"so... i've had a question that's been nagging me for a while now..." nathan starts, "...and you don't need to answer it if you don't want but... yeah. mind if i ask?"

"nope, go ahead." leo shrugs which is difficult with rita's weight pulling him down, aching his arms.

"i just... i was just wondering what made you so devoted to north. she's amazing and incredible and unbelievable underneath the temporary sadness she has now but any other person would've just given up on her, seeing that depression takes a lot of time to heal. what's made you stick around?"

"well that's a hard question, i'll admit... but an easy answer." he takes in a deep breath, "when you're just with her, it's like she has this different... air around her. a different aroma. a new kind of..."

"perfume?" nathan jokes.

leo laughs and shoves him playfully,"no, idiot. anyways, she just has this air to her that makes you stick around to see what causes it. and i found out, and it's just her. she is what makes herself so special. she doesn't see it because she's blinded by depression but she's strong and she's brave. she ran after her sister up to this forest, what does that tell you? and she's still surviving after everything that's happened to her and what's happened is something a person should never go through. but she is. she's walking into it with her head held high. sure, she stumbles sometimes because that's life and that's where i come in. i want to help herself up at those times because i know when she reaches the end, it's gonna be something great. so i think that's what love is. wanting to be with someone on a journey unknown, to support each other. she leans on me and i lean on her until we reach the great end."

by then, they are out of the forest and walking towards the car.

it's silent for a moment as a passing wind blows by, making them shiver. "you're good for her."

leo glances at him who's staring ahead but says nothing, signaling nathan to continue.

"you're good for her. greater than whatever i could've ever done for her. you're right, she has this air around her that just makes you love her."

leo realized then, nathan loved north back.

nathan exhaled, a dense fog escaping his lips. "but you're good for her." he places a hand on leo's shoulder and smiles before opening the car door.

leo smiles back before they carry rita into the back row.

"you should check if she's okay, for any--"


leo's head snaps at the forest. he knew that sound. he knew what that was and could only imagine something incredibly horrifying.

"leo--!" nathan called but it was no use.

he was already running off into the woods.

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