Family (chapters 13-14)

Chapter 13: The firstborn

As the months passed in the time bubble, it’s residents slowly grew accustomed to their new life.
They had gotten used to the daily routines and come up with a set of activities on a weekly schedule.

Mondays were cleaning days when all shared spaces, including the bathroom, was cleaned until it almost sparkled (Everyone was responsible for keeping their own room tidy, so those were left out of the general cleaning).

Tuesdays were game days. On these days they all usually gathered in the living room and held a number of competitions in various board games and other types of games (Reimu had politely declined Suika’s suggestion for a drinking competition).
Orin and Okuu had gotten quite good at shogi after playing it a lot and had a decent win-rate when they played together.
Remilia and Patchouli preferred chess, Aya and Alice liked various card games, Marisa and Suika loved games of chance.
Reimu liked variation so she always played something different every week (Flandre usually picked the same game Reimu did so the two of them either played as a team or against each other most of the time).

Wednesdays were training days.
They had all concluded that they needed to train regularly to keep up their strength. For this purpose a basement had been dug behind the shrine (and it’s interior enlarged by Sakuya’s space-time expansion spell).
The walls, floor and ceiling of the basement had been reinforced by multiple barriers and enchantments so it was possible to hold danmaku duels down there without any risk of damaging anything.
There was also a bunker of sorts in the cellar with windows so that spectators could observe the duels while the basement trapdoor was closed, and since many of the matches were spectacular shows they attracted a sizable audience.

Thursdays were music and dance days.
Everyone took turns in deciding what kind of music they would play and if it would be solo or group performances.
Alice always played solo since she was basically a one man orchestra with her army of dolls carrying a multitude of instruments.
Aya and Okuu were quite enthusiastic about these days ever since they discovered their mutual interest in flute playing. The two could be seen practicing together a lot whenever they got the time.
Marisa preferred singing while Reimu and Sakuya played violin and drums respectively. The trio usually put on energetic performances that gave a happy impression, although sometimes they went for a more sombre tone for a little variation.
Suika and Orin formed a dancing duo who’s shows were always anticipated.
Using little tricks like various small versions of their spellcards, Suika’s size variation and ability to split into multiples and Orin’s speed and agility, they were able to put on rather flashy shows that had a very uplifting effect on all who saw them (although once their stomachs had reached a certain size they had toned it down considerably, with the promise of getting back to their more flashy style once they were able).

Fridays were designated ‘school days’ for the children, although for now everyone just spent them doing whatever they felt needed doing at the time.

Saturdays were party days.
Either fancy dinners and/or drinking was done on these days (alcohol-free drinks for the pregnant mothers) and the plan was to also hold children’s parties in the future.

Finally, Sundays were resting days.
Basically this meant that everyone slept until around nine o’clock or longer, then just spent the day hanging around and taking it easy.
The soundproof bedroom typically saw more visitors on Sundays.

Reimu was currently sitting in the living room sofa with Flandre next to her. Her ear was resting against the vampire’s now large stomach and she was quietly singing to her unborn child.
Flandre’s eyes beamed with happiness as she slowly stroked her belly with one hand and the shrine maiden’s head with the other.
Reimu had made a habit of doing this regularly with all the pregnant mothers, including Aya’s and Okuu’s eggs.
Marisa knew that it was because she wanted her children to feel loved even before they were born, and every time she saw Reimu together with one of the mothers like this she smiled to herself and thought “I knew you were going to be a great parent Reimu”.

Earlier that day Meiling and Koakuma had arrived with the next month’s food delivery.
After they were done moving everything into the pantry, Aya had interviewed them like she always did when they showed up.
The reporter’s goal was to write a journal that gave the reader the perspectives of both the inhabitants of the time bubble and those who observed it from the outside.
“Well, one thing is for sure” Suika said as she walked by the place they were sitting.
“That will be a very interesting read”.
Aya flashed a pleased smile. “I know right? Just think about it, nobody would ever be able to get that kind of perspective unless they read this book. It promises a unique experience in reading”.
Alice, who was also in the room, looked up and said “Just keep it as factual as possible please. I don’t think there is any need for embellishment in this particular case”.
Aya grinned and replied “Oh, I don’t need to add anything when I got stuff like Miss Puppeteer’s Wonderful Concert to write about”.
For some reason Alice was annoyed by the tengu’s grin and tried to give her a disapproving response, but when she opened her mouth all that passed her lips was a short shriek of pain.

