A Cold Smile
a shortfic by Dot
Inspired by Chelsea’s challenge: Two people are trapped in a cabin during a blizzard. One blanket.
Yumi peered out the window at the rapidly growing snow and sighed. “Looks like we’re stuck here for the night.” She turned to Soujirou, her face flushed with anger. “This is all your fault for getting us lost, you know.”
Soujirou grinned. “Sorry.”
Yumi scowled. How could such an innocent-looking smile get on her nerves so much? At least they were dry now. If Shi-Shi-O-sama hadn’t had the foresight to tell them to wear extra clothes, she would have been sitting in nothing but her underwear now.
Yumi looked out the window again. Just where was Shi-Shi-O-sama, anyway? She hoped he would be all right. In this kind of weather, not even Shi-Shi-O-sama’s elevated body temperature was much help.
“Yumi-neesan! I found a blanket!” Soujirou announced, holding the object up for Yumi to see.
“You call that a blanket?” Yumi exclaimed in dismay. “A rag is more like it!” It would in all likelihood provide adequate warmth for one person, but Yumi, who was used to the more opulent surroundings of a geisha house, didn’t see it as such.
“It’s better than nothing, isn’t it?” Soujirou pointed out in his ever cheerful expression. He walked over to Yumi, folding the blanket into a neat square as he did, and handed it to her.
Yumi blinked. “What about you?”
Soujirou shrugged. “I’m used to being cold.”
Yumi raised an eyebrow, but Soujirou just continued to grin. “Well, if you insist.” Taking the blanket, she spread it on the ground and wrapped herself in it.
“Yumi-neesan, you look like a dumpling that boiled open,” Soujirou giggled.
“Hmph,” Yumi replied and buried her head deeper into the blanket. She heard Soujirou lay down as well. Soon, she was fast asleep.
Yumi woke with a start. Someone was snuggling up to her, and that someone was not Shi-Shi-O-sama by any stretch of the imagination.
She threw the blanket off her and almost gave a shout when the cold air assaulted her skin. She shivered. The temperature had dropped even lower, something which hadn’t seemed possible, and compared to the warmth she had just left, the air was very, very cold indeed.
The figure who had snuggled up to her stirred as well. “Nngh…wah?” Yumi saw that it was a sleepy-eyed Soujirou. “Ah, Yumi-neesan!” Soujirou placed one hand behind his head. “Sorry, but I couldn’t help it. You feel so warm!”
Yumi reached out to touch Soujirou’s pale face and just about cried out again. The boy’s skin was like ice! She looked out the window. The blizzard didn’t show any signs of stopping, and morning still looked a long way off.
Yumi sighed and climbed back into the blankets, then gestured to Soujirou. “Come on.”
Soujirou’s eyes grew as big as saucers. “You sure that’s okay with you, Yumi-neesan?”
Even if it wasn’t, I’ll have to deal with it, Yumi thought. Out loud, she said, “I can’t very well let you freeze to death, can I?”
For an instant, Yumi thought she saw something resembling sadness flicker across Soujirou’s features. Before she could be sure, though, his sunny expression returned. “Thanks a bunch, Yumi-neesan!”
“Yeah, yeah,” Yumi mumbled. “Just don’t stick your cold feet anywhere near me, or you’ll regret it.”