The day could be better, he thought.

Gloomy grey clouds covered the sky, giving it an ominous hue of a bluish white. The chilly temperature plus the even colder gales of air dancing through the trees' leaves had made this particular Sunday one to stay indoors. It wasn't that the wind was that strong, but that it was so damn frosty, so much that the slightest contact with it would automatically make you feel one nasty sensation of cold burning. Going outside in such weather would only prove meddlesome.

Though, it wasn't that Minato minded it that much, he had decided to stay in the dorm, warm and cozy with just a light jacket on, a cup of hot chocolate, and the thermostat keeping the ambient really friendly. Yeah, Minato didn't really mind the cold front that had struck Port Island recently. It was actually kind of refreshing, for a change.

He gazed to the outside from the couch on the lounge, with the crystal of the window not having its usual transparency due to the difference of temperatures inside and outside the dorm, though it wasn't that he was really trying to find anything of interest outside, he was more focused on the small droplets of water that made their way down from the upper portion of the glass screen, leaving the glass clear in their trail. He watched with diverted fascination at the event, making silly appointments in his mind, closely inspecting how one particular droplet rocketed downwards while growing bigger, taking in the smaller ones which permeated the cold glass.

He took another sip of his chocolate.

It was quiet, a little bit too peaceful. Only the sound of the leaves dancing to the wind plus his own heartbeat where the only audible noises which hummed on the otherwise dead lounge of the dorm. Where was everyone else?

In a frosty day, Minato Arisato was left behind by his companions of the S.E.E.S., and he could not help but feel a tad bit depressed about it. It was on days like this that even talking idle chit-chat with someone was bliss, and on a more intimate manner, why not cuddle with someone?

Yeeeaaaah, Minato wouldn't mind cuddling with someone on his otherwise depressing situation, though he did feel a tad bit nervous, embarrassed and a little anxious with this silly wish. He released a profound sigh and took another sip of the sweet liquid filling his cup. Chocolate cannot solve everything, it seems…

Finishing the beverage, Minato incorporated from his dead-man-like state and took his cup to the sink on the kitchen area of the lounge. Taking a sponge and a little of soap, he proceeded to wipe the cup in such a meticulous manner that made him seem like some sort of cleaning-obsessed maniac.

Well, he was bored; there was nothing better to do. Why not vent some attention in an un-transcendent chore?

What was the line of that zombie movie he had seen recently?

Oh, right. It was: "Enjoy the little things".

Though, it didn't quite apply to his situation. In fact, he was going insane from those little things, making it kind of counter-productive.

After 10 minutes of wiping and cleaning over and over again the one single porcelain cup, Minato seemed satisfied with his work and proceeded to dry it with a small towel, with the same care as he had done the washing. Once he felt the surface clean and dry, he rubbed his fingertips against the inside and outside of the cup, having a chirp come out from it.

"Squeaking clean. Approved" Minato grinned once again in the silly roll he had been spinning in ever since the morning, he gave an even sillier thumbs-up to himself and proceeded to place the cup in its place.

"I might as well clean the whole place…" He murmured, mirroring his thoughts.

Really, having nothing to do can result in some terrifying ideas.

Then, what else could he do?

Minato stood idly as he turned back from the sink, shifting his whole body to the entrance.

A second of silence, two seconds… five… ten… twenty… a full minute of silence went by in which seemed to be hours.

"Anything, please, something, happen, happen now, anything" Minato murmured.

"Be it a meteorite crash, a humongous Shadow, the police breaking in, anything…"

"Grnnhh" He growled undecipherable words (and maybe some minor curses).

Was it that hard for SOMETHING to happen? Was he asking too much?

Not a soul to visit the lone Minato Arisato yet, though. Even the table of the dining area seemed a suitable companion.

If no one would come, he may as well just sleep through the rest of the day. He was good at sleeping, after all…

And just for a moment… If no one was watching, why not do it in the most obnoxious of manners?

He sighed deeply and climbed on the table, fully spreading across it. The hard and chilly wood surface felt good to the touch. He extended his arms and legs, the table was spacious, and he fit in wholly, so it was quite a nice arrange. THAT bad was his situation.

