The repetitive pattern of tending to War's comatose body was finally broken after a few days when he came round with small moans.

Tears poured down my face when his eyes opened to mine, and a small smile creased the corner of his mouth.

"Hey Famisto." War's words were barely a whisper.

I lost composure.

"Sheesh, gettin' snot on yah sleeves. Yanno yah cryin' face's ugly." He chuckled that turned into a weak cough.

Forneas handed me some wet towels to clean my messed-up face. He took over War's care, ignoring his weak questions directed towards his make.

War was eventually able to sit up and move most of his upper body, but his legs were still immovable despite having feeling in them. It was as if his body had to recover from being in a jelly state.

"For now, the focus is for you to be able to perform the basics; eating, standing, walking and excreting into a washlet basin unassisted," Forneas commented with his usual cordial and nonchalant bedside manner.

"Doesn't mince words dat machine." War grimaced.

He was able to do all the basics after a few days.

Forneas changed his physical rehabilitation to light-based exercises he called callisthenics. He promised it was a sure-fire way for War to recover his gross motor functions and rebuild his muscle strength.

No one from the Wisteria Garden Squad or anyone else from the Second Tier had visited the room. I was grateful for our brotherly bonding time.

After a few weeks, Forneas left War completely to my care, so he could attend to other units; returning at meal times with our food.

It was during our alone time that I found myself struggling with conversation.

There were so many things I wanted to say but couldn't bring myself to say them. I was happy to see him looking like his old self that the things I wanted to say seemed insignificant.

"Yanno, yah think too much yah gonna get frown lines," War commented between mouthfuls of bread that came with our dinner of fish and vegetables during one sitting.

"Is that so," I answered, feeling shy. It was a strange feeling.

Why was I stuck for words? Was it because of what I saw at that juxtapositioner's lair? I shook my head to clear my thoughts and start from scratch.

"Sheesh, since when 'ave yah been a worry wart?" War groaned loudly.

"Guess when I saw Gat Shiem burning, got knocked out by skrit, had to fight a juxtapositioner demon and found my brother on the brink of non-existence." The words tumbled out of my mouth.

I realised that was why I had been stuck for words earlier. I didn't want to say things that would make War feel he was responsible. Especially when it was clear he wasn't.

"Yeah." War sighed.

"I like yah threads," he said to change the subject.

He played with my bow tie and bent it out of shape.

"Cut it out!" I said, annoyed by the mess he was doing to my clothes.

It felt like we were having one of our play fights back at Gat Shiem.

I chuckled.

War stopped his teasing. He faced me with a genuine smile. "Dat's better. Like seeing yah smilin'."

"Your hair's gone thick and fuzzy." My hands messed up his unruly locks of red that had grown back with a vengeance. "Your skin's looking plump too."

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