Everyone in the room, including Alice, looked surprised. A few moments of silence passed, followed by another, longer scream as Alice put her arms around her stomach. Aya and Suika realized what it was and quickly ran to her aid.
Suika promptly picked Alice up in her arms and began carrying her towards her room, the tengu quickly ran through the house and informed everyone of what was happening.
It did not take long before they all gathered at Alice’s room. Sakuya, Marisa and Reimu had begun preparations for the birth as the puppeteer’s face twisted in pain from the contractions.
Reimu got down on her knees next to the bed, put a wet towel on Alice’s forehead, grabbed her shoulder and said “It’s ok, I’m right here Alice. We are all right here with you”.
Her face relaxed a little and she quietly said “I know, it just hurts a bit more then I expected”.
As another surge of pain made her clasp her eyes shut hard, Reimu leaned closer and whispered “Think of it this way, you will get to meet your daughter for the first time soon”.
Alice opened her eyes again and met Reimu’s gaze, a look of confusion mixed with amazement on her face.
Reimu smiled and asked “What do you think she looks like?”
Alice managed a small laugh as Reimu grabbed her hand.
“Here, feel free to grip my hand as hard as you want. I’ll share the pain with you”.

Those not directly involved with the birth sat outside the room, quietly waiting. Nobody really kept track of time, but it felt like an eternity.
The silence was broken only by periodic screams heard quietly through the closed door.
Flandre sat cuddled up to her older sister, one hand on her own stomach. She could sometimes feel small movements, something that usually exited her, but made her a little uneasy now.
She leaned in close and whispered “Big sis, is it going to hurt a lot to give birth?”
Remilia embraced her younger sister and whispered back “Yes, it will. It’s different for each person, but it always hurts”.
Flandre shuddered a little as another dull scream was heard from within Alice’s room.
Remilia noticed it and hugged her tighter.
“However, through that pain a new life is born. I can hardly think of a greater accomplishment”.
As Flandre looked up at her with an uneasy expression, Remilia smiled and continued “Besides, you wont be alone. I will be with you, and so will Reimu, Marisa, Sakuya and everyone else”.
She put her hand on her own belly and said “I will most likely give birth before you, then you will be able to see exactly how it works and how good care those three will give you when it’s your turn”.
Her younger sister’s eyes turned moist, the next moment she had embraced her and buried her face in her chest.
Remilia just held her sister where they sat, gently patting her back.

She was of course a bit worried herself. Everything had went well with Aya’s and Okuu’s egg laying and her three friends had performed admirably as nurses, but she still had her concerns.
She was sure a smaller body size would not be a problem for the oni, but it might be for herself and her sister.
Although no problems had presented themselves during the pregnancy, the birth was a different matter since the baby would be smaller then an average human baby.
She decided to bring up the issue with Reimu first chance she got once the current situation was over.

As they all sat there waiting, eventually all sounds from inside the room stopped.
Those closest to the door leaned towards it, trying to catch any noise that made it’s way out.
Everyone hoped that no news was good news, their reasoning being that bad news would have traveled a lot faster then this.
Eventually, Sakuya opened the door. She looked a bit tired, but there was an unmistakable smile visible all over her face.
“You can come in and say hello now. Just keep the noise down please, they are resting”.
They all shuffled through the door as quickly as they could without rushing. Each room was quite spacious so it was easy to fit the whole group in one.

Alice laid on her bed holding something small wrapped in a blanket. Her face was covered in sweat, but her eyes and her smile was radiant as she looked at her newborn daughter.
Reimu was lying next to Alice, one arm around her, the other very slowly caressing her child.
The shrine maiden’s eyes shone with the same radiance as Alice’s, making the two of them seem like a pair of glowing suns in the room.

As everyone gathered around the bed, Marisa said “Remember, look but no touching. Not for now at least”.
They all nodded and got in an orderly line, taking turns to look at the new addition to the family up close.
The baby girl had her eyes closed and rested her face against her mother’s chest. She was seemed to be at peace and was breathing steadily.
A few of the onlookers let out tiny squeals when they saw her, others looked like they really wanted to touch her but restrained themselves.
Reimu was completely spellbound by her daughter and only seemed to have eyes for her and Alice. She didn’t even look up when Aya snapped a picture or two with her camera.