There was a rather annoying anxiousness behind his mind's eye, and though it wasn't really creeping on him, it was still present and poked his brain's functioning. Even though he felt that there really wasn't too much to think about, he still had this sense of dread looming all over him. He knew that he would be facing Nyx in a rather short time, and everyone was anxious as well. Even though he felt that he somehow wasn't that burdened by it as everyone else was, the sense of impending danger had indeed reached to him. It was a rather dark omen.

He decided to hyperventilate and doze off a bit. Even with the sugar of the chocolate he still felt a bit drowsy, and nobody would come until late. He halted his thought processes in the manner he could only do. Minato Arisato wasn't the type to be fazed, and he was proving it once more.

"Screw the rules, I have blue hair" His logic was… er… objectionable, but it didn't really matter.

So he slowly closed his eyes and let himself be swayed into Morpheus' arms.

His mind fell into a blank slot after blurring out images of Ryoji, Orpheus, the S.E.E.S., Shadows and lots of figures he didn't really bother to identify. With a long sigh and adjusting his breath, his consciousness faded into darkness.




Tickle. Tickle.

More grumbles.


"Erruahhfrhh… 5 more minutes…zzz…"


"…Marshmallow… poking… me…"


Minato's consciousness slowly came back. His carbon grey eyes opened with little to no awareness of his surroundings, as his mind had failed to initiate its engines properly as well. But, he managed to collect his thoughts eventually.

The first thing he noticed was sore pain. He logically related it to falling asleep on a hard surface. His muscles ached, specially his left shoulder. He seemed to have shifted positions sometime during his "nap".

The second thing he noticed was that his left arm was numb and there was something a tad bit too heavy for his liking on it.

The third was that he was being tugged on from his torso.

The fourth thing was Aigis sleeping soundly on his side.

The fifth thing was that the temperature had dropped; perhaps the thermostat was turned off?

The sixth thing was that part of the lights of the lounge had been turned off-

Wait, what?

"Uh… So Aigis is here…" Minato groggily recognized the android girl sleeping soundly over his left arm.

Only if hell had frozen over, perhaps only then would Minato Arisato have exploded like any normal boy his age should about the situation he was in. But… this was Minato Arisato we are talking about after all.

His plea for something unexpected had been granted, it seemed; and out of them all, cuddling, it had had to be freaking CUDDLING!

Though, it wasn't that he was getting overridden with any particular sort of teenage passion lead by hormones or anything of the sort. If one person was able to keep the straightest of Poker faces at the greatest of adversities, it would have to be Minato freaking Arisato. With half-closed, sleepy eyes, he came to realize his situation with a rather calm pace. Really, Minato was an oddball.

He closely examined the trespasser. Aigis had her eyes shut while tugging on his jacket; lying on her side with her head on his left shoulder, which rendered his whole arm unmovable in return. The fact that he was unable to move her from the position they were in, plus their position itself, was kind of one misleading scenario, one that he could calmly explain if he had to; but wouldn't do because it could lead to some very interesting shenanigans, given the chance.

Taking a deep sigh, he shifted his attention from the overall circumstances and went onto Aigis herself…

God, she looked so cute.

Aigis' sleeping face immediately had Minato captivated. Her golden locks delightfully covering her features… the details of her semi-metallic face, her delicate eyebrows and even the singularities of her eyelashes… her soft lips… he had never seen her this way, this close before. He had always thought that Aigis was indeed beautiful, but right now, with his own face only but a few centimeters away from hers, he could literally see everything.

Minato took the presented opportunity with delight.

Her own breath, although rhythmical, had no hues of mechanical; she seemed so alive that he forgot for a moment how her metallic skull numbed his shoulder. The soft sound coming from her was soothing, really soothing, slowly putting Minato in a trance he did not wish to fight back.

He smiled sheepishly. He was unable to fight the urge of caressing her. With his right, free hand, he carefully brushed his fingertips through her short golden hair, marveled at how silky and real it felt. The implants she had for ears seemed like headphones, which truly replicated the feel to their impression; they were made of metal, he was able to tell by the sensation, with a little design to them; the dentations on them were also noticeable, allowing him to make out a single line which seemingly divided them. He was tempted to explore the inner section, but decided it would simply be too much. He closely examined the detail of her closed eyes; even that had been designed with utmost care, almost perfection, her long eyelashes were as delicate and fine, even her eyelids were just lovely. Her small, delicate nose from which he could make her breaths, even that was enthralling.

