Hatori is lost in a nightmare. Can Tohru help him find his way back?
It wasn't often that these words invaded Hatori's dreams, but when they did, they would always recur for several nights -- Hatori was often called upon to work beyond his usual waking hours, so it was simple for him to rationalize not sleeping at all, thus putting off the inevitable for a few more hours...but eventually, he would have to sleep. And then, like it or not, he would dream.
Akito screeched the words again, loud enough to shatter Hatori's very existence. All Hatori could see was blood -- a deep, thick, red curtain that obscured his view...strangely, in dreams, the physical pain Akito had inflicted did not exist, leaving instead a strange, dimly lit emptiness. Kana's ghostly white face was eerily bright against the blurred red and black of Hatori's vision. "...all your fault!" The words continued to clash with the silence of the night. Hatori knew intellectually that Akito's words were directed at Kana, but he could do nothing but place the blame fully on himself. Hatori felt the cold touch of Akito's hand and shuddered. Akito pulled him closer. "You know what you must do, now...don't you?" Akito lightly brushed Hatori's lips with hers. It was a fatal kiss that chilled Hatori's blood.
Each time Hatori dreamed like this, he could not awake until Kana's memories were gone. Each time, after reliving Kana's last loving kiss yet again before he took her memories and set her free, Hatori found himself painfully alone. Each time, before coming fully awake, Hatori would find himself crying bitterly. And each time, the only way he was able to calm down, was to step outside with a pack of cigarettes, and smoke until they were gone. Sometimes he'd sleep afterwards, but more often than not, the night was already over. Hatori never knew whether or not the dream would return next time he slept, or for how long he would be able to sleep peacefully until the next time.
This time, however, would be different. As Hatori cried, still in his sleep, he could almost consciously feel a soothing touch. This touch was nothing like the cold and controlling hold Akito exerted on him, as she did to all of the juunishi. This was a soft, loving and caring touch. This gentle touch bore so much warmth, it could surely thaw the deepest winter storm. As he awoke, Hatori could hear a soft, tearful murmur. "Shh...everything will be all right, Hatori-san. Please...stop crying I -- I don't know what else to do...but I'll stay right here if you need me..." Hatori felt a gentle kiss on his forehead. He opened his eyes. "Tohru?"
"Ah! Hatori-san!" Tohru blushed. "I heard you...crying. I was so worried, I..."
"Shh..." Hatori managed a smile. "It was only a dream. I'll be fine." Hatori wanted to reassure Tohru, but the truth was, he had been comforted. It was a wonderful feeling, and Hatori wanted it to last as long as possible. Taking care not to fully embrace, Hatori drew Tohru in for a sweet and tender kiss -- a promise of things to come. "Thank you." Hatori whispered. "Good night, Hatori-san." Tohru spoke, as she left the room. Hatori went back to sleep. The nightmare did not return.