When Orin got to the front of the line she carefully smelled the baby, then giggled.
“Hihi, she smells so nice. A little weird, but very nice”.
Alice looked up and said “She is beautiful, isn’t she?”
“Yes, she is so cute!” Orin squealed. “What’s her name?”
Reimu finally tore her gaze away from her child long enough to give a reply. “Hmm, we haven’t really decided on a name yet. I always thought I would know what name was fitting when I saw her, but now I’m not so sure because I can think of several fitting names”.
Alice giggled, then said “My personal favorites are Mikino and Noriko, which one of those do you think seems more fitting?”
Reimu gave it some thought, then answered “In that case I feel that Noriko suits her better, it just feels right for some reason”.
Alice turned towards the room and said “Then there you have it everyone, please welcome Hakurei Noriko to the family”.
A collective ‘d’aww’ went through the whole room as they all expressed their joy. Suika wiped a small tear from the corner of her eye, Aya took some more pictures, even Patchouli’s face looked unusually alive as she moved closer for a better look.
Remilia felt her sister’s hand grasp her own and turned her head to meet the gaze of a much happier looking Flandre.
“Big sis, I don’t think I’m so worried anymore”.
Remilia smiled back and said “Me neither Flan, me neither”.
As she looked at Alice holding her child and the radiant expression of love on Reimu’s face, it gave her a little peace of mind.
The kind of love that Reimu was showing was the kind that would overcome any and all obstacles for the sake of her daughter, and looking at it made Remilia feel that any potential problem could be easily handled should it arise.
The thought comforted her greatly as she hugged her sister and looked at Noriko’s tiny face, a feeling of hope slowly starting to grow in her chest.

Once everyone had left the room to give them some rest, Alice turned to look at Reimu and said “I can hardly believe it. I’ve made more dolls then I can count, but this child gives me a stronger sense of accomplishment then all my works combined”.
Reimu smiled and gently kissed her before answering “She is very beautiful Alice, I am so proud of you”.
The puppeteer smiled, reached out her hand and grabbed Reimu’s. Only then did she notice.
“Your hand, it’s trembling”.
Reimu looked away for a second, then said “Sorry, I didn’t want to burden you with anything else. It’s just because I was so nervous during the birth”.
Alice noticed that her vision became a little cloudy and felt small drops form at the edges of her eyes. Reimu had seemed so calm and collected through it all, remaining by her side as an unshakable pillar of support no matter what happened (and not showing any signs of pain no matter how hard she had squeezed her hand).
Now when Alice realized how hard it must have been to keep up that appearance for so long, she also realized just how much she loved Reimu.
She lifted her hand and gently caressed the shrine maiden’s cheek. Reimu looked into her eyes, grabbed her hand and smiled as they slowly let their foreheads touch.
Noriko stirred and let out a small noise. She opened her mouth a bit and moved her small head around.
Alice realized she was probably hungry, opened her robe and placed her daughter so that her mouth was at her breast.
After a few moments of feeling around, Noriko closed her lips around the nipple and started sucking.
It took a little while, but the small girl was persistent and soon Alice could feel her milk starting to flow.
Breastfeeding her daughter for the first time made her feel a warm and fuzzy feeling in her chest. Reimu also seemed very happy to see this and very slowly caressed Noriko’s head while whispering her name and singing she same song that she had sung to Alice belly these past few mouths.
Alice leaned back, relaxed and thought to herself that this was probably the happiest moment of her life.
She would always remember this day, and treasure that memory.


Chapter 14: Two treasures

The next morning when Reimu woke up, she was greeted by a wonderful sight.
Alice was snoozing with Noriko on her chest, holding her daughter in her arms just like she had done when they both fell asleep last night.
They looked so cute together that Reimu didn’t want to wake them up. Instead she just sat on the edge of the bed and looked at them, engraving the image in her mind.

After a while the small girl started to stir. Reimu moved her face closer and extended her hand, letting her fingers gently caress the small head and it’s short, blond hair.
Noriko opened her eyes and looked into Reimu’s, and the shrine maiden thought that it was almost like looking into the mirror, and at the same time not.
The small girl’s eyes was the exact same brown hue as her own and had a similar expression, but the face’s general shape was closer to Alice’s.
Reimu felt a strange feeling when she looked into her daughter’s eyes, a feeling she was unfamiliar with. It took her a while to realize that it was, plain and simply, love.
A parent’s unconditional love for her child, a feeling she had never really expected to feel.
The realization brought tears to her eyes, but she didn’t care. She leaned closer and very gently kissed Noriko’s forehead, feeling hot streaks make their way down her cheeks. She then quietly whispered “I love you, my child”.

