It's quite the awkward sight.

They're alone, and she's dropped to her knees.

She grips the bottom of her dress, her nails ripping through the fabric as she struggles to speak. He looks at her in confusion. He's never seen her cry. Well...maybe once. But that was in another world.

That other world where she promised to keep their home safe. Where she flattered him with sweet words. Where she shed her first tears.

He wants to know what's wrong.

She doesn't speak. Too bear-headed.

The Bear Princess is strong, yet he can't comprehend this.

"I can't do it."

Finally, she speaks. And he quirks an eyebrow, and widens his eyes.

Can't is not a word in her vocabulary. Yet...

"How can I protect you, if I can't-"

He slams his cane down to the floor. The scream is deafening. He glares deeply at her beautiful face. She looks up at him, the red rings in her eyes nearly stop him in place.

He raises his hand, he's about to hit her. Smack some sense into the bear.

She's protected him in the past, why doubt it now?

But he refrains. Instead, he holds out his hand.

Bear Princess refuses.

"You complain about not being able to find a man. Is this why you cry? The Toyotomi are coming, and this is all you show me? Where is your spirit? Where is your fire, boy?"

That day-old nickname, she cringes. Yet, it's a warm feeling that surges through her.

"My lord is like my family. Sometimes he would say mean things, but.."

She looks up again, her glare matching his, and snaps,"It's not about a man! It's-"

"You'll never admit it."

He intends to tease the girl when she's down. Just like old times. This was the life, the little things he'd miss.

The Toyotomi will take over. The Hojo will die. She'll live and move forward. He'll just be a whisper in the wind.

"You take that back!"

There it is. There's that fire he missed so much. He's drawn to it. Like a moth to a flame. He'd revel in it one last time.

She wants to scream more, but refrains.

"What's the matter, lad? Bear's got your tongue?"

She glares yet again. Clenching her fist, she swears that if she had her weapon, she'd smack him upside his head.

He laughs. A genuine smile on his handsome, yet scarred face. A face she couldn't be mad at. After all, she fought Orochi to get him back.

When she lost him, she cried. When she found him, she cried.

Tears didn't suit her gorgeous face, he often joked. But little did they know how much truth there was within those words.

She wipes her tears away and holds her hand at her hip.

Like every night, she'd spend it looking at the moon as her lord sips his tea.

Only this time, he reaches out and takes her hand.

And little does the Bear Princess know that what she had always been looking for was always right in front of her