White. That was the only thing that he could describe it as. White. Mountains of white. Piles of white. So white that it hurt, that he had to squint to see properly. Unlike the others, he wasn't feeling the bite of the cold. In a way, it was his own nature, and thus he was of course, protected somewhat from it.

He slipped on his sunglasses and focused on what Recca was saying.

"We'll be setting off soon. The last thing we need to do is to split up into groups of two."

At this, he noticed Recca stand a bit closer to Yanagi. Well, he supposed, that was expected. What wasn't however, was when Domon voluntarily (and without fuss), paired himself up with Koganei.

That left him with… Her.

He sighed, and took a step closer to her. She didn't even seem to notice, too busy playing with her gameboy. Her head was bent down, eyes focused intently on the game she was playing. Her cheeks were tinged a seashell pink from the cold and her lips were slightly parted. Every time she breathed, puffs of condensation escaped her mouth.

Clearing his throat, he stood in front of her, hoping that she would realise he was there. All around him, the two other groups were bustling around, packing their backpacks, getting ready to leave and begin the treasure hunt. Only the both of them were not moving, and he could feel Kagerou's curious eyes on him.

She looked up and stared blankly at him for a few moments, then broke into a beaming smile.

"Well, Mi-chan, don't you think we better get started?"

He rolled his eyes. It was a pity she couldn't see it through his shades.

"I think that's quite obvious."

__________

10, 20 minutes later

A little boy, probably around the age of twelve, wandered away from his family, in his hands a colour gameboy. He settled down on the very same bench our Fuuko was sitting on and played for a couple of minutes.

"Shit!" He mumbled when he noticed that the little red light was starting to flicker. He needed batteries. And fast.

He glanced around desperately, and was about to ask his relatives if they had any spare batteries when he noticed a grey coloured walkie talkie lying innocently on the bench not too far away from him.

Sliding open the battery cover, he removed the two double A batteries inside and quickly slid them into the gameboy. The red light stopped flickering and became a steady pinprick of light.

"Hey, Yuuhi, we're going!"

"Coming!"

And the boy, wrapped snugly in layers of woolen clothing, jumped up and caught up with the rest of his family.

__________

"I can't believe you forgot the most important thing."

"Yeah well, if you didn't keep hurrying me, maybe I wouldn't have forgotten!"

"You would have forgotten anyway. Your brain is like a sieve. Full of holes."

Here, the conversation paused for a few seconds as they plodded on to the starting point. He got ready for the inevitable scream of outrage. It never came.

Instead, she smiled at him, her eyes twinkling with laughter, and said, "You're a funny guy, Mi-chan."

What? He was? How come he never knew that?

This was troubling. Indeed it was.

He remained silent until they reached the benches, not trusting himself to speak, and too confused to make much sense even if he did.

She grabbed the walkie talkie off the bench and waved it at him.

"Yo! Stop dreamin'!"

Frowning at her, he took it and clipped it onto his belt.

_________

This was their first clue:  When man speaks a bag full worth of words, then sun shall shine and you shall find your next clue.

He puzzled over it. She puzzled over it. They didn't make much progress. In the end they decided just to walk on, there was no use trying to figure it all out and freeze like Popsicles. Much better to walk around and get the blood and brain juices flowing. And so they did.

They walked and they tramped and they climbed and they jumped and they trekked. Snow was everywhere, and everywhere was starting to look the same. They traveled in silence of course, with only the chirping of birds for company.

Mikagami was the first to break the silence.

"Did you notice the sky is looking quite dark?"

"Hmm?" she asks, breaking out of her reverie and looking up into the sky. "Yeah quite, but if there's any danger, Kagerou-san will tell us," she said, pointing at the walkie talkie on his belt.

He nodded.

They walked on for a few more minutes.

"Mi-chan?"

"Hn?"

"I was wondering… Was there a poet called Wordsworth?"

There was silence and he could hear the crunch of the snow beneath their feet.

"Yes. He wrote a poem called "Daffodils."

There was silence once more save for the rhythmic crunching of their footsteps.

And then everything clicked into place.

He turned towards her as comprehension dawned on both their faces.

"Not bad, Monkey. Perhaps your brain isn't as impaired as I thought."

She smiled, acknowledging the compliment for all it was worth.

"I saw a clearing full of daffodils a little while back…"

"Well, what are you waiting for?"

_______

It began to snow when they left for the clearing. Soft little snow flakes dancing in the wind. He noticed as she laughed and ran forwards twirling under the powdery snowfall. She stuck her tongue and caught a snowflake. For some strange reason, he felt his heart start to beat a little more insistently in his ears.

It continued to fall steadily, growing heavier and heavier.

_______

"Mikagami. Kagerou here. Over."

There was nothing. No reply.

Kagerou wiped off the sheen of perspiration from her forehead.

"Mikagami! Come in! There's a blizzard on the way!"

Nothing.

This was not good.

________

TBC

AN: Review please.