It was not until after she had sat back up and wiped her tears on her sleeve that she noticed the blue eyes looking at her.
She smiled and asked “How long have you been awake Alice?”
“Not long, just long enough to see the most adorable thing I think I’ve ever seen”.
She then giggled and continued “You should show that side of yourself more often you know”.
Reimu blushed a little, gave a slightly nervous cough and said “A-anyway, how are you feeling? That was quite a trial you had yesterday”.
“I feel fine, don’t worry. I’m just a little tired, but also very happy”.
Alice looked at Noriko as she continued “Things couldn’t be better right now”.
Reimu leaned forward and kissed Alice’s cheek. She then gently patted her head and said “I’m proud of you, both of you”.
As they hugged, Noriko started moving and gave a small whimper. Alice laughed softly and said “I think she might be hungry”.
Reimu got up and said “You must be getting hungry as well, I’ll go and fix your breakfast”.
She then got dressed and headed of towards the kitchen.

A few minutes after Reimu had left the room there was a light knock on the door.
Alice looked up and said “Enter”.
As the door opened the tip of a familiar black hat pointed through, followed by a happily grinning face.
“How are ya doing? I’m not disturbing you am I?”
“Not at all, I would welcome some company”.
Marisa entered the room and sat down on the bed. She looked at Noriko, who was feeding, and her eyes lit up.
“She is beautiful Alice”.
The puppeteer smiled, patted her daughter’s head and said “Look Noriko, it’s your auntie Marisa”.
She then looked at the witch and continued “Or perhaps I should say godmother, assuming she approves of course”.
Marisa was motionless for a moment, then a single, small tear slowly made it’s way from the corner of her eye down to her chin.
When she opened her mouth, her lip was trembling slightly. “O-of course I approve. How could I turn down such an offer?”
Alice giggled and said “Then it’s settled. Come closer and let her see your face”.
Marisa leaned down and slowly patted the tiny girl’s back while looking into her eyes.
She thought that it felt similar to looking into Reimu’s eyes.

As Reimu got to the kitchen, Sakuya was clearing the table.
“Ah, good morning. Everyone has already finished breakfast, but I kept yours and Alice’s for when you woke up”.
“Thanks Sakuya, that was kind of you”.
“No problem, I figured you two would opt to not follow your usual morning schedule”.
Reimu laughed. “Yea, that’s one way to put it”.
She headed over to the kitchen counter where two breakfast trays were laid out and picked one of them up. Sakuya picked up the other one and followed Reimu back towards Alice’s room.

Once they got there Alice and Reimu started eating their breakfasts while Sakuya and Marisa stayed in the room.
They were small talking about everything that had happened, how cute Noriko was, and just generally sharing a slow, pleasant time together.
Suddenly, the door flew open and Okuu dashed into the room. Reimu suppressed her urge to reprimand her for running indoors when she saw her face.
“What happened Okuu?”
The raven was holding her egg close to her chest as she quickly said “I think that what happened to Alice yesterday is happening to Orin right now”.
A second of silence followed, then they all hastily got to their feet and started to exit the room.
Reimu looked apologetically at Alice, but she just smiled and said “Go, we will be just fine”.
The shrine maiden nodded, then followed Okuu (who had been waiting for her) out the door and headed in the direction of the two pet’s room.
As they hurriedly walked through the corridors, Okuu tugged at Reimu’s sleeve.
“Hmm, what is it?”
The raven pointed at her egg and said “Actually, I think it’s started to hatch”.
Reimu looked closer and saw a small crack in the egg’s shell that was slowly getting larger.
She thought to herself “Oh man, I knew this would happen but I didn’t expect it to be so soon. I guess I got nobody to blame but myself for that little miscalculation”.
She shook her head and increased her pace.

When they reached their destination the two vampire sisters were there and Sakuya was helping Orin get onto her bed. Marisa had gone to get a few things they needed.
Flandre was holding her sister’s arm in a tight grasp and looked a little worried. Remilia was doing her best to calm her down.
When she saw this, Reimu made a mental note to talk to the two of them first chance she got, but right now she had to focus on the situation at hand.
She walked up to Orin (who’s eyes lit up when she saw her), grabbed her hand and asked “How are you feeling?”
The cat grinned, the edge of her mouth twitching a little from the pain of a smaller contraction.
“Much better now that you are here”.
Okuu sat down on Orin’s other side and pointed to her egg.
“Look Orin, it’s started to hatch as well”.
The cat seemed happy about this as she laughed and said “Wanna guess who will be born first?”
Okuu looked like she was deep in thought for about a minute, then said “I’m not so sure, but perhaps it will be yours”.
Reimu could not help but giggle when she witnessed their exchange, as it was obvious that the egg would hatch long before Orin’s birth was complete. Sometimes Okuu’s simple mindedness could be adorable.

