What's Becoming of the Children?
She might have been slightly drunk, or perhaps she just felt lonely. Yes, Kozue did these sorts of things when she was lonely. Miki coughed slightly and wrapped his arms tightly around himself.
"Kozue," he said, "you're not supposed to be up here."
She turned her head to look at him, bare feet half off of the side of the platform, her hair blown about her face by the wind. Her blue eyes were wide and untrusting, and her lips were frozen in a frown. "Is this place another secret you're keeping from me?"
"I never keep anything from you if I can help it. Please come down--we'll go inside and I'll make us some tea, and then we can talk about anything you like." He rubbed his arms to encourage his circulation a bit.
She peered at him, scanning the face for signs of anger. Finding nothing but coldness and slight worry, she extended her hand. "It's beautiful, Miki. Look at the lights. The architecture."
"No, Kozue. It's two in the morning, and blasted cold." He glanced down at his feet--he was submerged to the ankles in frigid water. He couldn't remember where the roses had gone, but he knew they had been there at some point, and that there had been a very important reason for them. "Come back to the room with me, alright?"
"Take off your shoes," she instructed, choosing to ignore than he had spoken, "because then you can get a good grip with your toes."
He took a deep, resigned breath and slipped his shoes off. He took a cautious step up and grabbed onto her hand. As he looked down, he gasped--Ohtori was breathtakingly beautiful at this time of night. Stars--stars he could never remember seeing from the ground, stars he had never thought to look for--shined with a brilliance more beautiful than he could have imagined. He gripped her hand tighter.
"Miki," she asked quietly, "Did you ever fight for that girl?"
"What?" He was suddenly a bit afraid. "How do you know anything about that?"
"I know a lot of things," she said, glaring at him from the corner of her eye, "because I know you so well. Why didn't you tell me?" Her empty hand clenched into a fist
"I couldn't," he insisted, "I wasn't allowed to. You know I tell you everything I can."
For a moment the air was silent but for the wind swirling around them. Somehow, holding her hand there and watching the world below them, he felt warmer than he had in their room, and more content than he had been at any time in recent memory.
"I know why everything here feels awkward. None of it fits us, because we aren't meant for here. You and I, we are meant for better things, beautiful things, things that glow. We weren't made for Ohtori."
"Kozue, what are you talking about? What is there other than here?" He was startled by his own words--he had always known, logically, that there was a great, wide world outside of these impossible structures and ringing bells. He could name countries and seas and ancient rulers, but somehow it didn't seem possible for people to actually live anywhere but here, to think of anything but fencing and princes and the lunch hour school show.
"I don't know, and I don't want to. All I know is that this..." she gestured with her free hand at the area below her, but couldn't find words to back up her thoughts. "Can't you feel it?!" she finally burst out. "It's all wrong for us! Think about our home, in that garden! We were happy there! Have you ever been happy here?"
He felt as though he had been punched in the chest--of course! Memories of a childhood, a garden, a piano flashed past his eyes and he suddenly felt quite faint.
There had always been something, though, nagging at the back of his mind. He had blocked all of these things with a significant amount of success, but there it was, that little something he couldn't repress...
"Kozue," he began, his voice breaking with apprehension, "do...do we have parents?"
She looked at him quizzically, and he continued, faster, the words feeling ridiculous in his mind. "I mean, I know that we must have had parents somewhere, because otherwise we could not exist, but...did they raise us? Love us? Do you remember anything about them at all?"
She brushed the hair out her eyes and looked down sadly at the school. "No. I don't think we've ever meant anything to them."
"So we have no home in the outside world, either." He looked to her, tears shining on his cheek. "It was different for those Princesses--they could build a home outside of here. But we have nothing...what can we do?"
Kozue leaned forward slightly, tilting her head to the sky. "We can fly far away from here."
"What?" He followed her glance to the foreign constellations in the heavens.
"Come on," she whispered, her voice breathy and excited. She leaned forward farther, pulling him along. "Let's go, Miki. There has to be something for us, something far from here and the outside world."
Ah yes, he thought, that was it. Something finally makes sense. He smiled warmly at his sister.
Together, moving as one, they closed their eyes and soared down off of the platform.