Chobi: Have fun reading this guys; It took me forever to type and to me it seems pretty damn long.

Ch 5

"Etsuko,.... I don't want to be a burden to you...." I start.

"It's no trouble at all." She says. "Besides, it would make me very happy if you said yes...." She adds with a wink.

"No..." I start up again.

"Aw, please Kayori?" She begs as she swings open the hospital door. We've been going back and forth, bickering, ever since we left my hospital room. It's a nice day. The sunlight from before is now slowly being hidden from fluffy white clouds and there is a light chilling breeze, but it feels alright.

"Are you alright?" Etsuko asks, turning to me "Not too cold?"

"No, I'm fine." I say as I ironically breathe a cold breath of air and zip up my jacket to my neck.

"I still can't believe they let you out today." She says with a stretch, changing the subject. "I mean, you only stayed one night....."

Somehow I laugh. "Yeah, so much for 'serious injuries'"

"Well......." Etsuko says as she fixes her jacket collar. "There's not that much the hospital could do; I mean, when you think about it all you have to do to your wounds now is change the bandages. If they kept you there all you would of gotten were 2 days of boredom and one hell of a bill."

I nod. "Yeah, that's true....."

"Yep." She says with a small smile. We're quiet for a moment. "So as I was saying....." She continues, trying to spark up, and win, our dispute.

I sigh. "Etsuko, I'm not moving in with you." I say firmly as I turn and start walking away.

"Well, why not?" She says, being more persistent as she walks closer to me. "You've seen my apartment, I have more than enough room."

"It's not that......" I admit. "It's just....." I pause, then sigh. "There's no point. It's not like my house burned down or anything. I'll be fine.... "

Just as I'm about to pick up my pace and walk faster Etsuko grabs my wrist. She doesn't grab it hard; Just enough to stop me.

"No." She says, both softly, yet firmly. I can tell she's serious. "I'm not letting you go back there Kayori."

I try to turn around. "And why not?" I ask, getting a little irritated. "After all, it's my..."

Before I can finish Etsuko wraps her arms around me, pulling me into a soft embrace .My cheek presses up against her breast.

"Because.." She says, gripping me tighter. "I don't want to see you hurt again..." She pauses. "I don't...want to lose you......"

I'm shocked. No one has ever held me like this one has ever told me that...... This is too good to be true. I try to break away but it's obvious Etsuko isn't letting go of me.

I sigh. "Alright." I say. "You win. I'll move in with you."

Etsuko smiles and kisses the top of my head. "Thank you Kayori. That means a lot to me." She says as she slides her arms off of me.

"Whatever." I turn slightly away from her. "Just let me stop home and get my things, ok?"

She smiles again. "Sure, whatever you want." She says as she walks ahead of me.

When she doesn't see I smile. Maybe it's ok like this. I want to get to know Etsuko better anyway. Besides, I don't want to get hurt anymore either.

Minutes later we reach my apartment. When we get there I walk right past the front door and into the alley adjacent to it.

"Hm? What are you doing?" Etsuko asks, tilting her head and stopping. "The door's over there...." She says, pointing back at the door.

"I know" I say looking around."It'll just be easier if I go......." I stop in mid sentence as I smirk, finding what I'm looking for: the fire escape. "This way." I say with a smile as I adjust the ladder and pull it down so I can climb it. Excellent; This is exactly what I need. The fire escape leads right to my apartment: My room to be more precise. And since my window's always open I can just slip in and out.

"But I still don't understand why you're using the fire escape." Etsuko says as I adjust the ladder."If you took the elevator you'd be up there by now."

"I suppose" I say, still fiddling with the ladder to make sure it's secure. "But it'll just be easier this way; The fire escape leads right to my room." I grip the sides of the ladder. "And besides, if I go through the front door and my father sees me I might get hit again."

"Oh." She says quietly. She almost sounds sad.

"Don't worry." I reassure her as I pull myself up to the bottom step of the escape. "I'll only be a second....I just have to get some things; Stay down here and wait for me, alright?"

Etsuko nods. "Alright. Hurry up and be careful."

I wink. "I will; Aren't I always?" I say before looking up as I start to climb up to my bedroom.

I grunt softly as I rest my elbows on the windowsill. I finally made it to the top.. I push myself up and into my apartment, through the window I go. It looks the same as I left it: Still some what messy, still freezing from the constant exposure to the outside world, courtesy of the window, and still dark as my heart. The perfect reflection of a tormented teen.