Reimu was proven right, when Orin’s contractions really got started a large piece of the egg’s shell fell of, leaving a sizable hole.
The two parents leaned closer, and through the hole they could see a tiny head with short, black hair moving around.
Okuu put her index finger into the hole and very slowly started to peel of pieces of the shell, enlarging the hole.
Soon a small face became visible, then two tiny hands, then a torso, a stomach and finally the small legs.
The raven could now get both her hands through the hole, so she carefully put them under her child’s back and head and lifted her out of the egg. Reimu quickly grabbed a blanket and wrapped the small girl in it.
Okuu’s face was a strange mix of calm and excitement as she held her daughter in her arms. She walked up to Orin and said “Look, I was wrong, my egg did hatch first”.
The cat laughed (before her face contorted when another contraction hit), then replied “Look how cute she is, I hope mine is the same way”.
The small girl opened her eyes and looked up at her parents. Her hair was black as midnight, but her eyes looked like polished silver orbs (almost the exact same color as Sakuya’s silver knives).
She looked at them with a focused gaze, it almost felt like she was studying them, then made a small sound, stuck her thumb into her mouth and started to slowly suck on it.
This made her look so cute that Reimu almost squealed, but she managed to restrain herself at the thought that they still had one more to go.
She turned her attention to Orin and said “Well then, how about we let your child meet her big sister?”

Orin’s birth went a little easier then Alice’s. It was not long before her baby was born and no complications happened along the way.
The newborn had red hair, but it was a darker shade of red compered to her mother, and cat ears with a brown fur. Orin was currently licking those ears clean as she held her, looking pleased with herself.
Reimu was carefully tracing the tips of her fingers across the small girl’s arms and face while admiring her, Okuu was sitting on the bed slowly rocking her daughter in her arms and whispered to her “Look, it’s your younger sister over there”.
Orin’s daughter opened her eyes and revealed that they were golden in color. She looked at her parents and made a small meow.

Reimu thought that from this moment, as well as the moment Noriko was born, she was blessed. Her children filled her heart with a joy that she had never thought possible, and the thought that more where on the way was exhilarating.
She gently kissed both her new children’s foreheads, them embraced their mothers.
After a few wonderful silent moments Okuu’s face looked thoughtful and she asked “I wonder what we should call them?”
Reimu was a little more decisive this time, it felt easier to suggest names now that it was the second and third time.
“For Okuu’s child, how does Sachi sound?”
Both the raven and the cat nodded in approval and answered “Yea, that sounds good” in almost perfect unison.
Reimu laughed a little, then continued “As for you Orin, what do you think about Momoka?”
The cat smiled and said “I love the way it sounds”.
Then it’s settled, Sachi and Momoka it is”.
They all giggled, then started calling the girls by their new names. Momoka appeared to be a little sleepy and was mainly pushing her face against Orin’s chest. Sachi on the other hand looked like she was listening intently to every word they said, her gaze always moved to the person that was talking and she appeared to try to make sense of what she was hearing.
They kept talking until Momoka found her mother’s breast and started to press on it with her tiny hands. Reimu smiled and suggested to Orin that she should probably open her robe.
When she did Momoka quickly found the nipple and started sucking. Orin gently caressed her head as she did.
Sachi observed this with seemingly great interest, then turned her gaze towards her own mother’s face and pointed at the breast in front of her.
Okuu mirrored Orin and soon Sachi was sucking on her nipple, looking rather pleased with herself as she did.

After looking at this adorable scene for a while, Reimu said “Excuse me for a minute, I’ll be right back”.
She exited the room and went looking for the two vampires. She found them in Remilia’s room, sitting on the large bed.
They appeared to be in the middle of a conversation and Flandre looked worried, and when she noticed Reimu enter the room she turned to her sister and said “Please, ask her about it”.
“Hmm, about what?” Reimu asked.
Remilia turned towards her and sighed. “The truth is, Flan is getting a little worried”.
She paused and put her hand on her large stomach, giving Reimu a look that said ‘and so am I‘.
The shrine maiden could guess what the cause of their distress was, but she sat down next to them and asked to be filled in.
She wanted to hear all of their thoughts, and she knew Remilia wouldn’t leave anything out when talking to her like this.

