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Even if his body is much stronger now, and he’s been out of the hospital much, much more, she decides that she has to do this for him. He’s been doing his very best in everything he does, making it through school at an outstanding level, and she wants to thank him, with all her heart, for being beside her, for making her so happy. They’ve seen so much, back in Acadia’s World V, and even in the real world, it feels like a dream.

“Riku-kun, here!” Quickly, she stands up, brimming with determination, so set and confident that he’ll like it that she settles her mind on nothing else. “O-Oh, but first, close your eyes!”

“Ehh? You’re not going to try anything sneaky, are you?” His smile is playful, and Kazuha can’t help but think that he really is such a tease! Yet, he really does know her so well, considering she had been thinking about giving him a light kiss before her other gift.

Still, Riku complies with her. Accomplished, she marches over with her work in hand, then standing as straight as possible. He really has gotten taller… She’s glad, of course. They were once the same height, give or take, so seeing him so lively, so healthy, so… real and alive!

Oh, geez! He’s so knowing, leaning in just so. Well, she can’t help it then! Lightly, she gives him a peck on the lips before quickly wrapping the hand-knitted scarf around his neck, and then his mouth too, so he can’t quickly return any devilishly cute revenge. Being by his side like this, playing around comfortably like this, she really adores it.

“Okay, there you – eek!”

Kazuha has no chance of stepping back and admiring how adorable he looks all bundled up, because he traps her with his arms. His eyes, now opened, stare into her, thinning, and even if she can’t see his mouth, with the way his cheeks rise just so, she knows there’s a mischievous grin on his face. He’s not fair at all!

“Thank you, Kazuha-chan!” Through the scarf, they once again kiss. “Mmn, now its stat boosts are double luck!”

So selfish! Kazuha pouts, knowing the game terms are another reminder of the times he’d absolutely never let her forget. Not that she’d ever want to. Even if she hopes her brother recovers enough to face her, and his transgressions, even if there had been so much pain, and fear in World V, it’s what brought them together.

Perhaps their lives were already knitted together, and fate finally let them meet. The younger siblings of the creators of Arcadia, so close yet so far from each other. Every turn they took, lead them to this point, and the stitches unraveled, and became knotted together.

Are you still watching over us, Natsu-san..?

“I’m really glad you like it, Riku-kun. This way you can stay warmer, no matter what.”

“Because you’ll always be by my side.”

The fact that he’s worked so hard to get to this point, to follow his dreams, to keep his brother’s research alive. She can imagine that adorable smile, building and growing, the one she fell so fast for. He’s so kind, so strong, socool.

“O-Oh, you..!”

Will he pick her out something next, just like when they met, in Arcadia? Yes, the circumstances were different, but she wouldn’t mind it. They support each other, in this still rather… difficult and unfamiliar world. She’s really glad she could be with him – she would’ve have liked it much, otherwise.

Of course, he’s the same.

Yet again, the last picture of him published was of him looking so, so happy to be here, and once again he wished they took one that was cooler. He’s plenty cool, plenty great. Him being here, and her being with him, that’s just another part of the threading.

Maybe next she’ll work on something bigger, something to keep them close and warm together.

Oh! He just keeps getting things from her, doesn’t he? But he’s given back plenty, just by taking her hand, just by being by here with her. That’s enough. His hand is warm, and she can’t stand it, him thinking that she doesn’t become weak to it, that she doesn’t just melt to it.

He’s figured it now, though, right? That all sides of him are of the man she loves.

Dreams won’t come true just by wishing, but if there’s someone precious to you close by, they can happen…

Try it? They’ve really, truly settled to live it, knitted deep, tangled in the destiny, that became them.