Wait what is happening I do not


When he wakes up, he's immediately over-come by the smell of miso-soup. He's lying on his back, and tilts his head to examine his surroundings. The train station room. Minagi's blanket is folded in a corner, and her duffel bag is placed beside it. He stands up and stretches with audible and mildly painful pops and cracks. He's used to it, though, and after giving himself a quick once-over in the reflection of the office's window, finger-combing his hair, he heads outside.

The sun is shining brightly, making him acutely aware of his parched throat. Michiru bounces over to him, spilling rice from the bowl in her hand. She tries to grab his nose with her chopsticks, but he steps to the side.

Minagi is cleaning, two breakfast plates set beside her. She motions that one is for him, and he takes it gratefully. He eats in silence, save for grunts as he fights off Michiru's occasional attempt to grab his food. Minagi scolds her gently, eventually, but she pouts long enough to receive half of the older girl's own breakfast.

After eating, they speak normally. Michiru is lively and bubbly, while the other two play along without mentioning their plans. But they eventually slip into silence again. Yukito stares up at the sun, and after a long pause, suddenly remembers, and sits up in a start.

"What time is it?!"

"Almost… Eleven?" Minagi answers.

Yukito relaxes, leaning back. Never-the-less, he stands up. "I'm supposed to walk Misuzu to school, so I'll be back later."

Minagi nods slowly. She checks to see if Michiru is listening, but the red-haired girl is a distance away, trying to blow bubbles. When she's sure the girl won't hear, Minagi says "I'm going to check the mail. I'm expecting a letter from my father."

"I'll play with Michiru when I get back, then," Yukito says, standing and preparing to leave.

"It's okay," Minagi shakes her head, and says slowly, "Michiru… Always avoids my house. So even if I go while she is with me, I'm sure she'll go somewhere else."

He just nods and waves shortly before hurrying off.

The walk is long, but uneventful save for being too hot. He's getting used to it. He adapts to different weather easily, since he can't usually afford season-appropriate clothing. He sees Potato run by, but it looks determined, so he doesn't bother it. He wonders when he started being able to read its expressions.

When he reaches Misuzu's house, she is standing outside, leaning against the fencing, staring down at her bag. He approaches, and waits for her to notice him.

The girl jumps visibly when she does, and fumbles with her bag for a moment. "Y-Y-Yukito-san, good morning," she says, sounding more embarrassed than excited. He wonders why that's upsetting.

She stares at him blankly. Feeling awkward, he begins to lead the way to school. She follows in silence. She usually tells him about her dreams, but today she says nothing. He eyes her curiously, watches her small, rushed steps beside him. He gives in.

"Did you have any dreams last night?"

Her expression doesn't waver. She just stares straight ahead and asks "Did you?"

He has to think on this a moment. He dreams occasionally, but rarely makes notes of them. He feels a lingering sense of a story on the edge of his mind. He dreamt, he's sure of it, but he can't remember what it was about.

So he speaks as he remembers; slowly. "I did, I think. About my mother, and the legends she told me. About the winged girl."

Misuzu doesn't comment, but he gets to distinct feeling she isn't listening, and stops talking. The walk to the school is in silence, and his stomach feels full of butterflies. He wonders when the last time he was nervous was. It's rare. As a traveler he's learned to let go of a lot of those feelings. Feeling awkward in a new place, being shy, being overly-polite. Those will get in the way, and he doesn't want to learn them now, when he's about to leave. Being around Misuzu makes him wonder too much.

They stop in front of the school, at the cross-walk. Misuzu smiles, but it seems forced. More forced than usual. She says "Bye," but he stops her before she can leave;

"Wait."

She does. She looks at him over her shoulder.

"I'm going to be leaving, soon," he says.

"I know," Misuzu says, and stares at him for a moment, as if waiting for him to say something else. He raises an eyebrow, but doesn't question it. She says, "Good luck."

He doesn't know what else to say, and when he finally decides to say 'thank you,' or maybe 'take care of yourself,' it's too late; she's already stumbling her way through the school gates.

***

Minagi is there to greet him when he returns. He waits for the greeting, but it doesn't come. She sits on the bench in silence, staring at a letter in her hands. Instead, Yukito sits down beside her.

Wordlessly she hands the letter to him. He takes it and skims over it. The writing is formal, with many kanji he has to think a moment to recall. For a moment he's impressed that Minagi read the whole thing easily. Well, he assumes she didn't have trouble. She looks at him curiously, and he realizes he's been staring at her. He redirects his gaze back to the letter.

"So?" He asks, handing it back.

"It's an invitation," she says, looking genuinely concerned that he might not have understood. He sighs, and the girl beside him looks thoughtful. "We… Don't have any destination, do we?"

Yukito sighs. "Is that a request?"

Minagi nods, looking apologetic.

"It's fine," he says. "We'll go. There's no real reason not to."

She brightens, but only slightly, still looking rather down. Almost reflexively, he finds himself rubbing he head.

She scoots away, and gives him her most frustrated look while she fixes her hair ribbons. Her angry face looks content, really, and he has to stop himself from snorting at her comical attempt to look mad.

He waits for her to calm down. When she has, she surprises him, turning and regarding him, curious once again. She begins, "May we…" and he hears her gasp, then say "Michiru." She's looking past him; he follows her gaze, craning his neck to look.

Michiru stands a distance away, expressionless.


There's a mystery going on and I'm gonna stop it instead of solve it.