Mirai woke to the thumping of hail against her window. The pebble-sized ice hitting her window quickly becoming an annoying sound that didn't want to be drowned out.

She leaned back, closing her eyes as her mind wandered into her memories. In her mind's eye, she could still see Yuuki eagerly staring out the window; his urge to open the window and allow some of the hail in only restrained by the fact that Mirai was still there and would shout at him if he did.

Yuuki had never remembered how many times he had gotten hurt when the hail had hit him, and it never seemed to matter. She could feel tears prickling at her eyes already, the silence reminding her that Yuuki simply wasn't there anymore.

She lifted her feet up and pushed at the bed above hers, just in case. The boards shifted, showing her a peek of the ceiling that Yuuki had stared at whenever he couldn't sleep, before she dropped her feet onto her own bed again.

Mirai couldn't understand why she kept doing that, kept checking if Yuuki was there even though she knew without a doubt that he wasn't. Yuuki was never quiet.

Just like their mother never stayed at home, and their father never remembered anything important.

"Mirai? Are you finally awake? Breakfast is ready!" Her mother peeked into her room.

Mirai furrowed her eyebrows, reaching for her phone that lay next to her pillow on the mattress. It was late; her mother was usually at work already, yet her mother didn't even have her suit on yet.

"Mum? Aren't you supposed to be at work?" Mirai asked, sitting up on her bed.

"It's hailing, dear. Kento called earlier; he said that he would come by another day since it's hailing so hard." Her mother smiled. "If it's hailing enough for him to not want to come, then it's hailing enough for me to take a day off from work and spend it with my daughter."

Mirai blinked, realising – not for the first time – how much had changed. Hail had never been enough to stop her mother from going to work before. In fact, it had often only made her mother leave even earlier than she usually did.

"You're taking that robotaku's advice?" Mirai laughed.

A pleased expression settled on her mother's face. "Your father decided that he may as well go to work anyway, so you can tell me all about why Kento has been visiting so often!"

Mirai could feel her face turning red at her mother's implication. "No! He's Yuuki's friend, that's all! He's been teaching me about the robots!"

"Riiight… that's why he asked your father if he could take you to the Robot Exhibition this year."

Mirai could hear the amusement in her mother's voice, but she hadn't known about that at all. "He asked what?"

"Come on! Your breakfast is getting cold," her mother half-sang as she left the room, and Mirai scrambled out of bed, brushing Yuuki's bag onto the floor in her haste.

Mirai paused, picking the bag up and placing it back on the table where she had left it. She gave the bag a small smile, and she could almost see Yuuki grinning back at her in her mind's eye.

It wasn't going to get easier; the hurt wasn't going to go away, but Mirai would learn to live with it, live with her brother's absence.

She was going to be a better person than she had been before the earthquake.

For Yuuki.


Written for The Weird Prompt Thing Revelations: hailstorm