They're a strange couple, those two.

They ride the train to school together in the mornings. I don't know their names, or that much about who they are, really. The girl has light hair, a face that reddens easily, and a bright, innocent air to her. The boy's hair is darker, as is his aura; he seems far more withdrawn and mysterious.

I can tell that they're brother and sister. It's not just the physical similarities—the eyes, the subtle details in their faces. It's more of a strange feeling that I can't put words to—you look at them and you can tell that they know each other inside and out, the way siblings do.

The boy is a little older, I think. He acts like it, anyway, with his strong, forceful presence. He looms over her, protective and imprisoning at the same time.

So they're siblings, the two of them. But that's not all they are.

Sometimes I see one of them reach a hand toward the other, quietly and without drawing attention. They twine their fingers together and keep them held low, so no one can tell.

Sometimes she looks at him like she can't understand him. Like he completely confuses her, but she loves him anyway.

Sometimes he looks at her like he'd kill to protect her. Like she's the only person alive.

None of these things is obvious or grand. They are all just that—things. Small pieces of a vast and complex puzzle. Seeing them is hard enough; figuring them out is something else entirely.

So the two of them are siblings, yes.

But when I look at them, I can see something more, flickering faintly behind the masks they wear.

a quick ficlet written because i just got into this manga and love it already.