With curiosity, anxiety and fascination taking over, he ventured into the bounds of her skin. It was not like the usual flesh you touch on another human, but it wasn't also metallic, what was the magic behind it, Minato didn't know. It was like touching the skin of a baby, only better, but still not like it. Her face had a texture and color that of skin, but to the touch it was so much softer and smoother than any other human walking on earth, it had a minimal bit of a spongy, plastic-like feel to it, which gave Minato the bodily impression of touching organic skin, but when giving it a second thought, it wasn't also like that. It was a truly alluring experience. But, besides how her "skin" felt, it was also very warm. It wasn't like she was some cold asset of metallic components stuck together; she had this peculiar warmth to her, her own warmth which wasn't shared by any other being. It was so hers that Minato felt no one would ever match the feeling.

He was unable to keep his attention away from her lips after it. They seemed so… desirable. Only with touching her face he felt a bit flustered, but now… her pink lips seem like the biggest prize of the event; they looked even softer than the rest of her face, like if there had been extra care invested on them. He would have of touched them, hell, she would have of kissed them right there and now, if she also didn't seem so fragile besides him.

He knew Aigis was not truly like this, he had seen countless times her abilities on the battlefield: She was more than a capable fellow. Time after time she would prove it to him, on how she would help him take on the stronger Shadows, on how she was eager to help, how she stood up no matter how many times she were knocked down, on how she practically begged to be of assistance, and would always prove her exploits superbly.

Minato reminisced all of it. From the day he met her on that day of summer vacations, to this very day.

On that dock, that girl truly seemed like an angel descended from heavens. Those sapphire blue eyes which immediately sunk into his carbon grey ones. Those beautiful yet empty eyes which had that peculiar light to them sucked Minato inside with no effort.

Even though their first meeting and subsequent interactions were awkward at best, with this girl suddenly claiming that "her highest priority was to be with him", and her lack of experience with the outside world, Minato had quite some headaches with the clumsy girl.

But, he never once felt bothered by it. Minato Arisato was not the type to outcast anyone, for he himself had been an outcast for the longest time. In the lonely life he had lead up before moving to Port Island, he had truly been nobody. He had always been considered as "silent" and "polite", but no one had never really stopped to give five minutes of their oh so precious time to him. But here, on Gekkoukan, on Iwatodai, with his friends and classmates, he had come to form a family.

And Aigis was no different; in fact, she was even more special to him.

The helpless steel girl with a heart of gold had managed to captivate him on that very instant in which their eyes met; a long forgotten sense of nostalgia and sadness awoke inside of them both at that moment, one which they weren't able to make any sense of at that time, but served as an unconscious trigger for them to stick together.

When it was decided that Aigis would be moving to the dorm and start attending school, Minato was glad that he would be able to get to know her, but had that switched upside down, because at that time she was so frustratingly unresponsive.

No matter how he would approach her, she would always respond with the same monotone voice and gestures. No matter how hard he tried to make talk to her, she would just not follow on, she would just remain passive to anything that happened around her. And it just ticked him off, and not in a good way. He found it unnerving how he was just incapable of getting something anything to come out. Something as simple as "how was your day?" would just get one word out of her, but that one word would just have no strength to it, no meaning.

However, she slowly, slowly but surely, began to learn.

And Minato came to realize it soon after, Aigis needed time. She needed time to learn how to bond with others; she needed time to learn how it was to be human.

And it happened, it came little by little.

Questioning customs and traditions, examining the atmosphere when talking, beginning to take an active role in a conversation, immersing herself in books, music and whatnot, she had decidedly gone on putting her effort into grasping the evasive concept of being human, Minato realized he could only treat her like any other of his friends and wait, having the hope that she would find the answer someday.

But, after that horrible incident with Ikutsuki, things began to change… and for the better. Minato couldn't help but feel a sour taste in his mouth when thinking about it, but as ironic or cruel it may have been, it just had happened that way. He would always be unable to change that.

Had it been the horrible stress she was put through? Had it just been her grown affections stopping her of following her given commands? Minato was not sure, and did not really know what was the full process or reason behind it, but he did know that one good thing came out of her horrible breakdown on that Dark Hour, and it was her awakening to her heart, her own heart.

After coming back from reparations, Aigis immediately immersed herself back into her daily life as best as she could handle, but something was different from then on. Things she would have not said before, reactions she wouldn't have made before began to be present in her demeanor. Even her speech had immensely changed recently; all these little things which had been constantly turning over in all these past weeks, all of it was just incredible. It was just how everything was becoming natural for her.

