kiss to her head as he walked past to get more tea. She responded with a light punch to the shoulder.

"Thanks Shi, I'll see you later." She said as she left.