A/N: Seventh update in a row? Whoah. I've been busy in these two days. XD Well, anyway. This was written for a LiveJournal 10 whores community challenge. Yes, again. And there will be more, since I have not completed this set. It seems that the only thing I do these days is get into random challenges. -.-"

Warnings: Very mild (or next to none) sibling cuteness. Worksafe.

Disclaimer: I disclaim. Go bow down to CLAMP for the characters.

The Picture

Subaru took off his coat and placed it over the chair. It had been a long day for him. As he went to sit down on the bed, his eyes fell on an old picture. It was a small reminder of the old days when he had been a soft-hearted teen, eager to help everyone who was in need, when his sister had still been alive, and when the person who was his enemy now had been a good friend. The world had been different. His world, at least.

In the picture, Hokuto was smiling and wearing one of those crazy dresses that had made his hand travel to his forehead in exasperation for one too many times. His sister, no matter how old she got, remained a child at heart and often even in actions. Yet everyone who thought that the innocence and childish joy belonged to a naïve person, were mistaken. She was simple, but not simple-minded. The carefree mask hid unearthly wisdom and deep concern for those close to her heart.

Hokuto, being his twin sister, had often felt when something was not right, or when something was haunting his mind. He never entrusted any of his worries to her though. It was something he had to deal with on his own.

When they had been little, dreams had often haunted her at nights, and she always came to his room and climbed in his bed, and her brother had to chase the demons away then. As she grew older, the dreams slowly went away, and the intimacy between them disappeared. It was as though those dreams had shown her what was to happen, as though she had slowly started pushing him away in hopes that he would not miss her so much when she died.

Yet he did. They were twins, after all, and after she had died, a strange emptiness started to spread inside him. Along with Hokuto, he had lost a part of his soul. And every time he remembered how joyous and full of life she had been, he had to think of the strange ways she had made him realize what was more important in life, and how she had always been strong for him when he had lost balance. She had been his refuge when he was facing difficulties, the silent and reassuring shield from reality.

Her head might have been high up in the clouds, but her feet had always been firmly on the ground.