The two sisters started talking about their worries concerning their upcoming births. Flandre in particular was getting uneasy and said that her small size could become a problem.
Reimu listened to everything they had to say without interrupting, then reached out and grabbed their hands.
“I understand why you are worried. A birth isn’t easy, and to witness one when you are pregnant yourself can definitively be unsettling”.
She leaned closer and embraced them both, then continued “But you know what? You are not alone. You got each other, and everyone else who lives here will do everything they can to help you”.
Flandre made a quiet sound, almost like a whimper, and returned the hug. Her sister followed suit and the three of them sat there in silence for a while, seeking comfort in their shared warmth.
When Reimu released them, she put her hands on their shoulders, looked them straight in the eye and said “And one more thing, I will never abandon you. I will be right by your side the whole way and help you through whatever might happen, I swear it”.

After a moment of silence, a dim glitter could be seen in Flandre’s red eyes. She quickly reached forward, threw her arms around Reimu’s neck and kissed her a little forcefully.
Reimu didn’t pull back, instead she put one arm around the vampire’s waist and the other behind her head, holding her firmly.
She let Flandre stick her tongue into her mouth, then closed her lips around it and sucked on it. Small tears slowly drizzled down the vampire’s cheeks and chin as she entrusted herself to the shrine maiden, body and soul.

When they separated, Reimu smiled and said “Here, I’m sure you will feel better if you drink some blood”.
Flandre giggled as she wiped her tears, then showed her fangs and slowly closed in on Reimu’s neck.
Remilia looked a little concerned, but Reimu gave her a reassuring look that said ‘don’t worry about it‘.
And indeed, she hardly felt the teeth pierce her skin because Flandre was being so careful whenever she did this little ritual with Reimu.
She drank a mouthful and swallowed it, leaned back and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, and visibly relaxed.
“Ahhh, you where right Reimu. Your blood always seems to calm me down, and today was no exception”.
She put her hand on her stomach and slowly stroked it, looking happy as she did.
“The truth is, my baby has been moving and kicking a lot recently, that’s why I’ve been worried”.
Reimu laughed a little and said “That probably just means your baby is eager to meet you face to face”.
Flandre also laughed, looking more like her usual self, and replied “I guess I’ve been worried over nothing then, sorry if I was a bother”.
“Oh it’s fine, I would have been more worried if you had not shown concern over such a thing”.
Reimu then turned to Remilia, pointed at the bite wound and said “Here, there is enough for you as well”.
The vampire smiled, moved closer and carefully licked up the drops of blood that had spilled out of the small wound.
When she was done she moved her mouth to Reimu’s lips and the two kissed.
After they separated, Reimu got up and said “I have to get back and check on Orin and Okuu, but I can come back here tomorrow if you want”.
Flandre looked at her sister, then at the shrine maiden and replied “Thanks, but I think I’m fine now. Thanks a lot Reimu”.
“Ok, just promise to come see me if anything happens, alright?”
Both vampire sisters smiled in response, then hugged each other.

As Reimu left their room and headed back she started thinking about what could be done to make their births easier. She had a few ideas by the time she got back to the two pet’s room, but as soon as she walked through the door and saw her two newborn daughters, all such thoughts were quickly sorted under ‘for later contemplation’ in her brain’s archive.
Sachi’s gaze turned towards her when she approached, and after a few moments her face changed from wondering to recognition.
The tiny girl reached out with her arms, signaling that she wanted to be held, and Okuu (who’s smile was shining like the miniature suns she usually created) happily handed her over into Reimu’s waiting arms.
It was a strange feeling to hold this small girl. Reimu wasn’t sure what thoughts lay behind those silver eyes, but she was weirdly reassured by the sharp yet friendly gaze that now studied every inch of her face.
She sat down on the bed next to Orin and looked at Momoka (who was now sleeping on her mother’s chest).
She looked at Sachi and said “Look how cute your little sister is when she sleeps. Make sure you two become as good friends as your parents”.
Reimu wasn’t sure if she imagined it or not, but she thought that she saw Sachi nod in response to her words.
She traced her fingertips through the short, jet-black hair and whispered “I love you”. She then leaned close to Momoka’s ear and whispered “I love you too”.

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