“Do... do you remember when everyone came to Manhattan and that one night when everything came to a head?”
Midori blinked. “You mean when the Yakusa and the rogue gargoyle were fighting in the streets or when that awful creature possessed Lucy and Graeme had to do that thing or --”
“That really, really odd moment--,” Ariana said softly, her brow ridges crinkling with uncharacteristic fear.
“--when everything sort of blurred,” Midori whispered breathlessly, “and then snapped back into focus?”
Stunned into silence, Midori had hoped to never relive that moment but could not help thinking of it. The closest she could come to describing the debilitating sensation was spinning in a dance and then being spun in the opposite direction and then back again. She had only been the merest observer on that night but she had seen how profoundly it had affected the Timedancer and his family. It was the only time that she had ever seen Ariana in a truly vulnerable state – until now.
Steeling herself, Midori reached out and took Ariana's hands. “No matter what happens,” she said, “I will do everything I can to help you. I may not be a warrior or a time traveler but I am your friend, Ari-chan.” She tightened her grip. “I will not let you fall from the sky.”
Midori shrugged and released her hands. “It's an old Ishimura saying. It means I've got your back. How can I help you make things right?”
Ariana sniffed and gave a half-hearted laugh. “Well... I need to smooth things over with Kirin. I don't even know where to start with him.”
“Leave it to me.”