If Kazuki put his mind to it, he could just about remember it; the day he met Soushi.

He must have been just under three years old, and Soushi about two and a half years. He knew that Soushi's mother had just died; of course, at that time he wasn't aware that she'd actually been assimilated.

"Kazuki, I need to speak to you about something."

Kazuki looked up from his alphabet building blocks at the sound of his mother's voice.

"What is it, mother?" he asked, taking in the sight of the young blond-haired boy clutching at his mother's hand.

"This is Minashiro Soushi," Akane said, casting a sad glance down to the boy in question. "His mother passed away a few days ago, and since his father is going to be very busy at work, your father and I agreed that Soushi could stay with us for a little while."

"Oh, OK," Kazuki replied, staring curiously at their new house guest. Soushi still refused to look up from the floor, his short fringe covering his eyes.

"Soushi-kun, why don't you go and play with Kazuki-kun over there, while I finish up dinner," Akane suggested, letting go of Soushi's hand and giving him a gentle nudge of encouragement.

"A-alright," Soushi mumbled in a quiet, shaky voice, finally glancing up to meet Kazuki's gaze.

Kazuki blinked and gazed back at him; Soushi's eyes were an interesting shade of blue - almost grey, really, like the sky on a snowy day.

"Your eyes are nice," Kazuki said, causing Soushi to bow his head again.

"Oh, thank you," he said, looking embarrassed.

"They're like a snowy sky," Kazuki continued, gaining confidence. "I like it when it snows."

"Me, too."

"Really?" Soushi just nodded. "That's good. I remember it snowed last winter; but I was too little to go outside and play in it. Maybe this year we could play in it together?"

Soushi looked at him in disbelief. "Why would you want to do that?"

"It'll be more fun with someone else there, that's why," answered Kazuki. "Besides, I like you. You're my first proper friend."

"You want to be my friend?"

"Sure! You'll be my friend, right?"

"I'd-- I'd like that."

That winter they had played in the snow together; building snowmen and having snowball fights with the other kids.

And Kazuki could clearly remember gazing at Soushi, the other boy's face flushed with happiness, and thinking even at that time and at that young age, that the sky didn't even come close to the beauty of Soushi's eyes.

Short and sweet, eh?

I wanted it to be ironic; the thing that drew Kazuki to Soushi right-away (in this case, his eyes) is the thing that causes so much trouble later on.