"Maria?"

"Shadow?"

Maria is sitting on her bed in her pajamas, her back to the wall and her legs crouched to her. Her hair is dripping onto a towel that is wrapped around her shoulders and in her lap sits the journal Shadow has seen her write in so many times. He has never seen inside it, but he knows that it's private to her so he doesn't ask (anymore, since she explained it).

"What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be with Grandfather?"

Shadow shakes his head but keeps his eyes on Maria. "No. He told me he'd call when he needed me."

"Oh. Well, I'm going to sleep soon, would you like to sit with me?"

Shadow nods. He comes over to her bed and steps onto the mattress to sit down next to her. The mattress doesn't have a bed structure underneath it or anything like that. It's just a mattress with blankets and pillows (there's a ton! Probably one of every kind, to Shadow's knowledge) on the floor, pushed into a corner.

They sit there, backs against the wall, in silence. Maria's pencil etches against her journal and Shadow just listens to her make marks that he is still learning.

"Maria?" Shadow speaks when she is putting away her journal.

"Hm?"

"What's a mother?"

Maria sits back down on her mattress, "Hm. Well, a mother is the person who birthed you." Shadow still looks confused, so she continues. "A mother is a person who takes care of you and helps you when you're hurt."

She starts to think of her own mother. Back on Earth; with her friends and her sister and brother. A sad look comes to her eyes and Shadow starts to feel bad for bringing up the subject. But her eyes gain that innocence that is so her again as she smiles at him and says, "I'm sorry Shadow, I'm not very helpful am I?"

Shadow shook his head with a bit of a twitch to the corner of his lips. Maria can be so silly with how much she can feel guilty about. But he still has questions.

"Do I…have a mother?"

Maria and Shadow look into each other's eyes. Shadow really wants to know this, Maria can tell. So she tells him.

"Well, if you consider that Grandfather and I both take care of you, we could both be called your mother. Though, I don't think you should call Grandfather 'mother'. He might find it a bit weird."

When Maria smiles Shadow can't help but get happy too. Her smile is so bright, it frames her face perfectly.

"So…You're my mother?" Shadow laughs a bit, a smile tugging at his lips once more.

Maria giggles in response; she hugs him and says, "Of course. And the first thing I'm gunna do for you when I wake up is make you breakfast."