I've only watched Air once...and it was the movie-version that was Misuzu-centric. So I can't say I know much about the anime in general. I do, however, think I know enough to have this make some sense.

I hope.

With any luck, this'll be okay.


The Quality of Time.


"You're looking the wrong way, silly."

Tearing his vision away from the winding road in front of him, Yukito turned to face his companion, his neutral expression unfazed by the girl's happy demeanor.

Somehow, she knew what he was asking, for before he could utter a response, she giggled.

"The sunrise, silly. Its why I brought you out here!" Spinning once, Misuzu once again focused her attention to the eastern coastline, leaning on the bridge's barrier as if she was ready to jump into the sun the moment it showed.

Sighing, Yukito shook his head. "And here I thought it was to see me leave."

Misuzu looked at Yukito questioningly. "Leave? Why would you want to leave?"

"I'm done here. I earned some money, saw the sights, slept in a few days. Gotta get back out there, see new things."

Shifting his gaze to the orange hue on the horizon, he continued. "What's the point of sitting still, anyways? Things are happening out there. Things I want to see. I've done what I want to here. Its time to go."

Yukito expected a skeptical look, a harsh reprimand about why he shouldn't leave the town, leave her side. And yet it never came.

Giggling softly, Misuzu nudged his shoulder playfully and looked up into his eyes. "Silly. You don't have to see everything."

Out of amusement more than anything, Yukito sarcastically cocked an eyebrow, waiting for her to continue. She had turned her attention back to the coast. The sun was just peaking over the ocean line now, the vibrant orange color spilling out onto the ocean, creating a glowing reflection that colored the very air a reddish hue.

It was a long while before he heard her again. The first rays were extending from the sun like fierce, fiery lances when she finally spoke.

"Tell me about your travels."

He looked at her in mild surprise, the question being the last thing he expected. Quickly regaining his composure, he turned to face the now vibrant sun. "Its nothing you'd want to hear. Bus rides, shows, and money. That's about it."

She giggled again, the sound both soothing and irritating to Yukito. "There has to be something in that big ol' world out there." Nudging him again, she looked into his eyes with an excited, curious expression. "Whats it like in a day of Yukito?"

"Nothing. Just traveling and getting money. Moving around. That's it."

"So what have you seen?" The smile on Misuzu's face had not diminished in the slightest. "What's out there?"

Yukito could have sworn the vein in his forehead was pulsing in irritation by now. "Why does it matter? I need to survive. Make money, move on. That's it." Yukito was starting to feel repetitive. He was so focused on calming his own nerves that he didn't notice Misuzu's expression change.

"There's your problem."

"Excuse me?" Yukito looked at the girl before him incredulously.

"Look out there." Misuzu's face was one of grave seriousness. "Look at the sunrise. Tell me what you see."

"Okay, but I don't see the point of this at all". Shielding his eyes to avoid the bright rays of the rising sun, Yukito turned his entire body into the advancing light. The sun was halfway up, the shadows of night that shrouded the city were quickly retreating as the ball of fire rose into the sky.

"So what do you see?"

Adjusting the hand covering his eyes, Yukito scowled, not bothering to hide his own impatience. "I see the sun. I see the ocean. What else is there to see?"

Her voice sounded urgent. "Look harder, Yukito! I know you see more!"

Yukito scowled once again. "I see...color. I see the ocean sparkling. I see rays on the sun. There's yellow, orange...red. Lots of light."

Turning his head to Misuzu, he folded his arms once again. "So I'm seeing specifics. What does it matter?"

Ignoring his question, Misuzu pressed on. "What do you feel?"

Deciding to play along for the moment, Yukito closed his eyes. "I feel...cold. But warm where the sun is hitting me. I feel the dew from the ocean, the feel of my shoes." Opening his eyes again, he repeated his question once again.

Ignoring his inquiries for a second time, Misuzu smiled, locking her eyes with his once again.

"So...what have you seen on your travels?"

Yukito was about to reply, but stopped. He knew the last city he was in...but couldn't remember where he performed. He couldn't see the park he slept in, couldn't' remember the faces of the kids he performed for, couldn't recall the scenery of the countryside as the bus continued its endless journey.

Looking at his feet, his eyes widened in preliminary realization. "Detail...What have I seen?"

The sun was nearly fully exposed now, the bottom half of the sphere still covered by the ocean line. The city suddenly became awash in light, the final traces of night now gone.

And then it hit him. He couldn't remember.

"Sure, I've had money, I traveled here...but what did I see? I can't remember...!"

Yukito stood there, mouth agape, desperately trying to describe something, anything, any detail that he observed on his travels. To Misuzu, he looked like a fish out of water, desperately grasping for some detail that he could elaborate on.

He found none.

Smiling softly, Misuzu leaned into him, cementing her point. "Silly...you haven't seen anything if you don't remember anything." Tracing a finger on his chest, she leaned into him further. "But its different here...you've seen things now."

"Yes..." Yukito hated to admit it, but she was right. "There's no way I can forget her now..."

"So, are you going to stay?" Misuzu locked her eyes with his, and when she did, the sun came fully into view. The brightness of day flashed into existence and into her retinas, making her eyes sparkle in a brilliant dance.

Not wavering his gaze one bit, Yukito looked down at the girl in his arms.

"Yes." He smiled. "Perhaps so."


Story end.