He turned around as a girl ploughed head first in to him, her arms wrapped around him as he felt his feet leave the ground. They landed in an unceremonious heap on the ground, the girl smiled nervously and ran a hand through her short hair.
"Uguu!" She moaned. "That hurt!"
He resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he helped the girl to her feet. Big eyes smiled up at him apologetically, she grinned and hugged him. Smiling now he ruffled her hair, it was longer that it had been when she first met him after getting out of hospital. So much had happened since then, Ayu had moved back in with them.
"Are you coming?" He offered her his hand.
She smiled enthusiastically and nodded. "Can we get Taiyaki on the way back?"
He remembered her love of the fish shaped snack. It had been the first thing he had ever gotten her, that was a long time ago now, almost eight years. It's funny, he mused, how something so small can make her so happy. He squeezed her hand as he noticed the small doll attached to her trademark winged bag. When he had won it for her he would have never dreamed that it would have been the thing that would lead him to find her again.
"Hmm?" He shook himself from his thoughts.
"Do you want to go to that place?"
He frowned. "Why?"
He thought of their special place; so many good memories but one terrible one. They had not been there since Ayu had woken up, he was not sure he wanted to. A small girl fell backwards off a tree in a gust of wind... a pool of blood dyed the snow a deep red... an crying angel disappeared from his arm's...
"It's our school!" She grinned swinging his arm. "Please!"
He sighed. He could not say no to her. He forced a smile.
"Okay, let's go."
As long as he could feel her beside him he could fight away the sad memories. Ayu was his angel.