And with those fatidic words…

"...Minato-san, do you have any plans after school lets out?"

Every single moment he had spent with Aigis was precious. From her inadequate questions, her intents of jokes, the walks they had taken together from school, the fights they had overcome on Tartarus, the things they had done together, her simple and cute laugh… The list went on. Everything about her was lovely. She was so pure, just so innocent that right now, he was not thinking of Aigis the 7th Generation Anti-Shadow Weapon, no, who he had resting in his arms was just Aigis, a girl who knew so little of the world, yet seemed to hold all the answers he would ever look for in his finite life.

No matter her conditions or reasons to be created, Minato was damn sure she had gained the right to live as a human. It was one of the many things he wished to protect, one of the many reasons he had chosen to fight and not go away and die like a coward. It was one of the precious things he had grown to cherish in his short stay on Port Island, and he wouldn't let them go so easily without giving a fight.

Aigis had been for years unaware of the world, with it being unaware of her as well, but now…

She laughed.

She cried.

She went to school.

She had friends.

She had made a life.

One not of a robot, of a machine created just to fulfill its given role, devoid of conscience and concept of time and self; Aigis could do just about anything she desired.

Minato felt a little embarrassed going into such thoughts, but he also felt happy, happy for her. Happy for having met her, happy for all she had done for him. Happy for being able to stand by her side and that she so eagerly pleaded to do the same for him, happy that she existed. He wondered if he would ever be able to repay her.

And once again, his gaze was intently locked on her lips. Would she hate him if he made such an advance? Only her innocent sleeping face and his own numbness kept his growing desire at bay, but it was becoming a difficult task to keep managing, partly due to his own teenage hormones which now were warming up, beginning to boil and would soon reach their overdrive if something was not done; though his own pain of the improper position and place he had slept in was a good impulse to keep his mind in focus.

Reaching for the cell phone in his pocket, he checked the time. Luckily, it was still early, barely past 2 pm. He had barely spent an hour sleeping, and no one would come back until even later. It seemed it would be just him and Aigis for the rest of the evening, so he decided to take his time and keep observing his blonde companion, he could manage that.


It was past 3 when she finally came around.

Her eyes slowly opened up with light mumbles. With a deep breath she finally decided it was time to wake up. With a little of drowsiness, her frosted-blue orbs started scanning her surroundings.

"Good morning" Minato softly and mischievously said.

"Ah… Minato-san…" Aigis responded, still in a daze.






Minato was holding in his laughter. Oh boy, was it not a sight?

Drowsiness became awareness, awareness became realization, realization became exasperation, exasperation became confusion, and confusion escalated into embarrassment. It only happened in a matter of mere seconds, yet every single phase were both amusing and pleasing (for Minato), just priceless. Had anyone recorded it… God knows if anyone could have had held in the moan because of the gargantuan amounts of simple cuteness in the act.

"M-M-M-MINATO-SAN!?" Aigis' loud squeal broke the dreadful silence. Minato could not help but chuckle at the situation. "I-I-I-I… T-t-this is…"

"Is something wrong?" Minato tried to feign obliviousness, but his voice leaked the obvious diversion.

Without anything more said, Aigis rocketed herself up and dropped to the floor level, immediately bowing to the blue haired boy in a panic. It was truly an adorable sight. She wouldn't have made such a fuss like this in the past. She seemed to have become more conscious of herself as of recently…

And Minato's smile could only become wider. It only worsened her shame, though.

"M-Minato-s-san! I am t-t-truly sorry for causing such inconveniences to you!" She quickly apologized.

Minato was only but a few inches away of practically bursting on a hysterical laughing spree. He somehow managed to keep himself online without doing anything stupid.

"Inconveniences? You are not causing me any inconveniences in the absolute" He carefully chose his words. Yet they did not really seem to be helping Aigis, who was still repeatedly bowing down and wasn't able to do a thing about her trembling. He took a closer inspection, managing to catch her face lit up in crimson red. He decided to incorporate as well, leaving the table and standing up on the dark green carpet. He stretched his limbs a few times and had the pleasure of winding up his left arm to cast away the numbness caused by Aigis' unexpected nap on him. He didn't really care about it, mind you.

"I…" She treaded words she could not mutter.

