Hold Your Ground.

It's been three long, long days, with Festums appearing one after the other: Maya hasn't gotten more than four hours of sleep during the last seventy two hours, and that's because she collapsed, her body and mind exhausted from using the Fafner so much, woke up because Tsubaki told her that she was needed and she wasn't going to let her friends and family go through this alone.

But it's been, at least, five hours since the last alarm sounded, and though everyone's nervous, she is, at least, thankful for the chance to breathe again.

She turns towards the dorms after her shower because she doesn't think she'll be able to walk back home – any bed will do, even the floor is looking inviting – when she sees them and she stops.

Kazuki is sitting down, eyes barely open, legs spread on the floor, Minashiro's head on his lap. With the way Minashiro is breathing – deep and slow – he's sleeping, a hand curled to the side of his face, shadows beneath his eyes.

Kazuki, it seems, is awake just by sheer force of will, moving the fingers of his right hand over Minashiro's hair, sweet and slow.

It makes her a little nervous, not knowing if she should go ahead and pretend she doesn't see, or turn around and find somewhere else – because, honestly, anywhere would be good – or if she --

"Still awake, Toomi?"

She blushes as she nods, walking forward. Minashiro doesn't wake up, and Kazuki keeps on caressing his hair as if it's as natural as breathing. She wonders just how badly has Kazuki missed this closeness, how much it must have hurt him all the years where it wasn't like this.

Carefully she sits by Kazuki's side, wondering if she's intruding. Kazuki's eyes are warm, though, when they look at her, soft and a little dreamy.

"Ah, I was just..." she shrugs. "Is Minashiro-kun alright?"

"Headache," Kazuki says, shrugging. "He didn't want to go to the infirmary. He hasn't got a break all "

"And here?"

Kazuki shrugs a little, sighs and Maya realizes that Kazuki is taking care of Minashiro, taking care that he gets some rest and if this is where he feels like doing that...

"You should sleep, Kazuki-kun," she says, taking his free hand and squeezing it gently. "I'll stay here."

Kazuki blinks, surprised, as if that could hide the shadows under his eyes.

"What about you, Toomi?"

"I can stay awake for a little while longer, and you need the rest," she answers, shrugging. She thinks she would like that, taking care of their sleep, the way she takes care of them with her gun and her Fafner.

Kazuki smiles soft and gently as he nods, but he reaches for her hand, squeezes her fingers and leaves it near Minashiro's head. Then he breathes in and out and his head drops. If she wasn't so surprised, Maya would probably laugh at how fast he falls asleep, at how fast his breathing gets even.

But his fingers are warm against hers, and Minashiro's hair is soft, so instead she just starts threading her fingers through it, carefully, leaning her head against Kazuki's shoulder, doing her best to stay awake, at least for a little while longer.