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ND 21.2 (excerpt)

"Ooh, ooh, I just remembered!" Hokuto exclaimed with a muffled clap; her outfit this evening was from the 1920s, with long white gloves and a white fur coat over a narrow dress of pale gold. She had woven tiny white beads into her hair like frozen raindrops. "As payment for eating my cooking yet again this week you, Sei-chan, are required to give me some help!"

"Help with what?"

"I'll show you! Don't worry, you won't have to move anywhere, let me go get it..."

In a tiny whirlwind of white and gold she left them, though not before tossing off a half-serious reminder not to get up to anything naughty while she was away which was apparently unnecessary this time. On other nights Subaru was usually by now sitting in the circle of Seishirou's arm, but tonight he kept to his own chair and Seishirou likewise. They drank tea in silence looking out at the Shinjuku skyscrapers glittering not too far away until finally, as expected, Seishirou asked. "What is it," he said calmly.

Knowing the question was coming didn't make Subaru any readier for it. "I ... met someone today. On my job at the hospital."

"The hospital. Of course."

"He's a young boy," continued Subaru, ignoring Seishirou's tone, "really sweet and cheerful despite his circumstances. He has a kidney disease, the same that killed his sister years ago, and is in desperate need of an organ transplant but since there isn't one available he has to go in for constant dialysis treatments."

"And you feel his pain. What do you want to do, donate your own kidney to him?"

Subaru winced. "No, no."
Though I did think that, once. "We barely spoke, I left almost immediately. But it's hard not to think about him."


"And what?"

Seishirou gave an impatient sigh. "And what else? This boy isn't just another poor soul you wish to help, there's something more otherwise you wouldn't have run from him."

Making steady progress towards the end ...
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