Note: After a conversation she'd rather forget that resulted in losing a friend, Hikari called her other closest friend, Volkner. They naturally went out to get wasted, because that's what you do when you're upset.

Bang, bang, bang!

The door swung open to reveal Cyrus, looking as perturbed as Cyrus ever looked (which was to say, not at all, although one could feel the irritation even with his expression completely flat). "Volkner." A brief pause, and then, "Hikari?"

"She's a little drunk," Volkner said sheepishly.

"'A little' is the understatement of the year and it's only Feberberry," Hikari mumbled.

"It's January."

"I need to sit down."

Volkner helped her over the threshold and into the living room. She slumped on the couch, and he took a step back, a worried look on his face. "Uh..."

"Go." Hikari turned, curling up with her face to the back of the couch. "Go, go, go." Her voice was muffled by the cushions.

He glanced at Cyrus, who just shrugged. "Okay..." The blonde closed the door quietly when he left, leaving Hikari and Cyrus in mutual silence for several long moments.

"You don't have to sit here and stare at my back," she mumbled. Her voice was thick with tears. "And skip the judgment, getting drunk didn't help, so you're postpretentially right, and-"

"I think you mean preemptively."

"I know what I mean and I mean I'm a horrible person so just go back to the basement and continue to ignore me."

"And leave you wallowing in self-pity. No, I think not." Perhaps a little grudgingly (but perhaps not), he sat down on the floor next to the couch.

She didn't bother to turn over. She could already see him in her mind, one knee pulled up, the other leg awkwardly long, stretched out on the floor. He wouldn't reach for her, but his hands would be close, probably resting on that bent knee. They were not offered, touch would never be offered, but they were available.

"I don't want to talk," she choked. Her throat began to tighten again, and she steeled her shoulders against the oncoming sob.

"You do not need to if you do not wish."

"I just want to fall asleep and then never wake up, or maybe wake up in ten years, and no one gives a fuck anymore."

"Hikari." There was an edge to the voice, the monotone sharp in a subtle way that still made her flinch.

"Just leave me alone!" she sobbed.


And then her resolve broke. She rolled over, entire body racking with sobs as she reached for him, and he was already there, as if with some preternatural awareness of exactly when the final resistant moment would be. Perhaps she really was that predictable. Perhaps he had gotten more used to these moments - though the brief flash of /that/ thought made her cry even harder.

He offered no false assurances that it would be all right, nor did he admonish her crying, or try to disengage. He did not freeze at her touch like he might have once, nor fight to be released, as he surely wanted to. He waited patiently, as she buried her tear-soaked face in the front of his jacket, and did not flinch from her touch, or shy from the raw, distasteful emotion on display right before his eyes.

It said more than any words could have, that he let himself be her comfort.

She had no idea how much time passed like that. She thought she heard Starly begin to chirp outside, but it could just as well have been her imagination. She lifted one hand to wipe her eyes, and Cyrus had suddenly placed a handkerchief there. She sniffed and accepted it. "You're about to tell me I should go to bed."

"Seems likely."

"I'll have to object that I don't think I can get up the stairs."

"And I suppose you know my response."

"Yes. You go to the basement and science with science and leave me on the couch."

"Not on this occasion."

"Nn." She gasped as, suddenly, he shifted, and then his arms were under her legs, and he was lifting her, and- "Oh my god why are you so taaaall," she moaned.

He didn't answer, instead carrying her out into the hallway, towards the stairs. He was stoic - she briefly considered objecting and insisting that he put her back on the couch, that he shouldn't subject himself to this, but a wave of nausea made her keep her mouth solidly shut, and grip his sleeve instead.

By the time it had passed, she was in her own bed, Cyrus trying to disengage from her, but her fist refused to oblige. "You're alright now."

She shook her head. "Please, please don't leave me right now, Cyrus, please, please don't," she pleaded, sounding more pathetic than she ever wanted to recall being.

There was a moment during which she thought he might refuse. He stood there next to the bed, staring at her grip on his sleeve. Finally, he looked up from his arm, and met her tear-filled eyes. "Alright."