Haruka was sleeping soundly on the futon while Ayanomi sat quietly beside the little girl. It was already midnight, she can’t sleep. Even though she was tired because of helping Haruka with her assignments, struggling to wash the dishes that both of them used and cleaning the house, sleep was still evading her.
To top it all off she was parched due to the fact that she couldn’t think of drinking from the water coming out of the faucet but what was really bothering her the most to the point of not being able to sleep is that she was scared.
There were a lot of things she began to notice that evening, though Haruka was able to sleep peacefully on the futon Ayanomi still couldn’t imagine how she was able to sleep soundly the night before. There was this bad feeling that kept on itching inside her by looking at the roof, it was the insistent thought that it might fall down anytime soon while she was asleep, thus making her restless.
Different kinds of noise and shuffling sounds could also be heard through the thin walls of the house. Ayanomi had no idea what those sounds were and where it came from. Her mind was already imagining things that when a sudden creaking sound came from the front door she started to freak out more.
Ayanomi’s hair all over the body stood up, she crawled towards the bedroom door and tried to peak through it by sliding the door ajar half an inch. She was crouching low when she saw a foot walk quietly on the small living room. Her heart thumped faster, her eyes slowly inching upward when the foot came closer to the door and stopped just right in front of her. Then the door swiftly opened and made her fall forward onto the feet of that person while yelping out loud.
"Kyaaaaa!!!!" Ayanomi squeaked.
“What the…!?” Jinsuke exclaimed as he fell down crashing on the floor with Ayanomi sprawled on his legs while her heart was thumping wildly.
They both stared at each other for a few moments and then quickly looked towards the sleeping child in the room. Haruka was still sleeping undisturbed even with the entire racket they have caused. This made them both sigh with relief.
Jinsuke sat on the floor properly while Ayanomi scrambled to sit in front of him.
“What were you thinking?” He asked her harshly in a low voice as he looked at her.
“I was hearing a lot of things, I can’t sleep.” She complained.
“But you were able to sleep properly the first night.” He pointed out.
“That was because I was terrified out of my wits and I fainted!” She defended herself.
“You’re scared?” There was a twitch on his mouth that seemed to look like an amused smile.
Ayanomi just nodded completely embarrassed.
“I’m here now, so you don’t have to be scared.” Jinsuke said as he touched her knee gently while giving her a soft smile.
There was a short silence between them as Jinsuke reassured her.
“Jin… knowing that you're here already made me feel better.” She said shyly.
She didn't understand why she suddenly felt like being honest.
“You should go get some sleep, there’s still work tomorrow.” Jin told her stiffly instead then started to stand.
Ayanomi didn't say anything about the sudden change in attitude so she crawled back to the bed room to lay down beside Haruka.
After a couple of minutes listening to Jinsuke shuffling movements outside the room her eyes were still wide open. She still couldn’t sleep. After deliberating a few moments, she crawled back into the living room and opened the door to look at Jinsuke who has lying on his own futon and was already changed in his sleeping clothes.
Jinsuke must have felt someone watching him that he suddenly opened his eyes and found Ayanomi staring at him. This made her blush and bend her head, suddenly feeling uneasy from Jinsuke's gaze.
“What’s wrong?” He asked.
“I… I still can’t sleep.” She mumbled softly.
Jinsuke sighed then muttered audibly.
“You’re worse than Haruka.”
Jinsuke covered his eyes with his arm, ignoring her altogether. After a few minutes he took a peek at Ayanomi, and she was still there, looking at him helplessly.
“What now?” He asked completely frustrated, he did seem tired after all.
“Can you sleep inside the room beside me?” Ayanomi’s voice was childlike, almost inaudible but it was begging.
“Are you serious?!?” Jinsuke sat up straight looking at her making sure she was just kidding.
There was no trace of humor in Ayanomi’s face, only fear. Like that of a five year old having nightmares at night.
“You’re not kidding…” He suddenly said surprised at this newly discovered fact.
Ayanomi had a fear in new places; she could not sleep properly in places she’s not used to unless someone was sleeping beside her to calm her down.
As she told this to Jinsuke, he just nodded and took the futon in the cramped room and started to sleep. Ayanomi lay down happily in the futon between Haruka and Jin. It was more comfortable than before but something else was lacking.
“Jin?” She whispered in the dark.
“Yes?” He answered back.
“Can you rub my back so I could fall asleep faster?” She asked hopefully.
There was no answer, not even a grunt.
Ayanomi's shoulder sagged thinking that her request was too childish anyway so it didn’t matter; she would just try to sleep with the comfort that someone else was there beside her. With this thought, she turned to face Haruka on a side lying position and gently closed her eyes.
Then she felt a hand on her back, rubbing it gently, calming her down…
This made her smile and she quickly went to sleep.