Even though I am the only person who ever went in my room I feel sorry for it now. My bed will no longer have the angst driven teen who longed for it sleeping in it anymore. My doorand the room itself can no longer look towards 3 PM when I'd come home and abide in it, and these walls which I've draped with posters can no longer harbor my secrets. Yes, I shall miss my room deeply but it's ok now. I not only have 4 walls to protect me but I also have an older, mature woman by my side who will hopefully love and protect me.

I can move on.

After looking around my room and letting the nostalgia sink in I snap back and remember the matter at hand. First I go over to my closet and pull out the most necessary clothes from there: School uniforms, some jeans and pants, and my favorite tops. I don't have much clothes to begin with, nior do I have a big variety., so this shouldn't take long. I sometimes wonder if I'm a girl but puberty sure cleared that up I also make sure to grab my pj's and overused slippers.

Next I move on to my dresser. I quickly grab some panties and other necessary lingerie. Lastly I skid over to my closet sides bathroom and grab my most needed toiletries.

I'm done.

On my way out I put all of my belongings into my backpack before quickly grabbing my cd player and my favorite cds; I shove those in there too.

I hike my backpack on my back and crawl out the window.

" Sorry about that." I say to Etsuko as I slide down the ladder, jump down and land on my feet.

She smiles. "It was nothing. Ready to go?"

"Yep." I wrap my arms around one of hers as we descend through the alleyway.

"Alright, here we are!" Etsuko exclaims as the door to her apartment swings open. I recognize what I see immediately. I glance around just to inhale it's beauty once again. Once my eyes fix upon the couch my heart grows cold as the beat escalates; I remember the other night. I mentally coach myself to get my heartbeat back down to it's normal rate. I tell myself things can only get better.......

"So...where do you want to sleep?'Etsuko asks me, breaking the ice. It is then I realize we haven't said anything in the past 10 seconds. My heart almost jumps out of my chest.

"Um......Etsuko?........" I studder nervously, glancing up in her direction. "Would you mind if I sleep in one of the guests rooms?....." I can feel the heat rising in my cheeks. "It's nothing's know........" My babbling is stopped by Etsuko's sweet smile.

"Don't worry. I understand." She says looking down at me. "After what you've been through I especially don't blame you." She says. At least she's not mad.."Just realize I'm not going to take advantage of you."

"" I squeak again.

"Oh, by the way my room is over there." She points forward and slightly to the left.. "The bathroom's right there....." She moves her finger left toward the door next to her bedroom. Etsuko then takes a step forward as do I. "Down there is the office......"She points down the same small hallway. The office is the only room on the left side of this small corridor; down further and adjacent to the bathroom.

"And of course you know where the living room, the terrace , and kitchen are." Etsuko says, turning and gesturing toward what's in front of us. I nod.

Both of us turn to our right. "And down this hallway there's more spare rooms, a closte, and another bathroom." She explains. "Choose any room you like."

I think momentarily, then I take a few steps forward, turn to my right, and peer into the first room. "Oh, this one's lovely!" I exclaim gazing around the room. The walls are painted a pastel yellow, and there is a blue and white day bed pushed up against the right wall, partially nestled in the corner. Adjacent to the bed on the left side is a desk and chair, both yellow, and a matching yellow dresser to the left once you come in.

"You know, I was going to suggest this room." Etsuko says with a smile. "It's actually one of the nicest rooms in this place."

"It's beautiful" I say breathlessly, taking a step into the room.

"You really like it? I did it myself." She says with a giggle, placing her hands behind her back.

"I whip around. "Oh my god, really?"

Etsuko smiles, then leans in and pokes my nose. "Yes, really."

"It's really beautiful." I say again. I look around the room again, then turn back at Etsuko. "It's too beautiful.....Etsuko, I really don't deserve this........"

Next thing I know Etsuko puts her finger to my lips, silencing me. "I told you, it's alright." She repeats. That smile from before is still on her face. "Besides, I'll only give the best to you." She pulls back and turns toward the doorway.

"You've had a rough weekend." She continues. "And it's kind of getting late; You have school tomorrow, right?" I nod. "In that case we have all the more reason to stay here." She walks into the hallway and turns back to me. "Just relax and get your things straightened for now, ok?" She tells me.

I nod again. "Ok" I smile.

It's contagious; Etsuko also smiles. "Great. You've been through a lot, so make sure you get some sleep too."

For some odd reason I can't help but giggle."Alright."

"I'll be in my room if you need me."

"Alright." I say before slightly closing the door, then moving over to the bed I sit down and start to unpack my stuff.