"You what?" He felt like teasing her.

"I'm sorry… I must have been heavy" She continued, fidgeting her fingers.

"Eh, you actually were a tad bit heavy, my arm feels numb" He innocently (innocently?) remarked.

"E-eh!? I'm s-sorry! It must be because my body is made of such heavy materials! I never really meant to fall asleep like that; it's just that when I saw you sleeping so peacefully I could not help but want to… to…"

"To…?" He believed to know where it was leading.

"I wanted to…" Her voice trailed off. "I wanted to try cuddling with you…" The last part had been but a murmur.

"HHHNNNNGGGHH!" Minato clenched his chest and contorted in an exaggerated manner, imitating a certain weak-hearted boy. It hadn't gone as he had foretold, it went even better.

"M-M-Minato-san!? A-are you alright!?" She cried, with the charged concern being truly genuine.

God, being so cute must have been some sort of crime!

"I… I'm alright…" Minato slowly responded. Anti-Shadow Weapon my ass, she was the goddamn cuteness walking!

"I am t-truly sorry! Junpei-san said… He had said that cuddling allows keeping the warmth, and since the temperature of the room was dropping, I…" She continued in a panic.

Half true. The whole meaning behind cuddling hadn't been revealed to her, apparently; but it all made it even cuter. Her own innocent wish to be closer to Minato (Which was by all means obvious) was but just a further reason to make it that way.

"Goddamn Junpei, you really got it this time…" Minato silently thought. He could just picture Junpei giving him a thumbs up in the distance while sporting the cheekiest of grins. That capped idiot…

"I am really, really ashamed of having performed such an inadequate action on you during your sleep!" She continued to apologize.

Going back into earth from his thoughts, Minato's eyebrows rose as his eyes sharpened, giving him a diverted yet focused expression; he tilted back his head as he took a step closer to Aigis.

"I don't mind it" He coolly said. "This is actually a lot better than having you watch over me every night" He ended with just the right sum of focus to let Aigis find out what was he referring to.

"Y-y-you-!? B-but-! I mean…! You knew!?" Her mouth gaped open wide.

"You know… you're not that good at stealth, Aigis" Minato calmly chuckled. "You need to keep honing your ninja skills"

Aigis' brow furrowed down as her eyes got lost on the floor; it suddenly seemed so interesting…

Minato was not able to stand Aigis' cross-eyed expression, and finally let out a long-stacked laugh. His voice made a riot on the whole dorm, as if a machine gun had been fired until its magazine had been clicked empty. It was a long, healthy and much needed laugh for him.

"Minato-san, you're such a bully!" Aigis cried out with an undignified roar.

Minato's eyes shifted back after numbing down his laughter to Aigis, who now had her cheeks puffed into an expression fitting of a kid who was being messed with, her cheeks painted red with indignation, a sensation of failure and a wee bit of embarrassment mixed together. And she was handling all that just so naturally…!

Minato formed a smile on his face without noticing, as his eyes narrowed, his attention deepening.

Then, Aigis' expression shifted completely. Her happy-go-lucky eyes vanished like morning fog and instead widened in an unpleasant way. She took a step back away from him. Minato's face also changed at that moment.

…Did she look afraid just now?

"…Is something wrong, Aigis?" Minato worriedly asked as he carelessly took another step forward, to which Aigis responded by taking another step back.

For a moment, Minato identified in her face a torrent of emotions. Angst, pain, sadness, uncertainty, confusion, fear; he was able to read all of them like an open book, because he thought of Aigis as so, she still hadn't learned to conceal anything yet. It was kind of appealing, but it also made Minato feel like he was always treading a mined field when interacting with her. Just now, she had done it again.

Her eyes glared back with perplexity, one dreadful sense of confusion which was directed towards both herself and Minato. The kind of confusion coming from a fear she knew she shouldn't be experiencing, from a feeling that just shouldn't be there. Yet, it was there, like an open wound bleeding copious amounts of blood, as the open book that Aigis was; her eyes glowed with an irrational distress she just couldn't make any sense of.

And Minato's eyes just had only one question imprinted on them.


Just a while ago, Minato and Aigis had been having a joyful exchange of laughs and teases, with him making sly but not ill-hearted remarks, and her just becoming more embarrassed each time, and in just a single second, the two were now looking at each other like if they were complete strangers.

