It was creepy to see Yamato smiling all the time when the smile was only half smirk.
"Obviously Japan must be restored first, since the Hotsuin clan has a duty to protect that nation," he was saying, although to all appearances the Lifespan Star was too covered in purple huggy things to pay any attention to what her brother was saying as he paced on the beach. "That will discharge my final duty to it. Can you restore all of the islands at once, or would that be a strain."
Pale eyes blinked, or at least the one visible eye did. "It is not the islands that are difficult, Yamato Hotsuin, but the people."
"Obviously," her brother said testily. "Will it be easier to restore the countries where everyone died at the same time?"
They heard a whistle. "Hey, breakfast is ready!" Hiro's annoying friend Daichi called.
"Perhaps we should do one more reboot in order to ensure that Hiro has enough of the will of the species for you to draw on," Yamato muttered as they walked up the beach.
"Doubting his competence, brother?" Miyako asked, eyebrows arching. "He says that there is no need for additional reboots, and you were the one who confirmed that the Lifespan Star will be able to gradually restore the world." Even though what Yamato had been trying to prove was that Alcor could alter a preexisting world, say to impose that ridiculously blind and callous Merit System of his.
"Are you two fighting again?" Io sighed.
"She's breathing," Airi said, "so of course they're fighting. Hey! If you have enough energy to pick on your brother, then you can go help my dad gather more firewood!" It was pretty clear that gathering firewood was for people who were in the doghouse, since everyone else was spread out on the beach eating, except for Jungo who was still sitting on an outcropping of volcanic rock by the shore, fishing with a serious expression on his face and a cat next to him eating the fish he had already caught.
Yamato was already sitting down next to Hiro, who spared her one of his smiles when he saw her looking in their direction.
"Over here," Daichi said to Alcor, pulling him in Io's direction. "We found some more coconuts: mind asking Mizar to drill holes in them for us again?"
"Why should I gather firewood when there is a perfectly good kitchen inside the compound?" the Lifespan Star had recreated the Hotsuin Clan compound on this island, since as their patron he was familiar with it and its defenses. Hiro had already accepted her brother's invitation to stay in his building, that of the head of the clan. Her brother clearly had designs on Io as well, although Miyako didn't mind that. Obviously Yamato should marry Io, in order to have children to inherit both their power. Marry Io and leave Hiro to Miyako, who was capable of bearing his children.
Her brother's attempts to become friends for her were infuriating, after how he had treated her for years, but she knew she should at least try to be civil if she wanted Hiro to continue to associate with her. Blood might allegedly be thicker than water, but who wouldn't value power like that more than blood? His aura was like thick, sweet beaten honey: her favorite treat, one she might be allowed to indulge in twice a year.
Hiro would need to remain with the Hotsuin Clan and the Lifespan Star until they were done restoring the world, and once the Yatagarasu was restored, she was sure they would try to discourage Yamato from marrying a man and fathering illegitimate children to inherit the title, so she had a chance…
Something bonked against her leg, and she looked down to see one of the purple things hitting her leg with a coconut… no, trying to get her attention so she would take the coconut. "Thank you," she said, since she had been raised to be polite to gods no matter how small they were, even if Mizar was still incapable of speech.
Four-five of them were clustered on Hiro's lap, along with the main body, and two more on his head while Hiro fed all of them pieces of a baked yam. The real reason they were ending the repeats now was that Alcor had been so distraught at what the Administrator did to Mizar that Hiro hadn't wanted Alcor to spend most of all the future reboots knowing that Mizar was suffering like that. Since right now the Scabbard of Alcor was soaking up easily nine-tenths of Hiro's light he should recover before too much longer, but the resets would have restored the damage, meaning that Mizar would never have had time to recover before the next reset started.
It wasn't right for her to resent the poor little thing: he needed it more than she did, even if Hiro's light was sweet, sweet ambrosia.
Still, she thought as she picked it up, she wished she had the strength to best Yamato, to be the one to sit next to Hiro and kiss him, sip that light from his lips. Even if Ronaldo did forcefully push a plate of food into his hands and scold him for trying to make out with someone when other people were trying to eat.
Even a mere sliver of that light striking her mirrors… Almost absently she put the little Mizar on top of one of her mirrors, turning away because it was better to leave, to gather wood and train than have to watch powerlessly. It was immature of her to hate her brother, even if the Tico A was right and he was a goof, not realizing how unhappy she was all these years – so much for his vaulted intelligen-
Her thoughts trailed off into static.
"Miyako?" Of course Hiro was the one to ask if something was wrong, although he'd noticed it because of how Yamato and Alcor had simultaneously turned to look at her. Since Yamato was standing up he stood up too, in case he could help.
"She linked to Mizar, and since she has only a weak bond with you-"
Alcor was a little surprised when all of the Mizars migrated to his back, and even more so when he was suddenly embraced by the other Hotsuin. "My Companion Star," she breathed against his lips. "My husband…"
Mizar? Had linking to the Hotsuin given his Companion Star a voice?
Alcor knew that he should refrain from crying, since it made the Shining One's friends worried for him, but he couldn't help it as he nuzzled her cheek, his old bonds to Mizar settling back into place now that Mizar had a borrowed mind to think with, even if humans found it difficult to cuddle in six dimensions.
"I couldn't find you… You were the Overlooked One, but never by me… A part of myself was gone and I felt your light in this world, and I wanted to devour all of it, piece by piece, until I found the piece that was you…" that cultured voice whimpered now, Miyako's legs wrapped around Alcor like another pair of tentacles so she was suspended above the ground, hanging from him.
None of the others but Yamato could understand what she was saying, and he looked torn between rescuing his sister and letting Alcor and Mizar have their reunion. Eventually he decided that Miyako would feel insulted if he thought she was weak enough to need his assistance, and channeling gods was a very respectable thing to do, even channeling gods who seemingly just wanted to cuddle.
He should probably keep anyone from mentioning how adorable it was to her later, though.
Also, as a tactical matter, since Miyako's mind was currently overwhelmed by the force of Mizar's love and joy, this might be the best time to link to her and let her see that he also did love her. With Alcor and Mizar to serve as a shining example, perhaps she would be willing to acknowledge that the two of them truly should be Twin Stars?
Then he would have a Hiro, a friend and a sister.
It wasn't a world of merit, but maybe Hiro was right, that this world could be a truly great place after all.