It stormed for three days straight.
Rin and Deva were cooped up in the house, with Deva only making quick trips to grab meals. Rin occupied herself quite well - she had learned how to weave and enjoyed watching Deva cook.
Sometimes, late at night, Deva would read to Rin, telling her the fantastic stories humans had come up with.
They would both sit side by side on Deva's bed, Rin trying to follow along, as Deva flipped through the pages.
The third night of the storm was the worst. Rain threatened to seep through the roof, and thunder rolled outside. There was a particularly loud thunderclap, and Rin flinched.
"It's okay," Deva said, putting one hand on Rin's shoulder. "It's just the storm."
Rin looked out he window, her gaze distant. "Siko is upset."
Deva hesitated. "W-What do you mean?"
"The god of storms. I can feel his fury in the thunder. I've been gone for too long." Then, Rin's voice dropped. "They're searching."
Rin was practically trembling with fear. It was as if she was afraid to breathe. Only when Deva leaned forward did Rin meet her eyes.
"Sorry," Rin said hoarsely, turning away.
"It's okay," Deva said, her voice soft. "You don't have to apologize for being afraid. Do you want some tea? Would that help?"
Rin shook her head stiffly. "N-No, I'm fine."
Deva hesitated for a second before laying down, patting the bed next to her. "Come here, Rin."
Rin did as she was told, laying down next to Deva, facing her. Rin still wouldn't meet her eyes, until Deva took one of Rin's hands.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Deva said, her voice barely above a whisper.
Rin's eyes widened. "What do you mean?"
"Sometimes it helps to talk things out. Sometimes you hold these things in your heart for so long that it becomes toxic. You don't have to, of course."
Rin shook her head. "I don't. I can't. Not yet." She shut her eyes tight. "I just want to sleep."
"Then come here," Deva said, pulling Rin in close. Rin was stiff for a second.
"I-" Rin coughed awkwardly. "I thought you said hugs are done standing up."
"This isn't a hug," Deva said. "It's... like a hug. I've always found that it helps to have someone with me when I sleep. So if I wake up from a nightmare, they're right there."
Deva stroked Rin's hair. "I want you to feel safe, Rin. Not fearing every moment that your mother will come after you."
Rin made a sound almost like a whimper, before shutting her eyes tightly and trying not to cry.
"Shh, it's okay," Deva said, stroking one of Rin's cheeks. "You can let it out. You have feelings, and that's okay. It's normal. It's scary sometimes, but very, very normal."
Rin stifled a sob, burying her head in Deva's chest. The entire time, Deva quietly assured Rin that it was okay, her words a steady anchor in Rin's turbulent heart.
Eventually, when the tears no longer flowed and Rin's breathing grew steady, Deva gently tapped Rin's shoulder.
"Are you okay?" She asked, her voice barely above a whisper.
Rin took a shaky breath before nodding. "I... I think I'm better."
"Just like I said," Deva said, pulling back just enough to look Rin in the eyes. "You need to let your feelings out sometimes, or else they'll just grow toxic. I think you needed this, Rin. I think you had a lot bottled up in there."
Rin sniffled, burying herself deeper into Deva's embrace. A new feeling began to slowly rise up in Rin's heart, something she had never felt before.
It was a mutual compassion, a mutual understanding, a deep affection - all for Deva. Rin's heart fluttered, and it was suddenly like she couldn't think of anything else.
Nothing except for Deva's body pressed against hers, and the faint smell of herbs, and the softness of her touch.
Rin let herself drift into sleep. She could stay like this for an eternity.