Aigis had her arms pulled against her chest and kept herself back from Minato as if he meant harm to her, while he had his own hand half-extended towards her. The two remained stationary, frozen, incapable of making any sense of what was going on, of just what they were doing.

"…Aigis?" Minato's voice came out soft and slow. Now it was him the one pulling on the other side of the rope.

Aigis was sure she felt on that moment what's called "goosebumps". Her whole body trembled as if an electric charge had bolted through it, turning into a stir of piercing on what would be her column. The cold shower did not subside. For a moment, she wished to just flee. But… what would running away do? What was the reason for such a thought to suddenly come in? Why had she suddenly felt so obliged to do so?

And what was further incongruent, she could not muster up her legs to move. She quickly sent a scan to her members, which was responded with no negative feedbacks. There were no malfunctions or bugs in her system, yet she was unable to make her legs budge.

Her eyes locked once again at the hand Minato had not yielded. His hand was still stretched towards her, puzzled, he hadn't finished extending his arm towards her, but he still hadn't pulled it back. It was as if he was just waiting for her approval or refusal to move his hand.

She tilted her face back at Minato again, who was now sporting the most dazzled of expressions she had ever seen him sport.

"Are you ok, Aigis?" His voice sounded frail.

"Minato-san…." Her voice wobbled. "M-Minato-san… Minato…"


She broke down. She broke down, again, and this time, it was his fault. Her legs gave in and she collapsed to the ground, covering her face with her hands, letting out sobs and cries she did not have a need to let out just some moments ago.

"W-what the hell are you doing, idiot?" Minato knelt as well, but was unsure what should he do. Should he embrace her? Shouldn't he? Just what was he supposed to do?

"What are you crying for, Aigis!?" He yanked in hysteria.

It didn't matter if Minato was a Wild Card, if he had the incredible talent of reading people like open books and shift according to the situation, as they needed to. Minato had never had the need to show his true colors to anyone. It was mundane, unnecessary. No one wanted to hear what they didn't want to hear; Minato had learned that long ago. If you make the blind eye, you can hide the elephant on the foyer. If you speak the magical words that they want to hear, you'll be rewarded. It's always that way. It's a needed resource to survive the intricate monster that society is. But how do you use those on someone who has nothing but their true colors to show?

He didn't want to disturb that image he had of Aigis. He did not want to taint her with hypocrisy and false smiles. Up to this moment, everything had been truly genuine between them. And he wanted to keep it that way… He didn't want to go ahead and fall for his own machinations and built up screens, he did not want to fail Aigis' honesty. He wouldn't do it, not to her.

Yet again, he was caught in the irony. As much as he wanted to not use such means, he felt that if he were not to recur to them, something would be lost on this day.

He didn't want things to scale this way… by no means.

Go ahead and taint with those honey-covered but empty words he could speak so casually when with others? He would often speak the complete opposite of whatever he had in mind.

But those blank words never meant any harm; they weren't meant with any ulterior motives. They were always empty but meant to reassure those he wanted to reassure.

They were white lies.

Because all his life he had been talking in grey; everyone had spoken to him in all colors, yet he had always spoken in grey. And no one had ever wondered if those grey words were truly meant, if they had anything going behind them. Minato's words had always been for those around him, never for himself. His grey words were white lies, with a black, null drive beneath them.

How could he hope to reach Aigis' words? They had been the most colorful words he could have ever had directed at him. And unknown to him, his grey talking was just too evident when put against Aigis'. Yet, she didn't mind. She accepted Minato's words for given, no matter what.

However, on his struggle, he had a revelation: An epiphany.

For a split second, Minato thanked whatever superior forces were watching over him for giving him the talent of being a social butterfly.

The answer was so obvious it was almost stupid.

He circled his arms around her and pulled her towards him.

Sometimes, an embrace is enough; a tight hug is enough to ensure that everything is fine. Simple contact can be reassuring.

A rainbow contains all of the colors of the visible spectrum, right?

Then, let his grey be mixed into her shimmering rainbow. This was just another color of it. Just another something he hadn't seen until now.

He had seen her joy, her delight, also her suffering, he had seen just a tad bit of anxiety and the despair she still was not managing, and now, he was seeing her fear.

And, thanks again to his social extraordinaire abilities, was able to make out the simplicity behind her absurd fear.

She was afraid of him, and more than that, she was afraid of herself.