It's a cold night. I'm freezing as always, even though I'm wearing my huge grey sweat pants, my pastel yellow nightgown, and a baby yellow incredible oversized pull-over hoodie sweatshirt. I move from my side to my back and stare at the ceiling. I can't sleep. I reach over the side of my bed to grab my cell phone. I flip it open and as the back-light blinds me I check the time; It's 1:30 AM. I have been trying to fall asleep for 3 hours now.

I groan and push myself up and throw my legs over the side of the bed; This is useless .No matter what I can't fall asleep. I got to do something.

I slip on my slippers and drape my overly faded robe over myself. I tip toe across the room, trying to see in the dark and make as little noise as possible. I squeeze myself through the slightly opened door and enter the hallway.

As I walk I realize how quiet an apartment or house can be at night. Every creak of a floor board or an opening door seems loud enough to wake up the whole house. If it is raining the falling drops can sound like pebbles against your window. A slight breeze of the wind, or any sound at all for that matter, can make you jump if unexpected. Anything can seem like anything else.

Etsuko's door is already slightly opened, just as mine was. I gently push, allowing the gap between it and it's frame to increase as I slip through.

I can see the faint outlines of her furniture in the dark. It's perfect: Spotless. Nothing is messy or out of place.

I tippy toe further, holding my breath and trying to make my steps inaudible, until I reach the side of the bed. I lean over and can't help but stare at Etsuko. Even sleeping she's beautiful, like a wingless angel. She sleeps just like me, lying on her side, and some strand of her hair gently fall over her eyes. I notice her glasses are folded up in her open case on the night stand next to her. My god, she just looks so damn gorgeous. Her face just looks so beautiful and make me want to touch it..........

I quickly draw back my trembling hand before it strokes her smooth skin as I whip around. Christ, I'm such a pervert! I can't believe I want to touch her! I shake my head and get rid of all the obscene thoughts in that start brewing....

I sigh. Looking at Etsuko, despite her illegally good looks, won't make me any more sleepier. I can stare at that beauty for hours......

I snap out of my thoughts and quietly slip out of Etsuko's room. UI hear a light breeze and turn to the direction of the source of the sound. The sliding door leading out to the terrace is open.

I step outside. The breeze feels nice. Surprisingly it is a lot warmer outside than in. It's so relaxing. I can still smell the rain, lingering from the past few days; It smells nice, like right when you take you laundry out of the dryer. I walk over and lean against the railing. My arms fold and my legs criss-cross.

I look up at the moon.

It emits such a bright light that almost blinds me. I realize I am just like the moon: Alone, cold, ever so quiet, and we are both insomniacs.

So I just stare at the moon. I don't realize it but it moves so fast. It seems as if in the blink of an eye it's morning; the moon moved into the other side of the sky, and in a matter of minutes it soon disappears, like it was only a dream, and bright colors like white, yellow, and amber replace the moonlit periwinkle.

I blink My eyes hurt, and I yawn. It hits me like a ton of bricks, this feeling of exhaustion and restlessness. I hope my teachers prepared boring lessons because I am going to sleep right though my first 3 periods. I am about to release the cold railing bars and walk inside when...

"Hey." I hear a familiar voice say. I whip around.

"Hey Etsuko." I say back. She looks like she just got up; You can't tell from her appearance but I can just sense it. You can't tell by her appearance because as I've said before she's ravenous. Her hair is perfect as always, her glasses are replaced at the bridge of her nose, and the heat just rises to my cheeks when I see her white terrycloth robe lightly wrapped around her and ending at her thighs.

"Kayori what are you doing out here?" She asks before covering her mouth due to a small yawn; then takes a few steps closer to me. "It's almost 6 AM"

"Oh ...well, I couldn't sleep" I blurt.

Etsuko's eyes widen. "You mean you've been out here all night?!"

"No,No! Not all night......." I say growing quiet. "I came out at 1 ......."

Her eyes are even wider "1 AM?!"

"Don't worry; I'm fine!" I say quickly, reassuring her; Then I turn around and reface the sky. "I'll get plenty of sleep at school. It's alright....." I continue. "I'll be fine...."

I'm about to go on with my ranting until something stops me. It's Etsuko. She's behind me; I can hear her soft breathing and feel her breath up against my neck. Her breast are pressing up against my back and her arms are wrapped around me: only loosely wrapped under my neck, lying on my chest, and the other arm is gently caressing my waist; the spot right under my chest. Shit, and I thought I was a pervert before; she's the one who's practically groping me.

No problem. This is just like the last time. I try to move but her hands are perfectly placed; She's got me in just the right hold.

"Nm........Etsuko what are you......" I begin, but am stopped by her body again. She leans in closer. I can feel the heat rising in my cheeks.

