"Big Bro, you look so pretty!" Nanako giggled, watching Souji spin around in the frilly pink dress she had asked him to try on. "Now a ribbon! Can I put a ribbon in your hair?"
Souji laughed, clearly in a good mood as he squatted down to Nanako's level. "Sure thing, Nanako." He smiled softly as Nanako removed one of the ribbons from her hair, unwinding it and tying it around a thick lock of hair. She was so happy, so cheerful, and she needed something like this. In such a dark time as this when murders were occurring and her father was gone most of the time Souji would do anything to make her smile, even dress like a woman. Over time he'd come to regard Dojima and Nanako as his own family, maybe even more so than his own parents. Seeing Nanako enjoy life and not being scared or lonely...it was the best feeling in the world, and it nearly made him cry.
"Done!" Nanako exclaimed, stepping back to admire the bow she had tied. She giggled as Souji stood up, examining his reflection in the dressing room mirror and tightening the ribbon Nanako had tied in his bangs.
"It looks good," Souji commented, glancing down at Nanako and chuckling. "But it seems like you need your hair done too."
Nanako moved in front of Souji to look in the mirror. She had one pigtail tied with her other ribbon still in tact, but the other half of her head was draped with her straightened hair, just barely reaching her shoulders. She looked rather silly. "Can you fix it?"
"Of course, milady," Souji replied, doing a small curtsy and kneeling again. "Turn around." Nanako did as she was told, Souji untying her hair and gathering it all up into a single ponytail, clumsily wrapping the pink ribbon around it and securing the bow. "There. How's that?"
Nanako looked in the mirror once again, immediately breaking into a fit of giggles at her cousin's handiwork. "It's so messy! You're not very good at doing things like this, are you, Big Bro?"
Souji feigned a look of extreme hurt, bringing a hand to his chest to cover his "wounded" heart. "So mean, Nanako! I'll have you know I worked very hard on that!" Nanako laughed even harder at this, covering her mouth in an attempt to muffle her loudness.
"It still looks weird! Here, I'll show you how to do it. Can I take it out again?" Souji nodded and she tugged it off, now wrapping it around Souji's wrist so he could see how it was done. "Okay, first you have to wrap it around the place you want it, and then you cross one end around the other, then putting it under it," Nanako explained, demonstrating it as Souji watched intently. "But you have to make sure you tie it tightly or else it won't hold! Then you'd have to start all over again. So after you do that you take one of the ends and making a loop, and then you wrap the other end around the loop," at this point she looked up to make sure he was paying attention, "and see this hole? You have to push that side in it from the middle, and then you take both loops and pull at them to make knot tight! See?"
Souji nodded, taking an end of the ribbon and unraveling the Nanako's bow, looking up at her. "Got it. I think I'm ready, can I try again?" Nanako smiled widely, turning around so he could redo the ponytail. Luckily, Souji had managed to tie it flawlessly, paying mind to make sure it constricted tightly around her hair. "How is it now?"
Nanako looked in the mirror, turning her back towards it and glancing over her shoulder. "It looks good! You did great, Big Bro!" Nanako's glee was obvious, grinning from ear to ear and lunging at him. "Thank you so much, Big Bro. This is the best day ever!" Nanako nuzzled her cousin's neck, Souji returning the hug enthusiastically and laughing with her.
Thinking back on his entire life, all of his seventeen years of living, Souji couldn't help but agree.