Maybe he wasn't able to make out every single detail out of it, he was no psychic, but he could still make out the bigger scene.

Yeah, Aigis was growing; she was learning the human emotions as best as she could, he had already made out some, but he didn't see all of them, he surely wouldn't be able to ever grasp them all. Joy, sadness, sorrow… If those come naturally, then surely, fear at some point would also come along.

Was it the coming of Nyx? Or maybe was it the rather unpleasant omen looming all around the place?

Or maybe it was unrelated?

As much as Aigis had grown affectionate towards Minato, he was still a mystery to her in many ways. She had learned much about him, yet knew very little. Aigis was afraid of so many things… she had learned what it means to be afraid, and unknown to her, Minato had subconsciously become one of the things she feared.

Simply because he still was a mystery towards her.

She inadvertently understood that no matter how much she poured her worries and wonders to him, Minato still was a field of unknown. In fact, it wouldn't be natural if she wasn't feeling a drop of anxiety at least. She was coming to terms with her newfound emotions. You can't expect everything to work out smoothly.

Because that is just natural; because you can't expect to simply fly into infinity without second thoughts.

And Aigis had just had it a little bit rougher.

But it was fine.

Aigis broke down into a bend of hiccups, tears, blubber and whines, with Minato holding her in a wistful yet slightly diverted embrace. She was just too cute for her own good. He accommodated his chin on her head, as she buried her face in his chest, with tears overflowing from her eyes. He silently closed his eyes and pensively remained in position, waiting for the android girl to calm down. He could only wait.

And it did.

It didn't matter how much time passed with the two of them like that. Aigis' sobs and sniffles died after a while. Minato calmly waited for it. Even after the lounge became dead silent, Minato decided to remain the way they were. He didn't mind it, nor she seemed to want to let go (Neither did he, actually). Only the clock's ticking accompanied them.

After what seemed to be hours, Minato decided to speak, his voice as soft and caring as he could perform.

"Aigis… I know these past days may have been a little too rough" He calmly caressed her. "And maybe I'm not helping at all… but…"

"It's not that…" She meekly cut him in. "It's just that… I…"

Her voice trailed off into dead silence.

Minato decided he wouldn't press on the matter. She's had enough as it is. Instead, he opted to fix his position instead, pulling himself a little back from her, to see her face, though his head was still a bit high versus hers.

"I can wait until you're ready to tell me" He sweetly said. "You don't need to stress out over this"

"B-But…" Her eyes pleaded, but he knew that it just wouldn't end well if it continued here.

"You don't need to worry" He reassured.

He was met with her face infested of dried-out tears. He smiled to his insides and proceeded to wipe out the remaining drops on her face with a gentle brush of his fingers.

"No need to cry, pretty girl"

And, he gave her a sweet peck on her forehead. It wasn't the most overly dramatic or grand of gestures, but, right now, it was the best he could do. It was endearing, he hoped he could convey his feelings to her through it. Even if just the half or a quarter of it got through, it would be enough. He wasn't the impatient type. He would wait; he would wait and hope she could respond to him the way he expected to, one day.

Once he retired his chin from her forehead, he was met with a puzzled Aigis.

"Good" He thought to himself.

She didn't sport anymore that hurtful face, and that was enough. Even if he hadn't managed to break through completely, he had managed to swipe her from that fearful mug. She still had that look of uncertainty, but it was different from that frenzy dismay she had then. It was… calm… like hopeful.

It was sufficient for him. A small smile crept to his face unwillingly.

He slowly incorporated and helped Aigis to do so as well.

They remained silent for full minutes. Aigis still wasn't sure what to say, and Minato was sure that she wouldn't be able to say anything at all. So he calmly took his hand to her head and kindly patted her.

Aigis retired her gaze from him and bashfully dropped her head.

Minato inhaled deeply and let out the air from his lungs smoothly.

"Don't fret over it" He calmly reassured a third time. "Let's talk about it some other day"

She did fret (much to his amusement), but really didn't do much about it. Her words didn't come out. She once again opted to break her gaze from him. She took Minato's hand with both of her own and observed it closely.

"Hey" Minato called. She raised her face to him again, and was met with his smile. "I'm always here"

Minato Arisato had killed his colors to talk in grey.

Aigis had her grey killed off to begin talking in colors.

Maybe he too would, for a change, talk in color again. She had, after all, reminded him how wonderful it was.