Yukio hugged Kyoko closer to him. The blanket barely managed to keep the autumn cool out, but he didn't care. Up here on the rooftop they could be alone at last. He hadn't even bothered bringing their radios.
“She said she hated me!”
Yukio relived his anger at seeing Kyoko's bruised face. The face Kuri struck so hard that vessels burst. Tomorrow it would look like she had used her fist, but Kyoko promised it was a slap.
“She can go to hell!” Yukio said.
Kyoko shook her head. He could feel her nose rubbing his chest. “No. We turned our radios off.”
Yukio stroked her hair and looked down. Late afternoon wind played in it and her blouse.
“Look, Noriko, we couldn't have heard anything. Kuri didn't, no-one with a radio inside the gym did.”
Deep inside he realised Kuri's wrath expressed her fear and helplessness more than anything else, but still. She had slapped his Kyoko.
Deep inside he was scared witless, but he couldn't say that.
His fingers moved through Kyoko's hair while he listened to her sobs. But for her need to believe him a solid rock of strength and safety he'd have joined her long ago.
Are you OK man? Are you going to die on me?
Over the other rooftop a helicopter slowly rose to vanish away from the school. The third to do so in short time, and at the service gates a small truck had just arrived with desperately needed supplies; and Yukio didn't care at all.
The cultural festival had become a meaningless display, one that slowly degenerated into chaos now when most members in the club had fallen into apathy.
“I'm scared,” Kyoko whispered.
Yukio pulled the blanket closer around them. From below he heard the rumbling murmur of thousands of guests milling around the school grounds. Sometimes interrupted by a shout or a loud laughter but always there in the background.
He knew the student council and the festival committee belatedly tried to do the job they should have done from the very beginning, but without the club they didn't stand a chance. Without Urufu if he was honest.
“Kyoko, I'm here. I'll always be here, OK?”
She hugged him tighter and rubbed tears away from red rimmed eyes. “I know. Thank you!”
“Kyoko...” Yukio fell silent. He wanted to stay by her side more than anything else. “Kyoko, you're my hero. Help me be yours!”
She took his hands in hers and rose to her feet. Together they walked to the railings and looked down.
“Yukio, they need us now, but could we stay here for a while longer? Please!”
He looked at her for a long time. “Yes I think we can,” he said and smiled. Smiling was good. Smiling made his fears take a back seat. “In fact I think we have to.”
An icicle of wind cut through his clothes and reminded him of the season. “Will you help me?”
Kyoko nodded back. “Yeah. If I'm with you I can do anything.”
Yukio grinned at her. My girl! He thrust his hand into his pocket and pulled out his phone. Noriko picked up on the second signal.
“Noriko, could you have someone come to the rooftop with two radios and a blanket?”
He waited for her surprised affirmation and the anticipated question afterwards.
“Why? Because the festival committee can't find their own arses in the dark, and that's not good enough for Urufu.” Yukio laughed when Kyoko slapped a hand to her mouth. “Noriko, we started this madness. Let's finish it the way we planned. I'll stay on the rooftop with Kyoko and help you get the show running again.”
He almost finished the call there and then, but as an afterthought he put the phone to his ear again.
“Noriko, tell that idiot brother of yours to keep the council president off my back. I only have room for Kyoko on it.”