Mr. Nanaki's name- "seven princesses"- always makes Anghel think about the scintillating darkness of night, and seven silvery sisters tangled together in an ink-black web. The quail's white feathers gleam like the crescent moon, and when he falls asleep against the chalkboard, the white dust shimmers in stray sunbeams like endless constellations.

Anghel stares at the floating galaxy of chalk dust, his eyes wide and whirling with wild thoughts. He thinks of falling stars, and remembers that even the old Greek humans thought of the Pleiades as birds, at least partly: white doves pursued by a hunter, who snared one of them into mortality so that her starlight faded. Or the seven swan-maidens of Tanabata, and how one of them had her robe of feathers stolen and lost the power of flight.

Nervously, Anghel preens his own flight feathers, reassuring himself they are still there. When he looks at Mr. Nanaki falling asleep, he sees that the other bird's life is a waking dream; that for him, too, days and nights all blur together into meaningless twilight. Anghel sees in him the white full moon staining red in the umbra of eclipse, and the black new moon blotting out all sunlight into shade.

When Anghel looks at Mr. Nanaki, he cannot see the white quail's face. All he can see is a black shadow.

[a/n: Hitori's name seems to contain a kanji that means "sun".]