"It's horrible what he did to you." She whispers in my ear. I can feel a tingle go up my spine and th little hairs on the back of my neck stick up. "You're father I mean." She continues. My heart pounds; It hurts. "You think you're so strong....but Kayori........" Her lips press up against my neck. I don't think my cheeks can get any redder. "The truth is you're not that strong." Etsuko goes on. "You need someone to protect you........" Her arms gently caress me even more. This is not like the last time; this is different. "I don't want anyone else to touch you from now on......." She says. "Only me......"

".....C-Cmon Etsuko....let go of me........" I say as I try to break away from her grasp; No luck. Etsuko just holds me tighter. Pulling me into her. Her body up against mine.

"No." She says quietly.


"No" She repeats. "I'm not letting you go Kayori."

"Nngh........and just why not?" I snap, becoming somewhat irrate, as I try to turn my head to look at her.

"Because....." She leans in more, if that's even possible. I don't think we could get any closer. Her chin nuzzles up against my neck and my shoulder. "Because..." Etsuko says again. "I think even you need to be held like this."

Suddenly I don't want to struggle anymore. All of a sudden I'm really sleepy. I'm so warm with Etsuko's arms wrapped around me. I fall into her embrace, savoring the moment.

"Kayori......Kayori........" My name is being called by Mr. Riogame, my chemistry teacher.

"Huh? What?" I break away from my bout of daydreaming and staring out the window and turn to him.

"What is the electron cloud model?"

"Oh." I say. That's right: I'm in chemistry. "It's the last and most advanced model of the atom; it states that the nucleus of an atom is like a ball, made up of bunches of neutrons and protons together, and it gives more of a precise feel for where the electrons orbit around it." I say without looking at my book. The rest of the class seems dumbfounded. Why I don't know; this is easy. Mr. R sneaks in questions based on stuff we've done before in his lessons so we're prepared for the mid term and don't forget this crap. How can we with the electron theories still heavily stalking us?

Mr. Riogame looks down at his book, fixes his reading glasses, and looks up at me and smiles. "That's correct. Exactly." He says to me happily., then turns around to the board. "Now, to understand ionic bonding........." He begins again with his lesson. As my classmates pull out their notebooks and noise fills the air, I resume my gazing out the window.

I just don't get it. I've been thinking about it all day and I still don't get it. What exactly was Etsuko saying? I don't want anyone else to touch you........only me........ and the way she held me....No one ever held me like one ever said that to me....but......

Does that mean she really loves me?

"Hey, I'm home!" I call as I step inside the apartment, place my bag down, and take off my shoes.

"Hey!" Etsuko says happily. I look up. She's sitting on the couch, laptop placed on her lap, her fingers still on the keys.

"What are you doing?" I ask, taking a few steps closer.

"Just a report on a case." She says."for school." She resumes, typing hurriedly. "I'm just about......." She stops. Her fingers leave the keyboard and she smiles. She jiggles the mouse, slams on the left-click button, and leans back, giving a sigh of relief. "There."Etsuko removes her glasses and places them on the coffee table. " Now it's done." She closes her laptop and places it on the table nest to her glasses "So what are you doing home?"She asks, looking up at me." I wasn't expecting you here you hours; No practice today?"

"Nope. No practice." I say. "We don't have a concert or anything this week so we're taking a break." I say as I loosen my red school uniform tie.

"That's good." Etsuko says with a smile.

I walk over and sit on the coach, right next to her. We're silent for a moment, and then I turn and find myself closer to her, almost on her lap even, my arms wrapped around her neck; In seconds my lips are pressing up against hers. Her lips taste so sweet. This feels right.

This is it; This what I want. I don't care about our ages; I don't even care that we're both girls anymore. This is finally right. I can finally start over again. I can finally be loved.........

My eyes snap open; I realized what I'm doing. I quickly pull back. "Oh god..." I mutter. "Etsuko, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-"

I stop babbling as Etsuko places her finger on my chest, gently pushing me back, causing me to fall on my back on the soft couch.

She has a cute little seductive smirk on her face. I like it. "No..." She says leaning over me. "Don't apologize."

I can't help but giggle. "Ok."

She leans down closer and kisses me back. Yeah, this is definitely right.

"Hey, Etsuko.." I break away and prop myself up. I just need to let her know something........

"Yes, Kayori?" She says sweetly.

"Will you hold me again?" I ask, innocence and longing in my voice.

Esuko smiles. "Sure Kayori." She says before giving me a kiss on my neck.

I can't help but giggle as I gladly return the favor.

Chobi: Kay, that was it! Don't forget to review and comment! Chapter 6 may take a while; I want to update Snow Child now. Keep reading!